I want to start by letting you kids know that the best spinning class is happening at Virgin Active Brightwater, in Randburg. Instructor and soon to be Kona IRONMAN participant Claudia Hazelwood (@ClaudiHazelwood) runs a no-bullshit, pump those pedals workshop which will prep anyone for the new Cycle Challenge hill infested route. Also, her iPod playlist is ideal for some real power cadence routines. Leg rave.
That being said let us move on to the questions I was asked regarding spin classes;
1. Why are there no numbers on the dials, how do I know what 5 or 6 or 10 is?
Straight answer is that each resistance level will differ for each rider. Claudia suggests that at level 10 you shouldn’t be able to pedal in the saddle and at level 5 you should feel as if you’re on a slight incline. Her spinning hack is to match the instructors cadence when they start, then you’ll have an indication of what resistance level you’re at.
Personally I match the instructor to start and then find quarter turns between 3 & 8 perfect. I use half turns for 9 & 10, but some more good advice from the pro is to just get in the class, try it out and go with gut feel – you’ll soon get into the right resistance patterns.
2. Is a spinning class as effective as an actual ride?
I forgot to ask Claudia this one but other trainers suggest the value of a spinning class is double to that of a ride. 45 minutes in the studio is worth 90 minutes on the road. Personally I’d always try get out on the road or on a path but you can’t deny the convenience of a spinning class.
Lesson here is to just get to the class. Ride your ass off. Repeat. Claudia was also entirely unconvinced when she heard about my race calendar so we’ll be updating that one, ladies and chaps. Peace.