6 Tips to Maximize Calorie Burn in Spin Class

Want to maximize your calorie burn in spin class? Here’s 6 tips to get the most out of your next ride. 

6 Tips to Maximize Calorie Burn In Spin Class

1. Don’t stop moving.
A transition between songs seems like the right moment to take a break in the saddle, but it’s actually the time when keeping your body moving is the most important. “As you hear one song end and the next begin, resist the urge to sit down in the saddle or let your heart rate slow down,” says SoulCycle Instructor Lily Miesmer. “Transitions are a great time to keep your cardiovascular system working.”

2. Turn up the heat.
We’re going to sweat while we workout anyway, so why not turn the temperature up a bit and really get it going? “Riding in a heated room torches calories,” says The Sweat Shoppe co-owner Mimi Benz. “You can burn up to 1,000 calories in 55 minutes.”

3. Make sure you have enough resistance.
“Increase your resistance by 10 percent for all hills, jogs, and sprints: you’ll burn 10 percent more calories that way,” says chief ride officer at Cycle House, Nichelle Hines. Stephanie Horowitz of Ocean Ride Cycling Studio reminds us that, “Riding without resistance will take you nowhere.” You want to feel the burn—that’s the whole point, right?

4. Push yourself.
“Test your limits—this isn’t the time to shy away from the hardest part of the workout,” says Horowitz. Miesmer agrees: “You should feel like you almost can’t do [the hard parts]—that’s how you know they’re working. So crank up that resistance and commit to the slow grueling push instead of being tempted to use less resistance and pedal faster. It will pay off in the end.”

5. Remove the bounce.
“Bouncing stresses our joints and actually takes away from the calorie burn,” says Flywheel cofounder and creative director Ruth Zukerman. “When riding out of the saddle, hovering closer to the saddle relies on the use of your muscles more, resulting in more calories burned.”

6. Prep your body before class.
Hines loves getting your body in motion by walking or jogging to class, while Miesmer jump-starts her system with a little natural sugar courtesy of coconut water. “Dehydration will leave you feeling sluggish and burnt out and will kill your performance,” adds Benz. Also important: solid food. Riding on an empty stomach is also not the way to go. Zukerman recommends “Eating something small, like a bar or fruit, at least an hour before class. This provides you with more energy and boosts calorie burn.”


via Tips for Burning More Calories in Spin Class: Glamour.com


CRUSH Your Next Workout With This 50-Minute Cardio Playlist

Courtesy of CycleHouse, here’s 50 minutes of workout-worthy tunes to help you get through your next cardio workout.

1. Tedashii, “Dum Dum” (feat. Lecrae)
2. Wiz Khalifa, “Work Hard, Play Hard”
3. Calvin Harris, “Drinking From the Bottle” (feat. Tinie Tempah)
4. Flosstradamus, “Pillz” (feat. Yellow Claw & Green Velvet)
5. A$AP Ferg, “Shabba” (Sleepy Tom Bootleg)*
6. Disclosure, “You & Me” (feat. Eliza Doolittle—Flume Remix)
7. Martin Garrix, “Animals”
8. Martin Solveig, “The Night Out” (A-Trak Remix)
9. Steve Aoki, “Rage the Night Away” (feat. Waka Flocka Flame)
10. Yo Gotti, “King Sh*t” (feat. T.I.)
11. Beyoncé, “XO”
12. Calvin Harris, “Summer”

You can download the playlist on Spotify here. Not ready to sweat this second? Sample some of the songs:



via You’ll LOVE This 50-Minute Cardio Playlist | Women’s Health Magazine


Indoor cycling meets gaming at Equinox Fitness

In New York and Los Angeles, there are indoor cycling classes that are all about rhythm, metrics-based classes where you track your power, team competition classes, and classes where you watch music videos.

But The Pursuit by Equinox, which the luxe gym chain will roll out in both cities this January, is the first program to integrate interactive gaming technology into group cycling in a big way.

