Cardiovascular exercise is one of five basic components of fitness. The Centers For Disease Control states that healthy adults can gain extra health benefits from doing 150 to 300 minutes of moderate and vigorous cardiovascular exercise a week. If weight loss is one of your fitness goals, your activity choice can make a difference towards your caloric deficit for the week. Seasoned exercisers may ditch Zumba and the elliptical for more challenging workouts, like running and/or spinning classes. When you are ready to get that heart rate pumping, which cardiovascular session will come out ahead: a 5K run or a 45-minute spin class?

Running a 5K
Running a 5K is less time consuming than a marathon but the perks are similar – you can still get a new cool t-shirt and maybe even a medal! But apart from the swag, the amount of calories burned during a 5K depends on how much you weigh and how fast you are able to run. Here is a simple formula based on a 150-pound person running a 12-minute mile:

0.73 x weight = calories burned per mile x 3.1 = calories burned in 5K

Example: 0.73 x 150 =110 calories per mile, so that comes out to: 110 calories x 3.1 miles = 341 calories

A person running at this pace will finish a 5K in about 37 minutes. You can increase your caloric burn and finish sooner by gradually increasing your speed or by taking cross-training classes to strengthen the rest of your body. Working up to a 10-minute mile will increase your calories to about 363 calories and shave five minutes off your workout time.

Indoor Cycling
Indoor cycling is still a staple in many gyms across the country and the go-to workout for many celebs. Participants simulate different terrains on a specialized bike in a dark studio and a hot music playlist. According to myfitnesspal’s activity calculator a 150-pound person will burn about 357 calories during a 45-minute class, but that can depend on your resistance levels, how many standing intervals you do during class and your cadence. If you are supposed to be sprinting but you decide to take it slow, your workout will vary from your neighbor. Same thing goes for hills. If you add so much resistance that your cadence drops below 14 rpms, your heart rate will decrease as well, and cause you to burn fewer calories.

What’s Better?
As long as you don’t have any existing injuries, running a 5K gives you more bang for your butt! Make sure that you warm up and cool down afterwards and that your running shoes have enough stability to help you sprint over the finish line. If you need motivation to sign-up for a race, train for the big day by running outside or with some of these treadmill classes.

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The spinning trend isn’t dying down anytime soon. Studios like SoulCycle and Flywheel have been ruling the fitness space for years, and the craze has only expanded: You can also have some friendly team competition at Swerve, or even cycle in the water at Aqua. So, why is everyone so obsessed?

Spin classes promise transformation, and because of the enthusiasm, top-20 dance hits, and affirmations shouted to participants by the instructor, they’re never monotonous. You’ll definitely see benefits from hitting up regular classes — from weight loss to bettering your physical health — but there are some important things to keep in mind before getting your sweat on.

Contents

1. It’s an Impressive Cardio Workout — But You Might Not Be Burning as Much as You Think

Spinning is long known to decrease fat and help people drop pounds. In fact, it’s so effective that research has shown replacing one bout of moderate intensity exercise with two 30-minute sessions of the high-intensity workout can improve everything from your cardiovascular health to your body composition. But are you burning as many calories as you think you are?

Even though it feels like a killer spin class gives you a little leeway when it comes to indulging in the cupcakes your coworker brought in, that’s not the case.

“An average spin class burns between 400 and 600 calories,” says Will Torres, fitness expert and founder of Willspace, a personal training studio in New York City. “Spin three times a week and you torch up to 1,800 calories, but a pound of fat is equivalent to 3,500 calories. So to see weight-loss results, it’s not realistic to allow for wiggle room.”

2. It’s Great for Any Age, But You Need to Be Careful

Because spinning is a low-impact workout, it’s just as great of a workout for older adults as it is for trained athletes — you just need to be weary of how much you do it. One study, for instance, found that when done too often, the high intensity levels of spinning could contribute to a decline in performance rather than an improvement.

Then, there’s the aspect of what kind of spin class you take. Studios like SoulCycle and Flywheel have a hand-weight component, but experts agree that it’s no substitute for strength training — and could be setting you up for injury. Because spin studios are often dark, the instructor can’t see whether or not you have proper form, explains Amelia DiDomenico, assistant fitness manager at Crunch Sunset. Aside from that, using weights for only about five to seven minutes means the effort definitely doesn’t condition you as much as a 30-minute circuit that you may follow with a trainer.

Finally, the over-conditioning of your thighs could negatively affect your other muscles: “Any time you perform the same activity without cross-training, you wind up creating an imbalance between opposing muscles groups,” says Torres. “In the case of spinning, hip flexors and quads overdevelop, leading to imbalance and eventual injury.”

