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Spinning
Old 04-14-2014, 03:49 PM   #1
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Spinning

Is anyone here into spinning?

I'm almost 69 and was an avid runner for almost 40 years. One day about 2 1/2 years ago I was out for my morning run and just stopped in the middle of it, said "screw it - I don't like running anymore" and haven't run a step since. In looking for an alternative aerobic exercise I tried spinning and now am doing it 3x per week most weeks. It's a butt-kicking workout (at least for me) and I think it does more for me than running did. I supplement it with other exercise on the days I don't spin.

I found that the majority of my "classmates" in spinning classes are female as are the majority of instructors; I'm not sure why spinning doesn't appeal to guys as much.

In any event, based on my experience, I heartily recommend spinning as a challenging workout sure to help you work up a sweat and get you to a high heart rate.
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Old 04-14-2014, 04:53 PM   #2
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Spinning is a great workout. I have a bike in the basement for the winter but that was before I left home during winter. I do like the classes since it makes it easier to push. But as soon as the weather turns, I'm outside on my bike. Spinning is a faster, shorter workout but not nearly as enjoyable.
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Old 04-14-2014, 05:04 PM   #3
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friar1610, I think I tried one of those spinning bikes for the first time in my life last Friday. The photo below is not me, but was "borrowed" from Google images. If I am correct this Schwinn Airdyne is the type of bike used for spinning classes. I have ridden the usual recumbent bikes before, but this bike is very different:



At any rate, it was a lot of fun, and what a great workout! I don't think I want to structure my day around a class, but I may ride it for a while at the gym after my weight lifting workouts.
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Old 04-14-2014, 05:05 PM   #4
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Friar, I share your opinion of Spinning as great aerobic exercise - plus, at least at my gym, it is social and fun too. I'm 56 and have been an avid cyclist for many years. I added early morning Spinning about 4 years ago when work schedule changes reduced my opportunities for outdoor cycling. I've found some of the "serious" cyclists have a bit of disdain for Spinning assuming it isn't as valid a workout as cycling. My take is that it certainly can be as good a workout if you make it so. I'm back road riding a normal schedule and still make the early morning Spin classes 3 or 4 times a week. Our gym has an unusually good Spinning program with a dedicated room with 60 bikes and at least 20 classes each week, many at capacity. I'd say we have an even mix of male and female instructors and probably 65/35 F/M participants. I used to run many years ago but turned to cycling when I realized it was so much kinder to my legs. I have a trainer here at home for riding indoors, but it rarely gets used since I discovered Spinning. I highly recommend it as a wonderful way to get and stay fit. I admit I'm no elite cyclist, but when I hold my own on a group ride, taking turns at the front, I know the time spent Spinning is just as valuable as outdoor riding.
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Old 04-14-2014, 05:32 PM   #5
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I find it is good aerobic exercise, but I need to add a bit of hiking to keep the smaller muscles used for balance and steps down in shape. DW does straight aerobics. She can out walk me easily. I get sore legs, excluding the major cycling muscles.
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Old 04-14-2014, 05:35 PM   #6
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Another option to consider is rowing. Several of us here really enjoy using the Concept 2 rowing machine.

For me, it's the perfect alternative when it's too hot, snowy, or icy to go for a run (I don't much care for treadmills).

The rowing machine gives me a great aerobic workout; I would say just as vigorous as a run, yet is so much kinder to the body (no pounding).
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Old 04-14-2014, 09:59 PM   #7
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This is a more common example of a spinning bike.
ImageUploadedByEarly Retirement Forum1397530744.166009.jpg
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Old 04-14-2014, 10:04 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by twolfy View Post
This is a more common example of a spinning bike.
Attachment 18643
Oh, OK!! I haven't ever taken a spinning class and I guess I messed up! Thanks for posting the photo.
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Old 04-15-2014, 08:05 AM   #9
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My niece Kelley, owns and operates a "spinning studio" on Prince Edward Island. She started this about 10+ years ago. It has been a good business, based not only on the health effects, but as a social gathering place, with many members who come for the fun associations as well as the exercise.
You might enjoy a quick trip to the website.
MACQUEENS
As to the point about men participating in spinning, see the studio pics.
Kelley's pic is under the "instructors" tab. The equipment in her studio is state of the art...
By contrast, here is my own exercycle... a vintage Airgometer.
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Old 04-15-2014, 08:59 AM   #10
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friar1610, I think I tried one of those spinning bikes for the first time in my life last Friday. The photo below is not me, but was "borrowed" from Google images. If I am correct this Schwinn Airdyne is the type of bike used for spinning classes. I have ridden the usual recumbent bikes before, but this bike is very different:



At any rate, it was a lot of fun, and what a great workout! I don't think I want to structure my day around a class, but I may ride it for a while at the gym after my weight lifting workouts.
The Schwinn Airdyne is similar to but not the same as a spinning bike. They used to have the Airdynes at a military gym I used to go to years ago. I found it to be a great workout, especially since it involves the arms as well as the legs.
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:04 AM   #11
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Another option to consider is rowing. Several of us here really enjoy using the Concept 2 rowing machine.

For me, it's the perfect alternative when it's too hot, snowy, or icy to go for a run (I don't much care for treadmills).

