Page 1 of 3I took a Spinning class for the first time after I moved away to college. I was active in sports throughout high school, and I knew that I wanted to stay strong and fit. Now it was up to me to do that on my own. I didn't know anything about Spinning or what to expect from a group class (I'd never taken a fitness class), but I had heard that it burns serious calories and kicks your butt. I was game.
I took classes a few times per week and enjoyed it most of the time—even though my legs dreaded it. Some of the instructors were better than others were, but I always came away dripping with sweat and feeling like I had really done something good for myself. When I became a certified Spinning instructor a few years later, I learned many things that my former instructors never told me (and some things they shouldn't have!). When I teach classes, safety and comfort are the priorities I emphasize to my students, so I start every class with a review of fundamentals and safety points so that everyone--regardless of weight, age, or fitness level—can have a safe and effective workout. I tell them this truth: Spinning is your workout. You control everything from your speed and resistance to your intensity level, so it can be as easy or as challenging as you want it to be. Like many things in life, you will get out of it what you put into it.
If you've been curious about trying those notorious Spinning classes, here’s what you need to know, whether you’re taking a Spinning class for the first time or the 50th time.
What it is: Spinning is a specific format of indoor cycling. Only certified Spinning instructors are allowed to teach “Spinning,” but other group cycling programs exist by different names, and some have their own certifications. Spinning is a cardio (aerobic) workout set to music and led by a certified instructor. Most classes last between 40 and 60 minutes, although some places offer beginner or intro classes that might be shorter.
Whom it's for: Spinning is great for people who want a motivating workout that they can control at their own pace. Even if you’re not into choreography-based fitness classes, you can still enjoy Spinning because it involves neither rhythm nor complex moves. It’s low-impact, so it’s very suitable for people who want to balance out higher-impact exercises (like running) or for people who have some joint problems.