That’s where the whole “spinning-bulks-up-your-thighs” thing comes from, too: Tracy Anderson, celeb trainer and creator of the Tracy Anderson Method, says, “I have women who come into my office after spinning exclusively for six months, wondering why they can’t fit into their jeans. Spin may burn calories in the short-term, but if that’s all you’re doing, it’ll bulk your thighs.”

3. You Need to Switch Things Up

The cardio aspect of spinning strengthens your heart, and the dance-club-like atmosphere is undeniably fun — but if you do want to lose weight or inches, it’s a smart idea to have a little variety in your workout schedule.

Aside from your weekly spin classes, try some personal training sessions. A trainer can recommend the best workouts for the results you want and assess your form. Then, you can practice on your own.

“Using weights will tone your muscles, making you look smaller,” says DiDomenico. “And the more muscle you have, the more efficient your body becomes, which means you’ll burn more calories when resting.”

And when it comes to other classes, first figure out what you like best about spin class: Is it the camaraderie? The awesome tunes? The fact that you don’t have to think for 45 minutes because the instructor is telling you exactly what to do? If it’s the group-feel, try CrossFit. All about the music? Look into a dance class or Zumba. Want to turn off your brain? Drop in on a bootcamp. After all, as spin class teaches you, success is all about keeping up the rotation.

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Spinning for weight loss – and other benefits

Spinning for weight loss

Spin Class at Thanyapura Health & Sports Resort

Fancy toning up and losing some weight before bikini body season? Well, you could spend hours slogging away on the treadmill but then again, nobody wants to do that. So, instead why don’t you hop on a bike and pedal to the metal with a high intensity, but fun, workout like spinning? Spinning has always been a hugely popular fitness class and is known for its weight loss benefits among many other things.

But it isn’t just the many benefits that get people to return week in, week out. Spinning is a unique exercise experience – think high-intensity meets nightclub. This is the atmosphere that this popular and motivating class is known for. So, if this sounds good to you then keep reading and find out how you can benefit from spinning for weight loss and many other things.

SPINNING AT THANYAPURA – JOIN US IN PARADISE – READ MORE

Spinning for weight loss – and the other benefits

You may have started spinning for weight loss but there are so many more benefits of joining this high intensity class. Get started today!

Come and stay with us at Thanyapura Health & Sports Resort on the beautiful island of Phuket, Thailand. We offer great packages and services for getting fit, losing weight, mind & yoga training or taking your sports training to the next level with our world class sports facilities. We’re Asia’s best Tennis resort and are proud of have the best Olympic grade swimming pool in Asia.

Come check us out!

A:

Spinning classes can help you burn fat quickly, depending on the kind of class the instructor is leading. Don’t buy into the idea that low-intensity exercise (riding at a low heart rate or exertion level) is going to get you into a “fat burning” zone. The truth is, you burn fat at every intensity level, and when you exercise at a high and sustainable exertion level, like 70 to 75 percent of your maximum, you’re burning a lot of calories and a lot of fat each minute.

One of the ways to boost overall caloric burn during a spin class—and this is something instructors are well aware of—is interval training. You may not be able to exercise at 80 percent of your maximum effort for 30 minutes straight, but you can accumulate 30 minutes at that intensity by breaking it into five six-minute intervals or three ten-minute intervals. By breaking hard efforts into smaller chunks and allowing for adequate recovery between efforts, you can maximize the calories and fat you burn while also gaining something far more significant: fitness.

You see, my biggest problem with some exercise classes out there is that they focus too much on burning energy (calories) and too little on what you’re producing with that energy. If the instructor can only talk about burning calories, you’re in a class where you’re wasting energy. A good spin instructor will be able to tell you exactly how his or her workouts will build aerobic conditioning and build endurance. When a good spin class helps you gain real fitness, you develop the machinery in your muscles and cardiovascular system that allow you to burn even more fat and even more calories per minute. What’s more, real fitness translates into real health benefits more directly than simply losing weight.

Filed To: BikingWeight Loss

Indoor cycling has changed the exercise game as it recently boomed into a fitness culture worldwide. Young or old, fit or not, a 40- minute spin class promises to burn that fat, prevent unwanted injury and tone those muscles all in one! After putting it to the test by taking five 40-min classes per week, the results are pretty astonishing…

1. Goodbye to 500 calories (2 000kJ) in 40-minutes

Not everyone enjoys running for hours on a treadmill in the hope of shedding that guilty weight. According to Spinning Instructor News, the average individual is likely to burn up to 500 calories (or 2 000kJ) during a 40-minute class! (That’s roughly four cupcakes that are ditched for good).

2. Lower risk of injury and embarrassment

Training on a stationary bicycle ensures a low-impact workout that’s far easier on your joints and reduces the risk of injury. Bonus: apart from avoiding embarrassment (after tumbling off the treadmill a la Taylor Swift), you’ll also look super-professional and in control of your workout (all hail stationary equipment!).

