12

A stationary or a spin bike? (Read 3076 times)

    Since I can't run right now, I joined a gym and am trying to maintain some fitness by using a bike.

     

    Is there any difference between riding an ordinary stationary bike and a spin bike?

     

    So far I've ridden the stationary bike 3 times for 30 minutes at a time. I rode at an easy resistance level, concentrating mainly on keeping up the rpms. The computer told me I was riding at about 20mph, at level 9 (goes up to 20). My HR monitor told me I was working pretty hard. My perception was that I was working somewhere between moderate and hard. The only muscles that got sore were my sitting ones.

     

    Is this a good way to maintain aerobic fitnness, or would I be better off taking a spin class? The advantage of the spin class is that I could ride for longer than 30 minutes at a time. The disadvantage is that I don't really like noisy exercise classes. Also, I don't really get what "spinning" is. I just always hear how hard it is...

     

    Cashmason


      Spinning and riding a stationary bike are the same thing.

       

      I teach a spin class 4 times a week.

       

      It really isn't all that hard.  We do sometimes stand up to take pressure off your rear end and to work slightly different muscles.

       

      Some people like the group atmosphere,  and will work harder if somebody else gives them instructions on what to do.

       

      A lot depends on the instructor and the music they play.   Some instructors you might like and others not.

       

      Riding by yourself, you can listen to what ever you want.

       

      When I teach,  I vary between climbing hills with lots of resistance,  and going faster at lighter resistance.   I dont keep the same speed and resistance for more than a few minutes.

       

      Riding will keep up your cardio fitness,  but  riding a bike uses mostly the muscles in the front of your leg, while  running uses mostly the muscles in the back of your leg and your butt,  so the muscular fitness wont be quite the same.


      I look my best blurry!

        I vary between the spin bike, an Airdyne bike and deep water running.  The deep water running definitely uses the posterior leg muscles, with the water providing resistance.  I also get pretty focused on strengthening exercises that don't aggravate the injured area.  I'm not sure why your not running but mixing up your workouts to stimulate as many muscle groups as possible is a good idea.  After recovery when you're ready to run,  you'll want to be as fit as possible.   Good luck!

          Thanks Cashmason and wannaberunner.

           

          I tried a spin class today. It was OK. I'll have to figure out how to get a good workout on the bike though, because spinning felt pretty easy compared to running. I didn't feel worked out...

           

          I don't know what to think of this: during class my heart rate got up to 190 during the "hill sprints." That's as high as it ever gets while running intervals, and higher than when I run a 5k race. When I'm at 190 while running, it feels like imminent death, but on the bike, it felt comfortably hard. Confused

           

          Wannaberunner, I have a lower-leg injury, as yet undiagnosed. I'm going to try deep-water running tomorrow. I tried running in the pool the other day, but this particular pool was only 3'6".  It didn't really work well and hurt my leg a little.

           

            Hey, earlier this year, I used the stationary bike quite a bit while out with a calf strain. 

             

            My impression is that you're more likely to preserve your endurance base by using the stationary bike (at a lower intensity than 9, if that's working your legs a bit too hard). You could also alternate with the eliptical trainer. I got a few good three-hour workouts alternating between the stationary bike and the arc trainer.

             

            I've only participated in a handful of spinning classes, but my impression is that they're limited to about 45 minutes and are rather intense.   

            "If you have the fire, run..." -John Climacus

              Since I can't run right now, I joined a gym and am trying to maintain some fitness by using a bike.

               

              Is there any difference between riding an ordinary stationary bike and a spin bike?

               

              So far I've ridden the stationary bike 3 times for 30 minutes at a time. I rode at an easy resistance level, concentrating mainly on keeping up the rpms. The computer told me I was riding at about 20mph, at level 9 (goes up to 20). My HR monitor told me I was working pretty hard. My perception was that I was working somewhere between moderate and hard. The only muscles that got sore were my sitting ones.

               

              Is this a good way to maintain aerobic fitnness, or would I be better off taking a spin class? The advantage of the spin class is that I could ride for longer than 30 minutes at a time. The disadvantage is that I don't really like noisy exercise classes. Also, I don't really get what "spinning" is. I just always hear how hard it is...

               

              I don't want to discourage you from bike riding, but since I'm struggling with some injuries right now too, I thought I'd chime in.

              I asked my coach about bike riding and though he likes intense  cycling, he said there's virtually no carryover from cycling to running.  The closest thing to running w/out impact or strain is deep water running, but it has to be done intensely.  You need a pool where you feet don't touch the bottom. 


              sincerely silly

                I tried a spin class today. It was OK. I'll have to figure out how to get a good workout on the bike though, because spinning felt pretty easy compared to running. I didn't feel worked out...

                 

                I don't know what to think of this: during class my heart rate got up to 190 during the "hill sprints." That's as high as it ever gets while running intervals, and higher than when I run a 5k race. When I'm at 190 while running, it feels like imminent death, but on the bike, it felt comfortably hard. Confused

                 

                 

                Maybe HR isn't the best way to go?  I don't actually know. =P But sometimes I do feel like HR is overrated, since you can just be really scared and nervous and that's not a workout... (an extreme case, I know)  I've always found the impact of running to feel like imminent death...

