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Spin classes

Due to the rubbish weather we've been experiencing (UK) I've not exactly been eager to jump on the bike and cycle into the driving rain!

I recently started doing a spin class twice a week due to the lack of opportunity to do real miles plus

I dont own a turbo.

What are peoples general opinions on spin classes..... are they likely to benefit me?

Its too early to tell for me personally but would love to know everyones thought.

Should i invest in a turbo? can anyone recommend a decent resonably price turbo?



  • I can recommend the TAXC flow. got mine at xmas and have been well impressed with how smooth it is compared to standard magnetic rollers. Got it from Decathlon for £200 which is £40 cheaper than anywhere on the internet. They obviously get them from the continent because mine had a two pin plug. I'd also recommend buying a large fan, as you soon heat up with no breeze through your hair.
  • BoycieBoycie Posts: 189
    I really believe that spinning classes are a great workout, but I think it depends on who's teaching them as to how much you will get out of it. Some instructors will teach a cycling based class, which is fine. However I've seen alot of instructors that know very little about cycling and basically teach a fitness class on a bike i.e. press up's on the handle bars while cycling.

    The other thing to be careful of is that these classes are usually very high intensity, the type of training you would probably be doing later in the season in order to peak for racing. While I wouldn't say don't do them, I would suggest you limit how many you do a week and don't let them stop you from doing your longer rides outdoors.

  • thanks for the tip tri-again i will look into it, i'll need another option,althouh i will have to set it up at mums as the Mrs will nag me after 20 mins and i cant cycle away!!!

    Boycie, funny you should say all that about the press ups during the class cos it happened and i wasn't feeling it!!! i was sceptical (correct spelling?) about it but hit the class hard anyway!

    Boycie, what would u recommend doing considering the weather and limited opportunities to get out there? i have to do something without risking life or limb out on the roads in these conditions? I wanna put the miles in but cant if dead!!! Am i being overly paranoid?

    I've made good progress but dont wanna plateau, any suggestions?

    Also, I'm off on my hols for 3 weeks soon but have access to good gym and florida coastline, i'll be taking my wetsuit and will run train but I'm really worried about cycling.... so, any suggestions? My knowledge about cycling is limited, its by far my weakest leg so any tip are welcome! please chuck me info guys!

    peace out,


  • BoycieBoycie Posts: 189

    There is no easy answer to that one, I think it's the biggest problem alot of us have at this time of year. At the risk of sounding hard arse, you just have to get out there if you want to rack up the miles. Doing it with a group or some friends may make it easier and more motivating, not to mention safer if an accident does happen. There are always the options of training indoors but a couple of hours on an exercise bike or turbo trainer is going to get boring.

    However you may have answered your own question with a well timed trip to Florida. Sounds like the perfect time to hire a bike and get out on the roads a couple of times a week in some sunshine (I'm guessing the weather will be better than here), maybe see if there is a group you can get in with. That would be ideal but I know it isn't always that easy when you're away.

  • bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    I went to spin classes twice, so I'm not an expert in any way. But here's my opinion; I won't ever go to these things again: loud music(and not my kind), in a hot and moisty basement, same training shedule for the whole bunch of thirty people, and a lot of braging spandex-men whom all thought and said they were spinning-kings.

    Now that really sounded pessimistic, didn't it?[:)]

    No, seriously, I'd go with Boycie: pick the best days there are to get and get out on your bike. Squeeze in some turbo on the other days, but make the real deal your main part. You'll be happy you did it afterwards.
  • PC67PC67 Posts: 101
    Yeah, the music at my gym's spin classes is horrendous. I do like the class though. It's very intensive and although you're out of the saddle and in various positions to work different muscles (so not exactly the same as a proper bike session) I find it's a good "lung burtser" to add to my twice daily 8 mile commute.

    The times in my gym don't suit me but in the run up to the race season I'll do a few spin classes and try and do a 40 minute run straight afterwards. It's a good way of saving the hassle of changing shoes and locking your bike. It's sounds a bit daft but I'll run straight out of the gym with my towel in my hand, run past my house, throw the towel over the front wall and come back to it later!
  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    As an instructor/cyclist/triathlete I hear what you are saying, I hate the music most classes play, hence I do not do bangin' techno (as I think the term is), but mix it up anything from Doves to Editors via Kylie..any how, altho the classes are billed as hi intensity, you can take your own HRM & work within your own limits /periodisation whilst taking the class, it does teach HR control & whilst I would agree you need to get out there & do it, finding a class lead by a cyclist/triathlete would be worth the effort rather than aerobics on a bike..I am in Brum by the way so if you fancy a try..PM me.
  • Thanks for your opinions, I'll have to get used to the bad weather! I'm gonna look at hiring a bike in Florida if at all possible.
  • I'd say definitely get a turbo, but spin classes aren't to be discounted.