“We thought about how we could use measurement as motivation, but also make it incredibly interactive and fun and make it a little competitive, knowing that competition brings out the best in all of us,” says national group fitness senior manager of cycling Jeffrey Scott.

To do that, the team worked with a programming company to come up with ways to turn the data from each spin bike into visuals. So, in a Pursuit class, instead of staring at the instructor, the whole front of the room is transformed into a projection screen, where each bike is represented by a circle with a bike number in the middle (so you can track yourself), and the circles are like mini avatars used in different “games” designed to make you push yourself.


(Photo: Equinox)

In the test class I was in, for example, we played three games. In the first, each of our circles sat at the top of a bar on what looked like a bar graph, and as we pedaled, the bars rose higher and higher, racing to the top of the screen (pictured, above). In the second game, the room was divided into two teams, and we had to compete to build a pyramid. The harder each bike worked, the more circles with your bike’s number would appear in the pyramid. And the third resembled a race track, with the room divided into three teams racing against each other as groups. Between games, there were regular cycling intervals, too, some of which included cool, trippy graphics filling the screen.

Scott says the main benefit of the games is that they introduce a new level of motivation, since you’re either inspired to not be the worst one in class, if it’s an individual game, or to not let your team down, if it’s a group game. “It definitely elevates the level of intensity,” he says. It’s a feeling I experienced, and the team aspect also lead to a fun sense of camaraderie in the room.

Of course, for those who like to close their eyes and get lost in the music in a loud, dark room, all of the technology might feel a little overstimulating. Scott says he would recommend mixing it into a cycling routine that includes other classes, and signing up for The Pursuit on days when you’re feeling like you really want to kill it. “In a dark spin class, it’s easy for you to not work at your personal best,” he reasons. Wait, has he been checking our stats? —Lisa Elaine Held

via Indoor cycling meets gaming at Equinox Fitness


20 Minute High Intensity Indoor Cycling Workout

A tough, highly effective cycling training session from Global Cycling Network ┬áthat’s designed for home workouts, and packed into just 20 minutes.

Make no mistake, this 20 minute workout is tough. Train along with five professional cyclists to a great sound track and share in the pain and satisfaction of these high intensity sessions.

A short warmup precedes maximal intensity intervals that are incredibly effective at boosting your top end fitness – fast. If your legs aren’t screaming by the end of this, you need to try harder!

Ambition Is Critical The Blackout http://gcn.eu/15W1OMn
Pandorum Stefano Azati http://gcn.eu/16EBFTM
Mountain Guerrilla Last Japan http://gcn.eu/1084EMR
Kaos Therapy (Proktah Remix) Optiv http://gcn.eu/WRwuxT
The Beta Set Adam Walder http://gcn.eu/ZDZJ3Z
Never Going Home Cassette Jam http://gcn.eu/XkYJ39
Neuro Video John Foxx http://gcn.eu/YmnQm5
Sensor Casue4Concern http://gcn.eu/1086BZH
Young Believers (Instrumental) White Light Parade http://gcn.eu/WyaOpt
The Futures Not What It Used To Be (Drifta Remix) The King Blues http://gcn.eu/1086RYC
Mellow Down Easy The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer http://gcn.eu/115nWRM
Droids Cause4Concern http://gcn.eu/ZE0XME
Float On Stereo MC’s http://gcn.eu/ZV7Uc1
Age Of The Platypus A.S.M http://gcn.eu/Wz2Xa7

As with any strenuous exercise, you should consult a doctor/physician before beginning a programme of exercise. Discontinue your exercise session immediately if you experience any pain, dizziness or discomfort.
Partaking in training sessions following GCN’s video instruction is entirely at your own risk, and Global Cycling Network can not be held responsible for any injuries which may occur as a result of these exercises.


