Will Spin classes improve me on a road bike ?

Discussion in 'Training, Fitness and Health' started by kingrollo, 18 Jan 2018.

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  1. ColinJ

    ColinJ A big clot!

    Why not just time yourself and see?

    Do it now after just the one class. Do it again (on the same route and with similar weather conditions) after a few weeks of classes and see if there is a significant improvement.

    The classes are not going to slow you down. If you enjoy them, then do them, and if you end up able to ride faster then look on that as a bonus.
     
    Milzy and ADarkDraconis like this.
  2. ozboz

    ozboz Über Member

    Location:
    Richmond ,Surrey
    It depends on the Instuctor , some just have you spinning your legs with no resistance , others are killers , have you walking out with jelly legs ,
     
  3. huwsparky

    huwsparky Über Member

    Location:
    Llangrannog
    Ultimately, as with any workout, you'll only get out what you put in. Just because a workout is on a spin bike it doesn't make it any less affective.
     
  4. GrumpyGregry

    GrumpyGregry Here for rides.

    You control your resistance, and I have never met an instructor who minded the extra half turn to give you jelly legs.

    How many a week? How many miles do you do a week, at what intensity amd what are your goals/

    I found core work and some upper body conditioning made a huge difference to my cycling, and, a couple of years later, my running.
     
    ADarkDraconis likes this.
  5. DiscoSpider

    DiscoSpider Regular

    Location:
    kettering
    This exactly. It all completely depends on your instructor.

    I go spin classes 3 times a week, one of those being a spin circuit session. The instructor I have on a Monday is completely different and appears to know what she is doing in comparison to the instructors I have on Wednesdays and Fridays.

    There is emphasis on control over the bike. If your legs are spinning like mad to the point your whole body is all over the place as your legs attempt to keep up, then you're not benefiting. It's all about having control and enough resistance to consistently feel the burn.

    I also dislike the instructors that make you do 'press ups' whilst spinning and going up, down, up down, up down. There is very little benefit to it.

    But since spin classes, I have felt a massive difference in my road cycling. I'm a lot more confident and routes that I have somewhat struggled with in the past are now a breeze.
     
    Alan O and Elysian_Roads like this.
  6. ozboz

    ozboz Über Member

    Location:
    Richmond ,Surrey
    My GF up until a year ago was a fitness instructor across 3 boroughs , doing 5-7 spin lessons a week , the evening classes were rammed , some of the clients had been showing up for years , she did deliver killer classes ! and she delivered them from the saddle! .
    That's how I know about the jelly legs ! and I only ever did the daytime 'pedestrian easier' classes !
    I am glad the classes are improving your cycling !
     
    Last edited: 22 Jan 2018
  7. Jbub88

    Jbub88 Member

    I improved on my hills. I actually broke 2 CHEAP bicycles on the hills because I pulling and pushing the handlebars and pedals with more force.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    kingrollo

    kingrollo Über Member

    OP Here - Done a few classes now - very tough. I am at least twice if not three times the age of most people there.
    At the end of the class I am dripping sweat (and it really stinks !!!) - I notice that a lot of the others aren't - is that an age thing, ? Or I am i working harder than them, or are they just fitter ?
     
  9. ColinJ

    ColinJ A big clot!

    If they were trying hard then they would be sweating too, unless you happen to have found a class full of people with the inability to sweat, in which case they would be suffering from heat exhaustion unless somebody is tipping buckets of cold water over them! :laugh:
     
    ADarkDraconis likes this.
  10. mgs315

    mgs315 Well-Known Member

    I have a friend of mine who occasionally does spin class with me who deliberately leaves the resistance low as they don’t like to sweat. They may as well not bother to be honest! They’re sitting there as a fairly unfit person smiling not remotely out of breath when there’s a few of the fitter looking types dying in agony trying to keep a silly resistance going.

    Only person you’re cheating with the dial is yourself after all. Why waste 45 minutes with a poor quality workout..
     
    si_c, Milzy and ADarkDraconis like this.
  11. vickster

    vickster Legendary Member

    Maybe they don’t feel the need to be all macho with the willy wavers nor want to destroy their knees with ‘silly resistance’. Perhaps s/he enjoys the class likebthat? Any more than all cyclists feel the need to go hell for leather out on the roads
     
    Last edited: 5 Feb 2018
  12. bozmandb9

    bozmandb9 Insert witty title here

    Location:
    South Oxfordshire
    I teach spin classes, and I'm also a cycle coach, and deliver Wattbike training.

    It's far too easy to get 'qualified' to instruct a spin class, and some of them are really really terrible. The worst thing is when they tell you to 'dip' over your pedals, i.e. come off the saddle, and bring your bum low near the pedals whilst pedalling - if an instructor tells you to do this tell them not to be so bloody stupid - guaranteed to cause undue stress to knees, possibly with serious consequences. Other gimmicks like press ups off the handlebars are less dangerous, but equally pointless.

    Problem is many instructors want to make the classes 'interesting', and ensure that you feel like you've worked (you certainly feel it in your legs if you're stupid enough to do the dips). Personally, I make my classes hard, very hard, we end up with a ratchet climb. 30 second intervals - half to one turn on, then quarter to half a turn off, so with every interval you're increasing resistance, up until you struggle to hold 60 rpm (I don't believe it taking cadence too low or too high).

    Bottom line though is that spin classes can be useful, and also you can just do what you want, if you enjoy the context and the music, then you can pretty much do your own thing. Maybe speak to the instructor and tell them that you're a cyclist and you'd like to do your own thing, if you're going to be deviating a lot from what they say, and pick a bike at the back of the class.

    If you can find a spin class on wattbikes, or Keiser spin bikes with power, then I'd recommend that for getting a lot more structure, especially if you get the Wattbike app and can analyse your data and pedal stroke afterwards.
     
    screenman, k_green, Alan O and 3 others like this.
  13. GravityFighter

    GravityFighter Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Leeds
    bozman's reply is a great one.

    I spent years attending spin before getting into cycling. A well-structured class with a proper warm-up, variety and progression throughout can be great - we had this at our old gym before we moved house.

    I completely agree re instructors getting you to do daft things on the bike though. I've been trying out a new class locally and the guy had us doing press ups, stupid hand positions and way too many "squats". I think it's because spin classes won't generally have many dedicated riders in there so the audience just wants some variety and to feel like they've worked hard.

    If you can find the right class, it will develop your anaerobic capacity and your ability to go into the red though. I've always found I can push myself harder on a spin bike / wattbike / turbo, with music I like blaring out and no need to worry about weather, traffic or road conditions.

    Summary: it depends on what your goals are and if you can find the right class.
     
  14. confusedcyclist

    confusedcyclist Über Member

    I experienced this during my first and last session, being an experienced cyclist I knew press-ups on the handlebars was waffle, and getting in awkward positions was not healthy so I never attended one again. HIIT training on a turbo trainer is infinitely better training IMO.
     
  15. Globalti

    Globalti Legendary Member

    Don't waste time and money on spin classes. Don't waste money on a turbo trainer. There's an enjoyable way to get a great workout: go along to your local road club's evening TT, pay £3.00 to a friendly old bloke and absolutely ride your nuts off for exactly 30 minutes. Do it again the next week and be astonished at the improvement in your average speed.
     
    screenman likes this.
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