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6 Good Reasons to Try a Spinning Class

By , SparkPeople Blogger
As long as I can remember, I was into fitness. I was an active child, athletic and competitive, always trying new sports. Even as a teenager, I loved lifting weights, trying challenging workouts and pushing myself physically. I remember when I was about 17 years old, I read a small blurb in a fitness magazine that talked about this workout called Spinning. It mentioned that it was a major calorie burner (somewhere near 600 calories per hour, if I remember correctly), and that it was a great workout. "What is this Spinning thing," I wondered. Whatever it was, I was definitely going to try it.

By the time I moved away to college a few months later, I got my wish. Not wanting to gain the notorious freshman 15, while trying to maintain a good level of fitness (without the aid of the after-school sports practices I was accustomed to), I started going to the university rec center and tried Spinning for the first time.

That magazine was right. It was intense and challenging. But they didn't tell me that I'd be so sore for a few days (from sitting on that rock hard seat known as the "saddle") that I'd barely be able to sit on my cushioned desk chair in my dorm room—ouch! Despite the challenge (and the discomfort), I made it to Spinning class three times a week and I was hooked. Fast forward a few years later, and I became a certified Spinning instructor myself so that I could share my love of Spinning with others.

I believe that Spinning, which is an indoor group cycling class, is something that people of all ages and fitness levels can benefit from—I've seen it myself and in my students. If you think Spinning isn't for you or tried it and didn't like it, here are 6 reasons to try Spinning that will change your mind.

Burn More Calories: I may be into fitness, but like everyone else, I have trouble motivating myself. Gone are the years when I lived for pushing my body to the limits. If I have the choice now, I'm most likely to choose light, comfortable or moderate exercise vs. challenging myself. If I head toward the cardio machines at the gym, I'm more likely to breeze through a so-so workout wishing I were doing something else. That is why I love Spinning so much: It makes me push myself. If I were left to my own devices, sure I'd work out; but I'd go easier on myself and put less time in. Spinning classes help motivate me to work harder and get a better workout (which means better results and higher calorie burn) than I know I'd do on my own. If motivation is an issue for you, or you'd rather walk when running starts to feel tiring (I'm right there with you!), then Spinning class could be just the ticket you need.

Give Your Joints a Break: Spinning is a low-impact cardio exercise, which means it's easier on your joints, including your knees and ankles, than many other forms of cardio. Many people who are rehabilitating injuries or recovering from surgeries are advised to try low-impact forms of exercise (like biking or Spinning) in lieu of jarring activities like running. If you have an upper body injury, you can still ride the bike and get a good workout. Even if you don't have joint issues now, it's a good idea to alternate your high-impact exercises with some low- and no-impact exercises like Spinning to avoid overuse injuries and give those vulnerable joints a break every so often.

Stay in Control: How many group workouts have you ever tried that can easily seamlessly accommodate beginners, people with injuries, hardcore exercisers, young and old, and advanced exercisers in a single room? Not many, I'm sure. That is the beauty of Spinning: It's something everyone can do. You should think of your Spinning instructor as a friendly guide for your workout. He or she usually has a general plan in terms of movements, intensity changes and pace, but really, YOU are the one in control. You decide how much resistance to add, how fast to pedal, and how hard to work. This means that people of all fitness levels can take the same class and all get a great workout. I always encourage my students to listen to their bodies, monitor how they're feeling, and to go easier or harder than I dictate, if they choose. My classes have included teens, seniors, beginners, triathletes, people with joint injuries, runners whose doctors told them to lay off the running for a while—you name it. We're all there and we're all getting a great workout!

Enjoy the Great Indoors: Many people love biking—and the benefits it provides as a great cardio workout with low-impact on the joints—but don't love biking in traffic on the streets. Spinning will provide the same benefits without the uneasiness of cycling in a high-traffic area that's unfriendly to bikes. If seasonal allergies or extreme weather (too hot or too cold) forces you to take your outdoor workouts inside, Spinning is a great alternative.

It Doesn't Cost Much: Many fitness trends and classes cost a pretty penny. Spinning has been around a while and at most gyms, classes like Spinning are included in your membership fees. If your gym doesn't have Spinning (or you'd like to try it), most locations will allow you to try a class for free. also includes a directory of gyms that offer free class passes. (Be aware that not every gym is part of this database; call a gym near you to ask if they offer a free class.) If you commit to Spinning or join a gym that has it, you don't need any special equipment or attire to get started. Sure, a padded gel seat ($15) might ease the discomfort you feel in the beginning (yes, it does pass with time), and cycling shoes ($80 and up) could help you get more out of your workout, but you really don't need anything except a water bottle.

