Spin Your Heart Out

Someone told me about this great workout that will burn between 600 and 700 calories a class.  Hmmm very enticing, I thought.  What is it?  Spin. You know, indoor cycling.  It’s not a new fitness craze (it’s been popular since I was in high school) but something I had never tried.  Obviously I was skeptical that one, one-hour workout could burn that many calories (and honestly I still am), but I had to try it.  Now, I’m a total spin-a-holic.

I’ve been biking regularly since my bike had training wheels.  So I thought, how hard can this be?  I’ll sit on a bike and pedal my little heart out.  Sit on the bike and just pedal?  Yeah right.  With all the resistance changes, position changes, and spinning to the beat of the music, you’re constantly working your butt off.

There are 3 positions in spinning:

Position 1 is simply sitting on the bike and pedaling.  This position is used mostly for “recovery” (aka a quick rest between songs).

Position 2 is standing off the seat (straight up).  My favorite position.  We so a lot of “sprints” in this position.

Position 3 is standing up while leaning on the front part of the spin bike.  This position is for “climbing” (which is when you’re constantly adding resistance for a long period of time).

The positions really do make a difference because you’re working different muscles with each one.

On the spin bike that I use, there’s a little dial that controls the resistance on the bike.  Our instructor will yell out phrases like, “quarter turn,” “full turn,” and “tap it to the right/left.”  When she says full turn–oh man, are we in for it.  The resistance changes fast and what a difference it makes.  Sometimes it feels like you’re pedaling through quicksand while other times we’re “sprinting” without any real resistance.

I love spinning because they’re no room for thinking “I’ll just slow down for a bit.”  You’re in front of mirrors so everyone can see if you’re not giving it your all (not that they really care… but it is a great motivator).

With every single class, the music and the workout changes so you never get bored.  I love my instructor’s playlist because it has everything from 80’s music to current hits (think Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Train and Rihanna) and her workouts constantly keeps your heart rate up.

Spin is a must-try for anyone who loves keeping fit and healthy.  I’ve been spinning about once a week for the past 2 months and have already noticed a huge difference in my legs.  Not only are my legs more defined, but I’ve noticed a difference in my workouts as well.  For example, since spinning I’ve been able to run longer distances without getting tired.  Better legs and better workouts–double win!

~J

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