Spinning to Lose Weight – How to Determine Class Frequency


Go to any health club and you will meet people trying to lose weight by engaging in regular exercise. Some are running on a treadmill while others work the elliptical. What about you? Maybe indoor cycling is your thing. You’ve heard that spinning classes are high-energy but low impact. That’s great. Understand that you can consistently take spinning classes for months on end and never reach your weight loss goals. The thing is that class frequency has little to do with weight loss. The same goes for class intensity.

  • Spinning Is All Cardio

The folks at Salt Lake City’s Mcycle Studio say that a typical spinning class lasts anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes. Classes are guided by trained instructors who know how to lead students through a planned regimen that takes full advantage of cycling movements, upper body movements, and transitioning between sitting and standing.

Mcycle also says that spinning is great cardio exercise. In fact, it is all cardio. The emphasis on indoor cycling is working your heart along with the muscles in your lower body. It can help substantially with weight loss, but only if combined with other healthy practices.

  • Weight Loss and Calorie Intake

What is so misleading about fitness center advertisements is the images they present. They make you believe that you can drop 100 pounds in short order just by working up a good sweat three times per week. That is not how it works; exercise alone is not enough. If you are trying to lose weight, you also have to consider your calorie intake.

The science of losing weight is not complicated. Losing weight is a matter of burning more calories than you consume. When you do so, your body converts fat tissue into the calories you are not getting from food. So it’s really just a matter of simple math.

If you burn more calories than you consume, you will likely lose weight. And in fact, it is possible to lose weight without going to the gym or taking spinning classes. Still, regular exercise can make losing weight easier by burning more calories. This is where determining the number spinning classes you want to take comes into play.

  • Exercise Burns Calories

Let’s say you used an online app that suggested, based on your current age and weight, a daily intake of 1600 calories for steady weight loss. You could count your calories every day and lose weight over time without any additional exercise. It might take you 6 to 9 months to drop the pounds you want to drop.

Now imagine taking three spinning classes per week while still maintaining the same daily caloric intake. If your current weight is 155 pounds, you’ll burn about 500 calories during a moderate 60-minute spinning class. Each class represents 500 calories you would not have otherwise burned. As such, more classes usually mean faster weight loss.

You would have to balance this with the amount of physical exertion you put into each class. You would also have to consider consuming at least a few extra calories to get safely through each class. So maybe you need a granola bar before or after your class. Subtract the calories in that granola bar from the total you plan to burn during class. The result is your net gain.

There is no right or wrong number of classes to take if you are trying to lose weight. Speak with your doctor or personal trainer to determine a suitable frequency for you. Just know this: the key to losing weight is not taking more classes. It is burning more calories than you consume.

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