7 Mistakes You Might be Making in Indoor Cycling Class

Guilty as charged! I’ve personally made some of these mistakes in my indoor cycling class and I’ve paid the price. In the heat of the moment and in the groove of class, you won’t necessarily know that you’re even doing them! Follow these great tips to stay injury-free and make the most of your ride.

Holding on Too Tight

While it sometimes might feel like it, we swear the bike isn’t going to derail and shoot across the room. So try not to cling to the handlebars with the grip of a champion rock climber. “No white knuckles!” says Jessica Bashelor, owner of The Handle Bar indoor cycling studios in Boston, MA. “It’s waste of energy as well as the beginning of a greater problem—supporting body weight on your hands and wrists.” If yours are sore after a ride, that’s a sure sign. Next time, direct that energy toward tightening your core and balancing your weight over your midsection, glutes, and quads.

Tensing Up 
Another spot riders tend to clench, especially when the class gets difficult, is their upper body. You can picture it: The shoulders scrunched up around the ears, like they’re doing their best turtle impression. “The more you loosen your shoulders, relax the bend in your elbow, and keep your neck nice and long, the more you can focus your energy on your lower body and getting the most out of your ride,” says Bashelor.

Slacking on Resistance
Sometimes, with those endless “add another quarter turn’s,” it can feel like your legs might just stop turning entirely, or spin right off your body in protest. While most good instructors will tell you that your ride is what you make of it, it’s actually unsafe to zip along, hips bouncing all over the place, with no resistance at all. “This mistake can lead to hip and knee problems,” Bashelor explains. “Not to mention the instructor notices this ‘cheating’ from a mile away.” Her advice: Don’t show up for a ride just to let the bike do the work.

Pushing Too Hard Without Pulling

The pedals have those toe cages for a reason, and clip-in shoes make it even more clear. The rotation in your legs isn’t just about how hard you can hammer through the balls of your feet, but also the power you can exert as you bring each foot back up and around. “If you focus on eliminating the pause at the bottom of your pedal stroke and really drive your knee up and out to complete your rotation, you’ll find more power as well as a better hamstring workout,” says Bashelor.

Attacking a Climb Right from the Start
When you approach a hill on a regular bicycle, your body position often shifts forward and backward a bit. Take this same tack on your indoor ride. Begin a climb with hands on the lower outside of the handlebars (position 2) with a decent bend at the hips. When it’s really starting to feel like a slog, move your hands to the straight part of the bars right in front of you (position 1), which raises the torso and increases your hip angle. You’ll notice an energy boost in your legs by the subtle change in your torso, says Bashelor.

Doing Your Own Thing

It’s one thing to short-shift a tension increase a teeny tiny bit, but quite another to stand and accelerate when the instructor (and the rest of the class) are seated and slowly climbing a hill. Believe it or not, there’s a rhyme and reason to the ebbs and flows an instructor puts into her lesson plan—and it’s not just to match Beyoncé’s beat—both in terms of calorie burn and muscle use. “You may think going harder for longer than everyone else will give you a better workout,” says Cassie Piasecki, an indoor cycling instructor in Orange County, CA. “But it won’t. You are burning out your muscles and disrupting the class.”

Not Stretching After
You know how your hip flexors feel a wee bit cranky when you disembark your bike? Or maybe it’s your calves that are whimpering for a reprieve. Or your shoulders, despite your best efforts to keep ‘em calm, are a bit peaked. And, of course, there are your quads, glutes, and hams—done-zo. So do them all a favor and give ‘em a good stretch (ideally, even longer than the two-minute break you get inside the classroom). Your future self will be grateful.


via 7 Mistakes You Might be Making in Indoor Cycling Class


20 (Unspoken) Rules of Indoor Cycling

I can’t say that I’ve seen too many people break these rules in class, but I loved these Maximize your studio time with these etiquette tips from Rachel Buschert Vaziralli, a personal trainer, fitness instructor, and Schwinn Master Trainer with more than 10 years of experience teaching in New York City.

