I love Spinning, Spinning is fantastic – I’ve written it with a capital letter as it’s a brand
name which now features in many gyms in cities all over the world. If you’re a cyclist who fancies a change from endless miles on the road, Spinning offers one hour or so of intensive, varied cycling exercise. For any other fitness enthusiasts it’s just as effective if you’re looking to improve your cardiovascular capacity.
Historically there has always been some suspicion among cyclists that Spinning involves a number of old style exercise bikes set up in a horseshoe shape in a fitness studio. The horseshoe shape is correct but the bikes used are state-of-the-art devices. The pedals are attached to a flywheel for adjustable difficulty and the sitting position accurately reflects that of a real bike. Keen cyclists will be pleased to hear that clipless pedals are used if you feel more comfortable using them.
The man who is regarded as the innovator of Spinning is Johnny Goldberg, an endurance cyclist based in California in the 1980s. He was looking for a realistic alternative to cycling outdoors after a close shave while cycling at night. By 1989 he had developed his indoor bike to such an extent that he was able to open a Spinning studio in Santa Monica. Schwinn subsequently bought the franchise and the rest is history.
Much of the quality and usefulness of Spinning depends on the quality of the instructor. You need someone at the front of the class who can motivate everyone while undertaking the exercise themselves and at the same time not getting out of breath. Classes can be designed to simulate hill climbing, sprinting or a variety of other disciplines. A version which is not spotted much anymore is where a big screen or projector is displayed at the front of the class and a rolling road vista runs out in front of you.
However you want to try it, Spinning is a worthwhile exercise for anyone – even those dyed-in-the-wool cyclists who may detest the idea of getting off the road.