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  1. #1
    BDT
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    Spinning Class...

    Today was suppose to be a 3hr ride but the weather was horrible / trails were closed. Last resort (I don't own a trainer/rollers), I went to the Y to ride a stationary bike. After an hour on the bike a Spin Class was starting so I jumped in to check it out. It was a little weird, I was the only dude and the leader played country music while singing along, but it was better than riding alone on the stationary.

    Do any of you ever go to spinning classes?
    Where would a Spin Class fit into a training schedule? Interval work / Recovery?
    How can this type of training help with MTBing? cadence? pedal stroke? fitness?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by BDT
    Today was suppose to be a 3hr ride but the weather was horrible / trails were closed. Last resort (I don't own a trainer/rollers), I went to the Y to ride a stationary bike. After an hour on the bike a Spin Class was starting so I jumped in to check it out. It was a little weird, I was the only dude and the leader played country music while singing along, but it was better than riding alone on the stationary.

    Do any of you ever go to spinning classes?
    Where would a Spin Class fit into a training schedule? Interval work / Recovery?
    How can this type of training help with MTBing? cadence? pedal stroke? fitness?

    Thanks
    Yes. 3 times a week in December ~ February. I have known spin instructors that won mountain bike races. Since they are usually only 50 minutes, I try to maximize intensity. I work on pedal stroke, and generally my cadence is higher than when I MTB.

  3. #3
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    Good Stuff

    I'm also thinking about re-joining a gym to do spin classes this winter.
    Here our winters aren't THAT bad, but the trails/roads can still get muddy and briefly snowed under. I am going with a "Time Crunched Cyclist" type training this year, so intervals (like a spin session) and at least one long ride outside is the Rx.

    I did these classes two years ago and liked the camraderie of the group...

    A few things to keep in mind:
    1) take time to get the bike well fit, I had some knee pain that correlated with spinning
    2) sweat issues - I'm not a man that sweats a ton, but in that room I was always drenched
    3) eye-candy can motivate you

  4. #4
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    1. +1 for eye candy
    2. You can also compete if you have power meters or if the flywheels are friction loaded (hottest flywheel wins)

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    Just did my first spin class today as well. I'm also doing weight training to build muscle strength and endurance. I'm hoping to start XC racing next season, hopefully once I get a good replacement bike and the trails solidify.
    Like you, it was nothing but women (unfortunately, I'm engaged so the eye candy isn't a motivator), and the instructor played a weird mix of music. But, it was a great workout, IMO.
    Besides spin and weights, is there anything else to recommend on the off season? Before this, all I did was ride 3-4 times a week, for 1-2 hrs at a time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GPRider08
    Just did my first spin class today as well. I'm also doing weight training to build muscle strength and endurance. I'm hoping to start XC racing next season, hopefully once I get a good replacement bike and the trails solidify.
    Like you, it was nothing but women (unfortunately, I'm engaged so the eye candy isn't a motivator), and the instructor played a weird mix of music. But, it was a great workout, IMO.
    Besides spin and weights, is there anything else to recommend on the off season? Before this, all I did was ride 3-4 times a week, for 1-2 hrs at a time.

    Cross country skiing , snow shoeing , anything that keeps you active .

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by GPRider08
    Just did my first spin class today as well. I'm also doing weight training to build muscle strength and endurance. I'm hoping to start XC racing next season, hopefully once I get a good replacement bike and the trails solidify.
    Like you, it was nothing but women (unfortunately, I'm engaged so the eye candy isn't a motivator), and the instructor played a weird mix of music. But, it was a great workout, IMO.
    Besides spin and weights, is there anything else to recommend on the off season? Before this, all I did was ride 3-4 times a week, for 1-2 hrs at a time.
    Just stay active ... good diet, 72+ oz water per day, vitamins, 8 hours sleep per night, and workout daily.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by GPRider08
    ...unfortunately, I'm engaged so the eye candy isn't a motivator...
    I didn't know that engagement caused blindness


    I went to my first spin class of the winter last night. The weather finally drove me indoors, and I'd rather have a kidney stone than ride a trainer, so I usually replace an interval workout or two with it.
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  9. #9
    BDT
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    +10 Eye Candy if you go to a yoga class. I go for the stretching / core workout, but the ladies o' yoga class make me happy.

    Andrea138 - Is that a Corgi in your avatar?

  10. #10
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    Yep..
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  11. #11
    BDT
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    I've got a Corgi. A 22lb squirrel chasing monster. Where / What is the context of that photo?

