Are Spin Classes Good for Cyclists

We get asked a lot whether spin classes are good for cyclists, and in particular endurance cyclists training for century rides, sportives or other long distance events. Below we’ll take a look at both the benefits and drawbacks of adding spin classes to your training schedule and try to give you some tips to help you get the most from your spin classes.

The Benefits

High intensity workouts. Most amateur riders are short of training time. Family and work commitments eat into the training time of most cyclists. Spin sessions provide a short intense workout that can often be squeezed into a lunch break at work. In terms of giving the legs a workout in a short space of time spin sessions are really good.

Good to aid weight loss. The high intensity of spin classes means you’re burning a lot of calories in a relatively short period of time. As far as bang for your time buck, spin bike classes burn a large amount of calories compared to many other bike workouts you could choose instead.

Highly motivational setting. Most gyms have dedicated spin studios where the bikes are close to each other, the lights are dimmed and the music is turned up high. Combined with the vocal encouragement most spin class instructors give, this environment means that participants are usually more willing to suffer than if training on their own.

Mental Strength. Spin sessions, if done correctly are tough workouts, period. If you can get through them and do attend regularly, they’ll definitely improve your mental strength. Just like regular interval sessions they’ll teach you to know your physical limits and develop the ability to ride on your threshold enabling to get the most out of your training.

are spin classes good for cyclists

The Drawbacks

Not Cycling Centric. While some spin instructors are keen cyclists unfortunately the vast majority are not. As a result many will try and introduce elements that won’t necessarily bring you the maximum benefits as a cyclists. For example many instruct the class to do press-ups, down onto the handle bars or repeatedly jump up out of the saddle over and over again. When faced with such requests feel free to use your judgement and ignore such requests.

Most instructors won’t mind you partially doing your own thing, especially if you let them know before hand that you like the classes but also are keen on not doing certain elements of these workouts. If all else fails remember that you are in control of the resistance on your bike so you can always

Easy to hide. Spin sessions on the bike should be tough. They are short sessions (usually 45 minutes) so you need to make sure you get the best from them. When you’re in a dark spin session, your legs are screaming at you to stop pedaling and the instructor tells you to turn the resistance up a whole turn it can be tempting to ignore the instructions and make it a little easier for yourself. The whole point of spin sessions are they are short and hard. Stick with it and make sure each interval hurts as much as it should.


A lot of people always ask us if spin classes are good for cyclists. It is true that a much more structured interval session may provide greater benefits however for the vast majority of cyclists spin classes provide a convenient and effective workout that will certainly compliment their cycling training schedule.

Most classes provide a highly motivational environment and an interval based session which will bring most cyclists large fitness benefits if performed reasonably regularly.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: