As a personal trainer in West Los Angeles, I have seen and been through MANY fads in fitness. I always get the dreaded, “my friend does (insert type of exercise here) and his/her body looks amazing! I think I’m going to start doing (insert type of exercise here).” Yesterday it was spinning. Now, I’m not here to hate on spinning, I have cycled before and think it can be a really great workout. But, I do believe, just as in life, what works for one person may not work for another.
So who’s it for?
When endurance training*** is done in congruence with resistance training, research shows it will impede strength gains, lean muscle growth, and OVERRALL FLEXIBILITY. If you are not allowing your body to explore full ranges of motion (cycling is a very small range of motion at the hips, knees, and ankles), your joints will lock up in those positions, decreasing your mobility, stability, and overall joint health. So, if you have a bad back because your hips are locked up, core is inactive, and glute strength is non-existent, I would stay away from spinning until you can clear these dysfunctions up. Basically anyone in pain should stay away from spinning until they are pain-free.
I have a lot of clients whose goal is to drop body fat but only increase muscle mass a tiny bit to get the “toned” look. For them, I would say impeding strength gains and muscle growth isn’t the worst thing. Just make sure the endurance training DOESN’T DOMINATE YOUR PROGRAM. Look at endurance training as a supplement to your strength training rather than the core of your exercise program. Strength training shapes you and cardio makes you smaller (put in the least scientific terms I can think of). In fact, I have a client who is a spin instructor and IMPLEMENTS SPINNING VERY EFFECTIVELY INTO HIS OVERALL STRENGTH TRAINING ROUTINE, and that dude looks great!
Now there are many variables to this statement, such as the spin instructor, how hard you can push yourself, and of course GENETICS. However, based off the research and my experience with training “spinners” (insert joke here), I do believe spinning has the ability to kill your results OR enhance them if supplemented right.
**Spinning is a type of endurance training
If you are going to spin, here’s a quick warm up (all linked to
my video library) that will ensure you’re reaping the benefits
from the class:
Foam Roll + Lacrosse Ball Rolling: 2-10 minutes
Glute Bridges: 2×15
Hip Striders: 2×8/side
Spidermans with T-Spine Rotation: 3×8/side
Wall Bugs: 2×8/side
Ankle Mobs: 2×20/side