There’s no question that cycling is here to stay as an effective, enjoyable workout regime that brings numerous fitness benefits to those who practice it. Cycling is challenging yet also incredibly fun, making it the kind of workout that’s wonderfully addictive—that’s a plus in itself. Workouts that keep athletes motivated day after day and week after week are the ones that really bring on incredible results.
These days athletes at every level have a lot of choices in the cycling routines they pursue, yet ultimately it all comes down to two: Indoor cycling—like the popular Spinning classes you see in fitness centers—or outdoor cycling. Both styles of cycling offer a tremendous fitness boost to the cyclists who follow these intense workout plans. Let’s take a look at the numerous benefits of Spinningand outdoor cycling, and see what these two styles of biking have to offer those who want to get lean and strong.
CYCLE THE WEIGHT AWAY
Weight loss comes naturally with a good cycling workout. A solid hour in a rigorous Spinningclass is thought to potentially burn off from 600-1000 calories, and outdoor cycling can offer the same type of results.
FINDING YOUR OWN LEVEL—OF FITNESS
One advantage of a Spinning class, however, is that the bike offers the rider a chance to set their own resistance level, making the ride much more challenging, if desired. The cyclist can also modify the bike’s tension for “recovery” periods during the ride. The environment of a Spinning class gives the cyclist more control over how the workout goes, as—unlike with an outdoor ride—there’s no traffic or unknown terrain to deal with. Inside in a class, it’s all about the workout, and how much of a challenge the rider wants to take on.
IMPACT AND INJURY ON THE WAY TO FITNESS
One significant part of the Spinning vs. outdoor cycling conversation is the possibility of injury. In this area, Spinning is the ideal choice for athletes concerned about staying with a low impact workout and avoiding crashes and broken bones, which are a real possibility for outdoor cyclists.
Spinning offers a challenging workout with low impact on the joints and knees—all while burning a tremendous amount of calories. Cyclists who are beginning a Spinning regimen should check in with the class instructor to ensure that the bike seat is at an appropriate level. Cyclists should also hydrate and stretch before class to avoid pulled muscles and dehydration.
THE FUN FACTOR
There’s obviously something about getting a really solid workout that just feels good, otherwise, no one would ever do it. Burning off extra energy and getting a better toned body feels great, and the endorphin rush that comes with an amazing workout is one of life’s greatest highs. Still, a workout that’s dull and begins to feel like drudgery is one that just won’t keep you coming back—which is why indoor and outdoor cycling are both great workouts.
Outdoor cycling is never dull—that’s a huge advantage of the sport. Outdoor exploration offers fresh air, interesting scenery, and the possibility of ongoing surprises and discoveries on the open road. All this, along with the challenge of taking on the hills and valleys of an outdoor ride, and you’ve got a workout that offers a great time along with the potential to burn major calories while toning the legs, glutes and abs.
Indoor cycling in itself may not offer the all of the same benefits of outdoor cycling, as far as fun and excitement are concerned, but Spinning classes are a whole different matter. These classes are geared around routines set by a class instructor, and the classes are set to music routines that keep things fun, upbeat and always engaging. The friendly competition and camaraderie that takes place in a class makes the whole experience exciting, keeping riders completely engaged as they burn those calories.
SPIN TO WIN
There’s no question that Spinning and outdoor cycling both offer major benefits to cyclists. Both of these disciplines offer a chance to tone muscle, increase endurance and cardiovascular health, and provide the added bonus that comes with a great workout—stress relief and that oft longed for endorphin high.
For athletes who are concerned about getting these benefits in a low impact workout, with greatly reduced chance of injury, Spinning classes should be the first choice. Ultimately, however, it’s all about the athlete and what kind of workout keeps them motivated and coming back.
This guest post is written by Cody Halversen on behalf of Spinning.com