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Old 01-14-08, 09:35 AM   #1
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Any spinners out there?

Hi,

Just started a spinning class at the Y. From the looks of the clothes folks were wearing, lot of cyclists in there. Mostly men, which in my experience is unusual for an exercise class. It was quite a work out, especially the intervals and the killer "hills."

Do many of you spin to help stay in/get in shape when you can't ride as frequently as you'd like? It was kind of nice "riding" in the wee, dark hours of the morning without having to worry about visibility or keeping warm. And I enjoyed the comraderie of the group. And the music to keep me motivated. Or do trainers provide most of the same benefits, but in the comfort of home?
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Old 01-14-08, 09:39 AM   #2
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I often take one spinning class a week during the winter, which is about all I can handle. Spinning at home could provide the same benefit, but as you say, the class provides music, motivation and comaraderie.
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Old 01-14-08, 10:04 AM   #3
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Since I live in a climate which permits year-round cycling, I have not tried a spinning class, for fear of boredom. However, it would give me a chance to get in a midweek workout, so perhaps I should reconsider.
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Old 01-14-08, 10:16 AM   #4
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From my experience, spinning gives you a harder workout because the instructor keeps pushing. As a solo bike rider, the class environment was different and I still chat with the folks from that class when we bump into each other at the rec center. But their goals never quite matched mine . . . I'll probably always be a solo rider.

I'm now at home on a trainer and prefer it over the class. I can ride on my own schedule, putting more time on the bike than the class offered, and there is no substitute for the fit of my own bike vs. a spin bike.

'Course, we would all rather be outdoors!
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Old 01-14-08, 10:20 AM   #5
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I do spin classes 2-3x per wk in winter. Classes are only as good as instructor. Most of my instructors are average, at best. They're a great way to stay in shape, if done properly. Really focus on what your needs are and modify the routine as needed (more/less resistance; more/less jumping, etc.). You can hurt yourself very quickly on spin bikes due to 1) poor geometry and saddles, 2) rigid nature of the bike, 3) doing workouts that are damaging to your body or are otherwise just plain stupid.

Good instructors keep their eye on everone, help newbies get setup properly, have adequate warmups, have interesting, beneficial workouts, and never, ever play Bruce Springsteen.
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Old 01-14-08, 11:16 AM   #6
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Although I live in a climate where I can ride year round, I also work so I can't get out during the week to ride. So Spin class fills the void. I've been using spin for about 15 years to supplement my cycling. I just have a couple of problems with spin - 1) it's not always good for outdoor cycling - it's sometimes goes too anaerobic or the up, down, back, forth, quick spin stuff is really bad for knees and not something I would ever do on a real bike so... I generally stay with the class but opt out of some of the fast up-down stuff. I just sit and spin at a higher cadence (say 100 rpms).

Also 45 - 60 minutes is not enough time for me so I get to class 30 minutes early to warm up and then do another 30 minutes after. Thank goodness for iPods!!! I always have mine with me and hate to say it, sometimes I hate the instructor's music so in go the iPod earphones and I listen to my own.

Bottom line any aerobic sports is good for you and helps your cycling. I've done century rides after spinning for months and no actual road riding (had a fx'd collarbone).
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Old 01-14-08, 11:26 AM   #7
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Where is Red Rider when we need her?
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Old 01-14-08, 11:55 AM   #8
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I have been spinning for about 4 years. I go to 6 AM. spin every Tue. & Thur. and usually one day on the weekend in the winter. It was actually spinning that got me back on my bike. I got invited to ride with some of the bike riders in the spin class and enjoyed it so much I started riding every oppurtunity. We have a great crowd and have all become good friends. Some teachers are a lot harder than others, but we enjoy them all. I try to never miss because I enjoy seeing my friends in there.
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Old 01-14-08, 12:11 PM   #9
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Hi,

Just started a spinning class at the Y. From the looks of the clothes folks were wearing, lot of cyclists in there. Mostly men, which in my experience is unusual for an exercise class. It was quite a work out, especially the intervals and the killer "hills."

