Ride On: The Path of More Resistance

A monthly resource for Spinning class participants

Resistance Reminders

• Never pedal without any resistance, except during warm-up and cool-down.
• Pedaling with resistance will not give you a big butt!
• Listen to your body and refrain from anything that causes pain.
• If you have an injury or something just doesn’t feel right, talk to your instructor.

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“Turn it to the right!” “Add a little gear!” “Bring on a hill!” These are different ways of saying the same thing—add resistance.

Resistance loading is an excellent way to experience the full benefits of your next Spinning® class and to build leg strength and endurance. Altering resistance to simulate hill climbs and flat roads is one of the things that makes Spinning class so much more effective—and more fun--than pedaling a bike on the cardio floor while you watch the news.

But resistance can be tricky to master. Bike calibration and break pad wear can cause two turns to the right on the bike you rode yesterday to feel significantly different from two turns on the bike you'll ride today. 

Resistance Rules

Along with monitoring your heart rate or perceived exertion, cadence, or revolutions per minute, can help ensure that you're not riding with too little resistance.   

If your bike is equipped with a Spinning® Computer this is easy. If not, ask your instructor to conduct cadence checks, or simply count the number of times your foot hits the bottom of a pedal stroke for 15 seconds. The table indicates appropriate cadence based on “terrain.”

RPM at 15 seconds
Seated and Standing Flats  80-110 20-27
Seated and Standing Climbs 60-80 15-20


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