We’ve all walked by the cycle room tucked in the back of the gym. We’ve gazed on at the “spinners” playing their techno music, hooting and hollering, and carry on through class like it’s a party. It not only looks intimidating, but ridiculous to ride a bike inside when you could just ride outside, right?
Wrong! What most people don’t realize is that spinning is a creative, motivating, and challenging way to exercise. Whether you choose to try a class or jump on a bike on your own, training on a spin bike can appeal to everyone.
What is Indoor Cycling?
Indoor cycling comes by a few names, including “Spinning©,” “cycle,” and “cycling.” There are many versions and trademarks, but one thing is the same: spinning provides people of all fitness levels an opportunity to exercise in a safe space and exercise effectively.
Train For You
There are four primary techniques used by trainers in spinning classes: hills/climbs, sprints/surges, jumps/pick-ups and interval training. Follow a combination of these drills for optimal physical exertion and you’ll be hooking on indoor spinning!
#1 - Hills/Climbs
One of the more efficient ways to train on a spin bike is to increase tension. Following a method of increasing tension, hills provide the added challenge of engaging the muscles in your lower extremities while at the same time maintaining cadence. The engagement of the muscles assists in developing those lower body muscles.
#2 - Sprints/Surges
Increasing your pace to a maximum of 120 Rotations per Minute and a minimum of 95 Rotations per Minute, sprints are meant to increase your heart rate. In addition to burning fat, the main purpose of a sprint is to get you to your maximum heart rate zone.
#3 - Jumps/Pick-Ups
Jumps (“aka” pick-ups) engage the lower body and the core. Engaging the legs to raise yourself up off the seat for about 4 to 8 beats per minute of a song. On the way back down, engage the abdominals to make a soft landing back into the saddle.
#4 - Interval Training
Interval training is a popularized form of exercise in many facets. It can also be utilized on a spin bike by combining different variations of the previously mentioned exercises. For example, rolling hills are when you increase tension for a period of time and as you back off the tension you can increase the pace into a sprint for a few seconds.
Ride To The Beat
Music plays a key role in a Spinning © class and in a personal ride. Shape Magazine put together a good starting playlist for those that are looking for some songs to start their ride. In this article the songs have also been paired with an example exercise:
- “State of Grace” by Taylor Swift 130 BPM –Warm up by finding your “working flat” where you’re able to maintain a cadence of 85-90 rotations per minute (RPM)
- “Don’t Wake Me Up” by Chris Brown 128 BPM – come out of the seat for 30 seconds in a run then back down in the seat for 30 seconds. The songs lasts for about 3 minutes providing you with 3 rounds of that combination
- “Dance to the Music” by Sly & the Family Stone 132 BPM – try adding a little tension at a time every 30 seconds for the duration of the song
- “Bangarang” by Skrillex & Sirah 109 BPM – the chorus lasts about 20 seconds, so it’s the perfect song for sprints. Following the song at a working flat until the chorus picks up and then you pick up your pace too for a seated sprint
- “All Around the World” by Justin Bieber & Ludacris 130 BPM – bring it out of the seat and add a little tension every 30 seconds
- “Good Girl” by Carrie Underwood 130 BPM – make sprints more difficult by bringing them out of the seat. Increase the pace faster than your normal run for an added burn
- “Crazy Possessive” by Kaci Battaglia 140 BPM – with a nice cadence this song is great for some pick-ups. Once you catch on to the beat you can challenge yourself by making that up and down motion quickly engaging the core and legs even more
- “Get Ready for This (Orchestra Mix)” by 2 Unlimited 124 BPM – rest out of the seat in a run
- “Don’t You Worry Child (Radio Edit)” by Swedish House Mafia & John Martin 128 BPM – this song has a nice build up to the chorus which makes it perfect for sprints to the chorus
- “Chasing the Sun” by The Wanted 129 BPM – alternate between a run and working flat 30 up and 30 seconds down.
Don’t forget to conclude your workout with a full body stretch and a lot of water!
Hopefully, you now have a taste for indoor cycling. Whether you choose to ride in a class or on your own there is a workout for everyone. Grab a towel, your bottle of water and some energy, and go for a ride today!