Spinning isn’t just about slugging it out to high-tempo music while being shouted at, although it is about that. It’s also a proven and beneficial activity for all levels of fitness.
Cyclist Sir Chris Hoy, six time Olympic champion and 11-time world champion, has joined forces with Pure Gym to launch spin classes at the Pure Ride studio in Moorgate, London. The classes are supposed to be all-inclusive so we asked Hoy to explain why spinning could work for Coach readers.
Spinning is a Scalable Workout
“Spin classes are for everybody – whether you’re commuting to work or a serious athlete, there’s something for everyone. Spinning can help you achieve almost any of your fitness goals, but it depends how hard you work. [The Pure Ride classes are] centred around the kind of sessions I used to do when I was training, but that doesn’t mean the average person can’t do them. You dictate the intensity, you dictate the power and as you get fitter and stronger then you can increase the resistance and your effort.”
Spinning is Time-Efficient
“I used to do two sessions a week on the static bike, it’s a very effective and measurable way of training. For your average person who hasn’t got a huge amount of time to devote to exercise because they’ve got a busy life and busy working day, it’s a fantastic way to fit it in and you can really get a huge amount from it.”
Spinning Prolongs Calorie Burning
“When you do this session your metabolism goes through the roof for the rest of the day. That means it’s not just the calories you’ve used in the session, you’ll burn calories for the whole day based on that increased intensity of session.”
Spinning Will Improve Your Cycling, Obviously
“Spinning improves the efficiency of your pedalling technique and it’s a very high-intensity workout that’s controllable. It’s absolutely going to improve your foot power and your spin power so if you’re cycling to work and you have a short sharp hill on your ride, that’s the sort of thing it’s going to help with.”
You Can Push Yourself Right to the Limit
“You can push yourself much harder on a static bike because you know you can go from a flatter effort to stopping. On a track if you fall off with exhaustion, you’re going to hurt yourself. On a static bike you can push yourself right to the very limit.”
Spinning is an Escape
“You go into the studio, stay there for 45 minutes and not think about anything else. It’s escapism. Physically you’re getting a benefit but mentally you’re definitely getting a benefit too. It relieves stress, plus you’re getting endorphins and all these associated benefits. Mentally it’s a great way to start your day – if you’ve done that before 8am in the morning, the rest of the day is going to be that much better.”
Try This Taster Lactic Tolerance Session on an Exercise Bike
If you don’t want to commit to a full spinning class just yet, Hoy recommends the following exercise bike workout which will make your body more efficient at processing the waste products of exercise by transporting oxygen to your blood.
“Do a 30-second sprint followed by a minute’s recovery, four times. Then have a five-minute gentle pedal to recover and repeat the whole thing three times,” says Hoy. “If you do that properly with commitment your legs will be burning and your heart rate will be up to maximum. Your body has huge adaptations to that kind of effort. That’s a very simple session but one that’s very effective.”