Spinning is a wonderful training method for the winter months.
The majority of riders can reap the rewards from classes and the physiological improvements are extremely close to the adaptations gained from road cycling.
However it’s crucial to be aware of the difference between spinning and road cycling. There are many outside influences that will have a bearing on your perceived exhaustion, including temperature, humidity and music.
Get the most out of spinning
Most spinning lessons last for about 50 minutes, which is very short for trained cyclists, especially as you ideally need to incorporate a warm-up, intervals and a cool down.
So the best solution is to perform a quick warm-up before you step into the spinning room. This makes perfect sense because you will be able to push the pedals hard from the beginning. Your body will be much better prepared for severe exercise and you may even be able to maintain a high intensity of training for 50 minutes.
Drink water when you´re thirsty
Riders normally sweat more during a spinning class because of the interior heat and humidity.
I highly recommend that you drink water to maintain a high level of performance during the session. But you only need to drink when you’re thirsty. That should do the trick. Over-drinking is not proved to have any positive benefits.
Choose intervals carefully
Many spinning instructors are great motivators and mentors for cyclists of all levels. But don’t forget that you will probably train more than the average rider in a spinning class.
Instead, I suggest a different approach, where you see spinning classes as salt ‘n’ pepper for your daily meal. Overdoing it isn’t beneficial, but in the right doses it supplies the core taste qualities of your meal and makes the meal a better experience.
You can use two or three spinning classes per week as your high intensity sessions and let the rest of your training time add to your training volume (mainly endurance training).
In my latest e-book the 12-Week Winter Training Program you will find intervals on both Tuesdays and Thursdays that can be exchanged with a spinning class. There are three different strategies:
1: Follow the planned intervals and ignore the spinning instructor.
2: Follow the spinning class and ignore the training program.
3: Combine the best from the above scenarios (recommended).
Remember the spinning instructors want to entertain and train people who enter the fitness room once or twice every week, not cyclists who train eight, 12 or even more hours per week.
But I believe most cyclists should enjoy spinning classes with the general public once in a while. Where else can you ride with your neighbour, colleague and girlfriend without being superior?
You can’t do a spinning class every day. Make sure you factor in some easy days. If you go for a ride in a spinning class on one of these days, please remember your goal with the training. I would never enter spinning classes more than three times per week
Do you have any spinning secrets you would like to share?