The rowing machine gives me a great aerobic workout; I would say just as vigorous as a run, yet is so much kinder to the body (no pounding).
On the days I don't spin but am still able to get to the gym I either row using a C2 machine or do the elliptical. A perfect workout week would have me spinning 3 days and rowing the other 3 days. What I like about alternating the two is that spinning emphasizes the lower body whereas rowing emphasizes the upper. Also, I had an impinged rotator cuff a few years ago and had to go to physical therapy for it. The motion of rowing on a C2 replicates the motion of some of the PT exercises they taught me for the rotator cuff. I haven't been bothered by it again and I suspect using the C2 has something to do with that.
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:05 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by friar1610 View Post
The Schwinn Airdyne is similar to but not the same as a spinning bike. They used to have the Airdynes at a military gym I used to go to years ago. I found it to be a great workout, especially since it involves the arms as well as the legs.
I'll have to look around at my gym to see if I can find some of those bikes like twolfy showed in his post, then, and if I do then I will try one. I know they have a spinning class so probably those bikes are just in that classroom (but maybe I can sneak in and try one even if there is no class going on).

Sorry if I went on a tangent by mistake. The Airdyne bikes do seem like a lot of fun and a great workout, I agree.
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Old 04-15-2014, 10:07 AM   #13
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Speaking of the Schwinn Airdyne, we have had one in our house for about 20 years. They are very sturdy and a good workout.

The great thing about them is that there are tables produced that can be used to relate the workout on them to running, cycling and other exercises. The tables are in the book by Cooper here: Amazon.com: Aerobics Program For Total Well-Being: Exercise, Diet , And Emotional Balance eBook: Kenneth H. Cooper: Kindle Store

Your local library might carry this book.
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Old 04-15-2014, 10:57 AM   #14
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I find I can't stand stationary cycling, be it spinning or riding a bike on a trainer. Also, most machines are geared (pun intended) to the middle 95% of people and I'm too tall to fit into that.

Davef: why do you think spinning is shorter and faster? Because it doesn't involve the prep work (e.g., helmet, tire check, etc.) of outdoor bicycling or because the workout itself is more intense? If the former, I agree it could save perhaps 2-3 minutes but if the latter, I disagree. Stationary pedaling may feel like a harder workout due to not having the serious breeze outdoor cycling provides or because there're fewer distractions. Or maybe you just need to ride harder/faster when outside
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:10 AM   #15
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I find I can't stand stationary cycling, be it spinning or riding a bike on a trainer. Also, most machines are geared (pun intended) to the middle 95% of people and I'm too tall to fit into that.

Davef: why do you think spinning is shorter and faster? Because it doesn't involve the prep work (e.g., helmet, tire check, etc.) of outdoor bicycling or because the workout itself is more intense? If the former, I agree it could save perhaps 2-3 minutes but if the latter, I disagree. Stationary pedaling may feel like a harder workout due to not having the serious breeze outdoor cycling provides or because there're fewer distractions. Or maybe you just need to ride harder/faster when outside
Could be I need to ride harder while outdoors. It just seems easier for me to add the intensity on a stationary bike. You did make me curious and I looked at a chart that showed with the same intensity, the calorie burn is about the same.
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:20 AM   #16
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I don't discount the psychological factors at all....in the end all that matters is that you get exercise and feel good. I've found that a strong fan for indoor workouts enables me to work harder for the same "pain" level. It helped when I tried stationary pedaling, too, but not enough. It helps a lot on the elliptical and treadmill.

I track calorie burn with a HRM and it agrees with your conclusion that outdoor biking and spinning are similar in calorie burn for a given intensity.

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Could be I need to ride harder while outdoors. It just seems easier for me to add the intensity on a stationary bike. You did make me curious and I looked at a chart that showed with the same intensity, the calorie burn is about the same.
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:47 AM   #17
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I've been spinning for at least 15 years now: about 3 times per week at my local gym. It is my favorite exercise. Classes are mixed in terms of gender, about 50-50 I'd say. In the summer they thin out considerably as the hard-core types start cycling outdoors.
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:56 PM   #18
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The spinning studio at our gym has far more female than male participants, as well.

About 12 years ago, I was working with several men in their late 50's and early 60's, competitive personalities who, although perfectly healthy, couldn't comfortably run 10-15 miles a day any more. The emotional level of their discussion of this fearsome decline in their powers can only be called frantic. What to do, what to do! Eventually, they all got into spinning.

So it's possible that fewer men are in spinning classes because they think it would be a sign of physical decline. You know, the next step on the way to pool aerobics. Which is nonsense, but sometimes perception is all.

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I found that the majority of my "classmates" in spinning classes are female as are the majority of instructors; I'm not sure why spinning doesn't appeal to guys as much.

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Old 04-15-2014, 03:33 PM   #19
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I find that spinning using the high intensity method has really helped my cardiovascular system.

I often go hiking in the mountains in the Summer. While I may get tired and sometimes get a sore muscle, I don't do the huffing and puffing I used to do. The spin bike is also much easier on the knees and feet than running.

My spin bike is a cheap but good one. It has a 40 pound fly wheel (very important) and a resistance knob, but no electronics to tell me my pulse, calories burned, etc.
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Old 04-15-2014, 04:31 PM   #20
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I've been running for 40+ years. Runs are on trails in a state park and there is actually some social contact with humans as well as creatures.

Spinning is OK but my only contact with it is on the Aerodyne at home.

For me it's better to get outside. I just walk out the gate from our back yard. It would take lots more time to drive to the gym and back. But maybe someday (when I'm even more ancient ) I'll try Spinning.
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