Spinning: what it is, history, benefits and how to train at home too 1

Spinning: what it is, history, benefits and how to train at home too

Spinning: what it is, history, benefits and how to train at home too

Spinning or indoor cycling  is an aerobic sport that consists of pedaling at variable intensity on a stationary bike called spin bike or RPM biking 

The spinning is practiced in the gym or at home . Basically, you have to pedal to the rhythm of engaging music under the direction of a coach that pushes you to exceed your limits.

Improved cardio respiratory capacity and muscle strengthening of the legs, the spinning bike (Biking RPM) is an intense physical activity that can make you burn up to 800 calories per session . This exciting and convivial group lesson is recommended for those who are in good health and whose goal is weight loss.
The exercise bike is equipped with a variable resistance belt that allows you to choose the intensity according to your physical preparation and the coach’s instructions.
Whether you are an experienced or average cyclist or simply want to try a new sport and enjoy cycling, you can practice spinning in winter or all year round because indoor cycling has less repercussions on the joints of the race or other aerobic sports . 
However, this activity is not recommended for those with heart health problems.

    Spinning: what it is

    Invented in the 1990s, it is a workout on the exercise bike that combines rhythmic music and cardio training . The activity is carried out on the spin bike simulating the various slopes that you might find in an outdoor path.  
    The pedaling speed impressed on the pedals is directly influenced by the brake resistance on the flywheel.
    Indoor cycling is practiced in the gym or at home, it is an extremely effective tool for:
    • train
    • burn calories
    • keep fit while having fun.

    History of spinning

    Spinning was created in the United States in the late 1980s.
    It was invented in 1989 by Jonathan Goldberg. In 1979, Jonathan goes to California on vacation and unfortunately is the victim of a robbery at the exit of the hotel in Santa Monica. Forced to stay in America because he cannot pay for his ticket, he can find work as a coach in the gym. 
    His passion for cycling led him to participate in the Across America (RAAM) race, an 889-kilometer bike race. Following two events (near an accident during training and his wife expecting a baby), he  designed a more complex exercise bike to train at home. Convinced that the mind draws the body, Goldberg develops a training method that combines cardio training and motivational techniques using rhythmic music: Spinning ® was born . 
    After that, he starts organizing workouts in his garage and then at a fitness center in Santa Monica. In 1991, he moved to Hollywood while this sport became fashionable. He landed in Europe in 1995. To date, Goldberg has taught his technique to around 40,000 instructors around the world.

    How to practice

    How the lesson is conducted

    Before starting training, it is important to set the spin bike . Before training, you need to check:
    • saddle height 
    • handlebar height
    • check that the saddle is in a horizontal position.
    The sessions can last up to 1 hour . During a spinning lesson, you must respect all the steps of a classic training:
    • heating , where you prepare your body at both joint and muscle level for the actual activity
    • the central phase , is the heart of the activity, where the coach decides the program to follow, giving the participants peaks of high heart rates and peaks of modest CF It is precisely at this stage that the teacher researches the conditioning of both the cardio-circulatory system, highly stressed in this physical activity, and muscle, in particular the lower part of the body. In this cardio phase, the instructor encourages you to perform simulations of climbs, sprints, descents, races against time and chases. 
    • Last, but not least, is the cool down and stretching phase where a return to the normal conditions of the cardiovascular system, pulmonary ventilation, an increase in the amplitude of the movement and a return to the original length of the muscles that are stressed in intense way, they contracted during the activity.

    Spin bike: how it is made

    The spinning or spin bike, body bike or RPM (raw power motion) exercise bike is an ergometric chamber bike that looks like the classic road bike but has only one wheel. It has been designed to perform intensive training in the gym or at home. Although born as a gym tool, it is increasingly used at home to dispose of fat or train in winter when weather conditions do not allow outdoor training.
    The spin bike offers the practicality of a racing bike with the settings that allow you to adopt a correct position for your morphology.
    Furthermore, it has a very effective braking mechanism, usually electric. Not only that, it has a computer, which turns out to be a real coach and offers you the essential indications for your training: 
    • distance traveled
    • speed
    • developed power 
    • heart rate
    • calories consumed.
    Some models also offer programmed exercises to make your workout more effective.

