FYI SOUTH Magazine, Fall 2007.




Start Screaming for Spinning – Part One

By Megan Thow Translated by Ann Lee

When I first joined a gym, I was very timid when it came to trying new classes. I felt awkward walking into an aerobics studio and joining in on a routine, so I stuck to the treadmill and stair-climbers. However, when I started to exercise with a friend who was more ambitious than me, she suggested trying a Spinning class as she heard it was a great workout and burned a lot of calories.

She practically dragged me into that first class, but she was right—it was great exercise and it was a lot of fun.

"For those who are participating in the Spinning class for the first time, my suggestion is to bring a cheerful and enthusiastic mood into the classroom," says instructor Chris Yang. "Allow yourself to sweat and scream because Spinning is a simple indoor cycling sport that you can adjust to your own intensity."

Spinning is an indoor aerobic conditioning program that uses stationary exercise bikes. However, it differs from riding a stationary bicycle in that it is an imitation of outdoor mountain bike riding and the riders' pace is constantly changing. The charismatic instructors and the energetic music encourage the class to push themselves to the limit.

"During Spinning class, students need to alter their riding positions and adjust their pedaling speeds," says Yang, who has been Spinning for five years and teaching for three. "When riding a stationary bike, riders are usually in one fixed position."

Spinning also differs from other group exercise classes because it is a high-intensity interval class.

"Training like this has been shown to burn fat for 24 to 48 hours post exercise," notes Jimmy Smith, a certified strength and conditioning specialist who has been involved with fitness training for about five years.

Also, for someone as uncoordinated as I am, it is as easy as, well, riding a bike.

"Students who participate in this sport can adapt quickly with the rest of the group, so there won't be any coordination problems, which often causes frustration. Everyone can feel a sense of achievement after a Spinning workout," adds Jimmy.

To find out more about the benefits of Spinning, the calories burned and how to begin, please return next month. Thanks to the World Gym for offering such a great variety of Spinning classes and allowing us to take photographs of their facilities.