Do many of you spin to help stay in/get in shape when you can't ride as frequently as you'd like? It was kind of nice "riding" in the wee, dark hours of the morning without having to worry about visibility or keeping warm. And I enjoyed the comraderie of the group. And the music to keep me motivated. Or do trainers provide most of the same benefits, but in the comfort of home?
Are you certain about the "Cyclists" bit- At the Classes I attended last year- Lots of the right clothing and to be honest- I was well and truly outclassed on fitness- by all of the spinners for a couple of sessions. Then the instructor asked what sort of bikes we have- They either do not have bikes- or only ride up the local MUP for a couple of miles at the weekend. When I told them I was looking for a stoker on the Tandem- No-one talked to me again- just in case they got enticed into doing some hard work on a real bike.
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Old 01-14-08, 12:11 PM   #10
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Old 01-14-08, 12:27 PM   #11
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Hi,

Just started a spinning class at the Y. From the looks of the clothes folks were wearing, lot of cyclists in there. Mostly men, which in my experience is unusual for an exercise class. It was quite a work out, especially the intervals and the killer "hills."

Do many of you spin to help stay in/get in shape when you can't ride as frequently as you'd like? It was kind of nice "riding" in the wee, dark hours of the morning without having to worry about visibility or keeping warm. And I enjoyed the comraderie of the group. And the music to keep me motivated. Or do trainers provide most of the same benefits, but in the comfort of home?
I've taught Spinning since '97 and currently teach two classes/week. I have two triathletes, a couple roadies, a couple mtb riders, and the rest are regular people looking for less choreography than step class and more intensity than kick-boxing. My classes avg. 50% men -- they seem to want the more intense workouts. In '98-'99 I had a noontime class specifically for the city's bicycle police. Those guys were animals -- they really challenged me to up the ante to keep them developing their fitness levels.

I enjoy group exercise, I love using music to work out to, and I'd rather take a class than get on my trainer at home. Yeah, there's the convenience thing, but there's no accountability and no one to look over and remind me about form, focus, goals, etc. I work harder on my trainer but that's because I push myself, and it's harder to get up the enthusiasm to get on it.

Of course, teaching class isn't my workout. In fact, this morning's class was my recovery ride from our 60-mile hilly ride yesterday. I base my profiles on the rides I do (though nobody wants to repeat my Mt. Diablo climb on the tandem, the wussies [just kidding] ), and everyone works at their own level. Right now, with the influx of new folks, I'm concentrating on high cadence/light resistance, with about 1/i2 dozen hill intervals where we increase resistance without slowing cadence below 75 rpm.

Does your instructor use heart rate training, and wear a monitor? Does s/he count cadence? Is the instructor teaching the dreaded "aerobics on a bike" with hovers and push ups? Does s/he talk about the profile for class and what the expectation is? Are you encouraged to focus on your goals, and are you guided during class to work in accordance with your goals? Have you shared with your instructor why you're there, and asked what you can do to maximize your time there?

Feel free to PM me if you have more questions, comments or concerns.

Enjoy your classes!
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Old 01-14-08, 12:36 PM   #12
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I go to spinning classes. Lately, I have been going on week mornings. It is still a bit dark in the mornings to get out and ride. I have lights and do ride in the dark, but I feel safer on the last stretch if it is light for the maniacs uh drivers to see me. Also before dawn here in FL, it is still cold and it takes awhile to put all the necessary clothing on. That early in the morning, it is easier to not think and make the very short drive to the gym and do a spin class.

I am not motivated by the music. I suspect that spinning is more like an aerobics class than like cycling. They change the kinds of activities very quickly often less than a minute at something before changing intensity or friction or something. Also they do things that I have never seen anyone do on the road. One is something called "jumps". It consists of getting out of the saddle for 1-4 revolutions and then sitting for 1-4 revolutions and then repeating. These are considered challenging. I have gotten to ignoring them. Another thing is they often crank on far more resistance than an experienced cyclist would ever do and get down to RPMS close to 20. That is supposed to build "strength".

