A few weeks ago it was Bob Dylan’s birthday. If you follow this blog you know I love me a good themed playlist so I decided to see if it would work. This playlist worked surprisingly well for a nice chill endurance and hill based ride. I threw in a few Dylan covers too to keep it fun!
Tonight’s spin class was amazing! Here is the playlist we used for those of you who want to relive the glory! 🙂
We are thrilled to be helping out Jaci’s Stargazers for their first ever RIDE N’ RAISE SPIN-A-THON and hope you will join us in making this an event to remember! Below are a few important details about the ride including how to reserve a bike, prizes for the two individuals that raise the most money, and how to donate if you are unable able to ride that day. Hope to see you there! CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE TO CHECK OUT ALL THE DETAILS!
Wondering if triathletes and duathletes should use spin bikes, or if spin bikes give you as good (or better) a workout as riding your bike outdoors? Here’s the skinny…
The majority of spin bikes are different than normal road, mountain or triathlon bikes because they have a “fly wheel”, which is a 30-40 pound wheel that provides the resistance as you pedal (and which is also the reason that the pedals on a spin bike keep moving after you stop pedaling). Because of this fly wheel, your hamstrings work harder to slow the pedals as they come around. But when you’re outdoors, you’re pedaling against the friction of road resistance and wind resistance, and this motion requires more work from your hip flexors and quadriceps. That fly wheel keeps the pedals spinning after you get the pedals moving, so it’s also very easy to let a spin bike do the majority of the work for you, which is why many people in a spin class appear to be pedaling very fast when they’re actually not doing much work at all.
So, now that you understand the difference between spin bikes and regular bikes, let’s look at whether triathletes/ duathletes will get a bang for their buck actually use spin bikes.
Spinning vs. Cycling – Overall Fitness
Spinning: A study by the American Council On Exercise (ACE) found that indoor spinning on a regular spin bike can keep you at around 75-95% of your maximum heart rate, which is more than adequate for a triathlete to build cardiovascular fitness. Of course, a big part of this heart rate boost could be the heat of an indoor spin room, the peer pressure of spinning classmates, and the motivation of an instructor barking orders in your face. However, as you’ve just learned, spinning tends to use primarily your hamstring muscles because of that fly-wheel, which A) means more help from the spin bike and fewer overall calories burned or muscles strengthened and B) you using far different muscle groups in a different way compared to what you’d experience with outdoor cycling.
Cycling: As you know if you’re a serious triathlete or cyclist, you can easily get your heart rate as high and higher as those in a spin class. But if you’re new to the sport and have a hard time pedaling that fast while balancing the bike, navigating, and not having the motivation of a crowd and an instructor, you may find it easier to build skills on the bike, and then build your cardiovascular fitness in a spin class. But in contrast to a spin bike, you use your glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, shins and calves more when you’re on a bike outside – so your muscular fitness will likely be higher (as long as you don’t spend much of your time “cruising”). But once again, you need to be working hard enough to hit those muscles with adequate force to make them stronger and to burn significant calories, and some people just have a hard time riding a bike that hard unless they’re racing.
Fitness Summary: The average triathlete, and especially the beginner triathlete, can get pretty fit in a spin class. But they shouldn’t neglect outdoor riding skills, and if you can get your heart rate high with outdoor rides, you’ll be better served keeping things on the road, or throwing your tri or road bike on an indoor trainer (which doesn’t have a fly wheel like a spin bike does).
Spinning vs. Cycling – Perceived Difficulty
Spinning: When you’re riding a bike indoors, spinning can get boring (this does not apply to Ashland’s fun spin instructors), and it can also use the same muscles over and over again (no ascents and no descents). This can certainly make spinning seem more difficult than cycling. But the pounding music and group/instructor motivation can help with this. Plus, note that a spin class can make time go by much faster compared to just throwing your bike on an indoor trainer.
Cycling: Unless you’re in a race or training with a fast group, cycling goes by much faster and generally feels much easier from an effort standpoint compared to a spin class. But as you take your cycling to the next level, there are technical skills required that can quickly make cycling become more difficult than spinning.
Summing it UP! :
You’re going to get a great workout with both spinning and cycling. But if you’re a triathlete, you’re going to want to be primarily training the muscles you’ll be using during the race, and also getting used to handling your road bike. Especially if you’re a beginner triathlete/duathlete, a spin class is going to give you great motivation and improve your fitness – but unless you’re just doing spin classes because you enjoy the heck out of them (and really WHO DOESN’T?!) – you’ll get more bang for your triathlete buck by riding your bike outdoors the 3 months a year that you are able to in northern Wisconsin!
Thanks to http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com for most of the above information!
This week we celebrated a belated St. Patrick’s Day by spinning our through the Emerald Isle. This trip across the Atlantic was made possible with a multimedia extravaganza that included projecting a larger-than-life first person perspective movie of a bike trip across Ireland onto the big screen! We pedaled and sweated ourselves through Ireland using the playlist below!
“You’ll never plough a field by turning it over in your mind.” – Irish Saying
We had so much fun spinning to the first throwback playlist that I created another retro playlist right away for my Friday and Sunday class! This one was pretty awesome and the class was singing along, but I have to say we had a pretty great time with the first playlist— maybe all the old skool silly hip hop songs…? Either way both playlists were too legit to quit and will be making appearances in the future.
The weather in Northern Wisconsin is positively miserable. It’s been below zero (think -27, not -5… my gosh we live in NORTHERN WI, it takes arctic chill before we flinch much) for a few days now. I decided my Thursday night class needed a tropical ESCAPE to warmer climates!
Here is the playlist we used to spin our way through the Caribbean and Mexico! Add in an inflatable palm tree, fun disco lighting, and some frozen “drinks” (Crystal Light Mocktails) post workout and it was just the vacation we all needed!
Here’s the playlist! This was probably one of my favorite classes so far!
This week I gave my spin classes the opportunity to create their own playlist! Each person in each of my classes submitted the songs they wanted and I told them I would make it work. Last night was the first class that we used their customized playlist and it was a ton of fun! I was pleasantly surprised by how well many of the songs worked for spin! And while the playlist was a bit schizophrenic, jumping from 90’s pop to current metal hits, each spinner was visibly excited when their song popped up in the order! Here is the playlist I was able to create from my Thursday night class. I can’t wait to see how much fun we have on Tuesday when it is their turn!