READ MORE: 5 Workouts That Burn More Kilojoules Than A Spin Class

3. Less thinking, more fun!

Gone are the angst-riddled nights of planning your workouts… and never sticking to them – there’s that guilt again. Not only does a 40-minute spin class save you time, it also allows you to free your mind and transport your body to a peaceful place, without having to look at a piece of paper and lose count of those reps. Your sole task? Listening to the voice of the instructor, who serves both as a therapist and personal trainer – another two-for-one win! Everyday obstacles can now be tackled effectively after a powerful 40-minute workout that doubles as stress release.

READ MORE: ‘I Got Rhabdo After Spin Class — Here’s What You Need To Know’

4. All-in-one exercise

Spin classes are usually divided into four types of exercises: speed, endurance, power and combination, which are scheduled throughout the week on different days and at different times. This allows you to integrate all the important aspects of training into your weekly fitness regime without having to switch equipment or ask the regulars for help (all the time). For best results: mix it up! This way, boredom can’t touch your fun workout.

5. Firmer everything!

Once committing to the spinning regime, your entire body will slowly but surely start to firm up. Due to high-intensity interval training (HIIT), you’ll fry fat by cycling, melt away the kilojoules and build muscles – all at the same time! According to Spinning.com, a 40-minute class targets the large muscle groups (calves, hamstrings and thighs) in your legs to shape up fast, whilst strengthening the abdominal muscles, necessary to maintain your upper body rhythm.

If 40 measly minutes come with this many advantages, then spinning is winning! Great minds ride a bike #JustSayin’

READ MORE ON: Fitness Fitness Advice Spinning

Spinning gets a lot of street cred as one of the best calorie-blasting exercises, and not without good reason. Depending on factors like your weight and the intensity of your effort, a single one-hour class can help you scorch about 400 to 600 calories. “You’re using all of your leg muscles—upper, lower, front, and back,” says ACE spokesperson Cris Dobrosielski, owner of Monumental Results and author of Going the Distance. Pedaling away at hyper-speed doesn’t just build your lower-body strength; it also improves your cardiovascular endurance while putting little strain on your joints.

But to be honest, taking a spin class isn’t the only fast track to a leaner, fitter bod. “There are other classes and workouts that can be better ways to burn calories,” says Isabel Smith, R.D., C.D.N., celebrity dietitian and fitness expert. “It’s all about what type of workout will push you to work harder and raise your heart rate higher.”

If you’re thinking of hopping off the iron horse and trying something new, consider these five cal-crushing alternatives for an even more rewarding sweat sesh.

Rowing

Approximate Calories Burned Per Hour: 600 to 800

Hitting the indoor rowing machine is a killer way to give calories the heave-ho. It provides a better total-body workout than the spin bike, too: According to Josh Kernen, C.S.C.S., D.P.T., co-owner of Bridgetown Physical Therapy and Training Studio, cranking those handlebars utilizes nine major muscle groups, including the quads, hamstrings, abs, triceps, biceps, and more.

To maximize the burn, Smith recommends interval-style rowing: “Do 500 to 1,000 meters per interval with a two-minute break in between, or vary your intervals for an hour (alternating between a one-minute interval with a 30-second break, and a two-minute interval with a one-minute break).”

RELATED: 7 Simple Exercises That Show Results After One Workout

Jumping Rope

Approximate Calories Burned Per Hour: 600 to 800

You may not have skipped to your lou since you were in pigtails, but this drill is anything but child’s play. “Jumping rope doesn’t just burn calories; it also helps improve bone density and develops agility and balance,” says Kernen. “Plus, you can do it anywhere.”

The best part? You already know how it’s done. The hopping motions are the same as the ones you used as a kid, just intensified: “Keep the tempo up to keep the calorie burn up,” says Smith. “You want to keep it to about 100 bounces per minute to help you reach your calorie-burning potential.”

RELATED: The 18-Minute Fitness Routine That Will Totally Change Your Body

Kickboxing

Approximate Calories Burned Per Hour: 750 to 900

A class that gives unwanted calories the one-two punch and teaches you how to kick ass? Sign us up! This full-body meltdown engages your legs and glutes for stabilization, but it also tones your shoulders, back, and abs—something you miss out on when you’re biking. Not to mention it’s a healthier outlet for unleashing pent-up stress than, say, actually kicking someone’s butt.

This is more of a do-not-try-this-at-home type of deal, so the pros suggest grabbing a buddy and signing up for a local class. “If you don’t have experience in kickboxing, find a good instructor who can work with individuals at all fitness levels,” says Kernen. The trainer will walk you through routines that’ll help you meet your calorie-blasting goals. (Score quickie workouts you can do at home with Women’s Health’s 20-Minute Workouts DVD!)