I have found by observation that many people look like they are working hard, but probably are not. It is not as if anyone can be dropped on a spin bike. So appearance is everything. I can drop most of them pretty easily on the road even at my advanced age and state of increpitude.

However, I find that I can concentrate on just intensity and getting a high intensity is not hard in a spin class especially if I keep things more intense and don't fool with the "recoveries".

Spin bikes are nice because of the large fly wheels which makes them a bit reminiscent of fixed gear bikes. It encourages high RPMS and they are better than resistance training in my experience. Also in the gym, they often have some pretty high powered fans which is nice and even essential.
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Old 01-14-08, 03:42 PM   #13
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I enjoy group exercise, I love using music to work out to, and I'd rather take a class than get on my trainer at home. Yeah, there's the convenience thing, but there's no accountability and no one to look over and remind me about form, focus, goals, etc. I work harder on my trainer but that's because I push myself, and it's harder to get up the enthusiasm to get on it.
Lots of good info, Red Rider. I think the above paragraph speaks to the heart of the issue for me. On a personal level, the only one I'm accountable to is me. I've never met anyone who was more aware of my shortcomings that I am. Hence, very few people have ever been able to push me harder than I can push myself. Keep in mind that what I've just said is in the context of pushing to reach goals. I've had fitness instructors, martial arts instructors, and others push me just for the sake of pushing me. Most of them, however, would acknowledge that I was pushing myself more than hard enough to reach my goals. With that said, there are many people who do benefit from having someone else motivate them.
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Old 01-14-08, 05:28 PM   #14
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I tried last Sunday but the class was full so I spent some time on an eleptical trainer. Even with the television going I reached my boredom tolerence point in about 1/2 hour.
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Old 01-14-08, 06:36 PM   #15
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I just started spinning - have done a total of about 6 classes since November. I started because I have not been able to ride outdoors and found the traditional exercise bike not challenging/fun enough.

The 1st class was so hard I didn't go back for 3 weeks (when I could finally walk normally again

I still have trouble with the "jumps" and find I cannot do high RPMs while standing. I never find it boring - just challenging- my heart rate soars and I need to sit out some of the more intense bits. I like the loud, pounding music -even if it isn't the type I would choose to listen to myself. The class is always full - in fact you need to arrive 30 minutes early to even get in. (I'm guessing about 50-75% of those attending are actual bikers and 95% are younger than I am.)
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Old 01-15-08, 05:21 PM   #16
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Thanks, everyone! Not sure the instructor is the greatest. No questions, no help, no nothing. But I didn't approach her either, to be fair. And my left knee hurt a bit. Think I'll look into other instructors and other ways of staying in shape. Red, I'll be PM-ing you soon. Thanks for the offer! Maybe it's time to look also into getting a trainer...
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Old 01-15-08, 10:36 PM   #17
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I have never been on a spin cycle or had a gym membership, but I think that is going to change soon. My company, as part of its wellness program, has worked out a great rate with a local gym. Low enough that I can justify the expense. I went by today and checked out the place. I think it will be worth a try to be able to keep burning calories during the winter months. The spin bikes look pretty good and they have a class at 5pm that would fit my work schedule perfectly. I would have gym access 24/7, so there should always be some time I can get in there and work out. I also like the access to other types of equipment so I can get in some upper body work.

I guess I'll give it a shot.
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Old 01-16-08, 08:27 AM   #18
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now that you are all spinning-- you need to try riding a fixie Basically, the spin bikes do not allow you to coast-- just like a fixie. Try it-- you'll like it