    How to adjust the spin bike to train well

    How to adjust the spin bike to train well

    Saddle height 

    For most people, the height of the saddle corresponds to the height of the hips. Then, before getting on, position yourself sideways to the bike and check that the saddle is at the right height.   

    Distance between handlebar and saddle 

    The right distance between handlebar and saddle corresponds to the length of your forearm, open hand, fingers joined in line with the palm. Place your elbow in front of the saddle beak and stretch your forearms and hands. 

    Handlebar height 

    Find the height that’s right for you. Some people feel more comfortable with the slightly higher handlebar in relation to the saddle instead those who practice cycling prefer slightly lower handlebars. The advice for beginners is to adjust the height of the handlebar more or less to the same height as the saddle.

    How to sit well on the spin bike


     Remember to fine-tune the setting of the exercise bikes
     shared whenever you use them. Adapt it to yourself and bottom line to avoid damage.


    The right size is Saddle Height

     the comfortable one: sces gili to Adjust it so that yours position that minimizes knee angle
     back strain, 25 to 35 degrees each.

     generally at the same complete pedaling.
     saddle level o
     slightly low pid.


    The forefoot must be in the center of the pedal.  If the saddle moves back and forth, make sure that when the pedals are at the same level if your knee is exactly above the center of the pedal.

    Main speeds of spinning

    Gait on a flat seat : basic position. Sitting with your arms slightly bent and your hands gripping the handlebars. 
    Ascent from sitting : hands on the handlebars and pelvis slightly back to facilitate the climb.  

    Pedaling in feet .
    Ride out of the saddle to make climbs, bust forward .
    Jumping : a technique to use when trying to detach the group during a race.

    Muscles involved in spinning

    Spinning mainly strengthens the lower part of the body:
    • thighs
    • calves
    • buttocks.
    But also :
    • arms 
    • abs.

    Spinning and calorie expenditure 

    The spin bike is the ideal tool for burning calories . 40 minute spinning session makes you burn between 250 and 800 calories.
    Improve your metabolism by increasing your ability to synthesize ATP which is your first currency of energy exchange.
    When you train at high intensity , you can activate the so-called EPOC effect. That is to say, that post-exercise time where oxygen consumption remains high compared to the basal values ​​for a prolonged time based on the duration and intensity of the training performed.
    Finally, an activity between 60-70% of maximum HR allows you to work in particular on the metabolism of sugars and fats .

    Benefits of spinning

    Assiduously participating in spinning lessons has many physical and psychological benefits . After a few months, the following improvements are noted   
    • less tired
    • more toned body
    • less stress thanks to the release of endorphins.
    Not only that, your heart is more robust and, over time, you get a lowering of your heart rate at rest (bradycardia).
    Moreover, thanks to the peaks of CF that are reached, you improve the cardio-circulatory system thus increasing your resistance to fatigue . Pulmonary ventilation, constantly under pressure, increases by improving the exchange of oxygen with all other parts of the body. 
    It improves the muscular trophism for those who have had a trauma or for those who have not moved for many years. 
    It is now scientifically proven that high intensity physical activity releases “good mood” neurotransmitters into the body: endorphins. 
    These, released in large doses inside the body, make you “addicted” to constantly strenuous training to continue to feel that state of well-being caused by these neurotransmitters that lead to better control of depressive states and anxiety .

    Spinning at home: tips and training schedule

    If you want to do spinning at home, the ideal is to train with the spin bike 2 or 3 times a week . Training sessions can last up to 50 minutes. On Youtube you can find many workouts with music and try to follow them. Music is important for the office and to keep motivation high. Furthermore, being constant is fundamental to having results. Remember to always start with a warm-up period and finish with a cool down and stretching. 
    The cadence to be adopted must be less than 40 rpm (revolutions per minute) to maintain an average Fc. 
    Also, since you sweat a lot during spinning workouts, remember to drink. Drink before, during and after the effort. In fact, good hydration is necessary for the body to:
    • burn excess fat
    • eliminate toxins
    • avoid tendonitis
    • optimize training.
    During training, drink in small sips.

