Spin classes…any good for biking fitness?

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  • Spin classes…any good for biking fitness?
  • lister
    Member

    This isn’t driven by a new year fitness drive, but if I go to spinning classes will the fitness help my ‘real’ biking?
    I don’t get to spend enough time off road due to living in Pembrokeshire, but when I do get to have a decent ride I’d like to have a good level of fitness to enjoy it more than I do at the moment…I do pedal to work when I can but it’s not much fun at this time of year and it’s a short ride so isn’t adding much to my base fitness.
    I was thinking a spin class and a weekly swim should be good until it gets abit warmer and lighter.
    Any good/bad thoughts on spinning greatly appreciated!
    Ta

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Good spinning is good! bad is really shocking, you need someone running the class who will work you and get you through the range of stuff.

    Helped my when it was a good instructor but ended up being more bad that good in the slots i could do so gave up

    MikeWW
    Member

    Spin classes, turbo, ride the long way to work, weekends. Plenty of options really. A spin class and a swim is better than nothing but its not going to get you fit.

    Premier Icon flap_jack
    Subscriber

    If I do a spin class I take little notice of the instructor and use it as an interval session. Easy if you hide at the back.

    wrightyson
    Member

    Bro in law does 20 miles most mornings before work on a hybrid he bought. He still regularly dies as soon as he gets off road on the climbs. Don’t know why but it doesn’t seem to have helped his off road fitness that much, however his average speed and time have all improved a lot on the hybrid????

    andypaul99
    Member

    Spin classes are a great cardio workout but dont really relate to real world biking too much.
    The last spin class l went to i took my HRM, we were going for an hour and when i finished my average was 97% of max…now that cant be good for anybody, and in fact it could lead to burnout (it did with myself) esp if you are cycling regularly too.

    As flap jack says you can do your own thing but my spin instructor was a strict git and would shout at you if you werent doing exactly what he was and at that time!!

    better to get on the turbo with a fan on your face (and some proper music) and do some sensible interval sessions that relate more closely to your goals whatever they may be

    derekrides
    Member

    Lot of my more girley mates have taken to spinning of late, they are such a disappointment to me, one of them has even gone on to commit that most heinous of crimes and gotten himself fully lycra’d up and bought that type of bike that dare not speak its name where I drink.

    Needless to say ‘they’ the spinners are now figures of ridicule.

    Nor are they any fitter off road.

    trevh
    Member

    Id agree with flap jack do your own thing spinning keeps the legs moving so is better than nothing but we had brilliant instructor he left and its took them over 12 months to find a decent one as there are some that treat it like aerobics on a bike an its total crap.

    If spinning doesn’t get you fitter you’re not doing it right.

    Agree that depends on quality of instructor – but very easy to just ignore bits that don’t suit

    But can’t understand the nay-sayers – I love spinning as an exercise class, great sweat, calorie burn and good for bike fitness. Work with etape freaks (too many people for me!!) and we all span regularly and often double sessions – great fitness workout but it was with real cyclists in charge.

    andy7t2
    Member

    A spin class and a swim is better than nothing but its not going to get you fit.

    it will get you fitter than doing nothing

    If I do a spin class I take little notice of the instructor and use it as an interval session

    if you get a good instructor this should be part of the class including hill climbs and sprints

    Spin classes are a great cardio workout but dont really relate to real world biking too much.
    The last spin class l went to i took my HRM, we were going for an hour and when i finished my average was 97% of max…now that cant be good for anybody, and in fact it could lead to burnout (it did with myself) esp if you are cycling regularly too.

    your in control of the resistance just turn it down and you won’t burn yourself out.

    i’d pop down to your local gym and have a talk to the instructor, explain what you want to achieve and i’m sure they will be able to tell you if spinning is right for you or to try something different

    magowen100
    Member

    Lister,
    Where about’s in Pembs you based? I go to the spin class in Fishguard and all the advice already given is far better than I could give, but I have noticed a massive difference between instructors (and groups).

    lister
    Member

    Cheers folks.
    Magowen100: I’m in Pembroke and want to have a look at the sessions in the local sports centre, but would consider H’West if there is someone you’d recommend in particular…

    samuri
    Member

    Yeah. They’re no doubt great at imroving cardio but real world cycling? I’m not sure.

