Written by: Michal Procházka
Photo: allphoto images
Like last month’s sport topic, ricochet, spinning is a decidedly modern activity. Best of all, the only thing you need for spinning is a firm resolve to do something for your health or physique. But you can expect to work up a good sweat.
THE PROGRESSIVE nature of spinning is also borne out by the fact that people speak of it not only as a sport, but also as a lifestyle. Here we’ll deal more with specifics, so those new to spinning will have a good idea what they’re getting into.
What is spinning?
The verb “spin” as a description of quick turn or rapid turning movement is very suggestive of this sport’s nature. Simply stated, it’s one hour of bicycle exercise set to the rhythm of music, usually with an instructor and a group of people. But it’s a little more complicated, as you will need:
- A bicycle – an exercycle that meets specific criteria: pedalling without freewheeling, fine resistance regulation, full seat and adjustability for handlebar height and spacing.
- Music – sets the pace, accompanies the course of the lesson’s individual phases, and creates
a suitably encouraging atmosphere.
- Group – a good group supports good motivation. After a while you’re sure to find someone to compare progress with.
- Instructor – coach and DJ in one. A demanding job, as it’s not easy to bring the varying performances of participants into harmony, even in small groups. The instructor may praise and criticize, but above all he or she has to spur the class on to get the most out of the spinners.
A session lasts 45 minutes to 1 hour, or even 85 minutes for the more stalwart. During the lesson the pedalling intensity and style change, as does the resistance – all in rhythm with the music and on the instructor’s commands. Several basic biking styles are generally used: on the flat (on the seat) running, uphill (on the seat or standing), jumping, and sprinting. But mainly you don’t stop pedalling, even for a second, because aerobic exercise brings the greatest positive effects. Among them:
- Condition – a simple, entertaining way to stay or get in shape. Even utter novices can take part; there are no complicated movements.
- Figure – during one 45-minute session you burn 400 to 600 calories, twelve times as many as during aerobics – with less stress on your joints. Regular sessions help effectively shape and tone your body especially from the waist down.
- Training – spinning allows specialized preparation for various types of sports. It’s regularly used by NHL hockey players to improve their condition because of its high efficiency.
Spinning centers recommend that you bring:
- biking water bottle – at least a half liter of uncarbonated water
- short cycling pants with padded crotch
- cycling jersey or highly absorbent T-shirt
- towel – small, preferably cotton
- clean sports shoes with solid soles, or special cycling cleats
(The list above might seem unnecessary, but many experienced bikers are surprised at what they’ve neglected to bring for their spinning lesson.)
WHERE TO SPIN?
Prices for a lesson, usually 45 to 55 minutes of exercising, range from CZK 65 to about CZK 100, but some centers offer discount passes. You usually have to reserve a “place” ahead of time.
Fitlight, Petrská 23, Praha 1, 777 577 047, 257 329 847, www.fitlight.cz
Fitness centrum Arnika, Jabloňová 2136/11, Praha 10, 272 105 532, 776 024 438, www.arnikafitness.cz
Jonash sports club, n. Svatopluka Čecha 2, Praha 10, 777 237 981, 272 735 815, www.aerobicjonas.com
Pavla Club, Plzeňská 90, Praha 5, 257 325 928, www.pavlaclub.cz
R5 Sportovně-relaxační centrum, Růžová 971/5, Praha 1, 222 242 322, 604 646 466, www.r5.cz
SpinBike club K, K Horkám 2284/1, Praha 4 – Chodov, 272 924 492, www.kajapolivkova.cz
Sporting Apis, Žalanského 52a, Praha 6 – Řepy, 606 489 477, 235 311 230, www.sporting-apis.cz
Summit elite spinning club, Myslíkova 28, Praha 2, 224 919 188, 604 964 805, www.spinclub.cz
World Class Fitness, Václavské nám. 782/22, Praha 1, 234 699 100, www.worldclassfitness.net
marketing & event manager, Holiday Inn Prague Congress CenterWhat makes spinning so exceptional for you?
” I try to go to spinning regularly. I like the fact that you ride to the rhythm of music, and thanks to different playlists each lesson is different. Another positive effect is that it makes me relaxed, and I can perfectly clear my head.”
Is the exercise you get from spinning really so extreme?