Feel the Energy: I always say that people either love Spinning or hate it. When you're at a class, chances are that everyone there loves it (otherwise, they wouldn't be there). That creates a positive, high-energy atmosphere that can motivate you to push yourself and make you feel good about working out. It makes the whole workout experience more fun—and helps you feel connected with the people around you, like you're all in it together. Sometimes, when I'm taking a class, I challenge myself to match the pace of the instructor—or another student—for a little friendly competition that only I know about. But at the same time, Spinning is non-competitive. You don't have to feel self-conscious for "modifying" the workout—probably no one even notices if you're going slower or choose to sit instead of standing. And if anything, they're secretly rooting you on. Look around at all the different people who are all there for the same reason, and you can harness that energy for a great workout that you can feel good about!

If I haven't convinced you to try a class yet, read What to Expect from a Spinning Class for more info or join the Spinning Enthusiasts SparkTeam to ask questions and get tips. It might take more than one try before you can really decide if Spinning is right for you, so I always recommend trying something at least 3-5 times before you give up on it.

Have you tried Spinning? If so, what do you think about it? If not, are you willing to give it a chance now?

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RCLYKE 8/30/2020
thank you Report
SHOAPIE 6/4/2020
I don’t know if my butt could handle it! Report
VHAYES04 6/4/2020
Ty Report
Thanks! Report
I have never tried spinning, but I am willing to give it a try. Report
I used to go to spinning at my gym, which was for women only. When the gym closed (a leaky roof destroyed their bank account) there weren’t any real gyms for women in my area. ( You won’tt find spinning at Curves!) I’m now considering another gym. I hope they gave spinning! Report
I just recently bought a spinner bike for my basement gym and found it more of a challenge than I originally thought. It is an excellent addition to my workout routines. Report
Thanks! Report
Thanks! Report
Thanks for the great article! :) Report
I have never tried a spinning class before, maybe now I will give it a chance. Report
Thank you Report
Spinning just bored me. It's like you go no where, fast! Report
Love spin class! I wanted to bike during the winter, so started spinning in the off-season. Like biking in general, it takes a few rides before your butt stops hurting. I also have padded bike shorts. I don't notice any pain from the seat anymore.

I workout a lot harder with an instructor encouraging me and in a room full of other people who are working just as hard or harder. It's a good feeling to have worked so hard there is a pool of sweat under the bike.

Also it has improved my biking climbs. Report
Thank you for the information. Report
Thanks for sharing! Report
Took my first spin class in May 2017 and loved it and now part of my regular cardio workouts. And you REALLY get a workout! Report
I like trying different things! Thanks. Report
good article Report
Don't know of a spinning class. Report
Would love to try it if & when I find a suitable class Report
I thought spinning class was for 'those who couldn't do anything else at the wellness center'. Then my knees hurt and knee replacements were going to be in my future, my neighbor (PT specialist) had me try a class. And I was hooked. I was physically active and figured it'd be a piece of cake, er, broccoli-- but it wasn't. I knew personally that this wasn't a class for losers because I WASN'T! That class was the first of many classes, and now it's 7 yrs later, two fake knees inserted, and I'm still sweating profusely and loving it. I spin 4-5 classes a week. Report
Absolutely hated spinning - I don't have much padding in the "behind" so I couldn't stand the seat. I tried bringing a cushion and that didn't really help either. Report
I love to spend! Report
This is on my bucket list to try. Thanks for the insights! Report
My knees won't allow me to spin, but I would love to try. Report
I've always wanted to try a spinning class! Report
Spinning classes are great workouts! Report
love to spin Report
Please explain to me how exactly 'SPINNING" is different from using a stationary bicycle in one's own home. I have a stationery bike and no funds to take a class. How can I make a home experience comparable to a class? Thanks!!! Report
I have been spinning for ten years and sometimes spin 5 times a week. The article was spot on about exercising at your own level. I am recovering from a torn meniscus and the exercise suggested by my orthopedic surgeon was spinning but to lower the tension on the wheel if it hurt my knees. It is great exercise for strengthening muscles around your knees and incredibly good for glutes and hamstrings. If you haven't tried it, don't wait until you are in better shape; this will get you in better shape! All of my classes are done in low light so people aren't watching anyone except the instructor and the mirrors to make sure their form is correct. For first time spinners, make sure to go to your first class early to ask the instructor to set up the bike for you and ... remember the settings (take a picture on your cell phone).

