With many of us looking to stay fit and healthy, finding a sport or hobby to get involved in is a great idea. There are so many to choose from including running, boxing and team sports. But one sport we frequently hear about is the indoor cycling exercise known as spinning. we often get asked, is spinning a good way to lose weight? A spinning class promises to burn calories and improve your fitness level through regular sessions on a spin bike machine.
Losing weight is a challenge that many of us face. Everyone also seems to have a different method or technique which they promote as the best way to burn fat quickly. In reality, losing weight comes down to creating a calorie deficit. This is where we burn more calories than we consume, over an extended period of time. In short, we need to eat less than the amount we burn in a day. This can be achieved by eating less but also from doing more exercise.
Different exercises will burn calories at different rates. For example, workout routines including cycling and running at a high intensity can burn up to 800 calories per hour. Other exercises including HIIT can continue to burn calories for 24 hours after the workout has taken place. Spinning is a high-intensity cycling exercise that can burn calories fast. But how are its effects on weight loss?
Let’s look at spinning and whether it is a good way to lose weight.
What is spinning?
The term spinning is used frequently in the gym and often used to describe several types of workout classes which involve indoor cycling. Spinning was created by Mad Dog athletics to describe their spinning program of exercises classes.
These days, spinning is used to describe a full range of indoor cycling classes which involve many routines. During the workout, several indoor cycling exercises can be used including sprinting on the bicycle for a high-intensity workout. Stationary bikes are used, so you never actually move from one position for the duration of the workout.
While spinning can be done by yourself at home, by utilising a home spin bike, it is usually carried out in a class. The class will usually take place in a gym or other fitness facility that has all the required equipment. Spin classes are carried out by an instructor who will lead the workout and tell you exactly how to ride at any given time. There will also be music playing to create an atmosphere to push further and train harder. Group spin classes are great and provide lots of motivation, compared with a workout on your own.
The duration of the average spin class varies between 45 minutes and 1 hour. In the beginning, these can seem a significant amount of time and difficult to keep up. But with regular spin sessions, it does gradually get easier, as you become more comfortable with the routine.
Each spin class is unique and can be very different depending on the instructor leading the class. For example, some will be set out in rows, where others may be in a circle. Remember that each class or instructor could have a different goal, so the actual routine could be very different. Most fitness facilities will have multiple instructors running spinning classes. If you do not like the first one, do not give up. Try another and decide which is most suitable.
As with all sports, spinning has also advanced with technology. Recent innovations include Peleton, which allows you to join a spin class from the comfort of your home. This system works by connecting you via the internet to a trainer and other Peleton members that will also be participating in the class. Overall, spinning is great to do wherever, but your sure going to work out with more intensity during a class.
How does spinning support weight loss?
In short, yes spinning does support weight loss. The same is true for any form of exercise. Let’s break down further how exactly spinning supports weights loss.
An hour of indoor cycling i.e spinning burns an average of between 400-700 calories. This is a fair amount for a short period and a great boost to a daily calorie deficit. If you participate in two 1-hour spin classes each week, that’s up to 1400 calories extra, just in those two sessions. Half a pound of fat contains 1750 calories. So just them 2 spin classes a week is nearly enough to achieve a calorie deficit to lose an extra half pound per week.
One of the big myths with spinning is that is specifically targets fat loss on the belly. Unfortunately, this is just not true. Fat loss is not targeted to a specific area of the body and the exact area you lose fat can vary for each person, the belly is just one of the areas affected by fat loss.
Overall, spinning is a great method to boost fat loss goals but should be used with a healthy diet to achieve a calorie deficit. Unfortunately, spinning does not provide much leeway to snack more if you want to see the best results. If you enjoy spinning, its the perfect exercise to incorporate into your fitness schedule to achieve your fat loss goals.
How else can I burn fat?
As discussed, spinning is great to support fat loss. But spinning is not the only answer and there are plenty of additional changes you can make to boost results. The number one rule in fat loss is to achieve a calorie deficit. This means to burn more calories each day, compared to what is being consumed. This causes the body to use energy from fat stores, instead of relying on an abundance of calories from foods.
There are many exercises which are great for increasing calorie burn. Running is often the number one exercise to burn calories fast. This is due to the high intensity and full-body movements involved. Further exercises include circuit training, outdoor cycling and swimming. There is plenty of choices to find an exercise that works for you. We often prefer outdoor exercises compared with those on machines at the gym. We find it’s easier to run further outdoors, compared with a running machine in the gym.
Diet is the most important factor to achieve weight loss. A successful fat loss diet should consist of a high-protein meal plan. Protein is great for making us feel fuller for longer. This leads to less snacking and eating throughout the day. The protein also helps maintain muscle mass. When the body has more muscle mass, more calories are needed to maintain muscle. Therefore the metabolic rate is higher, potentially leading to a greater calorie deficit. Many foods are high in protein including meats, fish and nuts.
A top tip we always recommend when trying to burn fat is to reduce alcohol consumption. Many pints of beer can often contain 200 calories. These are known as empty calories as they don’t fill us up, so we still end up eating after. Going out for 3 pints of beer could equal 600 calories, the same amount burnt during an intense spin session. Fast digesting carbs are also found in beer, which stops fat burning in its tracks.
Maintaining consistency is vital. The answer to is spinning a good way to lose weight can vary depending on how often it is utilised. For example, one spin session a month is unlikely to have much impact on results. But several spin sessions every week, over a period of many months is going to add up to a huge number of additional calories burnt. Staying motivated is key to consistency. Spin classes in groups are a great motivator, especially instructor lead sessions for intense workouts.
Another top tip to maintain consistency is to track results. In terms of spinning, tracking the intensity and length of the workout is a great idea. There are many fitness trackers which can be used to monitor heart-rate throughout the session and provide accurate results of calories burnt. We also take advantage of food tracking apps such as MyFitnessPal to monitor calorie consumption.
In summary, many of us are looking for new ways to stay motivated and lose weight. The short answer to: is spinning a good way to lose weight, is yes. There is a huge range of high-intensity exercises which can be incorporated into a fat loss routine. Spinning is one of them and we are big fans of spinning for weight loss.
Spinning involves an indoor cycling session, usually in groups, with an instructor. While it can be done from home, we find better results can be achieved during a spin class. You can expect to burn between 400-700 calories during a session. Participating in three sessions a week can easily see over 2000 calories being burnt.
While spinning is great for fat loss, the number one factor in achieving a calorie deficit. Spinning is just one of many high-intensity exercises to burn more calories.
Do you believe spinning is a good way to lose weight? Let us know in the comments below.
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