                I tend to work out based on how the effort feels anyway as far as an easy or hard workout goes.  But maybe I should look into HR monitoring!

                 

                I tried spinning for a while and I think it takes a while to know how hard to work yourself and how many "turns" of resistance to put on the bike.  Spinning is great if you like group exercise but sometimes you need an easy day (and just don't turn the knob as much) and then some days you can crank it up...but everyone looks like they're doing the same thing. :-)

                shin splints are my nemesis

                  I don't want to discourage you from bike riding, but since I'm struggling with some injuries right now too, I thought I'd chime in.

                  I asked my coach about bike riding and though he likes intense  cycling, he said there's virtually no carryover from cycling to running.  The closest thing to running w/out impact or strain is deep water running, but it has to be done intensely.  You need a pool where you feet don't touch the bottom. 

                   

                  I found a deep pool where I can run. That's my next experiment. Thanks to a thread somewhere on RA, I found a link to the Pfitzinger water-running plan. Tomorrow, I'm going to the pool in full dork mode: aquajogger belt, water shoes, running garb (I don't have a swimsuit), and Ironman watch.

                   

                  I'm kind of looking forward to it!

                   


                  In it for the long run..

                    If your  spin class didn't feel challenging, you either had a bad teacher or you did something wrong.  I've done spin on and off for years, and the classes I took were extremely challenging.  I had to put a towel under the bike because I would sweat so much.  Teachers can really vary.  Some of the classes are too "jumpy"- sort of like aerobics on wheels.  The ones I liked really replicated road cycling (as best they could). No one came out of the room wanting more.  My classes in Dallas were an hour, but  most places everywhere else seem to have 45 minute classes.  Many of us came early to do some riding before class.

                     

                    That said, I don't think it really carries over to running but will keep you fit in a cardio sense. 

                    "It's not who wins the workout..."

                    xor


                      I teach spinning too (well, I have. Not recently)

                       

                      I'm puzzled at cash's response.  Spinning and riding a stationary bike are very different.  A spinning bike has a weighted flywheel and gives a different riding experience than most of the 'stationary bikes' at the other side of my gym.  They aren't really close.  Much much better workout on a spinning bike and if you set it up properly, not as harsh on your knees as a stationary bike.

                       

                      If your class wasn't challenging either your instructor was bleh or (and? perhaps) you didn't apply enough resistance to the wheel when she/he asked you to do so.

                       

                        It's very possible I didn't have the resistance up high enough. I turned it up whenever she instructed us to, but I was also being somewhat cautious as I had been warned about "blowing out" my knees. Spinning is a new activity for me. I had no idea what pace I could maintain for an hour.

                         

                        Next time I'll get to class early and try to mess about with the resistance.

                         

                        srlopez, how do you set the bike up properly? The instructor said the seat should be at hip level when I stood next to it, and the seat and handlebars should be where they felt comfortable.

                         

                        xor


                          Hmmm.  That's not really how I'd do it.  Most spin bikes come with 3 possible things to adjust:

                           

                          1. Seat height.  Get on bike. Sit down. Put feet on pedals and put pedals in the 12-6 (one pedal above the other...one up, one down/bottom) position.  Look at the leg in the 6 (pedal at the bottom) position.  Your knee should be slightly bent.  If you are stiff-legged up/down and your knee is locked, your seat is too high.

                           

                          2. Seat back/front (aka "fore/aft").  You want to be leaning forward slightly, but not hunched over or reaching too far for the handlebars.  Elbows slightly bent.  Some instructors...I'm one... will have you set the pedals in 9-3 (pedals level with each other up/down) and check your knee positioning.  The front knee should be over the middle of the pedal.

                           

                          3. Handlebar height.  This is one that people get crazy with.  Don't.  Start with it up pretty high so you aren't leaning too far forward.  Over time, you might lower it until it is even with your seat.  Some folks go lower than that, but don't.

                           

                          Mind you, I'm not an avid cyclist.  Those who are might pop in with different/better info.  That's just what I do w/ newcomers on spin bikes.

                           

                          AND THEN WE PLAY TECHNO REALLY LOUD (sigh)

                           


                          Needs more cowbell!

                            Ditto SRL on bike set-up.  Saddle position really should be pretty much set-in-stone.  Start with your handlebars up a bit, then gradually move them down as your neck/shoulders strengthen.  You may be sore in that area after early rides, but with time find that you can be comfortable with the handlebars lowered.

                            I shoot pretty things! ~

                            '14 Goals:

                            • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

                            • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                              The RA hive mind is great! Thanks for all the tips and insight. I'll be more prepared for the next class.

                               


                              Needs more cowbell!

                                BTW, if you ever wanted to do any "spin" classes at home with a spin bike or road bike on a trainer I cannot recommend The Sufferfest workouts enough.  They are hard, but funny...and have some neat footage of previous pro-level races and some really awesome scenery from all over the world.

                                I shoot pretty things! ~

                                '14 Goals:

                                • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

                                • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                                12