It’s more than just a good workout, whether you do it at home or at the gym.
We enjoy riding because it gives us a chance to see more of the world around us. But with winter on the horizon, there are days when the weather is terrible and there is simply not enough time to get everything done. What’s the best alternative? I’m referring to a Spin class.
In order to accommodate your busy schedule, most gyms and fitness centers provide a wide range of class lengths, from as little as 20 minutes to as much as 90 minutes. Companies like Peloton, NordicTrack, and Technogym now sell stationary cycles designed to be used at home while streaming fitness courses to the TV. For instance, Peloton’s entry-level lessons instruct students in the proper form and technique that can be used to any difficulty level.
Furthermore, according to Peloton instructor Jess King, the work you do in a class—whether that’s at home or at a gym—complements your road training nicely. You may experiment with your training here; there will be things to hear, learn, and experience that you can then use when you get back on the road. “Why not have the best of both worlds?” she asks.
We’ve listed eight additional reasons why you should sign up for that Spin class you’ve been eyeing.
1. Anyone can do it.
If you’ve never done it before, spinning could seem and sound scary. However, King notes that anybody with access to a gym or a bicycle may attend lessons ranging from beginning to advanced levels, each of which helps improve the key muscle groups necessary for cycling as well as your cardiovascular system.
King explains that they are in a position to make “something for everyone.” However, most studios and teachers have several alternatives that may be tailored to your specific goals and skill level.
If you have the endurance to cycle up steep hills and over long distances on the road, you will have no trouble keeping up in a Spin class. Studio sessions typically last an hour, while at-home lessons might range from 30 minutes to an hour.
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2. It’s one of a kind.
Obviously, biking outside is different from participating in a Spin class. Although the geography is comparable (hills and flats), King claims that in-studio and virtual Spin sessions may seem more like a party than a workout.
Although there are alternatives that provide a comparable experience, she recommends Peloton because “there’s music from all different decades—from old rock to EDM” and because “we do interval training, tabata training, and heart rate training, so it’s still a terrific workout.”
Many times while traveling, you and your inner monologue are the only two people around. That’s great if you need to clear your head by going outside, but it’s not so great if you hear a voice instructing you to get back inside. Being in a classroom environment, especially with a supportive teacher cheering you on, may completely alter the way you approach a task. (Because, let’s be honest, sometimes you simply don’t want to perform that interval exercise)
In his opinion, “Spin provides you a fresh viewpoint on how to ride, breathe, and think about your body,” as stated by King.
3. There is a community of helpers
Everyone in an indoor cycling class is there to help you succeed, from the instructor to the other riders.
“Everyone is pulling for you—you’re not alone in this experience,” King assures his subjects. As a means of communication and exchange of vitality, “the bike” serves as our vehicle.
The creator of Le Sweat and former master teacher at SoulCycle, Charlee Atkins, C.S.C.S., concurs. She gushes over the team’s culture, saying, “[Everyone] is really supportive—they keep each other accountable and celebrate each other’s successes and disappointments.” It’s not uncommon for them to feel like “extended family.”
It’s not easy to be on your bike and have to fight through the fatigue and difficulty of a long ride when you’re by yourself. When things get tough, your initial reaction may be to give up. When you’re among other people, though, you feel more motivated to accomplish what you started. In fact, that’s precisely what you’ll do by enrolling in a Spin class. That outlook will serve you well on the road, as well.
If you’ve already found a supportive group of cyclists to ride with outside, you’ll find that indoor lessons provide the same sense of community and responsibility.
4 It’s a fantastic way to work out your whole body
Spin class is wonderful for your muscles, from your legs to your core, and it’s also a low-impact cardiovascular workout that may help you feel better overall and protect you from long-term health problems like hypertension, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Atkins notes that while cycling alone is a lower-body activity, some indoor cycling sessions include hand weights to “encourage upper-body training.” That means you can work your upper body, lower body, and core all in the space of 45 minutes.
5. It’s easy to use
The average weekday commute is far less than the two hours needed to finish an outside ride. Consequently, if you have a busy schedule but still want to get in a good workout, an indoor cycling session may be done at a studio, at home, or in a gym.
But don’t panic; a shorter workout can have just as many positive effects as a longer one. The high-intensity interval training used in many sessions allows participants to improve their cardiovascular and muscular fitness in a shorter amount of time than would be possible on a longer, steady-state ride on the road.
6. Reasonable Effect Size
Unlike other kinds of exercise, like jogging, indoor cycling is gentler on your joints. Atkins thinks it’s helpful since your lower extremities (hips, knees, and ankles) won’t have to bear as much weight as they would otherwise. This makes it a good option for those whose bodies aren’t quite back to normal after an injury, for the elderly who want to maintain some level of physical activity but avoid aggravating their arthritis, and for anybody else in a similar situation.
7. You may put your own spin on it.
The grade of a mountain cannot be changed if you are not feeling up to the challenge of climbing it. Spin classes, on the other hand, are great because they can be tailored to the individual. You can follow the lead of the Spin teacher, but feel free to adjust the intensity of your exercise as needed.
For the upper-body workout, for instance, you may get off the bike and work out on the floor if you’d rather not. You may travel at your own pace and not worry about falling behind. And if you find yourself feeling inspired to work even harder, you could always challenge your neighbor to a race. Everyone in class is there for the same reason: to get in the greatest workout they can while soaking up the inspiring energy of the room. Therefore, you should act on your impulses, whatever they may be.
8. You may rest easy knowing that your bike is safe for a little while
If you want to give your body and bike a rest from the elements, try taking a few Spin classes instead. The elements, such as precipitation, filth, and snow, will gradually deteriorate your machinery. Substituting Spin courses for some of your regular exercises can free up time that you may use to repair or upgrade your bike.