Are you getting short changed in spin class?

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Me getting ready for ride #2 during cycle instructor training
Happy Sunday – I hope this posting finds you joyous and well! Today was a personal accomplishment because I officially became a certified indoor cycling instructor – woop woop!  That said, I learned a lot of useful info about spin classes and calorie burn in general, so I just wanted to share some of these nuggets of wisdom with you guys.  Hopefully, these facts will help you get the MOST out of your spin classes in the future 🙂
  1. Turn up the resistance – speed DOES NOT equal calorie burn!  In an effective cycle class, your legs should spin between 60-90 rotations per minute.  If you are cycling way above this, turn your resistance up!  When your legs are flying and your booty is bouncing around in the saddle, the bike  is just propelling you and you are getting short changed on calorie burn…not a good look!
  2. Don’t always trust the heart rate monitor.  Several factors affect our heart rate including hydration, stress, diet, room temperature, etc.  Therefore, just because your heart rate is in a certain zone, doesn’t necessarily mean you are working that hard.  In many cases, heart rate monitors over count calories burned and you are deceived : (
  3. Use a breath test.  The bottom line is this, the harder you work, the more calories you burn.  Therefore, use the breath test to quickly and effectively measure your exertion. Below are the 4 levels you should think about.  If you are trying to burn as many calories as possible, strive to spend at least 20-30 minutes of your class in zones 3 and/or 4.  You should never be back at Level 1 (breathing regularly)  after the warm up.  
  • L1 – Breathing regularly
  • L2 – Breathing fast, but comfortable
  • L3 – Breathing heavy, uncomfortable
  • L4 – Breathing very heavy, very uncomfortable – sucking air!
Whole class with our instructor after we got certified (that's me in the back with the shiny forehead, hehe)
Brit Rettig

Brit Rettig

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