You may have heard of people saying they're doing a spin class and wondered exactly what they mean. Spin bike workouts are a workout on a stationary bike that requires you to spin in place. You can turn on different resistances to make the workout easier or harder.
Spinning is most commonly done in a class setting with an instructor, but can also be done on your own in your home or at a gym. We’ll go over the benefits of a spin bike workout, some things to know beforehand, and how you can best prepare to start your spin bike workout.
Benefits of Spin Bike Workout Class
Spinning offers a ton of benefits in your physical health, your mental health, and your overall life. We’ve outlined some of our favorite spin bike workout benefits below:
Burn Fat and Lose Weight
Spin bike workouts are an incredible way to lose weight and increase your fitness levels. It’s one of the most significant calorie burning workouts you can do. In a single workout, you’ll burn up to 600 calories in a single hour. Research shows that after 24 spin classes, women found a 2.6 decrease in their overall body weight and a whopping 4.3% decrease in body fat. For only 24 workouts and no dietary changes, this is outstanding.
If you don’t see a substantial weight loss after your trial with spin classes, don’t fret. Many women don’t lose weight but do go down on the BMI scale. Because your body is working so hard and getting such a great workout, all that fat burning goes hand in hand with muscle building. Although your weight may not shift much, your overall appearance will.
Get a Great Workout in a Short Timeframe
With such a demanding work schedule, it can be hard to get in a workout that actually makes an impact on your health and fitness. Thankfully, you can get a good spin bike workout in even if you only have 20 minutes to spare. Whether you’re jumping in on a short class, or coming up with your spin workout, you can be sure that every minute counts.
Spin workouts are so effective due to an afterburn effect. The afterburn effect means that even if you only workout for a short time, your body will continue to consume oxygen even after the exercise, which means a faster metabolism and more fat burn. The afterburn effect is a considerable benefit of high-intensity interval workouts such as spinning.
Promote a Healthy Mindset
While it’s pretty common knowledge that spinning workouts do wonders for your physical health, there are also some pretty substantial benefits to your mental health. After taking a couple of spin classes, you’ll quickly notice how happy to feel both during the workout and after you completed the class. This research has been shown more significant in group classes with an instructor rather than solo home-based spin workouts, however.
Spin classes have also proven to decrease anxiety. The brain-derived neurotrophic factor, also known as BDNF, is up-regulated during exercise, which means participants felt better not only physically, but also in their state of mind.
Build Leg and Glute Muscles
Kill two birds with one stone when you participate in a spin bike workout. You don’t have to choose between leg day and cardio day, with spinning, you can have them both. Spinning is a great leg workout. You’re also able to turn up the resistance to target your legs and glutes even more.
It is important to note that spin classes build up muscle slower than traditional weight training does. However, for those looking to build lean muscle mass on the lower body, spinning is a great workout.
Have Fun Working Out
One of the biggest benefits of a spin bike workout? It’s fun! You will actually enjoy working out with attending a spin class or getting on a stationary bike. With loud, energetic music, a lively atmosphere, and several variations, you won’t get bored with a spin bike workout, which makes this workout great for those who hate going to the gym.
How to Prepare Before Your Spin Bike Workout
Going to a new fitness class or trying a new workout for the first time is intimidating. It’s easy to feel like everyone at the gym besides you knows what they’re doing. So you’re prepared to walk into a spin bike workout with confidence, we have lined up some of the best ways to prepare before your spinning workout. Follow this outline, and you’ll be feeling like a pro before you even start.
Build Up a Good Level of Cardio
Spinning is hard; there’s no way around that. If you take a spin class, get ready for a high-intensity, fast-paced workout with passionate instructors pushing you to your limits. If that doesn’t sound like something you’re prepared for just yet, work on building up your level of fitness and cardio.
For a few weeks, give spinning on your own, outside of a class environment, at try. When you get to the gym, hop on a stationary bike that feels right to you. Cycle for at least ten minutes on an easy to moderate intensity. As you start feeling comfortable with cycling, begin with a DIY high-intensity workout. Cycle for one minute on a low resistance, then crank it up to high for one minute. Do this for 10, 15, 20 minutes; however long you can. This will give you the feel for what a spinning class with an instructor will be like.
