Fitness Articles

What to Expect from a Spinning Class

The Most Fun You'll Have on a Bike!

I 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.
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About The Author

Nicole Nichols Nicole Nichols
A certified personal trainer and fitness instructor with a bachelor's degree in health education, Nicole loves living a healthy and fit lifestyle and helping others do the same. Nicole was formerly SparkPeople's fitness expert and editor-in-chief, known on the site as "Coach Nicole." Make sure to explore more of her articles and blog posts.

Member Comments

  • I don't think Spinning classes use recumbent bikes. That lets me out, since I have back problems. I also don't like to be yelled at because I'm not keeping up the pace. I'm 65, not 25, and a size 2. - 10/9/2014 12:41:15 PM
  • I absolutely love spin classes. I started over 15 years ago. Not in regular basis, but every time I go to class I enjoy them. I started over in February and so far I loved them! Inmy opinion, is one of the most complete exercises available. If you push yourself, you will see results in no time. Thanks - 7/30/2014 2:32:54 PM
  • MARYO125
    I find that I can't make it to spin class on a regular basis and when I try spinning on my own, I never push myself as hard as when I'm using this killer coached spinning album I found on iTunes. It's made by an elite cycling trainer to push you:
    leExpress_iTunes - 3/13/2014 10:45:03 AM
  • The first spin class I ever took was the 8-week Grand Tour Program. I did NOT know what I was getting into, but really glad I did it. It was the best money I had ever spent on myself, it got me ready for road riding (this particular spin program is different than others). I loved it but it was hard work, it however, made me want to do it more! I suppose that is a good thing. My spin instructor, Linda, was energetic and made the class that much more exciting. She also put together a cycling club when the season began. I cannot say enough about Spinning, it is fabulous! Try it, you'll like it ! - 12/20/2013 6:20:48 PM
  • Thanks for sharing. I know of no classes near me. - 12/9/2013 4:56:43 AM
  • Good article. But I don't think I would like to spin. That's something you need to think about very hard. I believe you could hurt yourself. - 12/1/2013 4:32:26 PM
  • Spinning is aerobic exercise. It can be an awesome workout. Be cautious you are fit correctly on the Spinning Bike to avoid injury.

    Spinning is not cycling, it is an aerobic event that helps the body metabolism. Done correctly you will have gains in fitness and tone. - 10/26/2013 1:53:07 PM
    I live in Bergen County NJ but spinning was always a bit challenging for me. I found a great spin class at Club Metro in NJ. I have lost 10 pound in 3 months. I spin 3 times a week and I have gain tone and reduced the most stubborn belly. I am over 40 years old so Spin has been my savior.
    - 9/20/2013 9:16:26 AM
    Living in Doha - Qatar, I use to spinn for almost 2 years, and since almost a year I am cycling 3 times a week for about 1h 30 minutes,,, I am looking to get a certified spinning instructor,,, can this be on line? appreciate your assistance - 9/16/2013 7:52:03 AM
  • I've been a spin instructor for the past two years, and I think it's the most under-rated exercise at the gym. With the right routine and the right music, it's one of the best workouts you can get! - 6/5/2013 7:14:41 AM
  • I've been doing ex. on a stationary bike and need some routines. - 5/29/2013 11:58:46 AM
  • I love riding my bike for hours, so i thought i would like spinning. Turns out not only did i not like it; i think it was more like hate. glad there are so many classes and forms of other exercise. - 1/22/2013 9:45:25 PM
    Here is a good page with Questions and Answers on anything related to a spinning class: http://www.spinni
    nning_program_faq - 1/3/2013 4:42:50 PM
  • I loved spinning so much, I became an instructor ! I've been teaching classes for over seven years. LOVE IT !! - 8/9/2012 6:20:03 PM
  • This article is so much like an article in the new issue of Shape magazine. I appreciate how much more in depth you were on the subject though. - 8/9/2012 5:52:58 PM

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