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Old 09-09-07, 07:18 PM   #1
jopalis
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Training for a spinning class?

Hello newbie here.... I am 55 and trying to get in shape. The gym I belong to has a spinning class. They don't offer any beginner ones. It is an hour long. Can anyone recommend how I should prepare for this class? Any tips or suggestions? I tried to do it a while back. I couldn't do the stand up portion but just kept pedaling.... I bought some padded shorts to minimize the pain for future use.

I am not an active cycler "yet" but plan to work on that too. Thank you.
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Old 09-09-07, 07:24 PM   #2
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Get hydrated before you go and just try to keep up. You will eventually hang in there. Road riding is different than spinning, spinning is good training for road riding because you never really coast while spinning. I put the bike on the stand tonight as it has not gotten too dark for my morning training ride, I will spin in the mornings now. Boring - but it does keep my legs in shape. By the end of October it will be the only riding I will get until April.
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Old 09-09-07, 07:30 PM   #3
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Old 09-09-07, 07:47 PM   #4
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I find training on a trainer (spinning) to be very good. Road biking or Trail biking offers many distractions or excuses for not meeting certain goals. No such problem with stationary bike training.
I set it up for 16.5 MPH @ 90 RPM with a HR of 125. This is a very good workout and if I do it for one hour I am feeling that I have done some good for my conditioning.

As part of a training program we got it up to 6 hours or 100 miles.

Standing up biking on a trainer is also good training. I can now do it up to 5 minutes at 20 MPH. My early condition was such that I could do only seconds.
This training comes in helpful if you bike up a short hill.
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Old 09-09-07, 08:05 PM   #5
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I'm 52 and did a Compu-trainer class last winter. The real problem I had with the class was that I was the only one over the age of 30, and the only guy (that wasn't a problem, except to my wife.) If you think you know what is going on with the 20 something crowd, guess again.

find out if they start this class out fast or they give you a chance to get into the swing of it. My first class was mostly a warm up session.
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Old 09-09-07, 08:36 PM   #6
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Get there a little early next time and spend some time adjusting the bike to fit you perfectly. This could take several minutes, as there are up-and-down and back-and-forward adjustments for the seat, and the same for the handelbars. Put your heel on the pedals and pedal backwards; your leg should be straight out on the lowest part of the downstroke. (But don't stretch to do it.) That will give you the correct amount of bend when you then put your foot into the toeclips.

Adjust the tension to where it's very easy to pedal. Warm up like this for five or ten minutes, even before the class starts. Get comfortable on the bike. Loosen up. If you want to make some more adjustments, do it now.

When the class starts, adjust the tension gradually; don't feel like you have to make it a hammerfest just because the instructor's yelling feel the burn or go all out. All out for you is going to be very different from what it might be for the person next to you. The instructor does not know how high you've set the tension on the bike, only you will know how hard you're really working. When you stand up, make the tension high enough to enable you to do that, but you don't have to be climbing Everest, mashing pedals that feel like lead weights.

In the middle of the class, after you're thoroughly warmed up, push it a little. See where that's at. By the end of the spin class, you should feel tired but wonderful, spent but not wiped out. (This is for newbies; some people aim for being wiped out. You probably do not.)

Spin classes are a great way to get fitter. Take it gradually, and this will happen. Good luck!
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Old 09-09-07, 08:57 PM   #7
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Whats spinning? I'm going on a class for gym in school.
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Old 09-09-07, 09:11 PM   #8
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Hello newbie here.... I am 55 and trying to get in shape. The gym I belong to has a spinning
I'm 61 and spin quite frequently, last winter I was doing three classes a week. I started with one a week. During the first one I couldn't keep my eye off of the clock, I thought that I was going to die! After the third week it became a little easier and time went by a lot quicker.
Everything depends on the dynamics of the instructor, your willingness to stick to it and improve the quality of your life.
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Old 09-10-07, 01:33 AM   #9
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Thank you!

You guys are so amazing and welcoming.... I actually felt pretty silly for posting here. Afterall, I am 55 and working my way to getting healthy and more fit. Not a cyclist by a long shot. I have to admit that I am attracted to the spinning class. Also I would like to start doing some family biking. There is so much good information on here that I am going to read it a few times and maybe even cut and paste some of it.

