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  1. #1
    Road Runner DougG's Avatar
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    Tried a Spinning class

    Since I've got at least two injuries that keep me from my usual running, plus it's about 0F around here, I decided to try a 6AM Spinning class at my health club. The thing is, my "club" is the recreational center for a local university, so the class was led by a 20-year-old phys-ed major and there were a few other students in the group. So my idea of keeping up and showing 'em what an old guy could do kind of went out the window (along with my stamina).

    Seriously, though, it was a really good workout. I "kept up" for the entire hour, but definitely at a reduced cadence from the kids. The first time I did it I wore my typical workout shorts, t-shirt, etc. After seeing how soaked I got plus a sore butt, the next time I wore my cycling shorts, a Coolmax sleeveless tee, and I even dug out an old pre-helmet cycling cap to help keep the sweat out of my eyes. I could still use some other adjustments on the seat angle, but the 2nd session went better than the 1st.

    You should try this if you have a chance -- you might surprise yourself (and show up some of the kids to boot!).

    Doug

  2. #2
    Huachuca Rider webist's Avatar
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    My trainer has already convinced me that I don't really like spinning but I do it anyway. Not sure I'd want to display my efforts to a bunch of twenty-somethings.
    Just Peddlin' Around

  3. #3
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Spinning classes hurt, but for cardio vascular training are ideal. It does take about 6 of them at weekly intervals before you begin to feel the benefit though. Another point is that you will perspire. Normal cycling clothing is great, but make sure you have your largest water bottle with you and a towel to mop the brow. The other point I found is that the instructor will make you find muscles you completely forgot were there, so be prepared to take it easy the day following your first class.

  4. #4
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougG
    Since I've got at least two injuries that keep me from my usual running, plus it's about 0F around here, I decided to try a 6AM Spinning class at my health club. The thing is, my "club" is the recreational center for a local university, so the class was led by a 20-year-old phys-ed major and there were a few other students in the group. So my idea of keeping up and showing 'em what an old guy could do kind of went out the window (along with my stamina).

    Seriously, though, it was a really good workout. I "kept up" for the entire hour, but definitely at a reduced cadence from the kids. The first time I did it I wore my typical workout shorts, t-shirt, etc. After seeing how soaked I got plus a sore butt, the next time I wore my cycling shorts, a Coolmax sleeveless tee, and I even dug out an old pre-helmet cycling cap to help keep the sweat out of my eyes. I could still use some other adjustments on the seat angle, but the 2nd session went better than the 1st.

    You should try this if you have a chance -- you might surprise yourself (and show up some of the kids to boot!).

    Doug
    Last summer while on vacation in Seattle, and sans bike, I took an advanced spinning class. It was incredibly difficult, and the atmosphere was similar to what you describe - lots of Univ of Washington students. A good part of the time was out of the saddle, and I kept pace with everything. In that I was the only "old" guy (I'm 64) in the class, I wasn't about to concede an inch to the young studs. Rright at the very end of the hour, I sufferred a back spasm, but kept a straight face (hurt like hell) as I moved my bike back to the edge of the room where they are stored when classes are not being conducted.

    I thought it was difficult riding with our local hammer-head training group, but this was worse! I loved it BTW!!
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

  5. #5
    Fortunatissimo
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    Old-guy spin teacher here. I got certified as an indoor cycling coach at age 58. I teach yoga at very non-ageist club. I don't want to teach a regular spin class, but I sub a lot. Since I'm retired and live 5 minutes from the club, I can step in and sub at a few minutes notice.

    Teaching a good class requires a lot of planning: setting the goals, designing the intervals etc. to meet the goals, and coordinating the music. I think that experienced cyclists make the best teachers. For one thing, we can use references local roads and hills to guide the class invisualizing what they are doing. It's a motivator.

    Sometimes I teach a spin class right after a yoga class. Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: Me!
    How is it that we have let the people who do not believe in the public good be in charge of the public good?

  6. #6
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Figaro
    Old-guy spin teacher here. I got certified as an indoor cycling coach at age 58. I teach yoga at very non-ageist club. I don't want to teach a regular spin class, but I sub a lot. Since I'm retired and live 5 minutes from the club, I can step in and sub at a few minutes notice.

    Teaching a good class requires a lot of planning: setting the goals, designing the intervals etc. to meet the goals, and coordinating the music. I think that experienced cyclists make the best teachers. For one thing, we can use references local roads and hills to guide the class invisualizing what they are doing. It's a motivator.

    Sometimes I teach a spin class right after a yoga class. Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: Me!

