General George S. Patton
Taught my Wednesday 6am SPIN class today. I’ll admit, Patton probably never took a SPIN class. You don’t exactly think of MMA and cigars and Monster Trucks when you think about SPIN classes, but they do have some value for “real” cyclists.
I started teaching SPIN for the Wisconsin Athletic Club about 3 or 4 years ago. I did it for 2 reasons: 1) It would force me to get up each week at least once, even if it was -35° and snowing like crazy, and “ride”. 2) I would get a free membership to a gym by being an employee.
What I found was that most people who take SPIN classes are there for a workout – they are not cyclists. There are some recreational riders in the classes, and the occasional “enthusiast”, but for the most part, it’s just people looking for a way to burn off some french fries and maintain some level of fitness. Classes are pretty fun, and I am able to play whatever music I want – which is probably not what you’d hear in a “normal” SPIN class. Sometimes I wish I was outside riding, but I do that on plenty of other days. This is a quick way to get a good sweat on and the bottom line is that it’s often an hour in saddle (essentially on a trainer) that I wouldn’t otherwise have.
The goal of my class is different from other classes too, in that the goal of my class is for ME to get a good workout in. When I became “Certified” it was made clear that the goal should be to use a “do as I say, not as I do” method. This was explained to me by the SPINNING “Master Instructor”, who was about 30 pounds overweight. She advocated getting off the bike and walking around the room during the class. Uh… no.
In my world, there are talkers and there are doers. Talkers add no value to anything. I get in a half hour before the class starts, get everything set up, warm up for a while and then deliver a 45 minute beat down. I would argue that I am working harder than anyone else in that room. One time there was blizzard, and no one showed up. So I blasted Metallica and did the whole class by myself out of the saddle. To this day, that was one of my toughest classes ever. So, hopefully the people who normally take my class want to see someone lead by example, rather than reading from the manual.
Bottom line, to me any time on any bike (or trainer) has benefits.
“To all my little Hulkamaniacs, say your prayers, take your vitamins and you will never go wrong.”