  12. #12
    Dirty South Underdog
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    The original is a one-handed victory salute @ the end of a criterium... someone added the corgi in later as a bonus!
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  13. #13
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    I've been doing a noon mon-wed-fri spin class since Sept and I think they make me much stronger on the bike. I have to really push myself to get any benefit but having the music and everyone else there working their ass off makes it easier. It's manly a group of roadies (not hot women), so no candy

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea138
    I didn't know that engagement caused blindness
    That's what i was thinking!!! WTF? I'm happily married and can see just fine

    Anywho, back on subject, when i get late off work i started to go to spin class for the winter, last night was interval night so i was a happy camper...

  15. #15
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    "offseason" Get of your bike. You will be more motivated when you start up closer to your season start. You are more injury prone if you never stop riding. Just my $.02.
    Oh sh!+ just force upgraded to cat1. Now what?
    Best thing about an ultra marathon? I just get to ride my bike for X hours!

  16. #16
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    A sing-alone country spin class? That's too much! Some random observations from spin classes over the years:
    1) it's interesting how much that want you out of the saddle
    2) it's interesting how an overweight 20 year old seems to handle being out of the saddle better then a fit man with 20+ years of cycling experience
    3) I've often had instructors insist that my 90-120 rpm was unacceptable and I should be doing about 60-80

  17. #17
    gunslinger
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    Quote Originally Posted by BDT
    Do any of you ever go to spinning classes?
    Yes - right down in my basement.

    How can this type of training help with MTBing? cadence? pedal stroke? fitness?
    All of those, just be real w/ the resistance - don't slack off.

  18. #18
    In the rear with the beer
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    Went to my first spin class in a while last night...went to my second this morning (with wife in tow). The eye candy (especially my wife) definitely helps keep my mind more occupied that staring at my garage door on the trainer at home. Whenever I don't really like what the instructor is doing (like those out of saddle butt position changes), I usually just start doing my own workout, no one ever seems to notice or at least say anything....although this morning, I was doing a final interval while the instructor had everyone else stop so I guess I stood out a little at that point...but still, no one said anything and I got some good work in. I also tend to win the sweat puddle contest, which would be a point of pride in a normal cycling group but probably just grossed out the group today....hope no one slipped in it afterwards.....

  19. #19
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    I usually just start doing my own workout, no one ever seems to notice or at least say anything...
    Oh, people notice for sure, but no on ever says anything about it. Now maybe those of us who do notice are just ass-hats, but it is a group class and probably similar to a group road ride when you start half wheeling people or falling off of the peleton. I have heard instructors complain.

    There is a synergy to the group effort. I generally follow the instructors plan, and go to multiple instructors. It make me ride differently and out of my comfort zone.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdudecycling
    ...hope no one slipped in it afterwards.....
    FYI- You're supposed to clean that up when you're finished so someone else doesn't have to.
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  21. #21
    In the rear with the beer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea138
    FYI- You're supposed to clean that up when you're finished so someone else doesn't have to.
    Take it easy, it was a joke

  22. #22
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    I used to teach spin class when I was an undergrad... you'd be surprised at how many people think that it's someone else's job to clean their sweat up off of the floor/bike!
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by BDT
    was a little weird, I was the only dude
    sounds like u hade a good class LOL
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  24. #24
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    *Looking up spinning classes*

  25. #25
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    Definetly weird at first. Your Max HR will be down about 20-30. My max HR is 206 and i only reached 170. Just tried keeping my RPM around 90. With only 2 or 3 dudes in a 30 person spin class, the eye candy is abundant! If you are a competitor and want to get a good workout, expect to get some looks! First class i was going all out trying to get the best out of the 50 min's and i was getting some crazy looks. WTF is this guy doing?? Also I hate CHEATERS!! Spin classes have a lot of "cheaters" in it. The bikes should have a pre-set 50%, 80%, 90%+ resistance. Don't cheat! Just work harder.

  26. #26
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    I've done a spin class (for college credit, too) the past two spring semesters to prep for race season.

    This year I can't take the class any longer (only can take it twice), so I'm going to start going to the regular spin classes at the gym to get myself back into shape for racing. Attractive women, motivational beats, and some endorphin therapy. What's not to like?

    Someone mentioned cheaters... they are abundant. You'll get to a point in a spin workout where you're wondering how the hell everyone can spend so much time out of the saddle, and it's because they're basically freewheeling without any resistance.

    Wear a HR monitor, dial in the resistance, and enjoy the view.

