BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO SPINNING CLASS

You’ve heard your friends raving about the awesomeness that is SPINNING; you’ve seen celebrities plastered all over the “news” coming out of spin classes looking sweaty, but elated; and you’ve even had a quick peek at a class and glimpsed the incredible atmosphere. But you’re still not ready?! Yes, SPINNING is tough, but you’re completely in control of how hard you are working. You control the resistance, so you can make it as comfortable or as tough as you want. Once you get into it, it’s easy to get hooked and that’s not a bad thing! SPINNING is a massive calorie burner (by some estimates as much as 1,000 calories during a 60 minute class) and the happy hormone payoff is immense. SPINNING is no longer the next big thing, it’s the biggest thing, and it’s time to give it a try.

BORED NO MORE – One thing you can be sure of, is that you’ll never be bored. Motivating music thumps from the speaker, the instructor is shouting out instructions, you’re changing your body position, speed and resistance (there is a resistance knob on your bike). You’re climbing hills, sprinting flats, and trying to shake your booty to the sounds of dance inspired jams. Classes include a warm-up, a main session consisting of numerous styles of cycling, and a cool down. One thing SPINNING isn’t is the plodding along at a steady pace for an hour or so. SPINNING doesn’t do boring. Instead, certified instructors will work through a series of different maneuvers that will really crank up your heart rate and calorie burn. After a thorough and specific warm-up, expect some, many or all of the following…

  • Seated Sprints
  • Standing Sprints
  • Running – Staying out of the saddle and using an upright body position
  • Seated Climbs
  • Standing Climbs
  • Jumps – Short bursts of speed designed to simulate breaking away from other riders
  • High Tempo Pedaling – Against low resistance
  • Low Tempo Pedaling – Against high resistance
  • Single Leg Emphasis Pedaling

SPINNING BIKES ARE DIFFERENT – SPINNING isn’t just tougher than your ordinary stationary bike, it’s also designed differently. SPINNING uses specially designed stationary bikes which use a fixed wheel drive. That is to say, you can’t stop pedaling suddenly and freewheel as you would on a normal bike. This can take some getting use to if you are new to it or suffer a momentary lapse in concentration! SPINNING bikes usually use large, heavy flywheels which result in a smooth pedaling action and resistance is provided by way of a friction brake mounted on the handlebars. Most SPINNING bikes are designed to resemble a road racing bike and so are fitted with “drop” handlebars and toe clips. Most bikes will also be fitted with water bottle cages which are very useful. As you are going to sweat a great deal, it is essential that you drink plenty of water during the class so you don’t get dehydrated.

SETTING UP YOUR BIKE – If you are new to SPINNING let your instructor know before you hop on a SPINNING bike, so they can make sure that your bike is set up to fit your unique shape and size. This means seat and handlebar height should be adjusted and the forward/backward rake of both the saddle and handlebars should also be adjusted. If you are uncomfortable during your class, you may well need to adjust one or more elements of your bike setup. SPINNING is an incredible calorie burner; it pushes you hard and so improves cardiovascular fitness – plus it’s low-impact on the joints. SPINNING also tones the legs, butt, and even core. The use of toe clips and correct pedaling technique means that both the quadriceps and the hamstrings get a good workout during this type of class, as do the calves and muscles on the front of your shins. To get the most out of SPINNING you should try and “pedal in squares” which is not as bizzare as it sounds. Rather than simply stomping downward, focus on pushing your feet forward, down, back, and then pulling them back up. This ensures you are applying pressure to your pedals throughout each pedal revolution and not just downward.

WORKOUT GEAR – Your normal workout gear is fine, especially just getting started. After that, you’ll be a lot more comfortable thinking like a cyclist…

  • Wear moisture wicking clothing – you’ll be sweating buckets.
  • You are going to get hot so make sure you wear a top that can be vented to allow excess heat to escape.
  • Definitely bring a towel so you can keep wiping yourself down between sections of the class and water to keep hydrated.
  • Cycling shorts, usually slightly padded, are not required but do enhance comfort.
  • If you really get into it, firm cycling shoes are much better than soft running shoes.
  • Cycling gloves, especially padded ones, can help give your hands some protection and prevent your palms from becoming slippery.

With SPINNING your legs get a great workout, and it burns calories like crazy. Almost everyone leaves dripping with sweat, on a high, and feeling pretty awesome. You need absolutely no coordination, there is no complicated choreography to master. SPINNING tends to be very popular so it is important to make sure that you plan ahead so that you can get into your ideal class time. SPINNING at Cardio Express is a service included exclusively in our X-Zone membership. Not an X-Zone member? No problem! Ask our staff how to upgrade your membership and start SPINNING today!