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What is Spinning?

Max'd Out CardioSpinning is a commonly used name for indoor cycling. Classes generally use specialized stationary bicycles. Features include a mechanical device to modify the difficulty of pedalling, specially shaped handlebars, and multiple adjustment points to fit the bicycle to a range of riders. Many have a weighted flywheel, which simulates the effects of inertia and momentum when riding a real bicycle. The pedals are equipped with toe clips as on sports bicycles to allow one foot to pull up when the other is pushing down.

 

A typical class involves a single instructor at the front of the class who leads the participants through routines that are designed to simulate terrain and situations similar to riding a bike outdoors. Some of the movements and positions include hill climbs, sprints and interval training. A well-trained instructor uses music, motivation, visualization and enthusiastic coaching to lead students through a ride that best suits their fitness level and goals. Most instructors will lead what is called an interval ride, where students will sprint, run, climb, and jump all in the same ride, but there will not be definable pattern to the exercises. In the early 2000s, “terrain-based” classes that simulate outdoor conditions (e.g., wind resistance) were introduced. Terrain-based classes are designed to improve a rider’s outdoor skill set and increase endurance while providing an intense cardio-based workout.

 

Participants are set goals based on their heart rate, which can be measured by hand or using a heart rate monitor and ride simulated variations in terrain by altering resistance and cadence. Some participants choose to maintain a moderate, aerobic intensity level, with a heart rate of between 50 and 85% of max while others drive their heart rates higher in intervals of anaerobic activity to levels of between 85 and 92%.

 

One of the major advantages of indoor cycling is that each participant can exactly control his/her level of intensity to suit ability or fitness level but still remain as a group together. The classes can therefore be heterogeneous. As an alternative, participants can judge their level of exertion relative to a perceived exertion scale. The instructor should advise a recommended exertion scale from 1 (no exertion at all) to 10 (maximum exertion). Each rider is permitted to dictate how hard he/she chooses to work with the instructor providing active and dynamic encouragement together with technical and practical advice throughout the class.

 

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May 8, 2014 | Class Information, Health Tips & Class Info | Comments Off on What is Spinning?