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Old 10-17-03, 07:27 PM   #1
sm266
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Spinning classes

Anyone have an opinion on Spinning Classes? My gym just started offering them, and I was curious if there were any benefits?
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Old 10-17-03, 07:42 PM   #2
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It certainly is not a replacement for a good ride but it will do in a pinch.
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Old 10-17-03, 07:43 PM   #3
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Better than nothing.

I have a slightly skewed outlook because I teach, so I feel a bit burned out. However, if you want to continue to work on keeping your heart rate up and your endurance and such high, it could be for you. Watch out, though, because you may end up with the aerobic bunny workout playing New Kids on the Block and Brittney Spears, and then, class will get really painful. On the other end of the spectrum, you could get a cyclist who has no idea how to lead a class, and it ends up being a pretty silent affair, with the teacher working out too hard to instruct class, no interaction, horrible music that makes no sense to what they're asking for, or asking for too much/too little too soon into the class, or pushing way too hard because they're at a certain level. It can get pretty bad either way.

I suggest you "audit" the classes before you get in there so you can figure out the ones you can stick to. Take everyone's classes at least twice so you know they just didn't have an unusually bad day or something. Always give the subs a chance too- sometimes the best instructors are the subs- the professionals that come in every so often because they're too busy running around to different clubs or just are squeezing the class in as a favor to the coordinator. Ask if they're certified, and by whom. Check on what kind of bikes they have- if they have Tomahawks or Keisers, or something crazy like that... run. If they have Schwinn, Star Trac, or Revmasters, breathe a sigh of relief.

My 2 cents so far.

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Old 10-17-03, 07:57 PM   #4
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adding 3 cents to Koffee so we have a round nickel...

The spin instructors at the Y where we are members have no problems with you coming to the class and doing your own workout especially if you are an experienced cyclist. Who knows, you may just want to turn the flywheel for an hour at a steady pace and not do intervals or anything else.
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Old 10-17-03, 08:06 PM   #5
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Can I add an additional nickel to that so we have one solid dime?

So true- if you get into a class and the instructor is breathing down your neck because you are doing your own thing, look at them with some skepticism. They should really be happy you're there, training hard, and trying to be as healthy as possible.

I always let people do whatever. If they initially come in and are not doing what I ask, I approach and find out what their objective is for the class. As soon as they say they're doing their own thing, I just thank them for coming regardless and congratulate them for keeping up with their fitness by attending my class and tell them they're welcome to do what they want if they feel like they are needing something else.

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Old 10-17-03, 08:45 PM   #6
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I ALWAYS start my classes by reminding everyone that this is THEIR ride. I provide a framework for them, but to do ONLY what they are comfortable with interms of the movements on the bike and the intensity and amount of resistance they are putting out. I unfortunately don't get to ride as much as I did a few years ago (I have an almost 2 year old who wants to see his Dad once and a while), but I have maintained my fitness level with a combination of 2 Spinning classes per week (one as the instructor, and one where I can focus on my workout), coupled with some light upper body conditioning and ab workouts, and one commute per week by bike in the good weather (26 miles each way at 17 mph avg). I think that my cycling helps me make my classes a little more like the real deal, and some of my students, who vanish in April and reappear about now to commute everyday, would probably back me up. Koffee is correct however. Each instructor does have their own style, and you may have to kiss a bunch of frogs before you find your prince or princess, but it is more fun than riding the wind trainer by yourself.

Good luck!!!


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Old 10-17-03, 09:23 PM   #7
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Thanks for your help everyone. There is only two classes offered per week and it's the same instructor, so I'm limited in that regard. I do, however, also have the opportunity of Pilates three times per week, and it's free, as well.

I'm going to try the spin class next Tuesday, if I can't get my own ride in. It's the only class offered in my entire city-Little Rock, AR. Again, thanks, and I'm sure I'll be asking more questions later.
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Old 10-18-03, 07:05 AM   #8
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Wow, the only indoor cycling classes in the city? That sounds odd.

I'm going to speak with the woman in charge of Heart Zones to see if she's interested in bringing indoor certifications to Little Rock, provided that the facilities will invest in some kind of indoor cycling bike.

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Old 10-22-03, 03:06 PM   #9
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Knees...

I've tried spinning classes a couple of times, and they've always hurt my knees. I think it's related to bike fit issues - riding on exercise bikes in general hurts my knees, even though they never hurt on my road bike. That's even if I make sure I spin.

I liked the workout, however.
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Old 10-22-03, 03:16 PM   #10
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What you will need to do is find an instructor with enough bike fit experience to properly fit you for the bike.

At my clubs, every new person gets a bike fit by me. I have a goniometer, and I measure seat height, leg angles, torso to arm angle, and upper arm to lower arm angle. I also check to make sure the balls of the feet fall over the center of the pedal, in the downstroke, then I also check for the roundness of the pedal, as well as give instruction on smoother pedalling techniques. This does not count the introduction to the indoor bike and the coaching on hand position, body placement, and weight placement.