The instructors do spend some time being sure the newbies have the bikes adjusted to them. I am glad to know that this will help prepare me for cycling. Now that it is cooling off a bit in Southern CA, I will have to get a bike rack and get DH, DD and I moving. Do you think I should work up to the spinning class by some other form of exercise. I use an elliptical trainer and a treadmill and do some weight training. I was wondering if I should be at some "specific level" of fitness before beginning.... The trainers do say go at your own pace. I wish they had a beginner class or one that was just 30 minutes but they don't....

Thank you...... as our "Governator" says.... "I'll be back...."

Jo
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Old 09-10-07, 05:21 AM   #10
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I hate exercise bikes. 20 minutes on one and I want to kill something. I would much rather get out on the bike and ride where I can see something new.

Now if the rider in front was 20 .....
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Old 09-10-07, 06:19 AM   #11
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Thank you...... as our "Governator" says.... "I'll be back...."

Jo

Of course we want to know how the classes go for you
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Old 09-10-07, 06:33 AM   #12
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Spinning classes are quite different than riding your trainer indoors.

I do a bit of trainer riding in the winter, and use the Spinerval tapes as guides. But, a spinning class has a whole lot more standing than either real cycling or a Spinerval training video.

That was what killed me on my one and only experience with a spinning class. And I was in a room with a lot of ladies in their 50's and 60's who calmly did the whole thing without a sweat, while I was absolutely dying!

I plan on doing some spinning this winter, as the gym is only a mile away, and I can walk easily. I also hope that I will be more motivated to spin than I am for the trainer, which I do but absolutely hate.

Try just hanging in there, and increasing a bit each time. Hopefully, your instructor is aware of your situation - I can bet you aren't the first, and almost everyone else in that class has gone through the same process.

Good luck!

Let us know.
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Old 09-10-07, 07:32 AM   #13
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What sort of resistance levels are set for folks who don't sweat. I use the trainer in the winter to retain some leg muscle and for a little cardio but I set the resistance so that it feels like I am climbing a hill forever. 30 min and I am soaked, whipped and rubber legged. Maybe I'm doing it wrong but I hate riding indoors so much I can't see spending all day there spinning the cranks against little resistance while wearing out the bike and the rear tire.
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Old 09-10-07, 08:09 AM   #14
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What sort of resistance levels are set for folks who don't sweat. I use the trainer in the winter to retain some leg muscle and for a little cardio but I set the resistance so that it feels like I am climbing a hill forever. 30 min and I am soaked, whipped and rubber legged. Maybe I'm doing it wrong but I hate riding indoors so much I can't see spending all day there spinning the cranks against little resistance while wearing out the bike and the rear tire.
It's not the resistance so much, and as each is individually set, so I wouldn't know. It is the standing -like a LOT of standing. Try it, and you will know what I mean.
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Old 09-10-07, 08:24 AM   #15
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Well, spin classes are not hard to prepare for. Unlike road cycling, you can not be dropped ever. Just ride at a pace that you can sustain in your first classes. If you get in better shape, than you can actually crank harder and do all that stuff. Some people who take spin classes don't really get much exercise. It is pretty easy to look good but to actually be loafing. One lady comes to mind who looks like a world beater in spin class but can not sustain even 17 mph on the road. So you never know.
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Old 09-10-07, 09:13 AM   #16
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We have a resident and very experienced cyclist / spin instructor Red Rider. She should chime in and give you some tips. I go to spin class at the gym occasionally during the winter for the music and energy of the group. With respect to spin bike saddles, they are not great. I wear old bike shorts to class and gut it out. Standing occasionally is a good thing to get circulation to the skin and nerves in your butt. Our spin bikes have toe clips and SPD / Look cleats. I wear my old biking shoes with SPD cleats so that I can work on spin technique.
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Old 09-10-07, 09:17 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by jopalis View Post
Hello newbie here.... I am 55 and trying to get in shape. The gym I belong to has a spinning class. They don't offer any beginner ones. It is an hour long. Can anyone recommend how I should prepare for this class? Any tips or suggestions? I tried to do it a while back. I couldn't do the stand up portion but just kept pedaling.... I bought some padded shorts to minimize the pain for future use.

I am not an active cycler "yet" but plan to work on that too. Thank you.
I'm a Spinning instructor and our fellow 50-plussers have offered good advice.