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Approximate Calories Burned Per Hour: 900 to 1,000

With these hardcore routines, speed, power and endurance act as catalysts that boost your metabolic rate both during and long after your session—up to a whole 48 hours after, to be exact. It’s all thanks to the phenomenon known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC, which basically means you’re incinerating calories while you’re resting post-workout. “This can burn an additional 6 to 15 percent more calories due to your elevated metabolism,” says Kernen. “It’s like a free 60 to 150 calories burned just for your body to recover.”

According to L.A.-based trainer Mike Donavanik, C.S.C.S., HIIT couples what’s normally anaerobic activity (strength training) with aerobic elements (cardio) to capitalize on calorie burn. Training is normally done in ratios of 2:1 or 3:1, meaning you’re exercising at peak intensity for two to three minutes and then resting for one. It’s no walk in the park, but it’s quick, convenient, and insanely effective.

RELATED: Lose Your Belly with Just Two Exercise Moves

Try adding this HIIT workout to your routine:

Kettlebells

Approximate Calories Burned Per Hour: 800 to 1200

“If time is your enemy but training is your friend, you may want to meet the kettlebell,” says celeb personal trainer Ashley Borden, author of Your Perfect Fit. “A study sponsored by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) showed participants were able to burn calories off the charts when they used KBs in a HIIT format.” There’s a whole menu of kettlebell moves to choose from—like squats, snatches, lunges and more—that will chisel your body into godlike perfection.

Borden swears by this 36-minute KB workout, which rotates between 30 seconds of work and 30 seconds of rest. Repeat the following circuit three times:

– Three rounds heavy kettlebell deadlifts
– Three rounds alternating reverse lunges with lighter kettlebells held above the head with both arms locked out for the entire move (hold KB bottom-up for a challenge)
– Three rounds alternating double-arm kettlebell bent-over row
– Plank hold on forearms

Whatever your choice, what ultimately matters is that you keep going and remember to switch things up once in a while. “The most important thing for those looking to improve their health, burn calories, and stay fit for life is to utilize a variety of exercise modalities,” says Dobrosielski. “Find one or two that you enjoy the most and that are the most convenient. As long as you’re moving, you’re doing way better than not.”

How many calories do I burn in an indoor cycling/spinning class?

You can burn 480-1720 calories in an indoor cycling class.

It depends on how much you weigh, how hard you work, and the length and difficulty of the class. Below is a general estimate of how many calories you can burn during a Spinning ® or indoor cycling class.

45-minute indoor cycling class

  • If you weigh 150 lbs, you can burn approximately 480 calories in 45 minutes.
  • If you weigh 200 lbs, you can burn approximately 645 calories in 45 minutes.
  • If you weigh 250 lbs, you can burn approximately 800 calories in 45 minutes.
  • If you weigh 300 lbs, you can burn approximately 970 calories in 45 minutes.
  • If you weigh 350 lbs, you can burn approximately 1125 calories in 45 minutes.
  • If you weigh 400 lbs, you can burn approximately 1290 calories in 45 minutes.

60-minute indoor cycling class

  • If you weigh 150 lbs, you can burn approximately 640 calories in 60 minutes.
  • If you weigh 200 lbs, you can burn approximately 860 calories in 60 minutes.
  • If you weigh 250 lbs, you can burn approximately 1070 calories in 60 minutes.
  • If you weigh 300 lbs, you can burn approximately 1290 calories in 60 minutes.
  • If you weigh 350 lbs, you can burn approximately 1150 calories in 60 minutes.
  • If you weigh 400 lbs, you can burn approximately 1720 calories in 60 minutes.

Sources: Spinning ®Instructor Manual
Ainsworth BE, Haskell WL, Whitt MC, et al. Compendium of physical activities: an update of activity codes and MET intensities. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 32, No. 9, Suppl., pp. S498–S516, 2000.
Calorie calculations from equation: (METs x 3.5 x body weight in kg)/200 = calories per minute

I used to be obsessed with SoulCycle — until I realized how much is wrong with the class

The wheels of an indoor bicycle seen at a SoulCycle class at the company’s Union Square location in New York on April 13, 2011. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton SoulCycle — an expensive fitness studio popular among urban women — filed to go public on Thursday.

This verifies that the boutique indoor cycling classes are, in fact, taking over America.

But as with many fitness fads, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

I can confirm this firsthand.

I had a momentary obsession with SoulCycle. Stuck in a fitness rut and feeling the effects of my desk job on my waistline, I wanted a workout that would force me to break a sweat.

