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Etiquette for repeat classes/weight loss

e.e.cummings2010-05-02 09:52:58 +0000 #1
I have been going to spinning classes at the same gym since past September and I have gotten to know the regulars. Some of the regulars are hard-core - if there is a class, they will attend it. There is great demand to add classes, there is pressure to find more instructors. And classes have been added. But the many regulars end up doubing up their classes, doing them back to back. At the end of the day, it's their ride, they paid for their gym membership and it's their choice, as long as the gym allows them to do back to back classes. Don't think it is quite fair to do back to back classes when the classes fill up so fast and there are others who get turned away.

But it goes beyond the fairness: I know some of these regulars, we chat in the locker room afterwards (that is how I know they go so often - I am not constantly there to see it). There is not one of them who is not worried about their weight and trying to lose. I never see them doing weights or anything else that balances our their cardio. A few of them gained weight over Christmas. Yet, they are in practically every spinning class offered.

And I don't see a big improvement in the weight loss. They have all been spinning longer than me. I would have imagined that if you were doing every spinning class you could get into, the weight would melt off.

How common is this? When I got into spinning, I looked upon it as the hard-core cardio way to drop some pounds. But I am seeing more and more than it is only a piece of the exercise puzzle. And isn't there such a thing as overdoing it?

lph2010-05-02 10:03:14 +0000 #2
Well, this doesn't really answer your question, but I remember way back when I used to take aerobics classes. I had one favourite instructor, she was fantastic and I would come staggering out of her classes soaking wet and limp from fatigue, so sore from DOMS I could barely be touched 2 days later... Sometimes there were a few other "regulars" there I wondered about. I would see them taking other classes as well, or talking about the back-to-back classes they were doing, pretty teenage girls in light makeup and cute workout gear - who never ever broke a sweat. They were there plenty of hours, but they just weren't working very hard.
indysteel2010-05-02 10:21:49 +0000 #3
You can burn all the calories you want and still eat too much or simply break even. It's also possible to take a spinning class without really pushing yourself such that you're not burning as many calories as you think.

Given that many cyclists ride 10 plus hours a week with no ill effect, I wouldn't assume that back-to-back spin classes is overdoing it. My gym offers two-hour classes for that matter. That said, from a muscle adaptation point of view, I think there's something to be said for mixing it up. Ideally, any exercise routine should incorporate restitance training, plus some core and flexibility work. But, hey, going just to spin classes is better than sitting on the couch.

I'd wouldn't concern yourself with what the regulars are or are not doing right, except the the extent it informs your own game plan. If the gym doesn't have a policy that forbids back-to-back classes, I wouldn't concern yourself with that either unless and until it impacts your ability to get into a class.
e.e.cummings2010-05-02 10:50:08 +0000 #4
Both myself and my husband have had to miss classes because there are too many. The gym has addressed this type of thing by adding more classes right after the existing classes, but that is where the doubling up comes into play -those classes are also swelled with the same regulars who just did a class. It is discouraging sometimes. I don't begrudge someone their workout - if space was no issue, it would not be my business.

I guess the other thing that fascinates me (as you mention, it can be useful to look around and observe others to inform my own workout) is how much time others can spend in heavy duty cardio but not move closer to their goals taking this singular route. It has definitely helped to examine how I structure my training and push me to follow a balanced approach.

A positive note is that at least the weather is getting nicer outside, I will be spending more time on the a non-stationery bike!
tulip2010-05-02 10:51:53 +0000 #5
Ask the gym to change their policy--back to back people only allowed if there is room.

As for other people's goals and training regimens, I don't think anyone can tell what others are doing or not doing by looking at folks in one class.
indysteel2010-05-02 12:01:49 +0000 #6
To the OP: Do you know if the gym is actually having to turn people away because of regulars sticking around for the second class?

I'm on a board of managers for one of our local YMCAs, and we've spent a fair amount of time debating on how best to handle class limitations. Some of our branches require you to sign in for a class twenty minutes before the class starts. Some just have a first come, first serve policy. Some allow you to sign in 24 hours in advance.

At least at our facility, we would discourage people from taking back-to-back classes if, in doing so, they denied somebody else an opportunity to attend a class. But if we added enough classes to meet the added demand, such that nobody was losing a spot because of doubling up, then I don't think it would be as big concern.
ny biker2010-05-02 10:40:49 +0000 #7

Originally Posted by tulip

Ask the gym to change their policy--back to back people only allowed if there is room.

I agree. Similar to signs in general cardio areas that say you have to limit your workout to 30 minutes if others are waiting. It's not fair to allow squatters.
Crankin2010-05-02 10:17:53 +0000 #8
I belonged to the same gym for 12 years. I quit about a year ago; I am sure if I went back there today, I would see the same people doing the same things at the same time of the day/night that they were doing 10 years ago... while it probably doesn't do any good to notice other people's fitness routines and their improvement, or lack of thereof, I did notice. Not much change. Some of the people who did obsessive amounts of cardio were super/anorexic looking skinny and others never lost the considerable amount of weight they needed to lose. The ones who made a change were the ones who varied their routine.

I did notice, though, that many of the original people who did spin only did the classes some of the time, or like me, became cyclists and went to spin only for a couple of months in the winter. The last year I went to spin classes, I hardly knew any of the participants. I've heard they have fewer classes there now. People seem to be into core work, Bosu, yoga, group weight training. I think the spin classes are still going strong with the daytime "ladies" but have lost their appeal for the after work crowd.



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