I’ve got a question for the guys out there — what is the first thing that pops into your head when you hear the words “spin class”? If you’re in the know, chances are you’ll think of a room full of exercise bikes, with loud music blasting through the speakers. More likely, it’ll just be known as “that thing my girlfriend/wife does with her friends”, and that’s about it.
So if your idea of spin class is an activity that only your girlfriend or wife does, would you give it a try? The majority will probably answer “no” without even knowing what it is because you believe it’s something associated to be more for females. Does that mean spin classes are not manly enough for you? You’d be surprised at what goes on in one of these classes, and it’s definitely not something just for the ladies. But first, let’s talk about what a spin class is first.
What Is A Spin Class?
Spin classes, also known as spinning or indoor cycling, has become one of the most popular types of fitness classes in the world. At its most basic level, it simply involves rows and rows of exercise bikes facing towards an instructor on his or her own exercise bike in the front.
Spinning is more than just simple cycling though. During the session, the instructor will guide the class through different types of cycling. These include long uphill climbs that require you to push hard, quick bursts of speed to train your stamina, standing and pedalling to work out multiple muscle groups, and short periods of slow recovery — it’s definitely not just a relaxing bike ride.
The music is also an important part of the spin class experience. The instructor doubles up as a DJ as they pick the songs to match the workout mood. Fast-paced songs with quick, steady beats will encourage you to give your all and keep you pedalling quickly, while slower-paced songs will help you follow the rhythm when it’s time to slow down and catch your breath.
Reasons To Try Spinning
As I’m sure you would have guessed by now, spin classes are more popular with female audiences. In fact, the female to male ratio in most classes is about 25:1, which is a huge difference. Now that we know what spinning is, here are the reasons why more guys should start picking up spinning as a form of exercise.
Spinning is classified as a cardio workout. This means that it is great at raising our heart rate and causing us to burn fat more effectively than other forms of exercise, such as weight training. A typical spin class will last about 45 to 60 minutes, and within this time, your legs are constantly moving, from fast-paced intervals to heavy pushing with much resistance to simulate an uphill climb. This means your heart rate will be constantly raised for the whole duration of the class, which will burn off all fat and excess calories completely, and makes spinning one of the highest intensity cardio workouts ever.
Compared to other forms of high-impact cardio exercises like running, spinning — or cycling, in general — is a low-impact workout. This means that your joints, like your knees and ankles, will not suffer the same heavy impact you would feel from your feet hitting the pavement. Low-impact workouts are good for people who want to give their joints a break, or for people with pre-existing injuries.
Many people who exercise tend to plug in earphones and listen to music while they work out, and this is to keep their mind occupied and away from feeling the pain of working out, which in turn helps them lift more or run longer. Spinning follows this same idea but takes it a step further – by incorporating music into the exercises. Some classes will even have themed music, like EDM Beats or 80s Disco, so you can pick one you like and enjoy the music while you workout.
More Than Just Cardio
Spinning is a highly-intense cardio workout, but it is effective at more than just burning fat. You will have to follow the instructor as they guide you through various exercises on the bike, which include callisthenics that work out your upper body. You’ll also have to keep your core engaged as you constantly stand and sit on the bike, so you’re basically going to get a full-body workout.
When you workout together with like-minded people in a group setting, it can accomplish more than you realize. For one, you are likely to make friends and acquaintances from class, and you’ll be able to meet new people and expand your network. You’ll also feel more motivation to attend classes and exercise together with your friends, and a friendly sense of competition will push you to do your best and keep up with the rest.