    Just be careful and ignore some instructions if you think they're a bit questionable. I've been to some great spin classes and some where the instructor seems to be making it up as they go along...for instance, crouching over the bike below the height of the saddle and turning high resistance at a restricted range of movement? asking for knee trouble!
  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    O yes indeed there are some horrendous things done in the name of Spinning/studio cycling/RPM out there, I teach to the principle of 'If you would not do it on a real bike, don't do it in a class', this does not always work but is a good place to start & gets rid of press ups on handlebars, 'hovers' as described etc etc. Check out pedal-on.com if you want to hear the views of other instructors on this point.
  • CalimaCalima Posts: 35
    I did spinning sessions for 3/4 years two or three times a week at Harlow Sports Centre. The trainer's name is Jane and she is excellent. The workouts are either endurance/speed/intervals/hills. You are encouraged to were a HRM and she works everything out for you if you are not sure. There are no push ups etc.,good music and with ordinary people in the class. I left England last year and miss her classes very much, spinning is anadditional help to your fitness it can promote better cadance. Even at Xmas she does a special xmas music class, if you can get there do it.
  • When I first started training for triathlons (winter 2007) I went to a spin class, which was completely new to me. I found it so hard to begin with, but now 8/9 months later, with only 2 triathlons under my novice belt I still find them so beneficial. The classes are in Poole, Dorset in the locally run council sports centre and are taken by two very good people. The lady (forgot her name) is a triathlete herself and gives out such fantastic tips which have really helped me in my technique on the bike. And the guy, Jason really encourages you to get you lungs screaming for mercy, not to mention my legs. The music is questionable, but at the end of the 50 mins and we get off to stretch, i have severe jelly legs. Obviously its up to you how hard you work. But for those days where you really don't fancy reckoning with some of the twats out on the road i would definately recommend them! [:)]
  • I'm a fan of the spinning classes and the music!! Haven't done any for 6 months or so, but did enjoy them. Have since got a turbo and its great to be able to use your own bike.

    Thought the spinning was a nice change and as I read before, when done right, it certainly does give you jelly legs - anyone for the treadmill next!!

    hard thing with the spinning that its hard to measure your performance - all down to effort levels.

    With the rain, I'm a bit of woose actually, but I recently seen the light and thought what do I do if its pissing down with a head wind on race day...so I am getting out there now. Like above, trying join up with some mates, get the wet weather gear and feel good when you come in!

  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    I have been spinning twice a week for 6 years, in fact if it wasn't for these would have had an even more rubbish time on my first tri 2yrs ago (on my £60 Halfords ntb with chunky tyres)

    Instructors vary but I do my own thing and we have one instructor now, Steve, who is a cyclist and gives good interval training, no push ups or hovers and doesn't mind when I hop off the bike without cool down & leg it straight to the treadmill (to the embarrassment of my wife)

    I go straight from work so it's very convenient and has helped with stamina and cardio
  • Im absolutely gutted! My sports centre has cancelled all early morning classes, which included that brill spin class I mentioned before. I am now boycotting(spell?) it by cancelling my membership!!

    With all this new found money(ish) can you recommend a half decent turbo that won't cost me an arm and a leg. Looking to spend around the £100 marker to start off with. I don't want to spend too much just yet as I may get bored with it as there won't be anybody around to shout at me if i'm slacking a bit.


  • Free WillyFree Willy Posts: 63
    When you get a trainer also get yourself a selection of Spinervals DVDs(or something similar) , I am having to do a lot of indoor training at the moment as it is winter here, I find them very good and there is no time to get bored as you are 'taking a class', I accept that if you do the same one over and over again it may be boring but there are plenty to choose from. I have just changed from a magnetic resistance trainer to a fluid trainer and found it a lot better and I even managed to complete the 'Tough Love' spinervals dvd that is 3 hours of fun!



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