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  1. #1
    Senior Member Jed19's Avatar
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    Spin Class? Beneficial Or Waste of Time.

    My gym has spin classes. For the very first time, I am considering it as an off-season add-on to my regular gym sessions.

    Is it beneficial or waste of time? I currently do a program of 30minutes on the stairmaster, about 45minutes of strength training and 15minutes of stretching.

    I am strictly a recreational cyclist and fitness enthusiast. In other words, I make sure I totally enjoy whatever bike ride I am on.

    Thanks.
    Regards,

    Jed

  2. #2
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    I say, try it, you might like it!

    - Slim

  3. #3
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Beneficial. At least it is for me, since I refuse to ride a trainer in my basement.
    Craig in Indy

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    It depends.

    A lot of spin classes are very aggressive for the beginner. I watched a spin class in action and saw first hand many mistakes going on. First, there were people on the bikes who had the saddle too low or high. You should know first hand that setting up a bicycle takes time in dialing the saddle height, fore and aft. If a bicycle has the wrong setup or a spin machine, you are going to be in major knee pain after the class or days later. There were people getting on bikes and never setting the saddle height! The pain in people’s expressions was due to the saddle being too low.

    If you want to attend a spinning class, make sure you spend 15 minutes setting the bike's saddle height. The geometry on these spin bikes are often wrong for me and those saddles are a nightmare.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
    It depends.

    A lot of spin classes are very aggressive for the beginner. I watched a spin class in action and saw first hand many mistakes going on. First, there were people on the bikes who had the saddle too low or high. You should know first hand that setting up a bicycle takes time in dialing the saddle height, fore and aft. If a bicycle has the wrong setup or a spin machine, you are going to be in major knee pain after the class or days later. There were people getting on bikes and never setting the saddle height! The pain in people’s expressions was due to the saddle being too low.

    If you want to attend a spinning class, make sure you spend 15 minutes setting the bike's saddle height. The geometry on these spin bikes are often wrong for me and those saddles are a nightmare.
    I agree 110% with this if don right it can be beneficial, but if it is not set up you will be hurting. Trust me I have been that person.

  6. #6
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    It depends on the instructor.

    A good instructor will make sure everyone is set up properly on their bicycles to begin with, will never ever do things called "jumps", and will give you a good workout so that you feel like you've worked during the hour or hour-and-a-half.

    I had a great instructor for my first spinning class and felt like I benefitted a lot from the class. That class twice a week from the beginning of January, plus some weights and treadmill on the days I went to those classes, plus a bit on my trainer at home when I didn't attend classes, and I was ready to ride a hilly 200K in very early April in Canada.

  7. #7
    Senior Member gforeman's Avatar
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    For me, if I had to go somewhere to do the Spinning, I wouldn't do it. But if I had no other option, I might consider it.

    I purchased a Commercial grade Spin bike for my basement Gym, and it is set up almost EXACTLY like my road bike. I say almost because I have the seat tilted just slightly back, because without the wind, I seem to slide forward. Other than that, it's like riding outside, except there is no coasting.

    I purchased a series of Spinner workouts at Spinervals. I love this setup. It doesn't get boring for me, and the time flies by. I started using it in August, and I can tell you now it has increased my performance.

    I have had a Treadmill and Recumbent bike for years, and I use them religiously in the winter, but come Spring, while I may be in good shape, I am not in good "Biking" shape, and it takes me weeks to get conditioned again. I am hoping next spring, I will be ready to go!

    This is my Spinner, and I have it all measured out like my bike, with the same seat on it as my bike, and same SPD pedals. I also got the Pro model, because I wanted all the electronics.

    http://watersfitness.com/products/in...s/tsunami-pro/

    This is the Spinervals website:
    http://www.spinervals.com/
    Gary F.


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  8. #8
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Nothing improves cycling fitness like cycling. Tell you what, for half the money you spend on the gym and spin classes, I'll take you up GMR twice a week.


  9. #9
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    I think that it is beneficial because having someone yelling at you to go harder (like a football coach), that's what makes a difference between the exercise bike in the cardio room and the spin class.
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    It depends on the instructor.

    A good instructor will make sure everyone is set up properly on their bicycles to begin with, will never ever do things called "jumps", and will give you a good workout so that you feel like you've worked during the hour or hour-and-a-half.

    I had a great instructor for my first spinning class and felt like I benefitted a lot from the class. That class twice a week from the beginning of January, plus some weights and treadmill on the days I went to those classes, plus a bit on my trainer at home when I didn't attend classes, and I was ready to ride a hilly 200K in very early April in Canada.
    I agree with Machka!

    As with most classes ever taken, the instructor has the potential to make it a truly enriching and rewarding experience, or a complete waste of time.

    That goes all the way from basket-weaving to calculus....Oh, and spin classes, too!

    - Slim

  11. #11
    Still spinnin'..... Stealthammer's Avatar
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    I use to laugh at the rows of "spinners" indoors at a Santa Monica health club as I was doing 100-200+ mile days in the beautiful So Cal weather, then I move to Las Vegas where spinning indoors on 120* days sometimes just was more inviting than riding in the oppressive heat.

    Now I live in Indianapolis and sometimes spinning indoors when the temp is down near 0* is just more comfortable. I think spinning is an aquired taste. Once you get past setting up fans to provide airflow and the lack of scenery changes, it can actually be a pretty good work out.

    Doing a 30-60 minute spin session while conversing with a friend who is making you dinner is actually quite a nice lead in to the meal......
    Just your average 'high-functioning' lunatic, capable of passing as 'normal' for short periods of time.....