    You sound like an interesting chap!
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

  7. #7
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    I have been taking spin classes for a month or so now, actually bought myself a Schwinn Spincycle for in the house during these long cold Canadian winters. I can tell you that a if you do 30-45 minutes with in an upbeat spin class, you will be wasted. A good teacher can push you to limits you normally wouldn't go to on your own. Other than 45 minutes of good hard squash, can't think of anything that beats me up like spinning. Hurst so good!!

  8. #8
    fredelicious mini-masher overthere's Avatar
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    I tried spinning with the hope of keeping up my 'riding' legs, and improving my cadence. What a work out! I really admire those instructors. They never seem to do the same thing twice. Today was cadence work: other times are hills, speed intervals, emphasis on differenct heart rate levels...and the music always seems to fit, and a big variety from Bob Dylan to world music and rap. It's a great work out, and I have seen an improvement of 2 mph when I got out on my bike during a clear spell! There are jiggling housewives, buff students, regular hard-core bikers, and everything in between. I may keep it up in the Spring!

  9. #9
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    I started spinning clsees last year in late January and have been hooked ever since. Went 5-6 days a week until the road season began in April/May (Ottawa-Canada) and kept it up in the season as well on rainy days or days I wanted a good sweat and did not have a lot of time, or didn't feel like dealing with traffic, etc.

    As much as I liked the workouts (and still do) I was disappointed when I started the road season, in that I thought I would be further advanced than I was. My bum didn't hurt as much as other non spinning years, and my stamina was a bit better, but the road beats you up much much more than indoor cycling does.

    I was especially surprised at how much better my conditioning was when I got back on the spinner after a few months on the road.

    That being said I really like it. A lot depends on the instructor. Some are pretty bad, others are good but their music can suck. And sometimes you get a great class, great music and you really get a buzz.

    Also resumed regular swimming lately after a long hiatus. Probably the best thing I have ever done as far as feeling great after. It's boring, but sticking with it pays off. Here's to hoping I stick with it lol.

  10. #10
    bikin'barbie
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    I teach spinning at the gym and I swear I kick my own butt! :O

    During December I had my own classes and I was also subbing for another instructor. Therefore, I ended up "spinning" 5-6 days a week! I was never so... glad to see a month end. I tell you those weeks beat me up more than riding 250 a week outside during the cycling season. There are NO downhills in "spinning"!

  11. #11
    Senior Member bjlaw's Avatar
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    Don't forget to use a heart rate monitor. You can't fool a heart rate monitor. It tells if you are working too little or too hard.
    BJ

    When victory in battle is assured, time to tighten helmet strap.

  12. #12
    Banned. FXjohn's Avatar
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    it's not that bad...after about 4-8 classes, you should be able to do a class fairly easily compared to the first one you did. That said, I push myself hard and use a lot of resistance and intensity, there's one guy i know of that sweats more than i do in my classes.

  13. #13
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjlaw
    Don't forget to use a heart rate monitor. You can't fool a heart rate monitor. It tells if you are working too little or too hard.

    Completely agree. I use a heart rate monitor all the time and all this informs me is how hard I am working. It is nice to realise that the reason you are breathing so hard is that you are right at the top of your limit and have been for some time. Not so nice to realise that you are absolutely shattered, but the heart rate is down a bit. Time for some more training again!!

  14. #14
    Listen to me powers2b's Avatar
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    I tried a spin class...hated it.
    I thought it was boring and at $10 a crack I would much rather save the money to buy another bit for one of my bikes.
    I ride a fixed in the winter for the same effect.

  15. #15
    Senior Member bjlaw's Avatar
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    I don't understand hating spinning unless you have a very bad insrtuctor or very bad music. I really like the crowd motivation and if the music is right it really helps push you along. I would suggest trying it again but do some research to find a class that fits you.
    BJ

    When victory in battle is assured, time to tighten helmet strap.

  16. #16
    Listen to me powers2b's Avatar
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    You hit the nail on the head.
    Instructor kept yelling at me to slow down, the music was lousy (meatloaf I think), and the guy next to me smelled like a barn. I kept pedaling faster but I couldn't seem to pull away from him....then the instructor would start shouting again.
    I berated myself for paying for the experience.

    I prefer to ride as fast as I want with no music (except for the song the tires make on the road) enjoying the sights and smell of the city.

  17. #17
    Don't Believe the Hype RiPHRaPH's Avatar
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    then i am fortunate to have very good spin leaders, decent enough music most of the time and a carefully orchestrated workout. i love my club and workouts.
    I have enough words to get me into trouble, but not enough to get me out of trouble.

  18. #18
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    Are spinning classes for someone that has not been cycling very long and not in the greatest shape?