    I’ve done a couple and on both occasions the lady leading the thing was clearly an awesome spin class rider. They both did them all day long. But both were a bit plump. Show me a plump road rider who rides every day, all day….

    magowen100
    Member

    Lister,
    I don’t have experience of H’west I’m afraid I’ve onbly been to Fishguard. The guys here are Jayne and Wayne.
    Jayne tended to do lots of pedal on the flat then pretend you’re climbing a massive hill – it was good but I found it really hard on the knees and not really my cup of tea.
    Wayne concentrated on keeping cadence up and increasing friction – I found this far more akin to how I ride (i.e. maintain a constant cadence irrespective of incline). This approach was much better on my knees and made me work harder.
    In summary both of the instructors were very good at keeping you motivated but I prefered the style of the latter.
    The other bit I found was that the dynamic changes depending on the other riders and thier motivations (i.e. people spinning for fitness or keep fit weren’t as ready to push themselves as the dedicated cyclists) so bear that in mind if you don’t enjoy your first session or two.

    Premier Icon crispo
    Subscriber

    I think theyre pretty good for keeping fitness ticking over during the winter months.

    I know MTFU etc but over the winter when its one big bog outside and its dark from the time I leave the house until I get home I find it benifical to spin once or twice a week to compliment my weekend ride rather than doing nothing. I figure that two hours of it a week certainly help keep the pounds off and keep my legs feeling fresh.

    It is very much what you put in you get out and a good instructor does make a massive difference. At my gym the instructors continually mix it up with different sprinting sessions and hill intervals which I find good and knackering. The good thing as well as you can make it as hard or as easy as you need to. I go with the mrs and over the session my bike computer thingy will reckon I put out 3-4x the power that she does, but with both feel like were dead at the end.

    But both were a bit plump.

    I suppose one of the factors is that they don’t have to haul that ‘plump’ up a hill and that the extra weight could be of a benefit to push the gear on a stationary bike.

    None of the instructors at the gym I go to are anywhere near plump, but you do notice them lying about what gear they are on!

    I do RPM rather than straight out spin FWIW.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    I do on average 4 self imposed spin classes per week, 30-45 mins in length and varying from sprint intervals to climbs depending on my mood. For some reason, i’m still ‘plump’ too.

    This was yesterdays heart-rate stuff.

    mogrim
    Member

    I’ve done a couple and on both occasions the lady leading the thing was clearly an awesome spin class rider. They both did them all day long. But both were a bit plump. Show me a plump road rider who rides every day, all day….

    Don’t forget that the instructor is never running that high a load – they’ve got to have enough breath to shout out instructions, after all…

    Personally I think spin classes help a lot, although as pointed out how good the instructor is makes a huge difference.

    bikebouy
    Member

    If you can hack it, it’s good for cardio.
    If you can hack it, it’s good for watching bottoms bounce.
    If you can hack it, it’s good for sweating and dripping on the floor.
    If you can hack it that is.

    T’is a bit dull for me.

    SnS
    Member

    I do instructor led X-Bike sessions at my local gym ( They’re called “Trixster”) – Not spinning as such, but a similar idea which I suspect attempts to more closely resemble actual cycling. ( Including variable spring tensioned handlebars & pedals whch allow free-wheeling as opposed to directly attached to the wheel mass).

    By the end of these 45 minute sessions, you are invariably drenched in sweat and you also have a small pool of the stuff on either side of the bike.

    They are hard workout sessions, but I’m not so sure they give me any noticable greater abilities on my bike.

    ( Still, I really do enjoy them, so not too bothered).

    Chris

    thomthumb
    Member

    depends hugely on the instructor. they are of varying quality at my gym.

    had a girl last night who could clealy not ride a bike.

