Spin to Win
by Kirk Layfield, PhD EMT-P
|If you are one of those guys afraid of group fitness (i.e. aerobics), never fear Spinning is here. This is no "aerobics" class baby!
Looking for new way to add some variety to your workout? Spinning may be the answer. You may ask, "What the heck is spinning?" Spinning is more than just a workout. It is a comprehensive, mental and physical training program - the original indoor cycling program. Spinning classes combine a foundation of basic cycling movements with motivational coaching techniques, breathing awareness and heart rate training. Participants burn an average of 500 calories in 40 minutes of non-impact, individually-paced cardiovascular exercise. Inspirational music and an energized environment ensure a fun, safe and effective journey for participants of all ages and fitness levels. A spinning workout offers the best of both worlds, enabling you to go at your own pace, but still enjoy the energy and camaraderie of a group workout. This is particularly important when so many people are restricted from riding due to weather, traffic and safety concerns.
Connie Russo, Certified Reebok Master Spinning Instructor at Gold's gym in Gainesville, FL states that "Spinning is an outstanding way to increase an athlete's performance and add variety to their training program." What are the benefits of spinning related to training for MX and SX? As an intermediate spinning participant myself, I have found spinning to be extremely beneficial to my riding. The benefits I have noticed since I started spinning include improved cardiovascular endurance and leg strength. In addition, with the limited amount of time to practice, I feel that spinning twice a week has made a tremendous difference in my ability to maintain my conditioning. This is because spinning is sport specific to MX training. The different exercises performed in a spinning class simulate many of the activities performed while practicing or racing. Spinning is also time efficient and can be worked into anyone's busy schedule. The classes range from 30 to 60 minutes, and going only twice a week is enough to reap the benefits.
|If you have never been to a spinning class, this is what the inside of a spinning room looks like!
- a towel, because you are guaranteed to work up a good sweat
- a water bottle full of water or your favorite sports drink
- possibly cycling shorts
I suggest trying a few classes to evaluate the need for cycling shorts. After 26 years of riding, my rear has become very well-conditioned to a bike seat. Padded cycling shorts may make your first experience of spinning a little more enjoyable.
Proper nutrition and hydration are very important if you are going to add spinning to your training regiment. Most spinning workouts burn an average of 500 calories, so it is essential that you take in the proper amounts of proteins, fats and carbohydrates throughout the day. It is even more important to keep hydrated throughout the day because of the amount of water lost during your workout through sweat. Make sure you have enough water to last through the class and drink plenty of water after as well.
|Unlike most aerobics classes, spinning classes are attracting a lot of guys.
Weight Loss or Improving Performance
Spinning is also an excellent way of losing extra pounds if that is your motivation for training. Bicycle racers in the Tour de France burn an average of 6,000 calories a day. When the race is grinding through the mountains, riders can burn up to 9,000 calories! Whether you're outdoors or indoors on a spinning bike, you can harness the fat-burning potential of cycling.
No matter if your goal is to shed some extra pounds or to get in the best shape of your life, you should prepare to improve. If you are serious about losing weight or reaching your full potential as a rider, the following workout, geared for any level of experience, will burn between 500 and 800 calories an hour and depending on how hard you want to work, prepare you for any level of MX. So, grab a stopwatch and hit this workout three times a week and watch as not only those extra pounds melt away but your lap times as well.
About the Author - Innovation Training Systems (ITS) is a fitness, nutrition & wellness consulting and healthcare education business. ITS is dedicated to serving the needs of amateur, professional and occupational athletes, as well as those who aspire to be the best they can be in everyday life – no matter what they do. They also offer convenient education programs for the healthcare, wellness and fitness industry. ITS is owned and operated by Exercise Physiologist/Firefighter/Paramedic/Former Professional Motocross rider, Kirk Layfield, who originally hails from Gainesville, Florida and now resides in Clermont, Florida.
That's it for now, until next time, good luck with your training and remember, if you have a question, log on to the Virtual Trainer Expert Forum and have your question answered by a panel of experts. In addition, be sure and check out the Racer X Virtual Trainer archive section. Your complete one-stop information zone for motocross fitness.