    Session frequency 

    If your goal is to improve endurance or get rid of fat, you need to do at least 3 sessions a week. If you are a beginner, the minimum duration of each workout is 20 minutes. Over time, you can increase the duration of the session. To avoid overtraining, the advice is to provide a rest day between training sessions. 
    It is important to vary the exercises so as not to lose motivation. You can also consult the programs offered by your spin bike. Establish a weekly schedule by writing in a diary:  
    • training times
    • calories
    • emotions
    • progress.

    Spinning: home training proposals

    1 – Training program to improve endurance

                                                    SPINNING AT HOME
                                        PROGRAM 01 TRAINING TO IMPROVE 
      DURATION (min)
    FC MAXIMUM (%)
    To reach Progressively 
    70% FC
    To reach progressively 50%FC

    This session lasts 45 minutes and is ideal to replace running in winter. 

    2 – Training program to improve muscle tone

    This program aims to strengthen muscle tone. Try this 41-minute training session suitable for beginners and intermediates.

                              PROGRAM 01 TRAINING TO IMPROVE MUSCLE TONE
      DURATION (min)
    FC MAXIMUM (%)
    To reach Progressively 
    80% HR maximum
    Slow down 
    50% HR maximum
    To reach Progressively 
    80% HR maximum
    Slow down
    50% HR maximum
    To reach Progressively 
    80% HR maximum

    Fartlek lesson to follow at home 

    This workout is suitable for those who have been spinning for a long time and are in good shape.
    Try to keep your Fc between 65% and 85% of your maximum heart rate.

    Precautions and contraindications

    Before starting training, it is best to consult your doctor to find out if you can start a cardio activity. Group spinning is not recommended for those who have not practiced sports for some time. The advice is to focus on training at home, to start at your own pace. Perform shorter, less intense sessions without the involvement of the coach and the group.
    The position adopted during a lesson simulates that of a racing bike , so it can be uncomfortable and increase the risks of patellar tendinopathy since this is a much thinner tendon than the quadriceps tendon. Furthermore, the repeated “clicks”, detaching the buttocks from the saddle, can cause problems to the spine.
    This is an activity that can be followed by everyone except those who suffer from problems with their lower limbs . The advice is to avoid this type of activity for children in developmental age if not under the control of a professional in the sector, as the incorrect posture during the activity can lead to problems such as Osgood-Schlatter syndrome . It is a degenerative process of the tibial tuberosity due to a continuous and prolonged excessive effort of the quadriceps muscle which, inserting with its own tendon on the tibial tuberosity creates an alteration of the bone growth and in some and more serious cases, also bone fractionation.

    Tips for choosing your spin bike

    Choose your spin bike according to your goal: 
    • strengthening
    • slimming
    • shape retention, etc.  

    Technical features 

    The heavier the flywheel is, the smoother the ride will be. The inertia wheel must be at least 8 kilos for a smooth ride (the ideal is between 18 and 25 kilos). 
    The frame must be sturdy and heavy enough to ensure good stability, especially when pedaling out of the saddle. In addition, it controls the maximum capacity or the weight supported, the maximum is 130 kilos . 
    Consider if you prefer a mechanical or magnetic brake. The most durable one is the magnetic brake .
    Pay attention to the choice of transmission (belt or chain). The models with the belt are silent and require no maintenance. 
    Also the setting, the ergonomics of the saddle and the ergonomic handlebar and the type of pedals (with belt and cage) are to be taken into consideration. 

    On-board computer 

    Some sophisticated models also offer training plans. 
    The on-board computer tells you:
    • energy expenditure
    • duration of training
    • kilometers traveled
    • heart rate.
    Finally, set your budget knowing that a spin bike costs between 200 and 1000 euros . 

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