    It does frustrate me the way they get the resistance high and then sit you down – makes my knees ache.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    52mins spin for me today.. MHR of 183bpm and an average of 160bpm…. i’m pretty knackered now. can’t put up the garmin stuff as having some IE8 issues on my PC. lol

    Premier Icon ian martin
    Subscriber

    I hate spinning!
    It just doesn’t feel like cycling.
    Yeah your legs go round but I don’t get that nice satisfied feeling I get after been on a real bike.

    brack
    Member

    Ah spinning classes…remember them well !

    A room full of people performing 60 minutes worth of optical illusions with the resistance control button…

    ;@))

    hora
    Member

    Spin to the gym!!!

    They’ve jsut installed some spinning mtb at my gym… with video screens XC courses moving handlebars etc… look a bit gimmicky but I’ll give them a go.

    with spinning no matter how good or bad your instructor is, when it comes down to it… its your work out, you’re in control of the resistance…. work hard and you should see results, as with any exercise 🙂

    its helped me maintain power and endurance in my legs over winter when i haven’t been able to get out on the mtb as much, and its increased mrsconsequence’s endurance a squillion times over, which has resulted in a more enjoyable ride for her as she’s not hitting ‘the wall’ for 99% of the ride.

    i’m enjoying spinning

    iDave
    Member

    video screens XC courses moving handlebars etc… look a bit gimmicky but I’ll give them a go.

    The rider on the screen is based on me. I shot video which was converted to the graphics and developed all the courses to give intervals and progressive training hidden behind terrain. Years since I’ve ridden it but it sucks you into the session like a video game rather than distracting you like watching MTV.

    DAMMIT I WANT TO BE A VIRTUAL IDAVE! can’t see my gym getting such fancy stuff though 🙁

    *plots a way of doing some kinda magical swap into yeti’s life*

    Premier Icon psling
    Subscriber

    Have a word with your local cycling club; the local club around my way organise their own spin sessions which are obviously aimed at (road) cyclists. Even if your local club don’t organise their own sessions they will probably know the best ones in your area for cyclists.

    rootes1
    Member

    noticed that the h20 gym (biek friendly gym in london_ list different spin classes in including one called ‘race’ – wonder if they are linked up so you can race other class goers?.. that would be cool

    iDave
    Member

    the bikes with the screens TSY mentioned can be networked.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I would love to do the virtual racing. The kits are what, £800 though at least, aren’t they?

    Btw my very fit triathlon-winning mate broke his collarbone a while back and ended up spinning, it was so effective he went on to win his club 10 mile TT (Reading)

    Yep, the ones at my gym are networked with each other.

    Tonight i’MDave.

    Phil – you riding anytime soon?

    iDave
    Member

    the actual bikes are about £6k

    Really?

    They’ve already broke once since being installed!

    will send you a sext or two mr yeti x

    Premier Icon phil56
    Subscriber

    Our local LBS has installed a Wattbike studio in a room above the shop,
    it’s used pretty much exclusively by club cyclists and tri athletes.

    the classes are great, can’t help but improve your fitness
    Wattbike Studio

    Two spin classes and two swim in last two days. Feels great.

    How can spinning be bad for fitness and cycling?

    Bizarre?

    But as above depends on instructor. The exercises I hate are low resistance fast sprints out of the saddle as not sure they are good for my knees. So just sit down and sprint them instead.

    It would be great to have them all networked on a screen. No hiding for those who pretend to up the resistance!!! Really incentive to have resistance, wattage, rpm and HR of everyone up on a big screen. I was thinking that last night during the class.

    So just sit down and sprint them instead.

    Or increase the resistance and sprint them?

    Indeed. What I meant is that you can adapt them to suit. But badly phrased!

    creaser
    Member

    Spinning has improved my fitness no end but probabley got one of the best instructors in the country Kevin Dawson 10 times BBAR champ and its totally cycling related, been doing his classes 2 years and nearly throw up every class he works you that hard

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