Wow! many benefits of spinning workout. So everyone can take these spinning classes. Thanks for sharing this informative post. Report
I tried spinning a few years ago and loved it, but had to stop because I didn't want to pay the high fees of the community center. I now belong to a new gym (reasonable rates) that has spin classes 2-3 days a week. Although it's been some time, I took a seat in the back (to avoid pity stares just in case I passed out) and LOVED it. I admit I did not complete the entire 60 min., but I did complete a strong solid 45 minutes and felt great! I was initially afraid to go back into spinning since I had been away from the gym for so long, but I knew it would be worth it. To prepare myself for spinning, I used the treadmill and ellipticals to get back into real cardio workouts. I also purchased a gel seat cushion to ease the pain of that saddle. This class is a great addition to my workout regimen. Great article! Good luck to spin newbies and keep up the good work to the spin regulars. :) Report
If anyone can tell me a way to use any bike without aggravating vulvodynia, I'll try it! Report
I've had a few friends tell me to try spinning, but I'm terrified I won't make it through the class. For now, I'm not very fit (I was much more fit a few years ago), so I'm going to wait until I'm in better shape before I try it. But a spinning class is definitely a goal for me! Report
I have Been going to a spinning class 4 times a week for almost a year and i have not loose a bit of weight. In fact i am gaining more fat, i know for sure that it's not muscle the weight that i am gaining. Before i Took spinning class i would weight 115 but now i weight almost 130. I am dont eat a lot i only eat two meals a day and drink a lot of water throught out the day. Can someone tell me why i am not loosing any weight??? Report
The gym i am working out at has that spinning class.. honestly i never had or thought about joining them .. but now you gave me a new idea.. I might try it next time and tell you about it. Report
I love Spinning! It's a super hard workout but it's a great atmosphere and you can push yourself as much as you can by turning the resistance up or down yourself. I like having that control. I would recommend it to anyone Report
There is a spin class at the fitness center in my office and apparently people love it; but apparently it is a very tough class. One of my friends took it recently and she is in pretty decent shape, but she had to leave the class for a few minutes because it got to be too much for her. I have thought of trying it but am a little afraid to for a couple of, I don't like my exercise bike at home at all so I think I might not like spinning either. Two, I think I need a beginner class. I understand that this instructor is just super tough and I think that they do intervals. I am not at that level of fitness and I think it just might be too much for me at this time. Report
Spinning has been one of the best things to happen to me. I am a reasonably healthy person for someone who has been living with MS for the last 12 years. Two years ago, I had a relapse which impacted my legs - I did recover almost completely over time. But whenever I run, or do any cardio, my left leg goes numb making it really hard to maintain activity. I do love to bike, and had noticed that I could bike despite the numbness. But biking on the road was difficult, and I dont think I was able to get the kind of exercise I was looking for. That made me try spinning - and boy did that work! I absolutely love it! My leg does go numb with the heat generated, but since I am sitting it does not impact me like running for example. I am able to get a solid workout that leaves me sweating and feeling good about myself. Report
I have been wanting to try spinning for awhile. I will will make it one of my goals for next week to give it a try. I have to say I'm kinda scare of the seat. Report
I've tried it a couple of times. My rump doesn't have enough padding for it. I wonder if the regulars have grown a callus. Report
They have some spin classes at the gym. I have always been a bit leary but will definitely give it a try now! Report
I am 61 years old and began spinning 5 years ago in the winter so I'm ready for the first bike ride of the spring. I love spinning class. It's fun being with other people and I can ride as hard as I want while following the instructor. I'm always the oldest person in the class, and I try hard to stay up with the young people (including my 20 something daughter!). Report
I love spinning! It is challenging and a great workout! Report
I went to my first spin class about a month ago.
I was sweating like crazy, my legs were screaming- I LOVE D IT!!!
It's my new favorite cardio workout. Report
I love spinning for all the reasons you state. As a former couch potato, I tried spinning after I wanted to crank up my workouts after becoming comfortable with walking fast and doing some basic exercises. I did not know how I would do because of my age and unfit condition. I was able to monitor my heart by wearing a heart rate monitor and ease my knees into a stronger condition by going at my own pace and starting with a lighter resistance. We have a great instructor at 24 Hour Fitness who, along with pounding music, keeps our energy level high.

I would suggest anyone try spinning. Start at your own pace and resistance, then work up from there. Report
I LOVE spinning!!! I do it once a week to change it up from my running...and my teacher is AWESOME, she plays the most pumping music (very important for my spinning experience) a lot of bon jovi, beatles, michael jackson and it gets you super pumped! Ive noticed my legs get toner, which helps with my runs, and my obliques and back toning up nicely too!!! Report
I tried spin class for a few months a couple ofyears ago and completely loved the results! My lower body toned right up, and I lost weight without even really trying all that hard. I plan on going back since I still have the gym membership. If only I can get myself up out of that bed... Report