I suggest you talk with your instructor(s) and share with them your goals. Find out if they're outdoor cyclists at all -- if so, their ride profiles will be substantially different from those instructors who aren't outdoor cyclists. Avoid any "hover" exercises; they're really hard on the joints and don't have anything to do with cycling anywhere. Work at your own speed and resistance and be patient if you don't feel as though you're making progress as quickly as you'd like.

Padded shorts are a good idea. So's a big water bottle and a towel. Spinning will help your transition to the road, as well as give your fitness level a big boost.

Have fun!
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Old 09-10-07, 09:23 AM   #18
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We have a resident and very experienced cyclist / spin instructor Red Rider. She should chime in and give you some tips. I go to spin class at the gym occasionally during the winter for the music and energy of the group. With respect to spin bike saddles, they are not great. I wear old bike shorts to class and gut it out. Standing occasionally is a good thing to get circulation to the skin and nerves in your butt. Our spin bikes have toe clips and SPD / Look cleats. I wear my old biking shoes with SPD cleats so that I can work on spin technique.
GMTA! Thanks, Hermes!
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Old 09-10-07, 03:20 PM   #19
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Hwy 40 Blue nailed it. Red Rider- question wrt hovers- any lit or documentation on that? Our club's instructors all use hovers quite a bit, and if it's screwing us up, I'd like to let em know. Most of our "instructors" are club members who've attended a few seminars; a few are just members who have the time to lead. I don't think there's any formal certification or training for them.
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Old 09-10-07, 06:17 PM   #20
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Spinning classes are quite different than riding your trainer indoors.

I do a bit of trainer riding in the winter, and use the Spinerval tapes as guides. But, a spinning class has a whole lot more standing than either real cycling or a Spinerval training video.

That was what killed me on my one and only experience with a spinning class.................................. .
I like to know how much "standing" a spinning program has as a % of total and at what RPM.

The reason for this question: I found it useful to train for out of saddle biking (standing) to accelerate and slowly come down from that peak sitting biking. I can bike several minutes standing up and have exceeded 5 minutes on a trainer at about 60 RPM. How does that compare with spinning?
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Old 09-10-07, 06:42 PM   #21
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Avoid any "hover" exercises
OK ..I will bite. What are hover exercises.
Our spinning instructer has one good bit of advice for every newcomer ... work at your own pace and level. It's pretty much that simple you will know when you are ready to turn that resistance up. Your 55 so by now you know you do not have to do what Johnny is doing. Stand, don't stand,do your own thing and spin at a level and position you feel comfortable at.
Regards,
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Old 09-10-07, 06:59 PM   #22
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I like to know how much "standing" a spinning program has as a % of total and at what RPM.

The reason for this question: I found it useful to train for out of saddle biking (standing) to accelerate and slowly come down from that peak sitting biking. I can bike several minutes standing up and have exceeded 5 minutes on a trainer at about 60 RPM. How does that compare with spinning?

Sorry, didn't take my stop watch and calculator. However, it was a lot more standing than I ever do while cycling, and the instructor advised me of that before we started, advising me to go at my own level.
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Old 09-10-07, 07:07 PM   #23
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What sort of resistance levels are set for folks who don't sweat. I use the trainer in the winter to retain some leg muscle and for a little cardio but I set the resistance so that it feels like I am climbing a hill forever. 30 min and I am soaked, whipped and rubber legged. Maybe I'm doing it wrong but I hate riding indoors so much I can't see spending all day there spinning the cranks against little resistance while wearing out the bike and the rear tire.
My trainer has a non-linear resistance, it is set up to increase the resistance one would feel as if they were encountering wind resistance. I use the gears on the bike and the cadence to adjust the amount of energy I produce. I do intervals on it building up the speed in 2 minute steps with a total of 5 steps up and back, I do this routine several times. In the end I am pretty drenched and my legs are well tired out.

However in the end I have the satisfaction of knowing I did no work.
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Old 09-10-07, 07:13 PM   #24
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Hovers, at least at our club, are where you raise your tush just off the saddle, and keep it at that level and as "still" as possible, while doing all the work with your legs.
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Old 09-10-07, 07:32 PM   #25
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I've become pretty good in spin class, keeping up with the best of instructors. On the road I don't think that my average speed has increased BUT, my stamina has gotten really good!
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