Fitness Articles

An Introduction to the Spinning Program

Turn on the Spin Cycle

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My first experience with this revolutionary indoor cycling activity seems like a distant memory. As I walked into the room, the lights were dimmed and candles were lit around the room. People all around me were wearing these tight black shorts and odd and colorful shoes, with water bottles in hand. The instructor was in front of the class working on a selection of music that I would never have associated with cycling. Nevertheless, as I was set up on my bike by the nice instructor, I thought I would give it one shot and probably never come back. I am just as pumped up and excited about spinning as I was when I left the class that first day.  Eight years later, I'm still a Spinning enthusiast.

So, what exactly is Spinning? What is the appeal that has brought many people, including celebs like Helen Hunt, David Duchovny and Calista Flockhart, to participate in such a unique and challenging activity? According to www.Spinning.com: "Introduced in 1987, by Johnny G, the Spinning program has become a global exercise and wellness phenomenon. The primary focus of Spinning is to get into shape, have fun, train with purpose and enjoy a powerful mind-body connection."

This last sentence sums up my experient and explains my passion for Spinning. I have been a competitive athlete my entire life and this is one of the only sports that has kept my interest, tested my aerobic endurance, and brought me to a new level of mental endurance. I have trained for all kinds of competitions and events, and yet, when I'm in the class, I undergo a different kind of challenge and mental toughness. I leave satisfied, feeling like I have not only burned 500-plus calories, but have also accomplished something that I never thought I could. Amazing.

The other great thing about this activity is that it’s a different experience for each individual participant. Johnny G describes it by saying that "spinning is a unique indoor cycling workout. It brings the elements of athletic training to people of all fitness levels, but contrary to popular belief, Spinning is not just a 'hard-core' fitness program for elite athletes. Instead, this high-energy group exercise integrates music, camaraderie, and visualization in a complete mind/body exercise program. Individualized for participants of any age or ability, the Spinning program uses [a] stationary bike, a simple set of movements and hand positions, and heart rate training to deliver personal empowerment and unparalleled fitness results. In fact, participants in a 40-minute cycling class can burn an average of 500 calories."

As far as workouts go, Spinning is on the top of my list, especially if you like working out in a group or are searching for something a little bit different. Give it a try, but keep in mind that it might take two or three sessions before you get used to all of the different elements. For more information or to find a Spinning class in your area, go to www.spinning.com.

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About The Author

Holly Little Holly Little
A former Division I basketball player, Holly is a certified in Spinning and personal training.

Member Comments

  • ROCCOSGLAMMA
    I just purchased my own spinning bike today. I am totally excited to get started. I am not a "gym" person. I have my own in the basement. I need to burn calories and lots of them. I have under active thyroid and it's very difficult for me to lose weight. I do better when I do cardio but I don't like aerobics at all! I have made the decision to get back to working out every day. I wanted to integrate spinning into the other exercises I do. I hope it is as fun and rewarding as I want it to be! - 5/27/2013 3:32:44 PM
  • TILLIEHASH
    I have an exercycle at home and enjoy doing a TABATA routine i.e. 20 secs max pedalling 10 sec rest. Repeat this routine 8 times and you have exercised for 4 minutes. Sounds easy but gives a good workout for those limited for time. Of course warm up and cool down periods are essential. TABATA can be applied to any fitness routine e.g. weights, walking, jogging, running, calisthenics, swimming etc. Google TABATA to get the information. Increasing tension during the 20 seconds really is a work out. Good luck to all Sparkies!! - 2/13/2012 11:41:29 AM
  • I'm really enjoying spinning classes at my gym. I've been doing them for a couple months, usually 2-3 times per week. Yesterday I bought spinning shoes!!

    Loving it!! - 2/12/2012 5:49:30 PM
  • I have taken Spin classes for the past couple of years, and then decided to become a certified trainer of Spin and love it. So I teach 2-3 times a week, and the participants are excited about being there. It's such a great calorie burner. - 10/25/2011 5:30:44 AM
  • SALLIEM2
    I have been "spinning" for about 6 months..going 3-4 times a week. I absolutely love it, feel challenged every time I go. It is important to remember to also work your muscles, by lifting weights. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so combining weight lifting with the intense cardio that spin gives, will give results that you will love! - 4/28/2011 12:10:52 PM
  • LATTE52
    I started Spin classes again a month ago. It's hard each time, but it's the best workout I've ever done. I have lost five pounds by doing spin three times a week and a "fit and tone" class twice a week. Give spin a chance. It's grueling, but you will feel so good after. Good luck! - 2/14/2011 10:58:27 AM
  • I am thinking about starting a spinning class. Has anyone lost weight and how fast did you see results? - 2/9/2011 8:20:33 PM
  • Holly, i started spinning 3 months ago, to say i'm hooked is an understaement. I've lost over 40lbs with the sessions and good diet. Two of the four sessions are 6.30 in the morning, now thats dedication. Like yourself, i've played numerous sports but its the best all round training that i have experienced. - 1/12/2011 2:28:41 PM
  • LOKIMEE
    First spinning class yesterday - and yep, I agree, my tush is still aching! That said, I'm glad I stuck it out (after ten minutes I wanted to quit) and didn't throw up! I'll be back next week... my tush needs a time out till then! Great workout though! - 10/25/2010 6:15:24 PM
  • 3MUTTS
    The first 3 classes REALLY hurt the tush...to the point of bleeding...after that...I love it. Try just a 30 min class, get your legs strong enough to stand & you will love it. Lots of calorie burn in a short time. - 8/16/2010 8:45:20 AM
  • ps. Your butt or "riding bones" WILL hurt the first few times you spin. Bike shorts help and some facilities have gel pads you can put on the bike. I only needed it 3 times, and my riding bones are now seasoned. :) - 4/28/2010 1:53:37 PM
  • I just started spinning a month ago...I NEVER stick to any program..but this is different for me. I love it! Anyone can do it..you go at your own pace using the teacher as a guide..its up to you how much you want to push yourself. I find the hour goes by so quickly and Ive never sweat so much in my life...afterwards i am invigorated and ready to tackle my day. I have lost 6lbs since spinning and watching my diet diligently...this doesnt sound like alot...but its more than I have been able to lose in years since my last child was born. My body feels tighter...and strong legs are key to supporting yourself upright thru your later years! Give a class a try! - 4/28/2010 1:52:08 PM
  • GIRAFFELADY
    I just ordered the spinner bike. The seat hurts. I bought a replacement seat. It feels much better. I am hoping this helps me to trim down. - 4/23/2010 9:49:02 PM
  • ANGIEMC123
    I have been wanting to get into spinning for so long. I have taken a couple classes at my gym but I don't seem to be able to get it. Everyone else in the class seem to move so effortlessly even those much larger than I. My legs feel like cement. These comments have inspired me to try again. - 3/29/2010 10:06:00 AM
  • I appreciated JTRYJANKOWSKI's spin comments. I started spinning a few weeks ago. I had always been intimidated by the concept. It has become my favorite cardio exercise. I just can't push myself like that when I workout by myself. I like to go to a 5:30 am class because I like to get my workout over with. This week I discovered the varying routines of different instructors. I had such a good time yesterday that I did 2 classes back to back ( I am older than most in the class). Today was energizing as the instructor had us singing the chorus on the music when we were in the seated position. - 3/17/2010 11:11:31 PM
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