No, Spinning won't make you dizzy - this exercise phenomenon has taken the fitness world by storm, but the word "Spinning" actually refers cardio training using a stationary bike, where you pedal at a given pace while intermittently adding and subtracting resistance levels.
Spinning is a super popular group fitness class set to music, which most people find highly motivating and enjoyable. There are several different group cycling programs out there, all praised for their high-energy environment and low-impact, calorie-burning effectiveness. If you're thinking about trying out a Spinning class or other cycling class, here's a basic rundown of what you can expect from this exciting workout.
1. The workout will be vigorous. While the nuances of different cycling programs may vary, you can definitely expect a challenging workout regardless. The good thing is that you will feel great after you're done, and you will have burned quite a few calories in the process. The average class runs about 40-60 minutes in length, and usually starts with a brief warm-up period before going into the different phases of the ride.
2. You'll use five core positions in every class:
- (1) Seated Flat - This is the most basic position, where you basically sit on the saddle or seat of the bike and pedal like normal. In this position, your hands are centered on the handlebars. Average cadence is between 80 to 110 RPM.
- (2) Seated Climb - This position adds a little more resistance, and the hands are positioned on the rear of the handlebars (closest to your body). Average cadence is 75 RPM.
- (3) Standing Flat (a.k.a. "Running") - This position is performed exactly like it sounds--you stand upright with your body centered over the pedal crank. This requires more core strength than the seated positions. Average cadence is between 80 to 110 RPM.
- (4) Standing Climb - The name says it all; you will be standing upright and simulating an uphill climb. Resistance is higher with this position, and your hand positioning is toward the far end of the handlebars. Due to heavier resistance, the cadence is lower, averaging between 60 to 80 RPM.
- (5) Jumps (a.k.a. "Lifts") - This position frequently alternates between sitting and standing, with repetition cycles typically lasting between 2-8 seconds. Average cadence is between 80 to 110 RPM.
3. Wear appropriate workout clothes. You'll sweat quite a bit, so it is a good idea to wear fabrics that can wick moisture away and keep you relatively dry. Baggy pants can hinder your freedom of movement and may even get caught in the pedals, so try to choose pants that are somewhat form-fitting if possible. Many people choose padded cycling shorts for added comfort. Cycling shoes can be a big help because they have clips that can firmly grip the bike pedals, but they're not a must-have if you're just starting out.
4. The music element of the class really adds a lot of fun to the experience. Not only will it make the time go by quicker, but it will boost your mood and help motivate you through the tougher parts of the workout.
5. Proper bike setup will really help you maximize your Spinning workout. Arrive a little early to the class to make sure that your seat and handlebar height are at comfortable levels. If you're unsure of what will be the best fit for you, ask your instructor to help you set up your bike properly.
6. You're going to need some water and a towel! Bring at least one bottle with you, along with an absorbent towel to wipe your face off with during the workout. It might also a good idea to purchase a gel seat cover for extra comfort; it's not uncommon to experience some "saddle soreness" for the first few workouts, so any little thing you can do to ease the transition is worth it.
7. Feel free to go at your own pace, especially when you're just starting out. No one is going to be monitoring how fast you're going or how steep your incline setting is; just listen to your body and follow the instructor's prompts to the best of your ability. When things become more familiar, you'll be able to tell when you can push it - just remember, you only get out of it what you put into it!