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My disconnect with spin class

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My disconnect with spin class

Old 07-07-22, 01:32 PM
  #1  
Tomm Willians
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My disconnect with spin class

Iím 61 and after having completed 8 centuries in the last 18 (or so) months Iíve signed up for my first double in October. To help get ready for this I thought Iíd add a spin class to my training and itís been a bit of a surprise.

Quite frankly I get my butt handed to me especially when it comes to standing on the pedals. Itís bizarre to know for a fact I can outcycle everyone in the class with the exception of one lady, but they all put me in my place in spin🤨 thereís work to be done.
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Old 07-07-22, 01:49 PM
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OTOH, a spin bike is not a road bike. They're all fixed gear. Unless you have been riding a FG bike some of the time, there's a neuromuscular learning curve to FG, even a spin bike. My wife and I did weekly spin classes for 2-3 years. It was fun, but we finally quit because #1, they were FG and thus not the same to pedal, and #2, we wanted to do normal road bike training, you know, long moderate steady state, intervals, varying cadence workouts, OLP, all the usual stuff on does on a trainer or resistance rollers.

There is the attraction of the group fun and pain in spin class though, so whatever gets you on a bike more often and for longer is good. We wound up liking not driving anywhere, as riding at home was quicker. Another attraction of spin class was that we'd always hit the weight room after class, which worked really well. Older now, we can't do as much volume per day, so we don't do that anymore. It was great in our 50s and 60s though. Highly recommended. Not the same type of contractions and different range of motion. Spin class didn't impact our weight training, though we always joked, "How we gonna walk to the car now?" Weight work really helps with endurance cycling.
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Old 07-07-22, 04:46 PM
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Probably better to help your aerobics than just more miles....spin on.

Best answer might lie in how much elevation gain in the double.
And find quite a few pacelines to join along the way.

Last edited by Wildwood; 07-07-22 at 04:50 PM.
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Old 07-07-22, 05:39 PM
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As others have said spin class != cycling. If you enjoy the camaraderie/environment of the class, that's a great bonus and can be a supplement to your cycling training, especially on bad weather or poor air quality days. But I don't think an hour long spin class with lots of weird bobbing up and down (at least in the ones I've been to) is going to do as much good as just getting in more saddle time on your actual bike.
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Old 07-07-22, 06:19 PM
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Hate spin classes. When I moved indoors for good I got a smart bike and use Zwift and Rouvy. WAY better than any spin class or anything like it.
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Old 07-07-22, 07:07 PM
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the biggest, best leaps in my riding performance happened when I added track racing, 2 days/week. That is Spin Class...
I don;t do well indoors - tend to lose focus and interest - unless it was 'roller races' during winter - that was fun!
I could use some 'spin class' at the moment...
if you can stomach the 'vibe' - there's nothing but good which comes out of 'spin class'... (once a week is prolly more than enough...)
I also dislike pouring sweat all over everything... yuk 'apparent wind' of moving is actually a good thing... LOL!
Ride On
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Old 07-07-22, 10:59 PM
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[QUOTE=Tomm Willians;22567146Quite frankly I get my butt handed to me especially when it comes to standing on the pedals. Itís bizarre to know for a fact I can outcycle everyone in the class with the exception of one lady, but they all put me in my place in spin.[/QUOTE]

I think this is a good example of Specificity: To improve in a given activity, the way you train should closely mimic the activity.

Spin class is different enough from road cycling that training one does not necessarily provide benefits in the other.
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Old 07-07-22, 11:14 PM
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After 3 years of missing my goal at 24 hour races, I signed up for spin class on something of a lark. My experience was much the same as yours; I'm sure none of them could have ridden with me on a century, but their out of the saddle efforts were humiliating. Killer. The impact on my aerobic capability over time was obvious, and did have a significant impact on the road.

When Father's day weekend came along, I clocked my goal of 400 miles at the National 24 Hour Challenge. I think the spin class put me over the top.

That said, I'm not a fan of the music, the trainer screaming over the music, and spending a nice evening indoors.
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Old 07-08-22, 06:02 AM
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I commend you for trying something new & sticking w/ it. but don't see how a spin class would help prepare for a double century
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Old 07-08-22, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
I'm not a fan of the music, the trainer screaming over the music, and spending a nice evening indoors.
I'd rather do hill repeats in the forest, but I envy the intense workout that spin classes appear to provide
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Old 07-08-22, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
I'd rather do hill repeats in the forest, but I envy the intense workout that spin classes appear to provide
Agreed. Essentially what the spin class provides is motivation to suffer well beyond what I'm willing to do on hill repeats.

