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  1. #1
    BIGWOLF ajbeck21's Avatar
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    first spin class

    I joined a local fitness center to try to boost my motivation. I attended my first spin class this morning I don't yet know how I feel about riding a stationary bike, it just don't feel right. Very good work out, just might take a little getting used to.I just don't want to hurt myself.

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    I've been doing spin classes 2-3 times a week for about a year. I have noticed a big improvement in my "real" biking. Of course, dropping 35 pounds may be part of that too, but I have noticed I can push a big gear longer these days, even though I'm doing less outdoor riding because of my work schedule...

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    As an indoor cycling instructor and clyde I can say that it definitely depends on the instructor what you get out of it. I teach 2-3 times a week and I base the class on the class demographics. One class I know will be roadies so I focus on simulating an outdoor ride. Another class might be for those just looking for aerobic workout so I do more "unroadlike" moves like jumps.

    My advice to you for waht it's worth is to find the combination or class style and instructor that works for you and if your club is good should have a varied selection of instructors/styles to choose from.

    Hope my two cents helps...

  4. #4
    Senior Member Pinyon's Avatar
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    There is no way to really simulate riding outside, but spin classes at least make riding on a stationary bike less boring. I love my spin classes in the winter. I commute all winter, but wimp-out on 2+ hour rides when it drops well below freezing.

    I agree that you should try out different instructors, and try multiple spin classes before you make up your mind. Some instructors like to do stiff-pedal grinds, others like lots of jumping in and out of the saddle, and one of my favorite instructors does "dance" on the spin bike (lots of booty and arm movement while standing on the spin bike). It is a hoot.


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    I'm a clyde spin instructor as well. In fact, it's what got me back into cycling after a 15 year lay-off.
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    so what constitutes a spin class? For winter during week I will need to work on cycle trainer and am looking for ways to imprive stamina etc while doing it.

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    BIGWOLF ajbeck21's Avatar
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    the instructor suggested I should get a heart rate monitor I've been wanting one just didn't think I could find one with a big enough chest strap any suggestions????

  8. #8
    I'm a Cyclist! Missbumble's Avatar
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    The Bee's 2 cents - I went to a spin class while visitng the parents in FLA. 1 hour of spin makes my century ride seem like a breeze!! You can not helpbut sweat - you know the type when you arms and everywere else is slick . I also do a lot of staionary fitness bike riding - as I travel a ton - so even without a spin class I sweat my butt off. It is different than being out on the road- but a ton more efficient.


    Still - i long for the century, metric century or heck evn a 1 hr ride...hopefully I will be home soon and ride.

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    Personally, I use a HR monitor in the classes I teach and highly recommend that the people taking the class do as well. I use the Nike from Costco, 48-50" around the chest and there is plenty to go a little bigger. The plus is that it is cheap (less than $40) and works with a lot of the precor equipment at the gym as well.

    If money is an object and for people not willing to make the purchase I use an exertion scale and check in on the "pulse" of the class frequently.

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    so what constitutes a spin class? For winter during week I will need to work on cycle trainer and am looking for ways to imprive stamina etc while doing it.
    I would say that an indoor cycling class is a guided class that brings a high intensity workout on a stationary cycle (many differences between the models controls, wheels, clipless/nonclipless) set to music.

    Some (probably most) instructors do a more aerobic interval class that switches up the activities going from seated climbs to standing climbs to jumps. Other instructors chose to do a patterned class for example a rolling pyramid. Simulating going up a hill, coming back down and repeating. Each hill gets larger as the class goes along and you stay at higher resitance longer. I agree that it is not the same as riding outside but you can work the same muscles to prepare for the outdoors or use it during the summer to escape the middday heat.

    Most classes are only as good as the participants (each group has a different personality) and the instructors. I would audit a bunch of classes of different style instructors to see what you like. Be wary of excessive upper body motion or doing things on the bike that may seem unatural. Typically, they are not endorsed by the manufacturer and for good reason.

  11. #11
    Old Fart gapwedge's Avatar
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    Our local health club is not showing much interest in getting a spinning class started. Don't have the room they say. The closest one is over an hours drive away. Not worth the gas expense. Fortunately, the weather here is such that you can almost ride year round, though you do get those really cold days. Still debating on getting my own spinner for home use.
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  12. #12
    www.jorofoto.com JoRoFoto's Avatar
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    I've been looking into a trainer for the winter months.. or even days when my rides get rained out..

    Hopefully it'll let me keep my bike fix and let me ride better when I'm out on the road..
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  13. #13
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    Don't have the room they say
    That's funny. The gym at work has 7 Lemonds in a 12x14 room. It doesn't take much room.

  14. #14
    Old Fart gapwedge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajwray View Post
    That's funny. The gym at work has 7 Lemonds in a 12x14 room. It doesn't take much room.

    yeah, that is what I thought too.
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  15. #15
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    Be carefuly... Spinning classes will lead to more cycling... and before you know it you'lll be adicted to riding

    I started at my club with taking Pilates. I realy liked it and it is one heck of a good core workout. The 1 hour Spinning classes scarred me, but then noticed that they started to offer 1/2 hour classes. I took one and realy liked it. It is INTENSE. By the end sweat was just pooring from my body. The instructor switched up the routing every time. By being led by an instructor I found that it realy pushed me along. From there I got back in touch with my love of riding. I realized that I could just ride to work and get the same kind of excersize. Health care coveage kept going up and I stopped having the plan where you get money towards the health club. That caused me to drop the health club membership and ride year round. A few months later I got a road bike and realy upped the cycling. I love riding outside, but I know that it would benefit me to take some spinning. There is nothing like an instructor led session to push you to the absolute limits of your ability. Also unlike a real bike ride, if you get so tired that you just can't go any further, then you just get off and take a rest... can't do that outside.

    Enjoy the spinning class. Watch your heart rate get pegged and your leg muscles and lungs get pushed to their limits. You will sweat like crazy, but you will feel great afterwards! As I warned at the beginning, you may want to start riding more in the real world as well. First will come that 20 or 30 mile rides, and before you know you'll want to complete that Metric Century and then a full Century ride

    Enjoy and happy riding,
    André

  16. #16
    Senior Member Pinyon's Avatar
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    It is best if you can find a gym that has instructor-led classes. you are right, it does not take much room. They also tend to become very popular at gyms, because you can still get a FANTASTIC aerobic workout with things like knee and back injuries. Lots of heavier people, and people that have old running injuries love spin classes.

    Most of the benefit is mental, though. There is something about working with the rest of the group, while the instructor constantly changes what you do on the bike. You don't have time to think "this sucks" as much, when you constantly change what you are doing. AND THE BIG ONE, you don't have to have rhythm or be as coordinated as you do in a lot of aerobic classes.

    Lots of people find normal aerobic classes fairly intimidating at first. It seems like you are the only one there that does not know the moves by heart, and you and everyone else gets to see you flail around and almost break your ankle in the wall mirrors, while you try to catch up.

    That sort of thing does not happen in spin class. I tend to get my heart rate up a lot higher in spin class than I do in aerobics class, anyway. Much easier to work out hard for coordination-limited people like me.

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