Benefits of spin classes

Do You Really Need To Take Spin Classes?

by

Billy Hughes
August 18, 2021
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If you want to start spinning to increase your fitness or help you reach your weight-loss goals, you might wonder if it’s best to take spin classes instead of buying your own bike.

These classes will help you get started, but you might want to do them regularly to tone up, get fit, and lose weight.

Are spin classes good for beginners?

If you’ve never cycled before, it’s a good idea to have a bit of experience beforehand because a spin class can be intense and fast.

So, before you sign up to a spin class in your area, you should bear in mind some things about spin classes. Let’s check out their pros and cons. 

Spin Classes: What Are Their Pros?

pros and cons of spinning class
  • You’ll be guided along the way. One of the best things about spin class, especially if you’re a beginner, is that your instructor will guide you through it, such as by telling you when you should clip into your pedals or start cycling uphill. Even if you don’t listen to the instructor and do your own thing, it still helps when starting out to have someone to guide you.
  • You can monitor your progress. In most spin classes the bikes will be equipped with monitors that will give you data to help you keep an eye on your progress, such as when it comes to calorie burn and speed. What’s especially great about spin classes is that the instructors usually integrate these monitors into the workouts, such as by giving you a target speed to try to reach. This is a helpful way to get you to improve your fitness. 
  • You’ll feed off the energy. As with any type of exercise routine you wish to start, it’s always a good idea to work out with other people and have some good music to listen to. A spin class ticks both boxes, because not only will you have music to motivate you through the rough spots, but you’ll be cycling with a supportive community!
  • You’ll cycle out of your comfort zone. If you cycle on your own, it’s easy to fall into a rut and stick to the pace that’s comfortable. This might end up being too comfortable, even resulting in a fitness or weight-loss plateau. A spin class is a great way to help you move out of your comfort zone and see what you can achieve, such as by pushing you to use more resistance or speed.
  • You’ll forget everything else. A spin class is usually focused on playing loud music and dimming the lights. This allows your body and mind to get lost in the exercise you’re doing, so that you’re not distracted by anything else. 

Should You Use A Spin Bike At Home Instead? 

Although there are many benefits of attending a spin class, you might choose to use a spin bike at home instead. Here are some good reasons why you should do this.

  • You can sneak in a cycle whenever you want. Instead of going to spin class at specific times on certain days of the week, you can sneak in a cycle whenever you want in the comfort of your home. This is especially useful for beginners who might feel that a full class is too intimidating to consider at the moment.
  • You can control the pace and resistance. While you can always opt out of listening to your spin class instructor, you might feel like there’s not much point in going to a class if you’re going to go rogue. That’s why spinning on your own at home can be so much more beneficial, enabling you to take things at your own pace and achieve your specific goals.
  • You can adjust the bike to your preferences. Sometimes, the bikes in your spin class might not be as comfortable as you’d like them to be. This is why it’s beneficial to invest in your own spin bike. You’ll not only be able to adjust them, such as you do with the bikes in spin class, but you’ll be able to completely change some of their components, such as the saddle and pedals, so that you get the most comfortable cycling experience.
  • You’re introverted. If you want to start an exercise routine with your spin bike but you’d rather do it alone, such as because you’ve never liked working out in a group, then you should definitely maximize the benefits of spinning at home.

Why Spinning Is Such Great Exercise 

energy of spinning class group

Whether you choose to take spinning classes or work out on a spin bike at home, spinning is a great way to get more exercise. Here are some of its benefits.

  • You can burn a lot of calories. About 45-minutes of spinning (which is the general length of time of a spin class) can help you burn around 500 calories!
  • You’ll achieve low-impact benefits. While spinning can be intensive, it’s actually gentle on your joints as compared to running. This is great if you’re recovering from an injury. By cycling at a pace that’s comfortable for you and choosing a resistance that’s gentle on your body, you can reap the benefits without putting strain on your muscles.
  • You can target a variety of muscles. Spinning is an excellent workout for various muscles in your body. The main ones you’ll focus on during a spin session include the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves. This is what makes spinning such a great lower-body workout.  

What About Spinning Cons?

Of course, as with any type of exercise, there are also some drawbacks. When it comes to spinning, these include the following:

  • You don’t focus on your upper body. While spinning is a great way to target many muscles in your lower body, your arms and shoulders won’t get much of a workout. If you want to achieve more of an upper-body workout, you’ll have to try to incorporate weights into your routine. 
  • You can’t do spin classes every day. Spinning can be tiring and too intense, which is why it’s recommended that you limit it to three or four workouts a week.
  • You might find it uncomfortable. Some people have often wondered why spinning is so uncomfortable. It’s really about how the bike is built. The saddle of the bike often causes the coccyx and pelvic bones to become sore because it doesn’t usually have enough padding. Padded bike shorts, and replacing your bike with a more comfortable seat, can help you to alleviate this problem.

How To Make The Most Of Spinning 

how to make most of spinning class

Ready to buy a spin bike or attend local spinning classes? Great! Before you do, consider these tips to make it a much more enjoyable experience. 

  1. Start slowly! If you’re new to spinning, you can’t just jump in and cycle super fast. You should always start on a low intensity and increase your pace as you feel more comfortable, otherwise you’ll risk fatigue, burnout, and injury.
  2. Stick to shorter workouts. You should aim to cover 20 to 30 minutes of exercise at a time, as this will give your muscles a chance to recover as well as get used to the activity. 
  3. Do some bike checks. Before you get onto your bike, make sure you adjust the seat height and handlebars so that you feel comfortable while riding. This will prevent strain.
  4. Get into the right position. When you get onto the bike, rest your palms on the center of the handlebars. Keep your hips evenly seated. Then, push your feet down on the pedals. You should move your hands to the curves of the handlebars when you want to stand during spin class. You want to engage your hamstrings and glutes when you pedal while standing. In the last position, the cycling uphill position, your hands should move out to the top of the handlebars. Your back should be flatter with your bottom back and down, as this is a position that will give you the best workout. 

Related Questions 

Is spinning the same thing as cycling?

While they’re obviously similar, spin bikes have a flywheel that boosts your pedal strokes per minute. This makes your hamstrings work harder. That said, cycling and spinning both work out the major lower-body muscles, such as calves and glutes. 

What should you bring to spin class?

Make sure you have a towel and bottle of water. You should also ensure your clothes are comfortable and of the moisture-wicking variety. 

Conclusion 

After reading this article, it’s clear to see that there are advantages and disadvantages of taking a spin class versus using a spin bike at home.

Whichever one you choose will depend on various factors, such as how well you fare in group exercise situations and how much you want to be able to adjust your bike. 

Resource:

Billy Hughes

Billy Hughes is a fitness trainer based out of New York. She has registered success in training clients at multiple fitness centers and thus aims to establish her module relevant to the post-pandemic era. Her space, Cerevellum.com, is an attempt towards encouraging and educating more people on the scope of indoor fitness. She believes the power of fitness can transform attitude, personality, and way of living. She also finds it rewarding to help people achieve their goals and make their lives better.