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Spin Class

Old 10-01-13, 06:31 PM
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Spin Class

My ability to ride during the week is disappearing with the rapidly setting sun. I have spent a lot of time on my bike this year and I don't want to lose the base that I have established so, I decided that I will take a spin class at the YMCA and try and ride 100 miles as many weekends as I can. One would think after riding 600 miles per month the last three months that I would be in pretty good shape so, I took my first spin class today and got my rear in kicked. I was able to finish but, I was darn glad to be done. I figure 4 days of this over the next 5 months I will have built up a decent base for next years cycling.
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Old 10-01-13, 09:08 PM
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There's a lot to be said for night riding. It's not for everyone and there are places where it isn't a good option, but I sure enjoy it.

If you're going to ride on devices during the wintry months, you might consider mixing it up a bit and riding rollers. I don't think there is a better way to develop proper riding technique.
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Old 10-02-13, 07:50 AM
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I have a Spin Bike at home, and it is set up exactly like my bicycle, same pedals, seat, measurements, etc. Even though I'd work out in the winter on treadmills, recumbent bike, I always got my butt kicked when spring rolled around again. Not the last two years with the spinner.

I do it at home, use a series of DVD's from Spinervals. http://www.spinervals.com/

I considered a trainer for my bike, but it's much easier just to go to my basement and have at it without any setup.

I'll agree with you, spinning can really kick your butt, no coasting downhills on a spin bike :-)

PS, I have a Waters Fitness Tsunami Elite.
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Old 10-02-13, 08:47 AM
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Bike all setup at home w/Spinervals. Ready to go but I use it little. Prefer night or early am riding. Those ladies in those classes will kill you - that's all they do!
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Old 10-02-13, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
Bike all setup at home w/Spinervals. Ready to go but I use it little. Prefer night or early am riding. Those ladies in those classes will kill you - that's all they do!
Some of them are really good eye candy while spinning
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Old 10-02-13, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
Bike all setup at home w/Spinervals. Ready to go but I use it little. Prefer night or early am riding. Those ladies in those classes will kill you - that's all they do!
Some of the ladies in classes also ride bikes. I teach spin classes and about 1/3 of the students are cyclists. There are some non-cyclist students who take 5-6 classes per week and they can ride everyone into the ground in an hour class.

Originally Posted by gforeman View Post
Some of them are really good eye candy while spinning
The men in the classes aren't bad, either!
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Old 10-03-13, 04:33 PM
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Any current spinning instructor should have a good grounding in intervals. When you're doing a typical hour class, intervals become the key to building fitness. No doubt you get workouts that mimic hills and flats at various levels of stress but three or four hours of spinning a week that incorporates some form of high intensity interval training will indeed get you well prepared for the start of the next season. I'm confident each winter of spinning classes furthers my level of fitness.
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Old 10-03-13, 06:11 PM
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Spin classes last winter definitely had me stronger on the bike going into spring.
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Old 10-03-13, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by digibud View Post
Any current spinning instructor should have a good grounding in intervals. When you're doing a typical hour class, intervals become the key to building fitness. No doubt you get workouts that mimic hills and flats at various levels of stress but three or four hours of spinning a week that incorporates some form of high intensity interval training will indeed get you well prepared for the start of the next season. I'm confident each winter of spinning classes furthers my level of fitness.
We have intervals in the spin class it take. The YMCA also offers a half hour HIIT class that fits my schedule once a week.
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Old 10-03-13, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Planemaker View Post
My ability to ride during the week is disappearing with the rapidly setting sun. I have spent a lot of time on my bike this year and I don't want to lose the base that I have established so, I decided that I will take a spin class at the YMCA and try and ride 100 miles as many weekends as I can. One would think after riding 600 miles per month the last three months that I would be in pretty good shape so, I took my first spin class today and got my rear in kicked. I was able to finish but, I was darn glad to be done. I figure 4 days of this over the next 5 months I will have built up a decent base for next years cycling.
I need to dig out the trainer, but it's packed and will stay packed until we move, probably by mid December....
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Old 10-04-13, 11:53 PM
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Spinning classes do work but not for a while. I find it takes me around 6 lessons to get into the regime of "Riding" a bike in a different manner to my norm. Not often I get to a cadence of 120 on the bike and that includes downhill sections. It is also not often when I get to hills on the bike that almost defeat me either so spinning brings in a new dimension for me that I would not normally get into.