    And if so, can anyone reccommend a spinning class in the Parma (Ohio) area.
    I noticed the local gym offers a class but in turn they want to sign you up for a membership. I would rather just pay as I go if that exists.
    The motivation from an instructor and a group setting I would like better than going at it alone on a stationary bike at home....that's just me....

  19. #19
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Metro,
    my first time in a spinning class I lasted maybe 10 minutes.
    I can now go the whole class if I don't go too hard. Koffee Brown has written many posts on spinning, they are in the archives, find and read a few. You defintely want a HRM with an out of zone alarm.
    Just take it easy the first few classes.

  20. #20
    Banned. FXjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metro1
    Are spinning classes for someone that has not been cycling very long and not in the greatest shape?....

    Nope


    Quote Originally Posted by Metro1
    And if so, can anyone reccommend a spinning class in the Parma (Ohio) area.
    I noticed the local gym offers a class but in turn they want to sign you up for a membership. I would rather just pay as I go if that exists.
    The motivation from an instructor and a group setting I would like better than going at it alone on a stationary bike at home....that's just me....
    that's apt to be 5-10 dollars per spin class. If you're going to make a commitment and go a few times per week, just buy a membership and use the other facilities.

  21. #21
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Hi,
    I have to disagree with FXJohn here, just a little.
    Getting a membership and working on basic fitness is
    ideal. But if you feel like taking an occasional class (remember the HRM with the alarm) I don't see the harm. I often go once a week, and then hit the aerobic machines for more moderate levels
    of training a couple times. Hitting the weight machines for exercise that help cycling is not a bad idea either. Take all this re-entry into exercise SLOWLY, and you'll do fine.

  22. #22
    Banned. FXjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by late
    Hi,
    I have to disagree with FXJohn here, just a little.
    Getting a membership and working on basic fitness is
    ideal. But if you feel like taking an occasional class (remember the HRM with the alarm) I don't see the harm. I often go once a week, and then hit the aerobic machines for more moderate levels
    of training a couple times. Hitting the weight machines for exercise that help cycling is not a bad idea either. Take all this re-entry into exercise SLOWLY, and you'll do fine.
    If you just take an occaisional class, will you ever even see much benefit besides burning calories?
    Paying COULD be OK, especially if you have short winters.

    I say hit all the weight machines, cycling-specific or not, but that's just me, I like looking muscular, not twiglike, such as Tyler Hamilton. What the heck, investing in the membership is cheaper than needing a doctor..go for it, you only live once.

  23. #23
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    I meant as part of an exercise program. Metro, this is good, if still available. Call Bicycling Magazine and ask for a reprint of the Feb. 1994 article 'The Best Training Plan..... period' on page 69. Works like crazy, quite boring, but it will build a set of legs for cycling for a beginner faster than anything I have seen.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by FXjohn
    I say hit all the weight machines, cycling-specific or not, but that's just me, I like looking muscular, not twiglike, such as Tyler Hamilton. What the heck, investing in the membership is cheaper than needing a doctor..go for it, you only live once.
    I agree in part with what you are trying to say. I did some investigating and did find a location nearby that offers a pay as you go deal. Thank you for the advice.
    Not trying to sound cheap...but all I am only interested in is a spinning class. The 'group' atmosphere would be a plus for me not to mention an aggressive instructor...but that's just me.
    My basement at the moment has a Crossbow, Treadmill, Stair-Stepper and numerous free weights which I use on a daily basis. So I don't really have the 'need' for a gym membership.

    -Carol

  25. #25
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    I started spinning about a year ago for the same reasons you seem to want to get into it for. Group atmosphere, music, instructor, etc.

    As far as your question would you be able to keep up or how fit do you have to be the answer is the beauty of spinning is that anyone can do it and all do it together. Some classes have ironman triathletes participation along with 1st timers, 70+ women just starting a program and everything in between. As long as you do not have any medical restrictions as far as not exceeding a certain heartrate you do not need a HR monitor either. I have done classes with and without and it doesn't matter to me.

    First few classes you will struggle to keep up (if you are in great shape maybe not) and if you keep at it you will be surprised at how quickly you adapt.

    If you like a hard sweat and high end cardio (I used to play a ton of squash, thus my love for the high end) spinning is great.

    Didn't help me all that much on the road bike though. I had a better base for cardio perhaps and my bum wasn't quite as sore at the beginning of the road season but that was about it. Spinning and biking are really quite diffferent. Give it a try. Advantage of a membership is that you can go all you want without paying every time. I paid the first few classes, then bought a monthly membership then a year membership.

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