  27. #27
    Teen Wolf
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    i started doing them this year. 2x a week. really enjoying it, seems to be a good work-out. i'll likely do them up until the trails dry out. i like the interval work the instructors do. will it help me racing? i have no idea. but i am enjoying it so i'm sticking with it.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by GPRider08
    J(unfortunately, I'm engaged so the eye candy isn't a motivator).
    Please refer back to this post after you have been married for a while

  29. #29
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    I have yet to do a spin class. Standing riding is a lot easier, at least on a real bike when you are in a harder gear. If the standing pedaling is too hard, increase the resistance. If you feel like it is really hard to hold your weight on your arms while standing, that is a good sign. You should be pulling with your arms when the resistance is high enough.
    Oh sh!+ just force upgraded to cat1. Now what?
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    I'm just not all about the fiance catching me staring at eye candy. If she did, I don't think you'll see any more posts from me! Besides, there aren't really too many I thought were worth looking at.
    I've been to two classes, and already have noticed "cheaters." At 35 minutes into the most recent class, we were doing 80-90% resistance. It was all I could do to keep it at 90rpm. The girl next to me was easily at 110rpm and not even winded. Maybe she was just a freak of nature, but even the instructor was at least breathing hard.
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  31. #31
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    What's the point of cheating in a spin class? Aren't you just cheating yourself out of a good workout?

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    I guess so they can tell there friends they're in a spinning class and not be lying. And convince themselves they're doing something.
    '08 Specialized Rockhopper Comp Disc (Stolen). I hope you break both kneecaps of the jerk who stole you.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by _tom_
    What's the point of cheating in a spin class? Aren't you just cheating yourself out of a good workout?
    Perhaps that is as much of a workout as they're willing to put out? There are a few folks in the spin classes I've gone to that just sit and crank out about 90rpm at a steady state for the hour of the class... so be it.
    mike

  34. #34
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    Just beware if you are going to take a spinning class. I take classes all winter and I'm the only one at my gym with a heart rate monitor FOR EVERY CLASS. The instructors are all group fitness instructors ("Woo! Everybody is doing great! Woo!") and have no idea about heart rate zones, et al. Granted, 1 hour in zone 4/5 burns calories, but topping out for EVERY class won't be a well-rounded training regimen. (I've asked one of the instructors about heart rate monitors and she said that nobody wears them--even though Madd Dogg-certified instructors are supposed to teach heart rate-specific zones and cadence-specific classes, no?).

    And crappy techno remixes wear thin REALLY fast...

    Sorry, rant over.
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  35. #35
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    i teach spin and try to structure my workouts are my own training. During this time of the year it's more endurance/tempo.
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    I'm one of those guys riding a steady state this time of year.. but I'm also relatively new to riding(first winter of training) so just trying to increase my volume at the moment and build consistency as my biking base isn't where I want it to be.

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    I tried spin class for the first time last winter. I was skeptical at first, but I found that it was a pretty good workout and there was always an ample amount of nice snatch to look at in the process. This year by the end of the season I was looking forward to winter. It's a nice way to mix things up a bit during the winter.

  38. #38
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    I do a spin class 4 times a week during my lunch time at work. The gym is across the street from my office.

    My other option is to sit on my ass and eat and do nothing (because I can't ride). Spinning can be a great workout unless you cheat....no matter how strong of a rider you are you can get a good workout (it depends on how much tension you put on the wheel). I would not replace a ride with a spin class (by no means)...but if you can't ride it's a great option.

  39. #39
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    I do spin classes occasionally and find that they certainly are better then not riding at all. One thing that I recently started is doing back to back spin classes (usually 1 is an hour the other 45). After that my legs feel pretty toasted as I work the classes pretty hard.

    Each class is different depending on the instructor. Some just have no clue...and no imagination. Others have great workouts and great music and will push you when you need that extra motivation.

    One thing that really helps me is wearing a heart rate monitor in class. I find that I usually am in the 160-170's with some periods in the 180s. I approach it as a kinda modified interval class and try to ignore the people who are doing ridiculous things like barely turning the pedals during sprints. (funniest I have seen yet is a lady who asked the instructor to turn down the music as she could not hear her own music on her headphones she was wearing)
    Originally Posted by XC62701
    Agreed...make it longer. I want to know death is an option

  40. #40
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    I've been spinning for three years now and can whole heartedly say spinning has changed my game!

    Let me preface this by saying I'm 47and don't race. I do, however, two hour rides through New England woods at race pace without stopping. Generally, I can bang out the two hours at the start of the season, instead of workiing up to this as a weekend warrior.

    Spinning is my secret weapon. I started spinning towards the end of a mountain bike season just to stay in shape for the following spring. I thought I was in good shape until I hopped on the spin bike. What an eye opener! The spin instructors were much more fit than myself!

