Spinning is a particular style of indoor cycling. It is done on a special fixed bicycle with a weighted flywheel. In a regular spinning class a number of bicycles are lined up inside a studio with people perched on them, pedalling away furiously to some energetic music. The classes are led by trainers who direct partakers through a series of phases, from warm up to challenging stages. Finally, the exhausting routine is followed by a cool down session.
We see spinning classes being held in upscale fitness studios and hence it is tough to believe that it had actually started off in a garage in California.
Johnny Goldberg, the founder of spinning, had come to the United States from South Africa on a three day trip. During his visit, he was robbed of all his money. Unemployed and broke, he approached a gym in California to employ him as a personal instructor. His job turned into a learning experience and he realised what are the requirements of the body and how he can approach an overall level of fitness through indoor exercises. In the upcoming years he turned into an endurance cyclist and competed in various competitions across the country. Cycling requires dry roads but even in the sunny California rain shower occurs because of which Goldberg had come up with an idea to train himself indoors in a way that would enable him to replicate the intensity of road training. So he invented a cycling training workout which he practised in his garage. This training later helped him set a record of biking 544 miles across the Arizona uninterrupted, in a time span of 29hours and 46 minutes.
Subsequently, Johnny Goldberg opened his first indoor cycling studio in Santa Monica. Later on he joined his bicycling partner to devise a static bicycle, which would incorporate the features of a racing bike.
They made 150 such bikes, which were then placed in several studios. The year 1994 turned out to be a pivotal year for the duo because they had set up their own studio called 'Mad Dogg Athletics' and successfully turned Spinning into a brand name. The craze for their bikes grew rapidly. In the following year they introduced an instructor certification program to create professionals in this system.
Now they have reached into homes as well, through specially designed bikes and fitness videos.
PROS OF SPINNING
- It is an effective exercise
- Makes working out easy if the weather conditions aren’t favourable
- No need to wear the bicycling helmet (a relief for most!!)
- The intensity of the workout can be set according to one’s abilities
CONS OF SPINNING
- Classes may turn out to be a bit monotonous
- One really needs to motivate himself or herself for maximum benefits
The American College of Sports Medicine stated that taking part in an indoor cycling session for at least 30 minutes three times a week shows optimum conditioning benefits.
Because the activity involves lot of exertion, bone density and muscles are greatly enhanced. The focus is mainly on the lower half of the body. Hence, leg muscles become stronger and prominent. Breathing rate soars significantly during the routine and as a result, oxygen intake surges. Continuous usage of legs and increased oxygen intake enable one to incinerate calories. This in turn helps in losing weight quickly. As it is an excellent cardiovascular exercise, cholesterol and triglyceride levels are also controlled. Like other fitness programs, Spinning has the side-benefit of improving sleeping patterns.
POPULARITY OF SPINNING
Spinning has never received a low point on its way to success. Its graph of fame has been steadily rising ever since it was invented. There is probably no gym in the world right now which doesn’t offer facilities for exercise on the static cycle. Hollywood actress Julia Roberts and Football star David Beckham are apparently known to swear by it. Involvement of such big names itself is a strong indicator of the popularity of spinning.
UTILITY OF SPINNING
Spinning is likely to be good for all. Primarily because of the following reasons:
- The scorching heat outside makes it difficult to go for cycling, jogging or walking.
- For those who have a busy work schedule and cannot find the time to go to any fitness center can easily get some serious workout done on a cycle at home, whenever they get the opportunity.
- It is good for the athletes as well since they have a lot of footwork involved in their profession and it‘s mandatory for them to keep their legs fit.
The fact that instructors are of widely different ages is a testament to the viability of the activity. On the whole, anyone can avail of the benefits of Spinning – a fitness enthusiast who want to fine tune his routine, a recuperating athlete who can exert only limited strain on his knees, or an elderly individual who want to keep illness at bay.