A shiny new, grapefruit-smelling SoulCycle studio had opened close to my neighborhood, and as an avid fan of indoor cycling, I found that sometimes regular cycling classes left me unsweaty and unsatisfied. I had tried high-intensity interval videos on YouTube in my living room, much to the chagrin of my neighbors, and that didn’t work, either. The idea of a class was alluring; I would be required to show up, and at $34 a class, I would have to push myself, or else it wouldn’t be worth it.

Plus, I had heard so much about the community of SoulCycle. Celebrities cycled there. Reportedly, the teachers were like gurus, and you would leave with your metaphorical demons cast out from your day!

But I was nervous, because in November I had passed my certification to be a Mad Dogg spinning instructor, and Mad Dogg master instructors vilify SoulCycle. I felt slightly like a traitor, but I was still excited about the new experience. Plus, a first class was a comparatively cheaper $20, and the new studio near my apartment even offered a one-time complimentary class. I promised myself I would go only those two times, but that turned into many, many more.

But then I realized there are many things wrong with SoulCycle. My wallet is now thanking me.

1. It’s not a good workout, according to some experts.

Getty/Michael Buckner

Because SoulCycle focuses on combining dance moves (that have not been scientifically proved to do anything for you) with riding the bike, I found it hard to actually get an optimal cardiovascular workout and a toning workout.

In 2011, James S. Fell wrote in the Los Angeles Times that he gave SoulCycle “a failing grade for exercise physiology and biomechanics.”

“The whole idea of working one’s upper body while pedaling a stationary bike is not only counterproductive,” he wrote, “it can be physically detrimental over time, according to several experts I talked to.”

He wrote that neither of SoulCycle’s cofounders, Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler, had a background in exercise science or any indoor cycling certifications. (Rice told Fell the two worked with an exercise physiologist to come up with the routines.)

Further, some experts believe that the workout is bunk and that by combining weights and cycling, you actually lose efficiency, one expert told Fell.

“You’re probably going to burn less calories because your power output is going to drop,” Jennifer Sage, a master-spinning instructor with a degree in exercise science who wrote the emphatic “I’d Rather Sell My Soul Than SoulCycle,” told Fell.

Separately, Sage wrote that the popular move of doing push-ups on the bike was useless. “Because of this vigorous action, there is momentum to his movement, reducing even more the potential of any strength gain,” she wrote.

“There is an illusion that they are working out harder because high repetitions can cause a burning sensation, but it doesn’t accomplish anything,” Martha Heaner, an indoor cycling instructor with over 15 year of experience who has a doctorate degree in nutrition and physical activity, told Fell in the same Los Angeles Times article.

2. You can hurt yourself.

Courtesy of SoulCycle

When I got certified to teach indoor cycling, one of the most important things I learned was that proper alignment is crucial to avoiding back injuries. While some SoulCycle instructors do make concerted efforts to go around and help participants find proper form before the class begins, others didn’t do that in some of the classes I took.

That leaves room for injuries — and in an already intimidating (and at times, snobby) environment, it can be tough to ask for help, let alone grab the attention of your instructor or one of the attendants.

There’s also more of an effort on “following the dance moves” than following the instructor. (You can see a hilarious Gawker review of the class in which Rich Juzwiak, Caity Weaver, and Leah Beckmann attempt to follow along to prove just how confusing these dance moves can be.)

But this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, as SoulCycle openly discloses that most of its instructors, as is the case with its founders, do not have fitness backgrounds. “SoulCycle is open about the fact that the company recruits performers as much as, if not more than, people with a fitness background,” New York Magazine reported in 2013.

Master trainer Janet Fitzgerald confirmed to the magazine that she “would rather not take an outdoor triathlete” as opposed to a dancer or SoulCycle enthusiast. This alone is yet another problem with the fitness regimen.

Even when doing the exercise routine properly, there are plenty of opportunities to injure yourself. Sage told the Los Angeles Times that “when you start bobbing and weaving and doing push-ups on a bike while your legs are spinning, you risk hurting your low back.” In that same article, other fitness experts disapproved of not only the validity, but the safety of the workout.

Sage has specifically criticized the popular “tap-back” move for its ability to cause injuries — it’s what spin instructors call a “contraindicated move.” “They are about as contraindicated as one can get because of the deceleration required by the back muscles,” she wrote. “Otherwise you’d slam down hard into the saddle. There is zero benefit to doing these, and they are potentially harmful to joints and the musculature of the back.”

Additionally, riding with little to no resistance can result in injuries. In a separate post detailing an unsafe spin class, Sage wrote, “by not having resistance, rider’s hips and spine are unsupported at such a high cadence, potentially injuring the low back.” Of course, riding in any indoor cycling class with little resistance could lead to injuries like this.