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Old 01-16-08, 05:05 PM   #19
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I don't like spinning classes because I don't like gyms in general. Here where I live, they require a contract membership for at least a year, are always too crowded, have terrible parking, and the instructors aren't as knowledgeable as they think they are. I do just fine at home, using my own equipment, DVD instruction, a pedestal fan, and my own common sense about what is right for my body, my personal limitations, strengths, goals, and fitness level. And I save a huuuuge amount of dough.
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Old 01-17-08, 11:03 PM   #20
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I've been spinning for about six weeks and it's the best decision I've made in a long time. Yes, as someone above said, some people appear to be working but aren't. So what! The class is about challenging yourself. When I did my first class I couldn't stand on the pedals for more than 30 seconds without my thighs screaming. I've always been a masher so this was a challenge. It took a while but now standing is no problem. I love the music, enjoy the comradery and find that the group class keeps me working when I know that if I were home I'd stop. If you have the willpower to train at home, fine. I've identified my limitations, dealt with them and I can't wait for better weather.
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Old 01-18-08, 01:08 PM   #21
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Just a note abouit spinning - I belong to LA Fitness and they generally have a good schedule of spin classes but I can't always make the time or that particular class is full so... I just go in on an off time and use a spin bike to do my workout. Now not all gyms allow you access to the spin bikes (most of the LA Fitness clubs don't but there's one near work that does). I actually like this workout better because I can do my own workout (which is generally harder than a spin class), I use my own music (which I enjoy more than the techno stuff the spin instructors use) and I do do a workout geared towards cycling (which some spin instructors have no clue). I generally get in a good 2 hour spin which is equivolent to what I would on the bike outside. Thank goodness for iPods as it makes the time go so fast! I like the spin bikes better than the stationary bikes as they fit me more like my road bike and I can do sustained stands without falling over.
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Old 01-18-08, 10:01 PM   #22
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Like the suggestion to ride on my own and bring the iPod to listen to. Work pays up to a certain amount for gym membership, and our local Y is a good deal. Think I'll try another class early tomorrow morning. Thanks everyone for your feedback!
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Old 01-20-08, 10:18 AM   #23
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Hand me down my walkin’ cane
Hand me down my hat
Hurry now and don’t be late
'Cause we ain’t got time to chat

You and me we’re goin’ out
To catch the latest sounds
Guaranteed to blow your mind
So high you won’t come down

Hey, y’all prepare yourself
For the Rubberband man
You never heard a sound
Like the rubberband man
You’re bound to lose control
When the Rubberband starts to jam

Oh, Lord, this dude is outta sight
Everything he does
seems to come out right

Once I went to hear them play
At a club outside of town
I was so surprised, I was hypnotized
By the sound this cat’s puttin’ down

When I saw this short fat guy
Stretch a band between his toes
Hey, I laughed so hard ‘cause the man got down
When he finally reached his goal

Hey, y’all prepare yourself
For the Rubberband man
You never heard a sound
Like the rubberband man
You’re bound to lose control
When the Rubberband starts to jam

Got that rubberband
Up on his toes
And then he wriggled it up
All around his nose

(Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo)
Guaranteed to blow your mind
(Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo)
Playin’ all that music, yet keepin’ time
(Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo)
Where in the world did he learn that, oh, Lord
(Doo doo doo doo doo)
Lord, help him get away

Hey, y’all prepare yourself
For the Rubberband man
You never heard a sound
Like the rubberband man
You’re bound to lose control
When the Rubberband starts to jam

Doo doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo doo doo
Rubberband man, Rubberband man
How much of this stuff do he think we can stand
So much rhythm, grace and debonair from one man, Lord
And then he had nerve to wiggle his left toe
To his knee, got the feelin’ in his head, y’all
Ah, come on, baby

Hey, y’all prepare yourself
For the Rubberband man
You never heard a sound
Like the rubberband man
You’re bound to lose control
When the Rubberband starts to jam

Rubberband man starts to jam
Movin’ up and down across the land
Got people all in his ways
Everything about him seems out of place

Just a movin’, just a movin’, just a move-move-movin’
Just a Rubberband, Rubberband man
Just a movin’, just a movin’, just a move-move-movin’
Just a Rubberband, Rubberband man

Get down
Oh, get down lover
Uh-huh


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Old 01-20-08, 02:14 PM   #24
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I started spin class after the New Year. My riding pal got me into it, it is done at the university in town, about three blocks from my house. The instructor is a roadie, and triathlete, that we ride with outdoors, too. I am enjoying it, but I wish I could put my Brooks on the stationary....

Seems like our guy follows a lot of Red Rider's suggestions. It's a good workout, and LOTS more fun than riding the trainer at home.
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