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The benefits of spinning and why you should be doing it

Spinning Robert BrennanThere are two things in my life that have totally changed my physique. The first, back in April 2010 was when I upped my Kettlebell training to several times per week. I cut fat and built lean tissue on my arms and shoulders in a matter of weeks, seeing and feeling a marked improvement in my posture. Kettlebells are a must in any training regime.

Despite the Kettlebell training I could not seem to shift all of the fat around my middle. This had built up over 5 years of working behind a desk, where despite my best efforts, the late nights and poor diet that come with a regular 13 hour shift had left their mark…

The next big change came when I began to instruct spinning in Manchester. I was doing 3 or 4 Spinning classes per week at first and all of a sudden my abdominal fat was gone!

I began to think about why, with all my other training, was it spinning which made the final breakthrough into a totally lean physique. I am sure the kettlebell training would have got me there eventually, but the combination of great training methods, like kettlebells, boxing and Spinning made the transformation much faster.


Spinning is a studio cycling workout and is one of the most intense interval sessions available. The beauty of it is that the individual riders are able to tailor the workout to their ability by adjusting their own bike. The workouts are great fun and done to music, so with a good instructor, the time flies by!

The classes are generally 45 minutes, because if they were any longer you would be crawling out of that studio!

Why does it work so well?….

When we work muscles to their extremes, we cause them to break down and then the body reacts to rebuild them stronger and bigger than before. This is due to the principle of ‘overload’ i.e. in order to advance and build up our bodies we must overload them beyond their ‘comfort zone’ and hence the body adapts, as it does to so many other things.

This rebuilding and healing process requires a lot of energy, hence, after a big workout such as a gruelling kettlebell session, a dead lift, or a Spinning session the body can be working harder than usual for a couple of days, burning more calories as it refuels and repairs. This can be described as having an increased metabolic rate.

The reason the above workouts cause this metabolic rate increase more than most others, is that the muscles worked out are the biggest in the body and they are compound exercises (working various muscle groups simultaneously). The bigger the muscles worked and the more muscle groups worked, the bigger the metabolic effect.

Spinning is one of the best workouts for causing this prolonged metabolic rate increase. The principle muscles used are the quads (thigh area), the glutes (buttocks and core) and the calf complex (rear lower leg), all are amongst the biggest and strongest muscles in the body. As well as these major muscles, the hamstrings and all of the core stabilisers get a great workout too.

More benefits…

Going a little deeper, the principle of Spinning is not simply to overload the muscles, but to do it in a variety of ways. For example; huge resistance in the pedals one minute during a long steep climb, to a short and low resistance spin shifting the lactic acid out of the muscles, to 100% effort sprints with legs becoming little more than a blur on a medium pedal resistance. This develops both fast and slow twitch fibres in the legs whilst pushing your cardio vascular system to the limit. Results are often far greater than you would achieve in a long steady cycle in the gym or even on the road.

A couple of spinning classes a week will guarantee results in terms of fat loss and increases to leg strength as well as a massive cardiovascular benefit. I would recommend Spinning to anyone training for a marathon or shorter run, with a weight loss goal, or just wanting to quickly build up to a good level of fitness.

I’d suggest one class per week if you can fit it in and Click here to register your interest in attending a spinning class! I am based in Alderley Edge, Cheshire, but I can help you to find a spinning class wherever you are situated.

Have fun and let us know how you get on!

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