If you want to analyse the classes that I do- then they seem to be set up for those that race. High intensity for prolonged periods of time are not my normal style of riding but the lessons only last 1 hour. I find I push myself harder at a class than I ever would on a bike and it does manage to keep me fitter over the winter than waiting for the weather to be right for a ride.

Luckily I have a couple of good instructors at the gym that give a structured class that is enjoyable. There is also another instructor that I do not enjoy and if he stands in for a class- I walk out. The instructor will either make or break those classes.
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Old 11-19-13, 07:35 AM
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Getting back into cycling at my not so young age (58) and have had three spin classes in the last 10 days or so. Tough stuff, and not really at all how I ride a real bike for fun and distance. A bit too much sprinting for my tastes, but it will get me into better bike shape for Spring rides. I am near the oldest in the classes I have attended, and it is a bit of a badge of honor to me.

As far as eye candy...that would be my wife! I'm sure the guy behind us appreciated the view each time we went up in class last night. She has done pretty well for her age (56).

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Old 11-19-13, 09:12 AM
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Spin class is good for cardio, but doesn't do the same thing that riding a trainer or rollers does. Spin bikes are fixies with heavy flywheels, so the pedaling action is completely different, also different from riding a fixie on the road. Also different because you can't rock the bike. Thus a little spin class is good, and a lot of spin class is better than nothing, but it's not the same. Better to do a spin class or two as a change-up, but also have a trainer or better, rollers, so you keep the feel of keeping a tight chain. The two modes load your legs differently.

OTOH, if you're only interested in keeping physically fit over the winter, only spinning is fine. But it won't help you come next spring as much as if you'd been using a real bike. The athletes using training centers discussed above are on road bikes.
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Old 11-19-13, 09:24 AM
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Riding at night is tres cool, but I never ride as hard at night as I might during the day - I'd be road kill. One of benefits of spin class is you can do stuff you are unlikely to do on your bike that day. I got into riding aero bar, slammed stem on a spin bike, also really long standing efforts. Spin rocks; as long as you tweak the experience for your own purposes. The eye candy is a definite bonus.
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Old 11-19-13, 04:16 PM
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The spin classes at my gym are for non-cyclists.

Usually there are "hills" which are 10+ minutes standing at 90 rpm (that's my estimate of the typical person's cadence) and "sprints" which are 2-3 minutes standing or seated at 110 rpm, then weird non-cycling stuff like "jumps" getting on and off the saddle every 4 revolutions, "pushups" on the bars, pedaling backwards, etc. If you follow the instructor's resistance instructions literally (turn knob X turns to the right) you'd end up with the pedals locked solid, so I notice that most of the people are not even touching the knob when the instructor says "a heavy half turn to the right".

This threw me off the first couple times. On the "hills" I turned the knob every time I was told to and ended up trying to push something that felt like going up a 15% grade in 39 x 21 - for 10 minutes at 80 rpm - yeah right. On the "sprints" I went into an all-out 300 meter sprint and was locking up thirty seconds later - and the sprint had another 3 minutes to go. Meanwhile the cute girls were spinning effortlessly, wrinkling their noses at this spastic old dude in the funny clothes having a heart attack in the front row . . .

So I learned. On the "hills" I turn the resistance to what makes sense to me - equivalent to a 10% grade at 39 x 21 - and pedal the cadence that I'd actually do up that grade - more like 60-70 rpm - and sit down more than I stand. The rest of the time I work on what I want to - one day it might be spinning low resistance at 150 rpm to get my pedaling action smoother, next it might be intervals, etc. I ignore the non-cycling stuff.

