Spinning® (which is a Registered Trademark by Mad Dogg Athletics) (and indoor cycling in general) have long been misunderstood by cyclists. Spinning is an indoor group cycling class– aerobics for cyclists. For cyclists who need to cross train but have limited time and perhaps have injuries which preclude activities such as running, Spinning is a great alternative. As cyclists spend less time in the weight room and more time looking for natural ways to add strength, Spinning takes a front seat. Useful strength is often difficult to find in the weight room, and awkward movements and too much weight cause injury and unnecessary strain.
With a 40 pound flywheel, it’s no wonder Spinning is a great alternative to off-the-bike-strength training. While maintaining the cycling motion, a cyclist can focus on muscle groups that need attention. Using high resistance on the bike and slowing down the pedal stroke, Spinning can mimic tension intervals, and other strength building intervals can be used on the Spin bike.
For cyclists looking to brush up on the pedal stroke, the fixed flywheel in a safe environment offers the perfect opportunity. On a stationary bike, the cyclist can focus on smooth pedal strokes and using all of the muscles in the legs too keep it that way. Often, cyclists cite a noticeable improvement in the pedal stroke.
Another added bonus for those seeking a compressed workout: the wheel never stops turning, there is no coasting, so a one hour Spin class will provide a workout equivalent to a longer ride. And many cyclists use Spin as the hard part of a long workout, riding to spin class, taking class and riding home.
Mentally, the Spin class offers a fun environment to get a workout. Music, instructors and classmates push each other to the limit leaving students in a post-spin euphoria, not unlike a runner’s high. Spinning is great for breaking through a rut or a plateau.
In a nutshell:
1. On the bike Strength Training
2. Variety in Training
3. Pedal Stroke Refinement
4. Workout Time Value
5. An Indoor Group Ride
New To Cycling, New to Spinning
For individuals new to cycling or Spinning, Spinning is the least offensive group workout in a gym environment. Lights are typically dim, and it’s difficult to focus on anything other than your self during class. Unlike lifting weights in the gym, you are not on display. For new cyclists, Spinning is an alternative way to gain miles. Building strength and cardio at the same time so all of your rides will be more enjoyable.
Instructors are eager to help neophytes learn the ropes. Bike set-up is done by the instructor, and beginners are instructed on movements throughout the class. Most Studios and gyms will offer a first timer class, which in many cases is offered free of charge.
All that is needed to participate in Spin is gym shoes and workout apparel. However, it is recommended that Spinners use cycling shoes with cleats to click in to the clipless pedals, cycling shorts and in the least a top made of synthetic materials. Cycling socks, water bottle and chamois cream round out your needs for a great inside ride.
Choose mountain bike shoes; they have deep treads that make walking easy.
Specialized Riata for Women $90.00
These shoes will work only with Shimano SPD cleats. Please ensure your gym has an SPD option! (The other option is Look Cleats, which is a road cleat. Refer to our how to buy clipless pedals story.)
Lightweight, thin, not cotton socks to enhance your indoor cycling workout. Cycling socks come in many shapes and designs for every taste sensibility, or lack thereof.
Cycling Socks at teamestrogen.com
Cleats allow spinners to attach the shoe to the pedal, much like a ski boot in a binding. This gives you more power, a smoother pedal stroke and a much better experience.
Shimano SPD cleats for mountain bike pedals $19.00 at competitivecyclist.com
Lightly padded cycling shorts are the key to bum comfort.
Giordana Shape shorts $84.95 at teamestrogen.com
An incredibly comfortable and classy tank, perfect for a Spin class or a ride through the mountains.
Giordana Shape Women’s Racerback Top $95.00 at competitivecyclist.com
An often overlooked essential, the lube for your bum. Apply to skin and chamois to eliminate friction and chaffing from the giant Spinning saddle.
DZ Nuts Bliss for Women $24.00 at competitivecyclist.com
Sustainable drinking water in your own plastic water bottle. Forget paying $2.00 for a bottle of water, bring your own and refill it. Wash in dishwasher. Buy a dozen.
Water bottles from TerryBicycles.com
Spin with mtbchick!
mtbchick.com founder Tonya Bray is once again teaching Spin. Her class is at 8:30am on Tuesdays at Pedal Spin Studio in South Pasadena, CA. Join Tonya for a lifelike ride on a mountain bike trail or over a scenic open road. Tonya also subs for other instructors, and her schedule can be found on the Pedal Spin site or on the mtbchick.com calendar. Visit the Pedal web site and create a login so you may visit the site, view the schedule, reserve a space and find more information.
At Pedal Spin Studio, the first class is free of charge. Pedal Spin Studio has 4 locations: Montrose, Claremont, Rancho Cucamonga and South Pasadena, California.