Have you ever looked at all those people obsessed with spinning workouts and wondered, “What do they see in it?” Spinning has become an incredibly popular form of exercise in the last few years, and it has revolutionized the way people use their stationary bikes. But is it really a worthwhile workout? Below, we take a look at a few of the pros and cons of spinning workouts:
Pro: HIIT Training
If you do the spinning workout right, it’s a pretty high intensity training session. Spinning classes mix up high intensity sprint intervals with periods of low intensity cycling, and the change of intensity can lead to better aerobic and anaerobic training overall. Given the MANY health benefits of HIIT training, you can see why spinning has become so popular and effective.
Con: Easy to Overdo It
In a spinning class, there is no break until you’re done. It’s easy to overdo the workout, push yourself too hard, and overwork your body. The risk of muscle injuries is lower thanks to the fairly low impact nature of the workout, but you can still pull muscles or overwork your body—leading to fatigue, reduced immunity, and burnout.
Pro: Calorie Killer
If you’ve ever completed a spinning workout, you know how exhausting they can be. The pumping music, fast pace, and high temperature can cause you to burn A LOT of calories—up to 600 in a single workout. For those who want to get in shape, it’s definitely a good way to get fit and push your aerobic conditioning.
Con: Lower Back Strain
Like any cycling workout (or any workout, for that matter), improper posture can lead to spinal strain or lower back pains. You’re spending a lot of time leaning forward, which can tire out the lower back muscles. Muscle fatigue can cause lead to incorrect posture and performance, which can further increase the risk of injury or strain.
Pro: Great Muscle Focus
With spinning, all of the effort is done by your quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Not only does this burn more calories, but it can help to develop serious lower body strength. The movement also helps to counteract the effects of spending long hours sitting and strengthen the connections between your core and lower body.
Con: Risk of Kidney Strain
Rhabdomyolysis is a condition that occurs when catabolized muscles release proteins into the bloodstream. These proteins can poison the body, damaging the kidney. When you add NSAIDs to the mix (taken to combat joint or muscle pain), it just adds to the damage done. Your kidneys can take quite the beating from a full-on spinning workout.
Pro: Recovery + Health Improvement
Not only can spinning workouts help you to recover from injuries (low impact workouts are excellent), but they can seriously improve your overall health. Studies have linked spinning workouts to improved lung, heart, kidney, circulatory, digestive, immune, hormone, emotional, and organ health. Add that on top of stronger muscles and better cardiovascular conditioning, and you’ve got one heck of a workout!
Con: Lack of Development
What happens when you train the same muscles day in and day out? They develop endurance to a certain extent, but you end up burning out and preventing further gains. That’s the case with daily spinning workouts: you stop making progress after a while. Not only can this lead to a higher risk of injury and burnout, but you reduce the overall functionality of your muscles. Your performance may eventually decline if you keep pushing hard with every spinning workout, every day of the week.