The Spin Bike Is Your Best Friend
Every gym has a spin bike and most likely has quite a few of them. They are very popular and come in different shapes and sizes from the standard spin bike to the WattBike to the ones with the tvs in front.
Spin bikes have so many uses no matter what type of training you are doing the spin bike should be in your weekly routine somewhere! People at the Muscular Endurance end of the training spectrum should be using the spin bike just as much as a treadmill! People who are at the strength and power end of the spectrum should be using it to generate and develop leg power. Ronnie Coleman one of the most famous strength and power lifters was often seen on a spin bike or treadmill for about 20 minutes after his ridiculous workouts.
If you haven't been quite convinced that the spin bike is for you then think of the spin bike in this way; it is so useful to you and it doesn't require you to key in so many instructions for it; you can just get on it and go. If you are working cardio in some sort of way on any other machine the spin bike is one of those machines that makes it quite simple for you.
A common misconception people have about spin bikes is that they just work on your legs. Whilst your legs are the primary mover there is much more to it than just your legs. Your core is used a lot of the time, your abs are used a lot of the time, even your butt muscles are being used. That along with the respiratory muscles you are using amalgmate into quite a body-intensive workout. The legs move the pedals but it is the stomach muscles that help push the legs.
The abs and glutes muscles have another primary job that is so important that without them you couldn't really pedal the bike; balance. whilst the legs are moving quickly your other muscles are keeping you on the bike! The faster or harder you go the more your core is activated to keep you steady and to help provide a balanced force between your left and right leg. Your abs make sure that you are not favouring your stronger leg when you are really feeling it during an intense cycle; it can aid a tired leg and keep the balance there, the glutes keep you on the small cycling seat.
To really feel the balance requiring more than just your legs stand up whilst cycling on a spin bike. do you really feel just your legs at work? There's a lot more to it than your quads so use it to your advantage. Think of spin bikes like an upright mountain climber! When you do a mountain climber exercise you feel a lot of your body working; it is a similar idea to spin bikes!
Spin bikes are great for when you like to do cardio intervals. You don't even have to have a special spin bike, you just need an indicator of your RPM (revolutions per minute) and you can manipulate it however your intervals work. Spin bikes are great for exploration.
They are also safe especially when it comes to fast paced cardio. Creatine-Phosphate interval training (the really fast training of short sharp bursts) is to a lot of people quite risky when on the treadmill. Ever tripped and fallen on a treadmill whilst going at 17kph? It's both quite painful and incredibly embarassing. However on a spin bike it is virtualy impossible to fall off (note the word virtualy) when going really really fast. If you are mindful of your wellbeing whilst training really short quick intensive cardio then the spin bike is your friend in so many ways. When you feel safe to go really really fast you will push yourself as the mindfullness of not wanting to fall and va-va-voom off your treadmill you will put more effort into the speed of your intervals.
Spin Bike classes are amoungst the most popular classes in gyms that provide them. They are really fun when spinning with other people. It's sociable and it's effective especially for those who like training with other people. If you belong to a gym that provides Spin classes i say go for it! You will see a huge difference in motivation if you are so inclined to that environment.
Ultimately are spin bikes effective? From my personal experience of them i feel they are. I mostly use them for CP training but also when I'm not quite in the mood for an intensive ab exercise. They are a fantastic warm-up machine too. when it comes to weight loss and toning they are amazing for toning legs. People especially women aim for toned legs and if that is you then the spin bike should be your go-to machine at least 3 times a week!
Give it a go if you haven't yet and if you have but haven't been sold on the idea of it simply make it hard for you, set yourself a timed target (and ideally have one element of your spin workout change during the workout) and you will benefit from the effectiveness of the spin bike. Remember increasing your spin bike familiarity and strength will mean when it comes to cycling around the world you will be more than ready to race in front of everyone else! Transferrable skills are a good motivator and a functional factor. With all of these great things about the spin bike, no wander it is your best friend! On your bike!