Pick a Good Instructor
If you choose to do your spin bike workout in a class setting, the instructor does make all the difference. Some people like high-intensity classes with an instructor yelling at you over super upbeat music. If this doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, ask the gym staff about instructors who take more of a mellow approach.
Everything from the music played, your instructor’s tone of voice, the number of rotations from high-intensity to low-intensity will make a massive difference in your workout. Keep an eye out for instructors that sound more up your alley and give their classes a try.
If Taking a Class, Arrive Early
It’s always good to plan your arrival about 10 minutes before the class actually starts. Spin classes almost always start on time, and arriving late can lead to an awkward start of trying to find your bike while everyone else has already started riding. To avoid this, arrive early to pick out your bike, stretch, and get mentally prepared for the workout ahead of you.
Arriving early also ensures that you’ll have the first choice of bikes. If only the front and center bikes are left which sits right in front of the instructor is your worst nightmare, better be early to grab some of those popular bikes in the middle of the class.
Make Sure You’re Picking a Stable Bike
Most of the time, the gym staff check the bikes regularly, so you know any bike you choose will work for you. However, this isn’t always the case, and sometimes you get stuck with a wonky bike that can affect your ride.
When you first get on your bike, make sure you give it a thorough check. Is the seat stable? Does the bike wobble when you pedal on it? Is it seat adjusted in a way that you can ride comfortably without stretching your legs too far? Do the pedals move smoothly? These are all questions you’ll need to ask yourself when first getting on a bike.
Things to Be Aware Of
Like all workouts, there are some things to keep in mind before you start, so you’re always ensuring a safe workout. Here are some of the things to be aware of when spinning:
Don’t Be Afraid to Take Breaks
It can seem like there is such a stigma with taking breaks during a spin class. This is not the case. The great thing about indoor spin workouts is that you can stop anytime you need to. Whether that’s taking a rest to pedal slower, or stopping altogether, there is no shame in taking a break. It’s your workout; you should enjoy it and customize it to your own needs.
The Resistance Level Matters
The resistance level can take you from an excellent, relaxing workout to a full-blown cardio killer that has you resting your legs for the next week. If you do an instructor-led class, the instructor will suggest resistance levels throughout the class. These resistance levels are merely suggestions, and if you don’t feel comfortable, you don’t have to do it.
You should keep pushing yourself during a spin workout to make sure you’re getting the fat burning and muscle building benefits, but you do need to still listen to your body. If you’re just getting started in spin, take the resistance levels as more of a suggestion and work up to hitting them in future spin classes.
You’ll Need Lots of Water
Spin classes will have you sweating a lot! Be sure you come prepared with a water bottle or two to replenish lost fluids during the workout. What you bring during your regular workouts, you’ll probably want double for a spin class. As we said early, spinning is no joke and requires a lot of liquid to make sure your body doesn’t give out.
Spin Workout Checklist
It always feels good going into a workout prepared. When first starting, it can be challenging to know just what to wear, what to bring, or how to best prepare yourself. We’ve listed some of our top ways to prepare for a spin workout below, so you can go in feeling confident and prepared for your next fitness journey.
What to Bring
There are some essential things to bring when doing a spin bike workout. You’ll first want to make sure you have a heart rate monitor to make sure you’re getting a good workout. When completing your first few spin workouts, it’s hard to determine if your workout was actually significant in calorie and fat burning. A heart rate monitor will allow you to make sure you’re keeping an increased heartbeat during the entire workout without pushing yourself too far past your limits.
You’ll also need a water bottle and a towel. Spin classes cause you to lose a lot of liquid. Instead of sweating all over yourself and into your eyes, bring a towel to keep clean and wipe away the sweat. You’ll need to replace all that sweat with more fluid, which makes having a full water bottle or two extra important.
What to Wear
Don’t worry too much about what you wear during a spinning workout. Most gym clothes will be perfectly fine. You will want to make sure your clothes are light and breathable since you will get warm during your workout. Also, make sure your shoes are light enough to fit in the pedal cages.
Spin bike workouts are a great workout that anyone with a decent level of fitness can enjoy. In only a short amount of time, you’ll increase your fitness level, burn fat, and look great. If you’re hoping to make spinning a part of your regular workout routine, make sure you take into account our tips that will help you prepare and feel confident going into your spin bike workout.