The Intensity Problem with ‘Spinning’

The Intensity Problem with ‘Spinning’

For every 20 dedicated ‘spinners’, there must be at least 100 people who would never try it, and 200 people who have tried and it swore they would never go back. We know this- we have studied the industry reports and interviewed hundreds of people.

The top complaints? Spinning classes are “too intense”, they are “scary”, “too loud” and “too packed”.

At Revocycle we understand these problems with “spinning” classes. Our founder has been a cyclist for over 20 years, raced for 12 years, and used to think the same things about those classes. The rooms are packed with sweaty people shoulder to shoulder pounding away on the pedals while an instructor screams at them through a distorted sound system. Add to that the problem of having to arrive 45 minutes or even an hour early to get a seat, plus old and poorly functioning bikes that don’t fit properly, and you have a class that doesn’t have mainstream appeal. Sure there are dedicated spinners, but there are many more who would enjoy and benefit from the beautiful cycling motion if the environment weren’t so off-putting.

At Revocycle we have intentionally addressed these issues, one-by-one. Our space is like that of a beautiful yoga studio, our bikes are placed well apart from one another and set on tiers so that we aren’t packed together like a herd of animals, and our sound system is the best you can get- hand-picked by a musician and music lover to sound as good or better than an excellent home audio system. Our bikes are equipped for a proper fit with seats and handlebars that are adjustable for height and fore-aft adjustment and we fit each and every rider to their bike. Finally, you can reserve a spot in class and arrive just 10 minutes ahead of class.

Our classes are not intense in the sense of making people suffer. Exercise doesn’t have to be that way. Rather, we ride together like we are a group of friends out on a ride together, and students are free to set the resistance on the bike as high or low as they want, free to stand up for a 30-second climb or not. As we tell our students, doing anything is better than nothing, and just being there is an accomplishment.

There is another, more structural, problem with spinning classes. Spin bikes are equipped with fixed-gear attachments to the rotating flywheel, and the rotating flywheel pulls your leg around the circular pedal stroke! You do not fully use all of your pedaling muscles, do not get a full workout, and you develop a ‘stomping’ style pedaling motion similar to going up stairs. We love the cycling motion, and proper cycling motion requires that you use the calves, hamstrings, hip flexors and glutes to move the pedals around in a smooth circle. This motion is one of the most well-studied in all of exercise science, and we chose our bikes precisely because they allow this proper motion with their free-wheel attachments to the flywheel. It feels different at first if you are used to a spin bike, but within one class you will be well on your way to a smooth, supple pedal stroke that burns many more calories and tones more muscles than a fixed gear bike in a ‘spin’ class.

Our instructors are not your run-of-the-mill group fitness instructors either- we are exceptionally careful about who we hire to teach, and each instructor is given a Revoycle-specific 25-page manual on the pedaling stroke and the proper teaching methods for the Revocycle approach to indoor cycling.

So our goal is to allow as many people as possible to enjoy the wonderful cycling motion and reap its benefits. Revocycle is not a typical ‘spin’ class- if you are a dedicated ‘spinner’ you will love our bikes for the better workout they provide and the amazing sound system, but if you are one of those who would never go back to a spin class, or have never set foot in one because they are too intense, we invite you to come give us a try.

By | 2012-12-25T17:10:32+00:00 December 25th, 2012|Community & Culture|0 Comments

About the Author:

Michael is the founder of Revocycle and teaches most of the RevoBasics classes that introduce people to our freewheel pedaling, good bike fit and beautiful cycling technique.

Leave A Comment