May 182010

Cycling on the open road, on wooded dirt trails, or in the Spin class setting is a good cross-training alternative for roller derby athletes. Cycling is my number two sport, only second to skating. I choose to bicycle ride or attend Spin class at least 3-4 days per week because it helps me to developing leg strength, improve cardiovascular fitness, and maintain a firm butt. Today’s installment will focus on the cycling option that is provides the most calorie burning efficiency and is easiest and least costly to add to your training regime: Spin class.

Spin class is a group exercise available in many health clubs. Typically, classes are scheduled for 45 minutes or one hour. Participation entails riding a stationary bicycle, called a Spin bike, which feels very similar to a normal bicycle except for a few key differences:
 There is no gear shifting. Instead, a knob is turned to vary the friction against the wheel. This simulates the feeling of hill climbing or descending.
 Breaking is not applied by pulling a break on the handlebars. Instead, the friction knob is pulled to apply breaking.
 The seat adjustment is easily varied. Two levers are available to shift the seat position upward/downward and forward/backward.

A trained instructor leads the class and provides inspiration through position coaching and music choice. Position coaching includes sprint and hill work. The work out can be extremely challenging and yield excellent results. A person weighing 185 lbs. will burn 1000 calories with a solid effort put forth in an hour Spin session!  The music in class can make the workout more fun and exhilarating than outdoor riding, especially when the instructor chooses fast pace music. Music can also de-motivate too – if you don’t like the genre preference of the instructor. I recommend trying the classes. You’ll find one that suits your music tastes and leaves you dripping with sweat and satisfied that you’ve had an excellent workout.

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