Spin Your Way to Fitness with an Indoor Cycling Class

Ever really enjoyed riding a bike? You’re probably a good fit for a “spin” (indoor cycling) class. Don’t worry; these classes involve more than simply riding a stationary bike in a group setting. Music and lights are utilized to rev students up, and enthusiastic instructors make sure to provide you enough power moves that you never get bored. Best of all, you can burn more than 600 calories a class, depending on your weight and effort.

The intensity in a spin class varies throughout, with a warm-up and a cool down (including stretching on/off the bike) as the first and last songs, respectively. Throughout the class, the instructor yells out instructions to imitate a real bike ride full of coasts, sprints and climbs. In some special classes (such as SoulCycle classes), the pedaling is even mixed with upper body workouts, themed music or resistance bands. Body position, resistance and pedal speed change throughout, but these factors are always dependent on the rider’s degree of participation—meaning spin classes are great for experts and beginners alike.

Most spin bikes give riders the option to use their bike shoes to “clip-in” or simply use the included straps and wear any type of athletic shoes. Either way, you’ll get a great workout. A spin class guarantees to get you to VO2 max (the rate oxygen is carried to the muscles), a sign that you’re pushing your body (in a good way!) Pedaling so intensely also means you’ll work out your calves, quads, glutes, hamstrings, and even core. Studies have also shown that indoor cycling can help shed unwanted pounds and potentially ward off migraines, while having a low impact on the joints.

Tips for Beginners:

  • Bring a towel. You’re going to sweat—a lot!
  • Ask your instructor about the three indoor cycling “positions.” You’ll need these throughout the class.
  • Get there early. You’ll need to setup your bike to the correct height, etc. Your instructor will be happy to help you with this.
  • When in doubt, add more resistance!
  • Find the class that works best for you. Maybe a particular type of music, atmosphere or instructor pumps you up more than other options. Try a few different ones!

Whatever you do, remember to put in your maximum effort so you’ll see the best results! Good luck new spin classes, and remember, for additional fitness tips, be sure to stay tuned here with the SweatWorks blog.