3. SoulCycle fools you into thinking you’re working harder than you actually are.

REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

If you’ve ever walked out of a SoulCycle class drenched in sweat, it’s probably because the studios don’t cool the rooms down; it’s warm in there. The rooms are notoriously steamy. The first time I experienced this, I foolishly attributed my soaked attire to an intense workout. I must have burned a billion calories!

Not quite. Many people buy into the fact that they’re eviscerating calories from their bodies, but it’s just part of SoulCycle’s pseudo-yogi schtick.

4. SoulCycle charges you for water and shoes.

SoulCycle requires riders to don shoes that are able to clip on to the pedals, which isn’t unusual for an indoor cycling class. It’s $3, however, to rent shoes previously worn by someone else. Additionally, Smart Water is $2.

Purchasing bottled water isn’t a unique experience at an upscale fitness studio, but it does seem a bit excessive when you learn that SoulCycle’s biggest competitor, Flywheel, grants you water and shoe rentals free.

These expenses add up on top of the already-steep fees.

5. You get shoved to the back, where you may not be able to see the instructor.

Netflix

If you’ve watched “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” you’ve seen an excellent parody of this phenomenon, with Nick Kroll as a hack indoor cycling instructor.

New riders are encouraged to stay away from the front, which can make following the instructor near to impossible. (Usually, the rear end of a fellow rider is in your face instead.) As mentioned previously, it’s problematic to not be able to follow along with the instructor.

This practice also gives the experience a cliquey feel. You have to work your way to be good enough for the front row — and by good enough, it doesn’t mean in shape enough. It means that you’ve mastered the “dance” moves on the bike. This is plausibly another strategy to get people to keep coming back; riders want to get coordinated enough to get bumped up to the front. I made it to the front once … but it was a day when the front row was empty.

6. It’s expensive, and there aren’t memberships available for loyal, frequent riders.

Courtesy of SoulCycle It’s a no-brainer that SoulCycle is a very easy way to throw your money into the wind, but the cost is even harder to take when you realize other cycling studios offer memberships — or participate in ClassPass, a hot startup that despite its demerits, allows fitness enthusiasts to sample many boutique fitness studios for what was a cool $99 a month (it’s now $125 a month in New York, after a recent price hike).

SoulCycle’s top competitor, FlyWheel, offers memberships at specific studios in New York City for $375 a month. That is expensive, but classes are unlimited; it’s a deal if you go every single day. In other cities, FlyWheel memberships are even cheaper. SoulCycle offers no such options. Classes are available to purchase as singles or by the package, which reduces the price tag per class only slightly. A SuperSoul package exists for $3,500; it’s 50 classes, and it goes so far to hike up the price to $70 a class, with the “benefit” of securing the ability to register for coveted classes earlier and a concierge service.

And a new cycling studio with significantly more affordable prices, CycleBar, has been opening up franchises like crazy across America.

Even Equinox, which is often criticized for its sky-high price, seems affordable in comparison with SoulCycle.

7. It owns its elitism and exclusivity.

By not joining ClassPass and by not offering memberships, SoulCycle owns the fact that it is for the upper echelon of society. So it’s no surprise that going to SoulCycle feels more like going to a debutante ball than going to the gym.

It’s also hard to get into SoulCycle classes; sign-ups are at noon on Mondays, and unsurprisingly, the popular classes fill up rapidly, leaving many die-hard riders without their preferred classes. “The withholding creates that rare thing among the well-heeled — unfulfilled material desire,” Vanessa Grigoriadis wrote in Vanity Fair in 2012.

This supposedly community-based workout thrives on keeping people out.

8. It doesn’t make you feel good about yourself, but it promises that it will.

Ride. Rinse. Repeat. Our reusable sweat bag is now available in studios and online at the Soul Shop!

A photo posted by SoulCycle (@soulcycle) on Jul 9, 2015 at 1:15pm PDTJul 9, 2015 at 1:15pm PDT

While this may not be true for all of the clientele, there’s something about being shoved to the back of a room amid a sea of perfectly sculpted and tanned women with massive diamond rings, clad in SoulCycle’s signature apparel, that doesn’t make you feel great. Yet SoulCycle’s marketing promises to help you be the best you, if you keep coming back (and buying the company’s very expensive apparel with the word “SoulCycle” stamped across it!)

On its website, SoulCycle makes some lofty promises about how it will alter riders’ universes: “forty-five minutes is all it takes to transform the way you look and feel,” and more grandiose, “SoulCycle doesn’t just change bodies, it changes lives.”

9. The wording in its IPO filing was ludicrous.

You can to read it, but be warned that it contains the words “tribal” and “primal.”

