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    What can you tell me about spinning classes?  
    What are they and where can I get some???

Richard Rodriguez

Good question. Should be able to find under fitness "Spinning". There are videos as well. Usually involves a special "simulated bike". What Nanette went thru was on her own bike and extended beyond just "spinning" to bike control skills, paceline techniques. This came thru her club..

I had looked into organizing a several day program on control skills early in the year and hit brick walls in finding the talent needed to instruct. I still have interest in making something like that happen someday.

If we could steal Nan's trainer we'd have something (besides a fight from her that is) :-)

Don "let us know what you find" Bolton

Richard, a lot of gyms have spinning classes. Its like aerobics, but on a bike. You have loud music (sometimes) and an instructor. They guide you through the workout with encouragement or shouts or, if they don't have music, some "imaginary scenery". If you belong to a gym, ask them if they offering spinning. If they don't, they can probably point you to someone who does. I'm not sure if any local community colleges offer spinning or not.

Wendi Thornton

Cascade Athletic Club has "Cycle Reebok" classes....


Some gyms even offer "bikes" with no pedals so that you can bring your own.

Steve Heim

I usually take my pedals and wrench and take them off the cycle that I'm going to use. I did this at the downtown 24 hour Fitness a few times.

Lonnie Wormley

From what I know about spinning classes, it's like aerobics on a bike. Loud music and an instructor there to egg you on. Some have a big screen with scenes on it.

Wendi Thornton

Spinning classes are a great way to get fit again. They are similar to riding on road and you can train when weather is not cooperating. You can make it as hard or easy as you want since you control the tension on your bike.


Candace Reed

I haven't actually been to a spinning class but it is a class of about a dozen stationary bicycles with an instructor who leads you through "hills" and "flats". Some have music and some don't but a good instructor with create imagery that simulates the outdoors. You change the tension and the positioning as well. The classes are 1 hour long. Check your local clubs to see who offers them.

Cheryl (aerobics instructor) Smith

I'm currently doing about two of these a week. It's a good cardio workout, a good thing to add to an overall program of strength training, cardio, and stretching.

If you're just starting out you might find this a bit much to add to your overall schedule. I mean, to keep it in perspective, I'm doing weight training three days a week and cardio three other days a week, so devoting two of those cardio days to spinning works for me.

I think I like it, but only to add variety to the overall mix. Running on the treadmill, solitary runs on the stationary bike, or even cross-trainer or stationary row all do excellent things for cardio fitness, but I don't think I could stand to do any single one of those things for very long.

On a related but separate topic, I've found my HR monitor to be absolutely indispensable for my cardio work. I can keep a focus on getting my HR up, and I get a better sense of how hard I'm pushing myself. Without the HR monitor, I'm not sure I would regularly get my HR up to 85% of maximum, and I would definitely not have as good a sense of my rebound rate.

Jason Penney

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The one thing that I know that I won't like is loud music. But I'm willing to try ... Lisa has been enthusing about spinning for quite while.

Andrew Black

Oh, the music isn't _that_ loud. Actually, I'm in so much pain that I hardly even notice the music :-)

Jason Penney

I've been taking Spinning classes at Gateway bicycles for a couple of years now and really enjoy them. I think they've helped me gain strength and speed, and maintain both over the winter months.

And of course, there are the endorphins....
Lisa "ready for my next endorphin fix" R.

When I do aerobics, I like to use an exercycle and set it in the constant heart rate mode. (I also do treadmill, stair-stepper, etc., but they don't have any with an integrated heart-rate mode.) I must normally have a high heart rate, because I have to lie about my age (48) and claim I'm a 12-year-old to get a high enough rate to feel like an adequate work-out. Even then, I usually over-ride the rate and set is a few beats faster (So far, no heart attacks ... ). Does anyone else suffer from this phenomenon? I like to do a half-hour at about 150, I think it is (haven't done this yet since returning, so this is what I remember from last spring).

Don "pitter-patter" Gross

I started to respond to this, and realized that I have some experience with max HR that might be worth sharing. My winter training goal is to increase my power output, so I've been doing a lot of HR training. Like Don, I had a lot of doubts how hard I should be working.

All of the current thinking in bicycle training centers around zone training. Here is a brief description of the zones...

1 60-65 Easy riding, recovery
2 65-70 Endurance base
3 70-80 Aerobic Capacity
4 80-85 Lactate threshold
5 86+ Max aerobic, max VO2

Since I did long hills on CO2K (like the one to Antelope) finishing at around 150 to 160 bpm, I could figure backwards, assume that 155 bpm is equivalent to 75% of max hr. The arithmetic yields my max HR to be 207. Using the formula these exercise machines use (see below), that would put my age at about 13 <grin>.

Well, that's just ridiculous, isn't it? I'm too cheap to pay a sports doctor to do the accurate measurement, so my next experiment was a direct test, where you actually try to get your heart to perform at max. A very scary experience--you warm up for about 15 minutes and then start upping the resistance, a couple of minutes at a time; when you feel like you're about to lose it, sprint like the dickens for 30 seconds.

When I tried it, I chickened out in the mid-180's. I won't even _tell_ you what I felt like for the next half an hour (hint: you see it lying in the road while bicycling, and it isn't a paint stripe).

Finally, there are a couple of generic formulas. The first is for the couch potato:

max_hr := 220 - current_age;

I'm betting this is the one they put on the exercise machines. The second formula is for "fit" adults:

max_hr := 220 - current_age / 2;

Since I'm 43, the first formula yields 177 (wayyyy too low), and the second suggests a value of 197. Edmund Burke says that this second formula should be fudged in either direction by about 10% to account for genetics.

Actually, that's kind of interesting, since working backward from the zones also pointed at around 200. Could be there's something to that formula after all, huh?

For practical purposes, I use 200 (as a nice round number) for a max HR and then drop a couple of points off for conservatism.

When I do aerobics, I aim at 130 to 150 for warmups, try to get to 160 during an early hill climb, and try to hit 170-175 for a couple of minutes somewhere during the workout.

Unlike Amy who uses the cardio settings on the equipment, I set it on manual and do intervals--3 minutes at Zone 4, 2 minutes to fall back to Zone 1, then repeat. Just mash the little resistance/speed buttons to make it hurt more and less. Blettcch. But I can see an improvement already. These machines will tell you how many watts you're putting out, and I can already see about a 10 to 15 percent increase (at a given HR). My trainer says I should gradually work toward longer intervals with less recovery time.

Note that some trainers warn against spending much time in the 90-95% range; they say that certain kinds of damage occur if you do a lot of training in that range.

Anyway, by the spring I should either be stronger or dead ;-) I hope this is of general use.

Jason "I can't talk, I'm gasping for air" Penney

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  Page Last Updated: Jan. 20, 2003  
    CyclingSite > CO Collected Wisdom > Training > Spinning Classes  

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