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Putting a positive spin on cycling

Spinning bike fitness class








Spin cycling is an effective way to get fit, lose weight or just to enjoy the buzz of an exercise class. It is also an activity highly beloved of many competitive cyclists as it provides an indoor, high intensity session. A class can provide an opportunity to really push yourself, non-stop for an hour. It can also be a useful tool to prepare for events. Spin is all about exertion and pushing yourself as far as you want to go.

A range of spin classes

Spin classes are available every day, at a range of different times, at Kelsey Kerridge. They are one part of an extensive range of fitness activities, and with the breadth of class times on offer, there should be something to suit everyone. The real beauty of spin classes is that each participant can work as hard as he or she likes, the resistance level you work at is completely under your control.

So here is the low-down on what is good about spinning.

Cardiovascular fitness

A study by the American Council on Exercise found spinners worked at 75-96 per cent of their maximum heart rate. This is actually a higher work rate than most cyclists work at.

Lower body strength

Spinning uses the same muscles – glutes, quads, shins, calves and hamstrings – as road biking but the weight of the flywheel on a spinning bike means an increase in the number of pedal strokes per minute. In turn this causes the hamstrings to work harder.


Getting to the gym is where the effort comes in when considering spinning. Once there, you are working in a dry, temperature-controlled, car-free environment. You are part of a supportive group but working at your own level. Of course, you don’t get the scenery, the variety of inclines, the free-wheeling that you get with outdoor cycling but you do get inspiraitonal, energetic music and group motivation.

Calorific expenditure

How many calories you burn depends upon the level of exertion you are putting in. But, it can range from 800-1000 calories per hour. The fixed wheel of a spinning bike means you can’t ‘freewheel’. This means you are working your muscles for the duration of a class. But no matter how hard you work, it will take a lot of hours in a spin class to match the 124,000 calories burnt by a Tour de France rider during the race.

Getting out of the saddle

One of the biggest differences between a spin class and an outdoor cycle session is that you can spend a lot of time in a spin class out of your seat. This may come as a shock to the system for road cyclists, who rarely leave their seats while cycling. But it is a great way to use slightly different muscles and to improve your ability to tackle hills. It also helps develop your core to a greater extent than road cycling.

Talking to specialist cycling magazine Cycling Weekly, about the benefits of spin classes for cyclists, GB age-group duathlete Sam McClary said: “Short sharp bursts of sprints and hill efforts interspersed with active recovery and longer intervals to test strength and endurance all help to push your lactic acid threshold, annihilate fat, burn calories and build muscle.

“Given the right instructor and the right set of tunes, you’ll push yourself harder [in a spin class] than you do on the road.”

Check out the spin classes at Kelsey Kerridge and get ready for a tough, intense and exciting work out.