Spinning® Program FAQ
Want to know what to expect or how to get the most from your Spinning® class? Here are the answers to frequently asked questions. Can't find what you're looking for? Contact us and we'll do our best to help.
I've never taken a Spinning class before. What should I expect?
Every class is a little different, but one of the great things about the Spinning program is that it is adaptable to your fitness level. Remember that there's no competition. Listen to your body and adjust the resistance on your bike accordingly. If you're a first timer, let your instructor know. He or she can make sure your bike is properly adjusted [Adobe PDF] and give you a rundown on the Spinning program's five core movements [Adobe PDF] and program fundamentals like heart rate training that will help you burn more calories, increase your strength and improve your overall fitness.
Do I have to be in great shape to participate in a Spinning class?
Anyone can benefit from the Spinning program. And because you can go at your own pace by controlling the resistance on your Spinner® bike, taking Spinning classes is a great way to get fit and reach your fitness goals.
What makes Spinning class different from other group exercise classes?
Top-notch instructors, invigorating music and visualization come together to make Spinning class both fun and effective. If you've ever left a group exercise class feeling frustrated, you'll appreciate that there are no complicated moves to learn with the Spinning program. Regardless of how fit, flexible or coordinated you are, you'll get a great workout. Simply hop on your bike, set the resistance to the level that's right for you, and let your instructor guide you through an incredible ride.
How many calories will I burn in a Spinning class, and what is the approximate equivalent distance in road miles traveled?
The number of calories you'll burn depends on a number of factors, including your weight and the intensity at which you exercise. Research [Adobe PDF] indicates that on average, participants burn about 400–600 calories in a 40-minute workout. The "distance" traveled depends on cadence; however as an estimate, an average 40-minute class at a cadence of 80–110 rpm is equivalent to approximately 15–20 miles on the road.
How is taking a Spinning class different than just riding a stationary bike?
Spinning class makes riding a stationary more bike fun by adding variety and visualization into your workout. A motivating group setting, energizing music and inspiring instructors make Spinning class an incredible experience.
What type of gear do I need to participate in a Spinning class?
Comfortable workout attire is all you need to get started. But the right gear can make a great class even better. Padded cycling shorts and moisture-wicking tops will make your ride more comfortable and a heart rate monitor will help you get the most from every workout.
Will taking Spinning classes make my legs bulk up?
The "climbs" that are incorporated into a Spinning class simulate the experience of riding up a hill. Climbing is an excellent way to build strength, which means you not only get shapelier legs but also stoke your metabolism since muscle needs more calories to sustain itself than fat does. However, most climbs only last a few minutes, which is not enough time to build big, bulky leg and butt muscles. If you're ever in doubt, share your training goals with your instructor and ask them to help you create the ride that's right for you.
How can I get more comfortable sitting on the saddle?
If you're new to the Spinning program it may take a few sessions for your body to get used to the saddle. Wearing padded cycling shorts or using a gel seat cover will definitely make your ride more comfortable.
Sometimes my toes go numb while I'm riding. How can I solve this problem?
The most common cause of numbness is restricted blood flow to the feet, which can be caused by shoes, shoelaces or toe straps that are too tight. Loosening laces and straps often solves the problem. If this doesn't help, you may want to consider foam insoles or front-ended orthotics. They can provide relief by redistributing pressure on the ball of your foot.
How can cycling shoes help me in a Spinning class?
Cycling shoes are made with a very stiff sole that enables more powerful pedal strokes. Cycling shoes can also be used with clipless pedals, which facilitate a push/pull action and more efficient pedal strokes. For tips on selecting cycling shoes for Spinning class, click here [Adobe PDF].
Why should I wear a heart rate monitor in Spinning class?
The Spinning program consists of five Energy Zones™. These Energy Zones vary in intensity and are based upon certain percentages of your maximum heart rate. By wearing a heart rate monitor, you will be better equipped to assess the intensity of your ride and determine when to push harder, maintain your pace or reduce your effort. By taking the guesswork out of your workout, you maximize your efficiency while minimizing your odds of over-training, injury and burnout.
Learn more about training with a heart rate monitor » [Adobe PDF]
Shop for a heart rate monitor »
How do I calculate my maximum heart rate?
The best place to start is with the age predicted formula, which is calculated by subtracting your age from 220 if you are a male and from 226 if you're a female. For example, if you're a 30 year-old man, your Age Predicted Maximum Heart Rate would be 190. For a more thorough approach to calculating your maximum heart rate, click here [Adobe PDF].
If I have an injury from another sport, is Spinning class a good alternative?
While taking a Spinning class may be an excellent way to cross train, only your doctor can determine if the Spinning program is a safe option for you.
What's the proper way to perform Jumps?
Jumps are an advanced move that develop strength and balance. Using Hand Position 2, transition in and out of the saddle with one smooth, controlled movement. For more information on Jumps and all of the Spinning program core movements, click here [Adobe PDF].
What's the proper way to incorporate Sprints into my ride?
A Sprint is an advanced move in which riders go at an "all-out" pace for about 30 seconds. For complete details on how to properly perform Sprints, click here [Adobe PDF].
Why is pedaling backward not recommended?
Pedaling backward is risky on a fixed gear bike. If riders try to quickly stop the flywheel while pedaling backward, the compressive forces on the knee joint can be sufficient enough to tear cartilage or the meniscus. Also, pedaling backward may hyperextend the legs, which could damage the ACL or other soft tissue of the knee joints. Aside from being risky, a further reason not to do it is that there is no physiological advantage to it. A study in the Strength and Conditioning Journal showed that muscle contribution and metabolic cost were the same for pedaling forward and backward. Lastly, this movement puts the bike at risk as well. Pedaling backward may eventually unscrew the pedals from the crank arm.
What is the minimum age for a Spinning class participant?
Each Official Spinning Facility will have its own policy on age requirements, but here is some relevant information that should be useful in making decisions about age appropriateness.
Size: Proper bike fit is very important for injury prevention. So participants need to be big enough to get their proper seat height and fore/aft adjustments. Generally speaking, Spinner bikes should fit people who are at least 4' 11". But this is not an exact minimum height because leg and torso length are the determining factors.
Age/Maturity: If kids are going to participate, they need to be mature and responsible enough to follow the safety rules. It can sometimes be tempting for kids to pedal as fast as they can, and that can be unsafe. Because the Spinner bike is a fixed gear bike, the weight of the flywheel can turn the pedals at a very high speed with a lot of momentum if there's not enough resistance.
Youth fitness guidelines for resistance training: Pre-pubescent children should not "climb hills" on the Spinner bike with a lot of heavy resistance on the flywheel. Youth fitness guidelines advise against resistance training for kids whose growth plates are still forming.
What is the maximum weight for a person riding a Spinner bike?
Our Spinner Blade, NXT, NXT-SR, Pro, and eSpinner bikes have a max user weight of 350 lb. and the Spinner Aero, Edge, Sprint, PACE, FIT, and Sport have a max user weight of 250 lb. Product design testing includes a 4 Times Load Testing procedure, which means we take four times the maximum user weight and load it on different parts of the bike, such as the pedals, seat and handlebars, to ensure that the product will not fail. So although the max user weight is 350 lb for the Blade, NXT, NXT-SR, Pro, and eSpinner, we have actually loaded them with 1,400 lb. Similarly, the Spinner Aero, Edge, Sprint, PACE, FIT, and Sport have actually been loaded with 1,000 lb.