    Basically, I match my cadence and resistance to the instructors. Sadly, this means I sit in front and miss much of the eye candy. Winter spinning is 3-4 classes weekly, and spring-summer I'll do a minium of 1 class, but more often than not 2+ weekly just to keep the legs in speed shape.

    Here's what happened to me:

    1. My cadence is much higher. I ride 100-120 rpms in the woods, just like spin class.
    2. My recovery time is much higher after cranking up some monster hill. I don't have to stop or slow down to catch my breath. In fact, the crest of the hill becomes my active recovery stage. I'm usually shifting to higher gears.
    3. I don't get tired. I can crank out two hours just with a sports drink or two and water. No need to fuel up on power bars, etc.
    4. I accelerate up hills as I can keep the cadence the same as I switch to higher gears. This is akin to turning up the resistance to simulate the hill climb.
    5. I annihilate my (non spinning) riding buddies.

    I could go on, but you get the drift. Spinning is made for mountain bikers!

  41. #41
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    I think most agree that spinning is not better than riding, but if it's your only option or a supplement to a ride....then you can't go wrong.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Okie Dokie
    I do spin classes occasionally and find that they certainly are better then not riding at all. One thing that I recently started is doing back to back spin classes (usually 1 is an hour the other 45). After that my legs feel pretty toasted as I work the classes pretty hard.

    Each class is different depending on the instructor. Some just have no clue...and no imagination. Others have great workouts and great music and will push you when you need that extra motivation.

    One thing that really helps me is wearing a heart rate monitor in class. I find that I usually am in the 160-170's with some periods in the 180s. I approach it as a kinda modified interval class and try to ignore the people who are doing ridiculous things like barely turning the pedals during sprints. (funniest I have seen yet is a lady who asked the instructor to turn down the music as she could not hear her own music on her headphones she was wearing)
    Yep, the idea that someone goes to a class, takes a bike spot in the class, and then doesn't participate in the class ... I suppose the reason it bugs me is because the classes are full and some people have been turned away.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptfmb71
    I think most agree that spinning is not better than riding, but if it's your only option or a supplement to a ride....then you can't go wrong.
    I sorta agree as I'd rather ride than be in the gym, but honestly, there's no way I'd be as fast or strong as I'm currently on the bike without the spinning.

    I've ridden quite a bit previously pre spinning and clearly, I couldn't get to the level I'm at now.

    Like I say, it's a secret weapon. Most choose not to utilize it all to the betterment of us spinner/riders.

  44. #44
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    The spin bikes at the gym I go to don't have any indicators on the resistance knob, so you can't really say you are working at a certain level. The instructor just keeps telling you to turn it up one more notch.

    They should invent an MTB spin bike. Every 5 minutes or so, it would try to throw you on the floor.
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  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeridesabike
    The spin bikes at the gym I go to don't have any indicators on the resistance knob, so you can't really say you are working at a certain level. The instructor just keeps telling you to turn it up one more notch.

    They should invent an MTB spin bike. Every 5 minutes or so, it would try to throw you on the floor.

    ....

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeridesabike

    They should invent an MTB spin bike. Every 5 minutes or so, it would try to throw you on the floor.
    Everybody turn your resistance up one notch and flip your pro pedal lever!

  47. #47
    BDT
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeridesabike
    They should invent an MTB spin bike. Every 5 minutes or so, it would try to throw you on the floor.
    The spin bikes DT is fixed, my first class I forgot and tried to stand and stretch a bit. One foot released and I almost fell off.

    I've been to 4 classes now, a few observations
    1. The instructors (at my gym anyway) must have bought all their music together in 1999. A regular playing of Shania Twain, Train, Third Eye Blind and Eagle-Eye Cherry leads makes me want to punch a kitten.
    2. There is one guy - full black lycra w/o padding, special issue Harley flaming bandana with matching socks, old school Hi-Tek hiking boots - who grunts loudly and may or may not have a dip in for most of the class. This is my favorite person in the class. No question. I'll try to sneak a picture and post.

  48. #48
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    My local gym is about to start offering classes, can the pedals accept a mountain bike specific shoe?
    Last edited by goingblankagain; 12-23-2009 at 09:35 AM.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by goingblankagain
    My local gym is about to start offering classes, can the pedals accept a mountain bike specific shoe?
    Most, I have seen, accept SPDs.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by goingblankagain
    My local gym is about to start offering classes, can the pedals accept a mountain bike specific shoe?
    most have pedals that take the Road cleat (the large triangular one) and SPD's on the other side. I tired to use my egg beater cleats and they did not work...but the SPD's work.

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