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Bike racers in a spin class?

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Old 07-31-18, 04:06 PM
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tetonrider
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Bike racers in a spin class?

Any of you racers done a spin class? Curious as to your perceptions. Hard/easy? Different? Fun (vs an indoor workout at home)?

I've never done one but the other day a friend asked me to do one while I was traveling. I couldn't join her at the time but found myself wondering about it afterwards.

I realize that so much will depend on the instructor. I also have a bit of a bias that they will ask the class to do "dumb" things (pedal backwards, as one example).

I know that some classes now use power (and from what I've seen the bikes can be WILDLY off); does that annoy you (assuming you are a user of power on your regular bike)?

Thanks.
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Old 07-31-18, 04:31 PM
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redlude97
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They can be fun in the offseason just to maintain some aerobic fitness if you aren't motivated to ride, but the specificity isn't there to actually be very useful IME. I also find the flywheel messes up my pedal stroke more than it helps
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Old 07-31-18, 06:08 PM
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They are what you make them, if you take it serious they can be hard but its easy to sandbag. My instructor (this was 10 years ago) used to go up to my bike and turn up my resistance, but she'd only do that to the more fit riders. They do make you do dumb things because its a fitness class and not a cycling class. The worst is when they have you go out of the saddle every 5 seconds for a minute.

That was probably the peak of my cycling career. I should have never left the spin studio....
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Old 07-31-18, 09:17 PM
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Ttoc6
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When I'd go on vacation with my parents (cruising was the ONLY way my parents traveled) they'd limit the time one could use the spin bikes to during the prescribed spin classes. So I'd do these classes. Most of the time it was Eastern-European instructors who I'm sure were very knowledgeable about body building / strength training, but not endurance training. Some of the silly exercises and sets they'd have the class do were worthless from an edurnace fitness stand point. Stuff like shoving your butt really far back the bringing it far forward etc. One minute sets at ultra low cadence (Talking, like barely moving the pedals). Sets like this are fine for developed athletes, but (IME) will lead to injuries for the type of people who'd usually do these types of classes. I'd usually bring my bike computer and hrm to record the data and estimate some sort of strain.

Now, when I was in college on the Triathlon team, some of the older students would do spin classes in the gym on campus. We'd do proper interval sets. Classic stuff, 5x5, 3x3x3 etc. These were good workouts. Big issue here is getting a proper bike fit on a very nonadjustable bike. No power meter, but I did manage to get my hrm to connect up to the display. This was nice, but it was better to connect it my computer and just record data there. Another big plus was the fans. If I ever become wealthy, I'm investing in a Big-ass fan. Like the brand name, big-ass. They're awesome and could keep me cool at 175BPM in a big room full of so many other people.
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Old 07-31-18, 10:41 PM
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I have done them on occasion with the reason ranging from curiosity to desperation and a lot depends on the bike one gets at the gym and the instructor. Some of the routines are not great from a bike racing perspective but for tourists, they are perfect.

I belong to Equinox Gym and they have the Stages exercise bikes in the cycling studio and on the workout floor. Monday, I did a 15 minute recovery ride on the Stages bike before my strength training. It is equipped with a Stages power meter and the bike can be adjusted easily to fit and the saddle feels okay. Power seems accurate but I use it for recovery so the power level is low. If I had cycling shoes and bibs, I could do a workout on the Stages bicycle.

Today, I did a TT workout outdoors and went to the gym. A spin class was getting stated and it was full. This is typical for the classes in San Diego. And we have a lot of spin class stand alone studios where people belong to a gym such as Equinox and also go to specialty spin studios because they like a particular instructor, bike or ambiance.

I was watching the clientele file into the spin studio and I was thinking that maybe I needed some more cycling efforts.
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Old 08-01-18, 02:11 PM
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I'm not a fan of how the stationary bikes feel when standing, and the emphasis on doing so in the classes. It's nothing like road, and seems to work totally different muscles. Also, since I'm competitive, I don't like the fact that I could be doing the same class with people that are sand-bagging and doing half the work or less. It shouldn't matter, but it totally bothers me if I'm burying myself during a workout and getting just as much 'credit.' Otherwise, the ones with heavy flywheels can be kind of fun for working on cadence, feels a little bit like a fixed gear. I've used them a bit for warming up at the gym. I'd definitely try a class with the Stages bikes though, since they seem to be made more for actual cyclists. I think it'd be kinda cool to own one too, set it up with your fit, and not have to worry about messing with a trainer. Maybe when we have kids I'll look into it, the time savings of being able to just hop on and go may be worth the cost at that point.
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Old 08-01-18, 02:41 PM
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I used to do them a long time ago when I had a gym membership. I'd ride a 1/2 hour before, and 1/2 hour after and get a pretty good winter workout. I'd do them now when we go to Aruba, but the class schedule at the studio doesn't really work for our family plans so I just ride the spin bike in my hotel my own way. Generally probably not the best training, but if you're on the road, looking for social interaction, or to get out of your house it's probably pretty good. All in all for home use one is probably better of on Zwift (though I never have been, and probably never will be).
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Old 08-07-18, 08:28 PM
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A team mate of mine only does spin classes during the winter during the week. Doesnt own a trainer. The last 2 years he has come into the season in excellent shape.