To your point, I have not gone to another spin class since hitting my 24 hour goal. I'd *like* to be faster, but not enough to go through that again.
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Old 07-08-22, 01:12 PM
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I very much dislike any kind of indoor pedaling, but, for me, it is ok once in a while. I have not done them in a while, but doing intervals outdoors, especially in the spring, always helped me with getting into better riding shape. Doing them outdoors, IME, one loses some control over the timing and the amount of effort that is being looked for, but they sure will wear you out and strengthen one's self. I am at an age and point in my life that I do not pay that much attention to speed, energy output and amount of time put in. Most rides now are a mix of steady pace, kicking up to high speed for periods of time, and stopping to get off the bike for a minute or two. Riding with stronger riders and working to keep up with them can give you a boost both physically and mentally.
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Old 07-08-22, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
I'd *like* to be faster, but not enough to go through that again.
yeah, I hear ya. been off my game, losing mass in my legs & glutes. need to ramp up some training
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Old 07-10-22, 01:22 PM
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When I go to spin class I like to get a bike in the last row. When we come to some speed work, I yell, "On your left."
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Old 07-10-22, 01:40 PM
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so, is sweat pouring off of everyone in spin class?

riding a trainer I sweat too much
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Old 07-10-22, 07:05 PM
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I did Zwift and Sufferfest all winter a few years ago and got into killer shape, and then went and did an in-person Peloton class at their main studio. I couldn't stand the hype of it all but I did put them to shame, being the old guy (63 at the time) in a class of 20-somethings.
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Old 07-10-22, 10:03 PM
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When I did spin class for a couple of winters, it kept me in good aerobic shape which worked well for explosive efforts but distance work just required time outdoors doing distance work.
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Old 07-16-22, 11:56 AM
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If you approach it properly, spin class can help develop core strength which is vitally important to things like endurance riding (and climbing, and sprinting...). When I was riding a lot I loved occasional spin class in bad weather/winter. I'd grab a bike in the front row where I could look at myself in the mirrors and focus on minimizing my upper body movement when seated. This was hugely beneficial to core development, especially helpful climbing IRL. Other than another guy I rode with outside I could destroy everyone else, especially when it came to standing on the pedals. Oh, and I never paid attention to the instructor unless it was some jump up and down out of the saddle game that I enjoyed. I'd often tell my friends that I left the best ride of the week in a pool of sweat on the floor of spin class. I liked the Keiser magnetic resistance spin bikes at the gym in Princeton so much that when we moved to New Mexico, I bought one for my fitness shed here.
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Old 07-18-22, 03:32 PM
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I had one class in a spin class at the YMCA perhaps 10 yrs ago. The bikes then, had a flywheel with a friction belt that
the rider could tighten to whatever resistance desired. At the end of the hour class I felt by hand the perceived temperature
of the wheel. Mine was warm, my friend who invited me, his wheel was slightly warmer. All the other wheels in the
class were room temp, ie no applied friction. Not sure what that implies as far as benefit from the class but seems likely
there is a relation between benefit and friction applied to the flywheel.
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Old 07-19-22, 02:16 PM
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i spin 2 or 3 times a week. I don't ride outside so I can't compare it. I'm sure there are similarities and differences.
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Old 07-19-22, 03:08 PM
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I have developed an intense dislike for the young women pulling in to the fitness center that I pass on my way home from my rides, driving their BMW's Audi's Volvo's and MB's with Biden/Harris stickers on the bumpers, wearing expensive designer workout clothes, coming to a spin class. How un-green and contrary is that. For gosh sakes just buy a bike and ride it. Explore the great outdoors. Listen to the birds. Dodge traffic. Do a real bike ride.
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Old 07-20-22, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by HeyItsSara View Post
i spin 2 or 3 times a week. I don't ride outside so I can't compare it. I'm sure there are similarities and differences.
Other than the fact that both use some form of pedaling, there really aren't any similarities between spinning and road riding.
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Old 07-21-22, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Recycled Cycler View Post
I have developed an intense dislike for the young women pulling in to the fitness center that I pass on my way home from my rides, driving their BMW's Audi's Volvo's and MB's with Biden/Harris stickers on the bumpers, wearing expensive designer workout clothes, coming to a spin class. How un-green and contrary is that. For gosh sakes just buy a bike and ride it. Explore the great outdoors. Listen to the birds. Dodge traffic. Do a real bike ride.
Conversely these young women may continue to drive to their spin class in the vehicle of their choice and consider the activity quite worthwhile, and either laugh at the crotchety old man on a bicycle shaking his fist or looking at them with an evil eye, or more likely just ignore the old geezer.


For gosh sakes just ride your own bike. Explore the great outdoors. Listen to the birds. Dodge traffic. Do a real bike ride. And mind your own business and try not to project your angst on to strangers.

Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 07-21-22 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 07-21-22, 08:37 AM
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I don’t get all the hate. Why can’t we do what works for each of us?



I’m 57 years old. I never developed the balance to be able to ride inside. Why can’t I take the subway to class, wear used or free clothes, even if they have a designer name, to ride the way I want to?



I don’t want to hurt myself then be laid up for months.
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Old 07-21-22, 10:17 PM
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You didn't get my main point and the inference to save the planet and green policies suggestion to ride a bike vs drive a gas car and burn carbon fuels just get to an indoor exercise facility and pretend you're riding a bike. Driving a car to a spin class is contrary to being green.

Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Conversely these young women may continue to drive to their spin class in the vehicle of their choice and consider the activity quite worthwhile, and either laugh at the crotchety old man on a bicycle shaking his fist or looking at them with an evil eye, or more likely just ignore the old geezer.


For gosh sakes just ride your own bike. Explore the great outdoors. Listen to the birds. Dodge traffic. Do a real bike ride. And mind your own business and try not to project your angst on to strangers.
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