That said, there are undeniably a few good things about SoulCycle. Some instructors really do say the right platitudes that keep you coming back (I know I have a few favorites still whom I would ride with again on occasion). Some instructors also offer classes that are structured more like traditional interval classes, and they shy away from the distracting dancing hi-jinks — but you have to go through many classes and instructors (and paychecks) to get there. And at the end of the day, anything that gets people off of the couch and exercising can’t be entirely lambasted.

We reached out to SoulCycle, and the company declined to comment, citing the quiet period before filing for an initial public offering.

Flywheel v SoulCycle: The Calorie for Calorie Burn Off

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I had a chance to take classes at both Flywheel and SoulCycle – both indoor cycling studios. I took the Flywheel class in Chicago’s Gold Cold neighborhood last Tuesday and SoulCycle on Saturday in New York’s Upper East Side neighborhood. I from Chicago and typically do not travel to a different part of the country to take a classes , but I happened to be in the Big Apple with friends and thought I’d give it a shot.

What’s the Difference Between SoulCycle and Flywheel?

Both are fast-paced indoor cycling classes – similar, but not quite the same as a garden-variety spinning class. Both classes use light hand weights to break the class up by throwing in upper body strengthening exercises. Flywheel uses two and four pound bars that are neatly tucked away toward the front of the bike…I didn’t even know they were there until our instructor asked the class to grab them. SoulCycle uses small dumbbells that are placed under the seat.

Flywheel’s “never coast” philosophy means that energy and the rider’s power output stay high throughout class. The class is set up like a stadium, with bikes surrounding the instructor’s stage in a semi-circle shape. The instructor selects the music. Alicia, our instructor, chose a a bunch of fun songs to keep us energized- even going old school, including Technotronic’s “Move This” (remember that?). The Flywheel class pushed RPMs really high, but also incorporated some tough hills that slowed our legs down quite a bit. A computer measured our power output, so there was always something to reference in terms of how hard we were working.

SoulCycle’s class had a cool zen vibe to it. It was sort of like listening to a yoga instructor…on a bike. But it worked. Energy was really high and the music was good. Music will make or break a class for me, so it’s really important. We started with Aerosmith’s “Dream On,” but then built in artists like Kanye West and Snoop Dogg. It was pretty eclectic. Our instructor, Maya, was a lot of fun and managed the packed Saturday morning class with a great attitude.

The Calorie Burn Breakdown

I wore my heart rate monitor for both classes. I’m more curious to see how high my heart rate got in each of the classes (both in the mid 170s). Even though I don’t base the quality of a class (or any workout) on the calories burned), since I had the calorie output, I thought I’d post it.

Calories burned in a one hour Flywheel class.

The class I took at Flywheel was only one hour, but I started my monitor about ten minutes before class. I really just sat around, so the calories burned were nominal. Based on this (and this is very unscientific), the total calories burned per minute during Flywheel were 9.55. The benefit in terms of what it did for my body, came from my heart rate getting pushed up through vigorous exercise, then dropping down while climbing hard.

Calories burned during a SoulCycle class.

The class I took at SoulCycle was 45 minutes, and I started my monitor about ten minutes before class again. I burned 9.13 calories per minute during this class.

I taught spinning classes for seven years, and in that time, I don’t think I once measured how many calories I ever burned. Even though the philosophy of both types of classes are different, riders turn their legs over really fast. I was really happy with both classes and loved the energy in each of them. The quality of the class was also really great, which made the difference.

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Traci is a nationally recognized health and fitness expert who has been featured on The TODAY Show, Dr. Oz, Oprah.com and SHAPE magazine. Traci is available for corporate speaking events and wellness coaching, as well as private training. Contact Traci here.

Spinning vs Running – Which Is Better?

Last Updated on December 4, 2019

Both Spinning (indoor cycling) and running on a treadmill have their advantages, and both go a long way toward improving your cardiovascular health. Many people swear by one or the other. However, depending on your goals, the two exercise are definitely very different and one might better suited for you.

Comparing the Calorie Burn

In terms of calories, a 30 minute treadmill running session at 6mph for an 155lb adult will burn around 350 calories. The same size adult will burn around 260 calories in 30 minutes on a Spin bike at a steady pace. However, a Spinning class is much more intense so you can expect to burn anywhere from 400-600 calories if you push yourself. Woman.thenest.com reports that “a 160-pound person can burn over 600 calories per hour at the leisurely pace of 5 mph. Increase the speed to 8 mph and that figure jumps to over 800 per hour.” That’s a whole lot of calories.

According to Spinning.com “an average 40-minute class at a cadence of 80–110 rpm is equivalent to approximately 15–20 miles on the road.” Spinning on a bike is therefore more likely to burn more calories due to the environment. Yet, using intervals in your treadmill training is a great way to ramp up the calories burned in that session. Intervals also increase your metabolic rate after exercise. This means that even after you’ve stopped your activity your metabolism is ramped up from the session. It all comes down to how much effort you are willing to put in.

