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Old 11-02-10, 10:00 PM   #1
HawkOwl
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First Spin Class of Season

Went to my first spin class since last spring. It is different. Seems the instructors went to a How To class and learned a new technique. No longer a Suffer Fest.

Now it is geared to maintain a given cadence with varying resistance levels. Instructor tries to get everyone to maintain a 80-100 cadence. Then we either Load or Unload to simulate different grades while maintaining the cadence. If someone can't maintain the cadence they either speed up or reduce the load. If you are faster than 100 you increase the load.

Since everything I've read says that this is the most efficient cadence range I think it will help me. Plus, it gives me something to work on during my solo sessions.

Maybe this winter won't be so terrible after all!
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Old 11-03-10, 08:36 AM   #2
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That's why it's called spinning, and not mashing. The idea is to keep the revs up, while increasing the load. You still should work hard and sweat a lot.
I find that when I do go to spin my on bike pedaling is much smoother, than when I don't go for a while.
Tonight should be a good time, the instructor is running in the NYC marathon Saturday, she may back off a little.
Enjoy.
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Old 11-03-10, 09:22 AM   #3
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Spin classes suck, but it sounds like yours doesn't suck too much.
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Old 11-03-10, 09:23 AM   #4
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That's why it's called spinning, and not mashing. The idea is to keep the revs up, while increasing the load. You still should work hard and sweat a lot.
I find that when I do go to spin my on bike pedaling is much smoother, than when I don't go for a while.
.
I too just wwent to my first "Spinning" class this fall, and they changed the class name to "Cycling" It seems the instructor likes low RPM (40) and high load, rarely getting over 100 RPM at all even during low load periods. This is not "Cycling" or "Spinning"
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Old 11-03-10, 11:27 AM   #5
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Yeah, ours changed its' official name to Group Cycling a couple years ago, before my time, because I guess the old style classes incorporated lots of gymnastics on the spin bike.

I like the new system of making cadence stay mostly in the 80-100 range and varying load while maintaining full control the center point of everything. That will transfer directly to my on the road cycling.
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Old 11-03-10, 11:34 AM   #6
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I went to a couple of spin classes with my then-gf (who goes to them regularly). I just kept the load low and the rpm high, pretty much what I'm used to on rollers or trainer while I'm warming up at the velodrome. If I didn't agree with what the instructor was saying, I just continued to do my own thing. An interesting way to stay on a stationary bike for more than about 15 minutes. After the 45-50 minute session, I was totally drenched in sweat and had a huge pool of sweat underneath my bike.
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Old 11-03-10, 11:42 AM   #7
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I dislike someone yelling at me while i train but your experience sounds like a positive one! I just might try it again.
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Old 11-03-10, 12:09 PM   #8
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There is no rule that says you have to do what the instructor is telling(or yelling) you to do. I couldn't stand to do a low cadence for 45 minutes, I never would do it outside, why do it inside? I've had instructors tell me that I should be doing something, and I'd say "But I would never do that on my bike", and then they would come back with something that how this is for total fitness, blah, blah, blah. If you want to do your own thing, do it. It helps if the instructor knows and understands what YOU want to get out of YOU being there. Your work out is all about YOU. It also helps if you can flirt a little with the instructor.
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Old 11-03-10, 07:18 PM   #9
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leob1 raises a very good point. One that I have not had to deal with as all our instructors start the class by reminding everyone it is Their Ride. We arrange the bikes in a semi-circle, the music goes on, the instructor gives a pitch about it being each person's ride, "This is Your Ride and no one else's". No one is chastised for any reason. Lots of encouragement and banter among the participants.

Guess my class must be among the better and more useful ones, eh?
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Old 11-03-10, 07:30 PM   #10
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I always do my own thing in a spin class, and I generally tell the instructor (unless I already know them) that is what I will be doing. To me, the advantage of the spin class is that it is a structured point in time where you join with a bunch of other crazies for a period of mutual exercise, making it more easy to do!!
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Old 11-04-10, 03:42 AM   #11
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I always do my own thing in a spin class, and I generally tell the instructor (unless I already know them) that is what I will be doing. To me, the advantage of the spin class is that it is a structured point in time where you join with a bunch of other crazies for a period of mutual exercise, making it more easy to do!!
I agree with you. I have not start spin yet this year, most likely in a few weeks. I am still outside riding.
I would add that many times with indoor cycling I get in a mental mode of just putting in time. A good spin instructor can get you to push a bit more, much like trying to keep up with a pack on the road. You may be doing your own thing but when the instructor is telling the class to catch a break away you can use this time to add a little more resistance and increase cadence which you otherwise might not have done.
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Old 11-04-10, 01:26 PM   #12
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I joined a gym so I could do spin classes in the evenings after work rather than ride in the dark (which I intensely dislike doing in traffic). I follow the instructor's lead but I make it my own ride. If I need a challenging ride then I do what she says while keeping an eye on my HR and staying in a zone where I want to train. If I need a recovery ride, then I ride within that zone. I am noticing a lot of improvement in my strength and endurance on the bike because the class challenges me to go beyond what I'd do alone, on my own bike, in the same amount of time. I much prefer riding outdoors with a group (for the camaraderie and the "wind in my face" feeling), but the spin class beats suiting up after work and trying to squeeze in a ride at dusk around drivers in a hurry to get home with the setting sun in their eyes.
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Old 11-04-10, 01:46 PM   #13
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Spin class sounds like a good way to stay focused on effort and improvement.
Companionship and a little healthy competition may be a big part of it.
My problem while riding alone is that I slip off into la-la land and just enjoy the ride.
I've tried doing hill repeats and other evil drills, but it just doesn't appeal to me.
It feels good on day one, but there is no motivation for day two.
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Old 11-04-10, 02:54 PM   #14
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Spin class sounds like a good way to stay focused on effort and improvement.
Companionship and a little healthy competition may be a big part of it.
My problem while riding alone is that I slip off into la-la land and just enjoy the ride.
I've tried doing hill repeats and other evil drills, but it just doesn't appeal to me.
It feels good on day one, but there is no motivation for day two.
Darn!!

You are having that nasty word - - - - FUN!!

You gotta find another sport.
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Old 11-04-10, 03:14 PM   #15
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I hope I don't reach the point where I need an "instructor" to run my workouts. I know the additional motivation is helpful for some folks, but having grown up with a father who was a drill instructor, I don't react well to people telling what to do next. By the time I was 18 I had more of that than I'd want in a lifetime.
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Old 11-04-10, 05:31 PM   #16
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Had my second spin class of the season today. This one with the main instructor and the person who got me started on this cycling thing as opposed to just kicking around the neighborhood. My attraction to her is that she is intelligent, motivating and a "real woman" instead of one of those dimunitive hyperactive people. Oh yes, did I say she also has a Master's?

Again the emphasis on each individual making it their own ride. No drill instructor kind of thing at all. After a nice warm up kept cadence between 80-110 for the period while changing loads to make the cadence enough work. Frequent cadence checks and suggestions that if we were spinning too fast we oiught to load up and if spinning too slow to either speed up or reduce load.

She gives tips on proper pedaling, proper foot position, etc. without pointing at any one person or embarassing anyone.

At the end lots of attention on how fast heart rates went down and a good stretching session. All in all a wonderful session.

From some of your posts it seems I may be a very fortunate person with excellent instruction and facilities. The class is three days a week and I'm going to take full advantage of all three days when I'm in town.

Last edited by HawkOwl; 11-04-10 at 05:42 PM.
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