Is Spinning A Good Workout? Ultimate Guide To Spinning
Many of us take up cycling to enjoy the outdoors. However, with most of us living a busy life, it’s often hard to get outside and enjoy those long rides. That’s where for a lot of people, spinning has helped them get a shorter more intense workout in.
Since spinning is such a popular form of exercise, how does it compare to cycling outside, and is spinning a good workout to replace normal cycling?
While spinning is generally a more intense workout than outdoor cycling for most people. It doesn’t mean it should replace it entirely. So, keep reading to find out the benefits and disadvantages of spinning over cycling outside.
Spinning Benefits and Disadvantages – What Are They?
While spinning doesn’t have to and shouldn’t replace cycling in general, it does have some benefits. Some of these benefits of spinning or indoor cycling are:
– All abilities can do it.
– Burn more calories through high-intensity training.
– Shorter workout
– Ability to join a class
– Total Body Workout
– It’s convenient
Even though the benefits are related to cycling outdoors, most people find spin classes more convenient and much more intense than heading outside for a ride. This generally gives the average person a much better workout that not only burns more calories but helps to improve their overall fitness.
Another positive aspect of cycling inside with a spin class is the lack of bike handling needed. This lets even the most novice cyclists get a decent workout without worrying about falling over clipped in or cars and other road furniture.
While this sounds all good there are unfortunately some disadvantages to spinning. These disadvantages mainly affect the serious rider rather than the novice.
Some of the disadvantages are:
– Improper bike fit setup
– Lack of power measurement
– Lack of specific structure (intensity)
– Short duration
– Be part of a gym
While the duration is often a bit short for the serious cyclist it’s not a major disadvantage, as we have all known that one rider, who has completed 2 or more spin classes in a row.
However, what does lack is the specific structure of the workout and the amount of standing you do during a class. Often spin classes include a lot of standing in a poor posture position. Which often results in overuse and sore knees and back.
They also don’t focus on a set training zone or intensity, rather varying it based on what the spin teacher finds hard or even fun.
And last but not least is the poor bike setup. Many of the spin bikes arent designed to be set up similar to a road or mountain bike.
Often the seats are too wide, you can’t set the correct saddle height, and you might even struggle with too high handlebars.
While for most people this isn’t a huge problem. The more serious rider who has been riding the same position for years may start to incur some issues.
How Many Times A Week Should I Spin?
You might hear a lot of your friends heading to spin classes every week. They often brag about how many spin classes they have completed each week. Knowing this, how many times a week should you spin? and is it bad to do spin class every day?
Generally for most people planning in 2-3 spin classes per week is enough. Since most spin classes are very intense, you need to allow adequate recovery during the week too. This is also a good time to focus on other aspects of your fitness, like strength and mobility between classes. It is also wise if you do spinning classes more than 3 times a week, to allow at least one complete rest day per week. This will prevent you from overworking yourself, and losing motivation too.
Some people however do spin every day, and while this may sound like a good idea in the beginning. You may find your form and fitness starts to decline over time. Both from lack of variation and recovery. So try to mix spinning classes with outdoor long rides or even strength and mobility sessions each week.
What Muscles Does Spinning Work?
Just like cycling in general, spinning helps strengthen and tone your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calf muscles. It also works your upper body more than outside cycling, as you generally spend more time standing up in a class than outside.
However, that doesn’t mean that you get a better full-body workout indoors than outdoors. It more or less comes down to the intensity you ride and also the difficulty of the terrain you are riding outside.
At the end of the day, both riding indoors vs outdoors work similar muscles. This means both types of training can help improve your strength and tone your muscles.
How Often Should I Do Spinning To Lose Weight?
If you are looking to start spin classes as a way to lose weight, it is first important to understand that spinning alone won’t shed the weight quickly.
If your main goal of exercising is to lose weight, then you should focus on combining spinning with running or another form of aerobic sport. These can even be rowing, tennis, or even mountain biking. Doing so will help increase your metabolism more and build more muscle, which in turn will help shed that unwanted weight quicker.
A good weekly plan to focus on loosing wait would be combing spinning with running and strength workout into your week, such as below:
Monday – Complete rest Day or 20 minutes rowing
Tuesday – Spin Class
Wednesday – Short run (20-45minutes)
Thursday – Spin Class
Friday – Complete rest Day
Saturday – Short run (20-45minutes)
Sunday – Long ride 1 -2 hours (outside)
As you can see above the week provides a full recovery day, two intense bike sessions, and some easier cardiovascular work (rowing and running). Of course, this layout is more for the beginner or novice, the same principle can be used for a more experienced person. You would just need to increase the volume of the running and long ride.