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Exercise Bikes: The Difference between Spin Classes and Regular Gym Use

Fitday Editor
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Exercise bikes are popular pieces of fitness equipment that are found in most gyms and workout facilities. These stationary bikes deliver all the benefits of biking outdoors; you get a great cardiovascular workout that boosts your heart rate and metabolism. While peddling away on one of these bikes, your body efficiently burns calories in a way that's easy on your joints.

There are two ways to workout on an exercise bike while at the gym. You can either hop on an available bike and follow one of the machine's regimented programs, or you can enroll in a spinning class and follow the directions of an instructor. While both of these methods are great for your health and will contribute to weight loss, a spin class might provide you with more benefits.

Spin Classes

Spin classes are led by qualified instructors who are determined to give you a challenging workout and ensure you're in proper form at all times. The bikes used in spin classes are specialized to give you a realistic and intense cycling experience. The class always starts with a 5 to 10 minute workout, in which you introduce your body to the bike's motion and stretch out the upper half of your body. After this, the intensity begins, and the instructor will lead you on a wild ride that consists of altering speeds and routines. There is a knob placed on the bike that will enable you to increase or decrease the resistance, depending on the current course and the instructor's direction. During the tough climbs, the resistance will be cranked up, and when the sprints come around, it will be decreased so you can move your legs faster. The class will end with a low-intensity cool down and a final stretching session.

The class will usually last an hour, and you will burn around 500-700 calories. If you work especially hard, you have the potential to burn even more. During these classes, high energy music is played in the background to keep you motivated and add enthusiasm to the class.

Regular Gym Use

If you use a gym bike on your own, then you will start off entering your weight into the machine and choosing your program and level. The programs range from hills to interval training. You also have the option to manually control your own workout. At any time during your workout, you can alter your level and add or take away resistance. The amount of calories you burn will depend on how hard you push yourself. If you keep up a challenging pace and find yourself sweating throughout your workout, you will burn around 300 calories in 30 minutes.

The Difference

While both of these workouts take place on a stationary bike, they contain a few differences. First off, the bikes used in spinning classes prove to be more challenging than the bikes available for regular gym use. Another thing that makes a spinning class more intense is the instructor. During these sessions, you are following a professional's lead, and therefore can be certain you're getting a challenging workout.

Sometimes when you work out at your own pace, you can fall victim to laziness or boredom. You may not push yourself as hard as you can, or you may become distracted by the television, a magazine or a conversation with a friend. An organized class might force you to discipline yourself, and you will have the support of others around you to further fuel your motivation.

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