That's the first class, but the instruction continues through all classes. I do a lot of interaction with my riders in class. Sometimes, I even bring in cycling articles for them to read so they can learn more about how they can use cycling for exercise and how they can get into cycling outdoors.

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Old 10-23-03, 10:13 AM   #11
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I just tried my first spin class last night. I have a trainer for my road bike but frankly after about 30 minutes on that thing I am looking for my hand gun to blow my brains out.

I went to a Golds Gym last night and they had Lemond machines that were new, and seemed to allow for a lot of adjusting for fit. I wasn't able to use my own pedals, but one side of the pedals on them allowed for SPD cleat shoes so I used my MTB shoes.

I did like the workout better then using my trainer alone. I found that the class atmosphire and music made for a more enjoyable experiance. The instructor had been told by a friend that invited me that I was an ex-pro racer and still raced mens masters so she was conserned it wouldn't be enough of a work out for me. I was told she is new at teaching these classes with 6 weeks experiance. Based on Koffee Browns comments I would say she had a good grip on these classes. The instructor did indicate that each rider should work to there level so I ran a higher revolution then most but I sure didn't think it was an easy workout. My H/R monitor indicated I was spinning at 80-90% of my max H/R so I did what I needed to do.

Over all I felt it was a great experiance. I think I may get involved in doing these 3 days a week as the weather gets colder to keep my fitness level up.
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Old 10-23-03, 10:58 AM   #12
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Quote:
I just tried my first spin class last night. I have a trainer for my road bike but frankly after about 30 minutes on that thing I am looking for my hand gun to blow my brains out.
I know the feeling!!

Glad to hear of your success in the class.

We still have decent weather here, so am still riding outside. But, I would consider a spinning class based upon your description.

Thanks.
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Old 10-23-03, 11:52 AM   #13
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It's still pretty warm here, today is a bit cooler but not too cold to get outside. My problem is I usually train before work and it's dark in the early AM. Tough to get 20+ on the road whan you can't see the pot holes.
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Old 10-24-03, 07:22 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jchet

I went to a Golds Gym last night and they had Lemond machines that were new, and seemed to allow for a lot of adjusting for fit. I wasn't able to use my own pedals, but one side of the pedals on them allowed for SPD cleat shoes so I used my MTB shoes.

I did like the workout better then using my trainer alone.
How did you like the Lemond trainer machine compared to your trainer? I'm trying to figure out what I want to buy for my house. I'll have to live with the boredom with TV, VCR training tapes, music, etc.
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Old 10-24-03, 08:47 AM   #15
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How did you like the Lemond trainer machine compared to your trainer? I'm trying to figure out what I want to buy for my house. I'll have to live with the boredom with TV, VCR training tapes, music, etc.
I would say it was a better overall machine for spinning then my indoor trainer. But I wouldn't think for the $1000 cost that I would really get a better workout then on my trainer. The Lemond machine was more stable then my trainer, and allowed for working out of the saddle. Yes, I can also increase the resistance on the machine but on the trainer I can change gears and get the same affect.

I think the biggest advantage was the class enviroment. It's works the same as riding in a pace line. I tend to have more speed because I am riding with a group and don't want to get dropped. In the class you have a group of folks, and some don't even ride bikes, if they know you are a serious cyclist and in my case a competitive racer you tend to work harder. People seem to watch you to see if you are really any more fit and have the ability to spin faster and harder then the rest. For this reason I found it easier to spin longer and harder then at home watching Fox News on a trainer.
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Old 10-24-03, 02:20 PM   #16
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I've done spin classes and enjoyed them for awhile. The class setting is a plus, and provides some motivation. More often than not, the music plain sucked, as did the sound system, and often times there was too much yacking. But I chalk that up to this particular gym, not anything else. Unfortunately, I'm not able to get to a class with my current schedule, hence the need for something in my house.
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Old 10-24-03, 03:22 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Markedoc
I've done spin classes and enjoyed them for awhile. The class setting is a plus, and provides some motivation. More often than not, the music plain sucked, as did the sound system, and often times there was too much yacking. But I chalk that up to this particular gym, not anything else. Unfortunately, I'm not able to get to a class with my current schedule, hence the need for something in my house.
I agree the music could be a bit much. Being 40ish I am not all that interested in the thump thump thump of the tunes. We have joked about putting up a big screen with video of guys climbing the big climbs in Europe to a back ground music. Others felt they would get intimidated. I think it would be cool, right up there chasing guys up the Alps. So cool!!!
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Old 11-12-03, 09:53 AM   #18
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I've been doing spin classes for about five years now. And the number one thing you need to find is a good instructor. If the person teaching the class is a biker (or gears the class for bikers) you're much better off.
The gym I'm at now has four different instructors, and each one has a different way of doing things. Types of music, speed of the class and just over all way of doing things. Bottom line is find someone you like and it's a hell of a workout. But it's also what you make of it too.
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