With that approach, I like the spin classes and get a good workout. A better workout than I could safely get in one hour on the road at that time of day (midweek rush hour, just to ride from my work or home to a good hill or non-trafficky stretch of road would take 20 minutes).

Last edited by jyl; 11-19-13 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 11-20-13, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by jyl View Post
The spin classes at my gym are for non-cyclists.

Usually there are "hills" which are 10+ minutes standing at 90 rpm (that's my estimate of the typical person's cadence) and "sprints" which are 2-3 minutes standing or seated at 110 rpm, then weird non-cycling stuff like "jumps" getting on and off the saddle every 4 revolutions, "pushups" on the bars, pedaling backwards, etc. If you follow the instructor's resistance instructions literally (turn knob X turns to the right) you'd end up with the pedals locked solid, so I notice that most of the people are not even touching the knob when the instructor says "a heavy half turn to the right".

This threw me off the first couple times. On the "hills" I turned the knob every time I was told to and ended up trying to push something that felt like going up a 15% grade in 39 x 21 - for 10 minutes at 80 rpm - yeah right. On the "sprints" I went into an all-out 300 meter sprint and was locking up thirty seconds later - and the sprint had another 3 minutes to go. Meanwhile the cute girls were spinning effortlessly, wrinkling their noses at this spastic old dude in the funny clothes having a heart attack in the front row . . .

So I learned. On the "hills" I turn the resistance to what makes sense to me - equivalent to a 10% grade at 39 x 21 - and pedal the cadence that I'd actually do up that grade - more like 60-70 rpm - and sit down more than I stand. The rest of the time I work on what I want to - one day it might be spinning low resistance at 150 rpm to get my pedaling action smoother, next it might be intervals, etc. I ignore the non-cycling stuff.

With that approach, I like the spin classes and get a good workout. A better workout than I could safely get in one hour on the road at that time of day (midweek rush hour, just to ride from my work or home to a good hill or non-trafficky stretch of road would take 20 minutes).
Yes, seeing some of this too. Jumps? What the heck are those? So, best course is to do what makes sense in your spin class and not literally everything the instructor shouts out. The sprints seem to be at far to high a cadence compared to most road riding. Anyway, there won't be much outside riding in my area over the next 3-4 months, so spin class is about it for me.
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Old 11-20-13, 10:56 AM
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It's way easy to spin faster on a spin bike than a road bike. I have no trouble hitting 160 on a spin bike, but can't get much over 135 on a road bike any more. I turn the knob every time the instructor turns the knob. Yeah, sometimes it's hard: it's supposed to be hard. I suppose it take some experience to know where to put the knob to start with. I usually set it so I get a 105 HR at a steady 100 cadence. In this forum that's probably about right for most folks. I get there early so I can warm up and get my machine adjusted.

I do the fast standing cadence thing. The idea of spin bike to me is to get outside the road bike envelope: do stuff I can't or wouldn't do on the road bike. Going outside your usual envelope is how you get better. However, one must understand that the pedaling dynamic is different. Just because you can stand at a 95 cadence on a spin bike doesn't mean you should do that on your road bike, though it might improve your mechanics on the road bike. I'm very careful of my body motion when standing on a spin bike. I don't bounce like a lot of spinners: I hold it steady and low, and move my torso as much as I can just like I would on the road, or like my road heroes do on the Alp.
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Old 11-20-13, 11:08 AM
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I have been spinning for the last couple of years when weather and daylight limits my ability to get out on the road. It is different than road riding, but I find it compliments it. It does help my riding. Do what works for you as far as cadence, rpm, etc..
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Old 11-20-13, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by jyl View Post
Spin classes last winter definitely had me stronger on the bike going into spring.
This is true.

As CBad says, in-shape, male eye-candy is a bonus.
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