Intense indoor cycling and aerobic workout

Spinning is an indoor cycling class using special ‘fixed wheel’ bikes (in other words you can’t backpedal or freewheel). It derived from the indoor training that real cyclists do, and is a very intense aerobic workout, with a strong lower body focus. In one study into spinning, the average heart rate of participants was 87 per cent of maximum!

Spinning classes are often done in a darkened room, during which the instructor encourages participants to visualize they are out on a real cycle, encountering hills and challenges along the way. Some strength work is done in the saddle, too.

CV fitness rating High
Strength rating Moderate for lower legs, low elsewhere.
Flexibility rating Low
Challenge rating High
Complexity rating Low
Benefits Strong motivational element from the instructor.


Get yourself some padded cycling shorts if you are going to become a regular spinner – those saddles are pretty uncomfortable …

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