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Round and Round: What to Expect From a Spin Class

Shopping around for a new form of exercise you can do indoors now that the leaves are turning? Might I suggest spinning? If you have never tried a spin class you might want to know what to expect before climbing up on a spinning bike and taking your heart rate for a wild ride.

Spinning is a potent form of cardio exercise and you can burn upwards of 400 calories in one class (that is why it seems like one of the favorite exercise forms on The Biggest Loser). You ride a stationary bike designed especially for spinning surrounded by motivating music and an instructor leading you through a workout. Some spinning instructors will give you lovely images as they tell you to crank the resistance on your bike for a "climb up a steep and beautiful mountainside." The instructions vary as will your pace and sometimes you pedal as fast as you possibly can; other times your goal will just be to keep your bottom off the bike seat. Essentially you will climb, sprint, and cruise to build your cardiovascular endurance. Plus it is a nonimpact exercise so it won't jar your joints the way running might.

If you are heading to class don't forget to take a couple of towels because you are going to sweat buckets. And with that in mind, don't forget your water bottle. Also make sure to adjust your seat to fit you so your knees are slightly bent at the bottom of your pedal stroke.

To read about the downsides of spinning, check out Spinning 101.

Fit's Tips: As with all exercise classes, you are ultimately in control. If you need to alter the instructions to make it through the class go ahead and decrease the tension. I also strongly suggest introducing yourself to the instructor prior to class and outing yourself as a newbie.


cvoss01 cvoss01 6 years
I love love love spin class! It is such as crazy cardio workout! There is a spin studio (cycle studio) in Las Vegas called Pulse Cycling Studio that only offers spin. The classes have so much energy its insane! The class I went to was like taking a spin class at club. By far the best class I have been too!
ER1008 ER1008 9 years
I just recently started taking spinning. I admit I had to mentally psych myself up for it. I'm not a fan of bike riding in general and being strapped to a bike in a small room with bikes all around me was not something I thought I would ever enjoy. After taking the first class I wasn't sure it would be for me, but I went back and now have added it regularly to my gym schedule. It's an awesome workout and once I got acclimated I found that I actually like it.
Soniabonya Soniabonya 9 years
Love spinning. It is different from riding your bike alone out on the trails. The class I go to has a very aggressive and motivational instructor. She rides with us and also walks around pumping us up individually. She talks about local trails and tells us to envision them as we up the gear. The other day I manged to go up a mountain trail in Los Gatos, all while spinning furiiously indoors. Awesome. The first time I tried it I was ready to kill my friend who dragged me to it. Now I can't get enough. We took a week off from exercise and I felt disgusting. I had to drag my friend BACK to the gym just so we can get on the bike. I manage to get through the 60 mins without much pain anymore. Sadly the class gets full really fast. We have to sign up before 5:30 am to get a slot in the 6am class. Yeah. 5:30 am. Ick.
Dublin62505 Dublin62505 9 years
Spinning is my religion. My gym has a fabulous 30-60-90 minute session on Sunday. I started staying only 30 and then gradually building up from there. The 90 minute session can have you burning upwards of 1000+ calories, if you utilize the resistance knob properly. Also, it makes the weekly 45-60 min. classes seem like a cake walk. The two things that motivate me during the class are the music and the instructor. My instructors are always good about telling you how many more minutes of a particular type of move you have left (ie. hovering, slides, intervals or all out endurance). When you realize it is only 30 more seconds of a particular move you can generally talk yourself into riding it out. The only time the class can be a bit of a challenge is when some joker requests country music. I'm sorry, sh*t kicking country music is just not appropriate for cycling. That needs to be reserved for Hillbilly Ho Down Aerobics. Hydration way before class and a cycling seat are a must. And, don't forget the resistance knob is your friend!
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 9 years
I took one class a few weeks ago, and I outed myself as a spin virgin just by struggling with the machines! But I'm glad in the long run because they are hard to get around, and the instructor was more than happy to help me learn the ropes.
gumdrops334 gumdrops334 9 years
I put this on my list of things never to do again in my life after taking a class. I didn't enjoy it, and I felt very inferior. The instructor was good and motivating, but it wasn't for me. The other peopl ein the class looked like triathletes and I'm just a college student. It was an hour class, but after 10 minutes I kept looking at the clock. Finally, she said after 30 minutes that the beginners could leave. I left, and could barely walk the rest of the day. My butt and other private part I won't speka of were in pain for days. Maybe I'll try it again someday, but for now I'll stick to running!
KristenAlana KristenAlana 9 years
LOVE Spinning! I love spinning to up-beat, techno/trance like music as well as modern day hip-hop with the tempo sped up. I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone! I also agree with some of the above comments; that the teacher definitly makes the class because you can push yourself as hard as you want but if you have an awesome teacher it makes it that much better!
melda melda 9 years
i love spinning or stationary bike or whatever it is
ShaenaLauren ShaenaLauren 9 years
I love spinning!! However, I just recently moved to Las Vegas and cannot find a place to take classes here because I do not want to join gym (solely bc the gym in my condos is so fabulous)!! I used to be a member of a club back home and the teacher was fantastic...super motivating and fun! I miss it =( Does anyone know of any websites that give locations for spinning classes? Or if there are even places that just offer spinning,like a spinning studio, or other classes maybe too?? Thanks!
behemoth_the_cat behemoth_the_cat 9 years
when i started cycling, i actually ended up gaining weight (though my goal was to loose weight) because my thighs got really muscular and the rest of my body didn't get a proper workout :-( It's definitely not for me.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Bring a seat cushion... Ow!!
nikolem2 nikolem2 9 years
My best advice about Spinning is to try it more than once. Every instructor has a very different teaching style, and just because you don't like it once doesn't mean it's not for you--maybe just that particular instructor or playlist doesn't work for you. So try a few before you make a decision not to go back.
Pets Pets 9 years
Spinning is my favorite!!
Berlin Berlin 9 years
What they don't tell you is that if you really get into the classes and have an amazing instructor, you can burn anywhere from 600-1000 calories a class, but you will be killing yourself, but that's what you are going for right?? I recommend spinning classes to all of my friends and most seem to really enjoy it, but you have to keep going to get up to that highest potential caloric burn. And it's great for your legs, butt, and especially your heart! And getting a good heart rate monitor will really help tell you where you are at in reference to intensity during the class.
OhMyShannon OhMyShannon 9 years
Make sure you preview these classes. Many times the instructor plays certain music depending on the type of people in the class. In my case it was middle-aged women, which is fine!! More power to you. But I do NOT find Janet Jackson and Sade as motivational at all!! I had to leave because I was yawning more than I was sweating.
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