They seem to work for him
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Old 08-07-18, 09:27 PM
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I did a flywheel class once. They score the class in what they call power (really a fake unit of energy or perhaps energy run through an equation blender), and it gets annoying hearing ppl talk about how much power they did in random numbers that have nothing to do with power. But it was fun to win the class on my first try lol. There were several other dudes there who made me have to push a bit to "win".

Haven't been back, but I don't live in an area with winter, nor do I ever intend to train indoors. Seemed worth it for some indoor motivation. The particular instructor had good music as well. The shoes sucked.
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Old 08-08-18, 08:27 PM
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My first pair of mtb shoes were bought for spin classes in college. That's a world of difference compared to the garbage toe straps they use.
How did people used to race with toe straps.. They do nothing except make the tops of my feet sore.
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Old 08-09-18, 06:32 AM
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I've done a couple when I was more of a "pick things up and put them down again" kind of gym person. The Golds we went to had free spin classes. It was solid aerobic work for a non cyclist. Kept your mind spinning also with the music and yelling. Back then I probably wasn't used to having my HR up to the 150's even, so legs never really burned so much as huffing/puffing.

If going with a non cycling friend, go for it and just have fun and not worry about the workout.

I'd say for a cyclist that isn't willing to Zwift, try out the GCN show videos where they are climbing a mountain. Just be sure to work out your power zones versus their funky 0-10 RPE scale beforehand.

Sometimes when doing 3x8 or 3x10 or under/overs I'll toss on a Youtube video of some old TdF climbing footage. Play a game with it like having to get out of the saddle and attack every time they show a rider attacking or responding.
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Old 08-09-18, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Ttoc6 View Post
My first pair of mtb shoes were bought for spin classes in college. That's a world of difference compared to the garbage toe straps they use.
How did people used to race with toe straps.. They do nothing except make the tops of my feet sore.
It was worse than you think. I had Vittoria leather racing shoes with wooden soles for stiffness. I had to sand the wooden soles to better fit my foot. I put on the shoes and rode without cleats. I noted where the pedal made a line on the bottom. Then I nailed on steel cleats that had a groove that fit on the edge of the pedal.

Once the foot was in the pedal cage, the cleat grabbed the pedal and I would tighten down the strap. Now i was locked in. I had to reach down to release the strap to get out. There was no float in the cleat and if the cage was too tight, it put pressure on the top of my foot.

But hey, that is when bike racers were tough.
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Old 08-09-18, 08:28 AM
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There was an entertaining article in CyclingTips about this a while back: https://cyclingtips.com/2018/05/in-s...lcycle-a-spin/

Sounds like it's a good workout, regardless of how much cycling fitness you might have.
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Old 08-09-18, 09:13 PM
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The 0-10 RPE scale was how sufferfest used to do it. When I broke my hand about 2.5 years ago and just had a dumb trainer and power pedals, those workouts pushed me super hard. Sometimes it's nice not to obsess over numbers and just go at "10" effort. Spin class is kinda the same way. When they say 30s sprint, that doesn't mean 800 watts, that means crank that resistance and push hard for 30s!
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Old 08-10-18, 02:30 AM
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The big thing one has to realize is that for ”real” riding, the general goal is to get as much travel as possible for a given amount of effort. For spin class the purpose is to pack the most amount of effort into a given time.
Variety in training is generally a good thing, so I rather enjoy an occasional spin session.
Even if some of the exercises seem silly.
The one I’m most sceptical about is when you’re supposed to alternate between sitting and standing at the same resistance and cadence.
Doesn’t work for me.
If I pedal seated at a good standing resistance, I blow my knees out in minutes. If I pedal standing at a good seated resistance the cadence will increase unless I counterweight the upward bound leg.
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Old 08-10-18, 10:29 AM
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All about the instructor. They choose the routine, they choose the music, they are "mono-logging" most of the class.
You might groove with it and get a great workout session. You might just cringe for an hour.
There's one nearby that I just won't go to ever again. Not only too much Katy Perry, Cyrus, GaGa,, but she constantly sings along with it into her earpiece mike. Not a singer. At. All.
"OK, THIRD POSITION! FIVE, FOUR..."
Wrong kind of suffer-session.
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Old 08-11-18, 02:53 PM
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I didnt knoe it was a spin class until it was to late, dead of winter 9 degrees f .
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Old 08-11-18, 03:03 PM
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Depends on the class. It's as hard as you want to make it. Some of the things they yell at you to do seem fairly silly, some seem down right injurious. If it's the latter, ignore and just keep spinning.
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