    “The difference between genius and stupidity is; genius has its limits.” - Albert Einstein

    “We all know that light travels faster than sound. That's why certain people appear bright until you hear them speak.” - Albert Einstein

  12. #12
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stealthammer View Post
    Doing a 30-60 minute spin session while conversing with a friend who is making you dinner is actually quite a nice lead in to the meal......
    You can converse during your spinning classes? Mine have been much too difficult to be able to talk to anyone in anything other than gasps and wheezes.

    If you can chat, you need to work harder.

  13. #13
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclist2000 View Post
    I think that it is beneficial because having someone yelling at you to go harder (like a football coach), that's what makes a difference between the exercise bike in the cardio room and the spin class.
    Yep. And it is nice to get out of the house in the middle of winter and go somewhere where there is a group of people all working out together. It's almost like a group ride without the dropping. It can pick up the spirits a bit ... especially if your spinning class is in a brightly lit, well ventilated area with large plants etc. etc.

  14. #14
    Still spinnin'..... Stealthammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    You can converse during your spinning classes? Mine have been much too difficult to be able to talk to anyone in anything other than gasps and wheezes.

    If you can chat, you need to work harder.
    No, my friend actually has a pro-class spincycle in her living room and we both wear the same size SPD sandal, so it is just "normal" for one of us to be spinning away at 100-120 rpm for 30-60 minutes while we are visiting, talking, or making dinner. No formal classes, just normal seating when we hang out.

    BTW: There is still much benefit to working out indoors below your anaerobic threshold, and being able to converse is a good gauge that you are woking aerobicly.......
    Just your average 'high-functioning' lunatic, capable of passing as 'normal' for short periods of time.....

    “The difference between genius and stupidity is; genius has its limits.” - Albert Einstein

    “We all know that light travels faster than sound. That's why certain people appear bright until you hear them speak.” - Albert Einstein

  15. #15
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Spinning is what you make of it. I often do my own thing with respect to standing, sitting, intervals, etc. I sit in the rear corner so as not to be too distracting to the others in the class who generally are trying to follow the instructor.

  16. #16
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    For those who do spinning classes, your winter must be very long huh?

  17. #17
    Goodbye Leeroy Jenkins tagaproject6's Avatar
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    I like spin classes and they are a beneficial waste of time.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member triumph.1's Avatar
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    I have several dvd's I purchased for the winter months and have actually started using them on cold days or super windy days and find it is beneficial for the cardiac, leg strengthening and gives me time to work on riding technique which is also stressed in the dvd's. I imagine it depends on the classes or the dvd's you are using and what you are trying to accomplish. I hate winter, but this will make it a bit easier.

  19. #19
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hyhuu View Post
    For those who do spinning classes, your winter must be very long huh?
    Not as long as they'd be if I were on a trainer in my basement.
    Craig in Indy

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    In my gym, the spin classes have loud, loud, loud music. I tried wearing protective gear but even then I was suffering hearing loss. So I just rode the spin bikes on my own. I have found that the music and the class itself were distractions. I can get a better work out on my own. The problem with the classes is they warm up too fast, they change pace too often and the have rather weird things called jumps that no cyclist ever does. Now, I suppose most people get motivated by the class and the music. I don't. I do like the spin bikes though because their large free wheels give the bike more "road feel" to me. Of course, they provide nothing in the bike handling department.

    Spinning done right can give you a good cardiovascular work out. Also, I seem to be able to work on climbing better on a spin bike then on the flats on my road bike. I rather suspect that how one does in the class is pretty much an individual sort of thing. It can't hurt to try it.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Jed19, I don't know where you are located but there are spinning classes here in Orange County that are different. Here's an example by Robert Kahler who was an accomplished bike racer.

    http://www.cyclingpros.com/Torture.htm

  22. #22
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hyhuu View Post
    For those who do spinning classes, your winter must be very long huh?
    They can be an excellent way to pass a long, cold winter. But here in Australia I could ride outside year round, and yet I miss spinning classes. My town is too small to have any facilities like that. 8-12 weeks of that sort of workout with a good instructor and a group of people was a great way to stay in shape and even increase fitness.

    We're looking around for a place to move in the next year or so, and visited one possible town this past weekend. I kept my eye out for fitness facilities, and sure enough, they have a recreation centre that has spinning classes. That town is right on the ocean and winters probably drop to lows of about 10C so year-round riding is a definite possibility ... but even so there's a good chance I would attend the spinning classes.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Jed19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
    Jed19, I don't know where you are located but there are spinning classes here in Orange County that are different. Here's an example by Robert Kahler who was an accomplished bike racer.

    http://www.cyclingpros.com/Torture.htm
    Thanks for posting that.
    Regards,

    Jed

  24. #24
    Senior Member Debusama's Avatar
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    Definitely beneficial: I live in an area where we are snowed over most of the winter, and I don’t like riding on a trainer because I don’t see the point in putting the wear on my drive train. For some reason, they put a lot of the big races in my area in early spring, so people from the less-snowy side of the state tend to com kick our butts. I’ve been doing the spin classes for the last few winters and have found that although I don’t do as well in the April races as I do in the July races, at least I’m not getting dropped like I did when I spent my winters on a treadmill.
    Spin class are what you make of them. If you don’t like what the instructor is doing, you can do your own thing. Nobody is going to come spank you for not following along.
    Cat-3 Fred

  25. #25
    Senior Member Debusama's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Mr. Beanz;13441838]Nothing improves cycling fitness like cycling. Tell you what, for half the money you spend on the gym and spin classes, I'll take you up GMR twice a week.
    Is that video running in slow motion or do your riding buddies really climb at 50 rmp? Unfortunately (or fortunately depending how you look at it), we can't all live in California, and sometimes the shoulders are buried under 4-feet of snow
    Cat-3 Fred

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