1. Don’t text, email, update Facebook, play Words with Friends, or chat on your smartphone. It’s rude to the instructor (who has essentially created a presentation), to your classmates, and it diminishes what you could be getting out of the class.

2. Don’t pedal at 120, 60, 54 or 133 RPMs when the instructor says to pedal at 90. Do 90 or something close to it. Anything else is like doing squats when everyone else is doing push-ups.

3. Do try your best. If the workout is too difficult, you can always back off. But slacking from the start is like standing in the weight room, not picking up a weight, and expecting something to happen!

4. Don’t ride with your arms crossed, your hands behind your back, or while doing crunches to “strengthen your core.” There’s a misconception you can get a great cardio workout and a great strength workout on the bike, but what you end up getting is a mediocre version of both. What’s worse, doing strength exercises on a bike is inadvisable and possibly dangerous. There is no nationally accredited cycling certification program that teaches these moves and it’s because they produce no physiological benefit and are biomechanically unsound. It’s better to get the full benefits of what the bike is intended for. If you want to do upper-body or core exercises, do them in the appropriate environment: the weight room.

5. Don’t wear headphones. And if you do, don’t call the instructor over to ask what you should be doing since you couldn’t hear them explain it the first time. If the music bothers your ears, wear earplugs. If you prefer your own playlist, then ride on your own time.

6. Don’t bring your oversized gym bag or enormous coat into the studio. Indoor cycling rooms are small and the instructor needs to be able to walk around to assist students without tripping over your stuff. If you have personal items with you, put them in a locker.
7. Do inform the instructor before class starts if you are injured or have a medical condition that cyclng may affect. It’s reckless to assume the instructor will know or pick up on it.
8. Don’t bounce—whether seated or standing up. Both indicate a lack of resistance and can put stress on your knees and limit the effectiveness of your workout.
9. Don’t stand up on the pedals with a vertical spine. It reduces your power, grinds away knee cartilage, and compresses lower spine vertebrae. Instead, stand as you would on an outdoor bike: hinge slightly at the hips, keep your hips over the cranks (the levers that attach the pedals to the bike), and your torso slightly forward of your hips.

10. Do save conversations for after class. If you’re talking to your neighbor, you’re not working hard enough. Maybe you meant to meet them at the cafe?
11. Don’t read a magazine or a book or a Nook or a Kindle or a newspaper. If you want to read, go to the library.

12. Do follow the workout. If you have your own agenda planned, then give your bike to someone who would like to participate in the group fitness experience and relocate to the cardio deck where it’s completely appropriate for you to do your own thing.
13. Do leave your negative attitude at the door. A bad attitude sucks away the life and energy of those around you. Indoor cycling is a team workout. If you don’t like the music, the teacher, the temperature, or the bike seat, then find a class that better suits your needs.
14. Do remember that an indoor cycling class is not a personal training session—the 39 other people around you may have different levels of comfort. If you’re always cold, instead of always complaining, wear layers and stop reserving the bike under the air conditioning vent. If you’re always hot, take off the turtleneck, bring a cool hydrating beverage, and stop reserving the bike furthest from the AC vent.
15. Don’t pedal backwards. There’s no benefit. You might as well just sit on the bike like it’s a recliner.
16. Don’t pretend to turn the resistance. Do it or don’t—what’s the point of pretending?
17. Don’t be mad at the instructor who gave your bike away—or the student who took it—if you’re late. If you’re going to get angry, be mad at yourself for being tardy.

18. Do inform the instructor before class if you have to leave early, and choose a bike close to the exit to minimize distraction.
19. Don’t stand in between the bikes to stretch while others are still participating in the class. If you leave class early and want to warm down, go find an empty mat in the gym.
20. Do have fun and get a great workout. (Don’t be upset with the results you don’t get because of the work you didn’t do).

Rachel Buschert Vaziralli

via 20 (Unspoken) Rules of Indoor Cycling