Consider Your Joints

Spinning is also much more gentle on the joints. For people who experience ankle, hip or knee pain, running on a treadmill can put great stress upon the areas of the body. If you’re landing heel first, this pressure increases drastically. It’s always important to land with you forefoot first and then follow through with your heel by rolling your sole, otherwise you may develop serious joint injuries. Spinning does not have this effect as there is no impact on the lower body.

Mind Your Posture

Although, cycling can also be bad for your posture. Due to the stance that you need to be in alongside the activation of the quadriceps (the muscles on the front of your legs), you can get very tight hips and a bad back. Keeping a neutral spine instead of curving or arching at the lower back is very important for maintaining a strong and healthy spine. Stretching out your legs after your session is also a good idea.

Build Muscle

The activation of the quadriceps makes cycling on a Spin bike a great way to build muscle on your legs. Many people who frequently compete in bike races have very large thigh and calf muscle. This makes it perfect for anyone from pro football players to normal people trying to improve the aesthetic of their lower body.

Cross-training – Do Both!

A cross-training routine can be very good if you’re just trying to improve your aerobic fitness or lose some weight. This means that each time you go to exercise you choose a different method. Monday might be running while Wednesday could be spinning then back to running on Friday. Throwing in a bit of swimming, too, can maximize the rewards you get across your whole body. Those who only run may tend to develop knee problems, where as those who only Spin can develop poor posture and tight hips from the forward lean. So the answer may be to mix them up.

At the end of the day both running on a treadmill and indoor cycling can be very good for all fitness goals. If you tend to experience joint problems in your lower body then cycling will be the better option. If you’re more prone to rounding your back and maintaining poor posture then you might want to think about running instead. A cross training regime where you utilize both cardio methods alongside others such as swimming is best so that you can reap various different rewards without causing any negative effects caused by repetitive strain. If you play a sport then choose whichever will transfer the best. Running will be better for football and athletics where as cycling will be better for rugby and power sports.

Choose the exercise which suits you best. Make sure that it’s something you enjoy and something that you can commit to. Choosing one because it burns 50 more calories over the other even though you hate it will mean that you’ll give up after a while anyway. The best exercise is the one that you can do best and do for a long time.

Thanks to a boom of spinning studios opening across the country, spinning classes are an absolute must-have at your local gym. But what are the benefits of going to a spinning class over other types of cardio, and just how many calories do you burn during a class?

In case you hadn’t heard of them yet, spinning classes are usually at a gym or spinning studio in a room with stationary bikes and an instructor leading the class. There are different types of spinning classes, such as endurance spinning, classes incorporating upper body work – and even hip-hop spinning.

The Benefits Of A Spinning Class

Without a doubt, one of the many benefits of spinning is that it’s easy on your joints. If you have joint issues, spinning may be a better option than running or other forms of high-intensity cardio.

Spinning is also an enjoyable form of cardio. Riding all together in the studio, wheels spinning, can make you feel like you’re part of a team, plus, the music pumping loudly creates a party atmosphere. With all of those endorphins flying around, it’s no wonder people get addicted to spinning classes!

Many people like to be pushed and motivated by other people, which spinning classes are well-known for. Sure, the instructor will be cheering you on, but you won’t want to be put to shame by the other spinners around you. With the recent release of Wattbikes, you can even race against your fellow spinners using a computer program – and there’s no way you’ll want to be at the back.

The Disadvantages Of Spinning

Using spinning as your main form of exercise is great for burning calories, but not ideal for growing or maintaining muscle mass, which is important for overall health. Use spinning in tandem with a weight-training workout regime for the best results.

You might find that you don’t have the time for a 60-minute spin class, which is one of the disadvantages. However, there are shorter classes of around 30 to 45 minutes, plus, because it’s so much fun, it’ll be over before you know it.

Calories Burnt Spinning

Spinning can be a low- or high-intensity cardio – depending on how hard you work.

The following table shows an approximation of the number of calories burned for someone weighing around 10st, during a light, moderate or vigorous spinning workout. You’ll know how hard you’ve worked by the end of the class!

30 minutes 45 minutes 60 minutes
Light 233kcal 350kcal 466kcal
Moderate 350kcal 525kcal 700kcal
Vigorous 416kcal 625kcal 833kcal

Take Home Message

Spinning classes are perfect for those who have joint issues and also for those who love the social aspect of exercise. However, including weight training in your workout regime is important for growing or maintaining muscle mass, plus, it can increase calorie burn after exercise. Use spinning classes as an addition to your workout regime, rather than just spinning classes alone.

Calories burned during spinning

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