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new to spinning

fredrick2010-05-02 20:30:44 +0000 #1
I've just starting riding this year - love it though my endurance could improve. We have sandy roads in the winter due to snow/ice clearing so I don't want to ride. I was thinking of joining the gym down the hill for a spinning class to build up my cardio over the winter for next Spring. Any suggestions on what I should be looking for? Questions I should ask the instructor to see if they are knowledgeable? Thanks
Irulan2010-05-02 20:40:00 +0000 #2
I don't think it's as much "what to ask" as it is things to look for in a class.

Does the instructor check for new class members and make sure you are set up correcctly on the bike? Are the bikes smooth and in good condition? Do they have clip options? Does the instructor pay attention to the riders? Have you check your body position for good posture, ankles down, proper seat height?

Then the class itself.. is it fun? Does it flow? HR monitoring? Education about fitness and technique? Do you like the music (not a requiement but it helps) Is there a warm up and cool down, stretching? Do they ( ack!!) sing along?

The hardest thing for me in spinning is that is it not duplication of real riding. I'm stritcly a trail rider, but some of the stuff in there really drives me nuts ( jumps in particular) but I just visualize kicking some major butt on my favorite trails and don't stress about it.

Read the other threads in this section and that will help you too.

VenusdeVelo2010-05-02 21:20:26 +0000 #3
Irulan is right on the mark -- all the things to scope out. Also check to see if they are certified instructors and not someone who teaches step aerobics, etc. etc. Not that teaching step is bad in any way, it's just that indoor cycling is cycling -- and the class should be taught with the same concepts in mind. I just find that if you have a cyclist teaching a spinning class, it becomes much more valuable.

Personal opinion -- I took spinning classes for almost 2 years with instructors trained in other methods, and sometimes none at all. I am certified in Johnny G (a cyclist) Mad Dogg. I don't think, as a cyclist, that I could bring myself to teach moves I feel are contraindicated. There are way too many contraindicated moves I've seen instructors do that can actually be harmful if done on a spinner. IMHO.

And also, your spinning class is your workout, not the instructor's. Make sure they not only ensure bike fit and watch their students, but that they are intent on ensuring you get the workout, not them.

So, use your best judgement and remember, stay within the rules of "if I do it on my bike...".

(Irulan, I agree the jumps cross the line, but, they are at least not contraindicated moves, ie, potentially harmful, as long as you stay away from the obnoxious "popcorn jumps". But, on the same token, I usually only do jumps for maybe part of 1 song in my sets....)
Irulan2010-05-02 21:25:14 +0000 #4
what do you mean by "popcorn". She has us up/down for 8 counts each, a lot of times I don't follow for that.

VenusdeVelo2010-05-02 20:53:22 +0000 #5
Most jumps are either 2 seconds (2 sec up, 2 sec down) or 4 seconds. 8 seconds is sometimes little long for my personal liking but it is perfectly acceptable....esp when the song warrants it also.

Popcorn jumps are up/down, up/down, up/down etc. jumps of about 1 second each (up and down!). The problem is 1.) you quickly lose your form when you are doing a move that quickly and 2.) you don't build the strength the move is intended to build because you are not resisting well enough -- you are simply using gravity and a "bouncing" momentum to get yourself up and down.

Hope that helps -- I have seen some instructors do them and I just stick to a 2 sec up and 2 sec down so I am not "too off" from the rest of the class.
fredrick2010-05-02 22:23:50 +0000 #6
Thanks for your comments. I'll let you know how things work out. By your conversation I take it your spinning classes are sort of mt. bike oriented? I'm a road rider. Are there different classes? or who knows, maybe I'll become intriqued by those 'jumps' try the dirt too.
Veronica2010-05-02 21:45:32 +0000 #7
I can't quite decide how I feel about jumps in spin class. The way most people do them, doesn't seem like good biking form. And I look at spin as place to practice technique. Not everybody there is a biker though and so it doesn't matter to them.

Sometimes I just won't do them and I'll do a seated sprint for the jump songs. Sometimes I do them but instead of going into a standing run from the seated position, I'll stretch out to simulate standing going up a hill. Sometimes I'll do the jumps as advertised but instead of being all bouncy in the run position I'll pretend I have a tea cup on my head that I don't want to spill. That's a great quad workout.

I almost never do any of the standing run songs as a standing run. I don't think it's good biking form. It almost feels like you're on an elliptical trainer. At my old gym I'd stand and then let go of the handlebars and try to maintain balance during the song w/o holding on. Another good quad strengthener. My new gym really frowns on letting go of the handlebars. So for the standing runs now I either do a seated sprint or I'll do the aforementioned tea cup thing.

Irulan2010-05-02 21:19:29 +0000 #8

Originally posted by fredrick

Thanks for your comments. I'll let you know how things work out. By your conversation I take it your spinning classes are sort of mt. bike oriented? I'm a road rider. Are there different classes? or who knows, maybe I'll become intriqued by those 'jumps' try the dirt too.

ROFLOL. Jumps means up and down out of the saddle, not dirt jumps. Typically something stand for 12, saddle for 12. It usually goes with the music somehow.

LOL, that will be the day when there's a mountain bike themed spin class..... Maybe then no one will look at the dirt falling off my shoes so funny.




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