On many of my Public Transport travels to Certification Clinics, Continuing Education or Events, I often engage in conversations with fellow passengers to pass the time. Once we reach the subject of ‘what do you do for a living?’, on saying that I teach Spinning® Classes, their response is often statements like ‘oh I tried that once, it was too hard’, or one time I heard ‘I didn’t like Spinning® as the Instructor made us remove the saddle the entire Class’. I get so frustrated and angry at these sort of responses, and sometimes feel like shouting out loud ‘that’s not Spinning®!’
When I consider the benefits of Spinning® on my health and lifestyle there are at least ten benefits to take up Spinning® as an exercise so long as we stick to what is in our Spinning® Instructor Manual.
Ten Reasons to Mount a Spinner® Bike:
1. Burn, Burn, Burn Calories
I actually wasn't fond of Spinning® when I started back in 2000, because it was hard on my legs. However, as I began to get accustomed to the training and saw some weight loss and muscle definition appear I was hooked.
A Spinning® Class can burn on average 500 calories. Even at challenging levels other cardio equipment couldn't burn that many calories in such a short time.
2. Cardiovascular Health
Spinning® can be performed as an anaerobic exercise, pulling energy from reserves and building up muscular endurance over an extended period of time. However, there are also aerobic benefits. Spinning® Classes include both endurance and cardiovascular training.
Heart health is an obvious benefit, as is lung capacity. As we work harder we will learn to work on controlled breathing, as well. This may help with anxiety and help lower the heart rate when in a situation where physical exertion begins to take the breath away.
3. Progress at Your Own Pace
If someone prefers to pedal a little slower they can't fall behind the rest of the class or get ‘dropped’ as in group cycling outdoors. In addition they won’t feel out of place for not knowing an aerobic or step routine. No one knows what level anyone else is working at, and they are free to progress at their own pace.
4. Time Flies
On a Spinning® Class, the challenge is constantly changing. As we work through each level we tend to lose track of time. When in a more contemplative mood, we can close our eyes and think.
5. Low Impact
I have several friends who avoid the treadmill, elliptical, and stair stepper because of the traumatic impact on their knees or feet. Spinning® keeps the pressure off the knees and feet. You are able to work out hard on a Spinner® Bike without hurting your knees and feet. It is also good training for those who cannot use the treadmill or elliptical because of arthritis. People can join a Spinning® Class who simply cannot stand the pain of high impact cardiovascular workouts.
6. Shapely Legs
It will not take long for the efforts on a Spinner® Bike to show up as weight loss, but there is another great benefit. Spinning® uses large muscle groups in the legs. It does not take long before the thighs, hamstrings, and calves begin to take shape. 3 Spinning® Classes a week will make a difference in the shapely appearance of the legs.
7. Lower Your Body's Workout Breaking Point
As we learn to work harder on the Spinner® Bike we will begin to find that the breaking point, at which we begin to feel the workout, will become lower the harder you work. The benefit is once the breaking point is reached and worked through we get the natural endorphin kick that most athletes enjoy.
The great thing about working the body into this kind of shape is that we feel better without the use of drugs. We feel better throughout the day following a workout and we have more energy. We are simply training our body to work more efficiently.
8. Get Abdominal Conditioning
As Spinning® Instructors we should never give up when it comes to talking about technique and posture. Correct posture is important to working the right muscle groups. In addition to the major leg muscles worked during a Spinning® Class, the abdominal muscles become conditioned as well.
As you ride, unlike riding a bike on the road, the upper body is moving in rhythm with the legs. The movement from a slightly bent position and side to side works both the central abdominal muscles and those along the side of the abdomen.
9. Ride Together
Regardless of fitness level doing Spinning® Classes keeps everyone together. Each individual works equally as hard at their own level. It is amazing how you can feed off of the energy of other riders when you begin to fatigue and start thinking you might want to quit.
Riding together also gives the opportunity to encourage others. You can inspire those who have not yet reached your level of fitness, while those stronger than you inspire you. Working together, everyone who does Spinning® Classes can reach their goals.
10. Mental Strength
The warm up and cool down are great ways to relax. Before and after we put our body through a strenuous Spinning® Class we can close our eyes, work just a little, and allow the physical exertion to become a catharsis for releasing pent-up emotions.
Spinning® Classes also builds mental strength. There are good days and bad. Push through difficult times. Push up hill climbs and push through endurance training.
Self-discipline of the mind gained can be applied to all areas of life. I have found it most beneficial in areas of self-control and confidence. Spinning® Classes help develop a positive, "can do" attitude.
Yours in Sport,
International Spinning® Master Instructor (UK)