A spinning class is led by an instructor who then controls the tempo of the class and each class has varying intensity. As with any cardiovascular exercise, one benefit of spinning is to burn as much calories as possible and classes can range from 30 minutes to an hour. It’s a fun way to burn calories and when we’re having fun, the minutes, like our calories, tends to just melt away.
Calories burned indoor cycling (spinning class)
How much calories you burn in spinning class depends on so many factors, such as your weight, the intensity of the workout, the length of the class and BMR. On the average, a 180-pound person can burn 297 calories in 30 minutes of riding on a spin bike. This person will burn around 361 calories in spinning class in the same time. If this man increases intensity at 101-160 watts,vigorous effort, he can burn up to 754 calories in hour spin class. Without doubt, this is a respectable result for someone who are looking for the way to lose weight.
In contrast, calories burned running on a treadmill at 6mph in 30 minutes is around 394 for this person.
According to 2011 Compendium of Physical Activities, RPM / Spin bike class has a higher MET value (8.5) than indoor cycling (less than 90-100 watts).
Assuminging a person weighing 180 pounds as a benchmark, below is a table that shows just how much calories one burns according to the length of the spinning class (30, 45 and 60 minutes).
|very light to light effort
|moderate tovigorous effort
|very vigorous effort
|RPM / Spin bike class
Now, if you are anything like me, you might ask, “So if I join a class of such intensity and for this long, I will get to burn this much calorie?” And as much as most, if not all gym owners would like to say yes, it is just not that simple. The numbers are all depending on average weight. As we age, the average weight for that particular bracket is different and therefore changes the variables in the calorie burning equation.
So how can we make use of the information in that table then? As we all know, people have different fitness goals and most of the people who take spinning classes want to burn calories. Many resorts to what is known as calorie counting. A pound of fat is around 3500 calories so being able to have a relatively accurate way to calculate how much calories we burn can be useful. Using the same data in the table above, we can calculate how many minutes it takes to burn 500 or 1000 calories or, let’s get straight to it. How long it takes to burn a pound of fat.
Now, these data are closest estimate by average but your current weight and age can have small effects on these numbers here and there. Dieting alone can create that caloric deficit which will lessen your weight but time and time again, we see that dieting works best with proper exercise if we are to reach our fitness goals.
Can Spinning lose fat on belly and legs?
Some people get into spinning hoping that it can slim down their thighs and belly specifically. This is a very common doubts, but unfortunately, spot reduction is a myth. You cannot get a slimmer body part by focusing your exercises on that body part. Our bodies are programmed to burn calories when we are active but where the calories will be “taken” is something we cannot control. So no, spinning classes cannot give you a slimmer thigh and abs magically. What it can do though is tone your thighs and mid-section but you overall weight might not even be different at first. It will give you a stronger thigh and mid-section but, depending on you intensity and duration, it can also give you a larger thigh because you are working out the muscle and our thigh has some of the largest muscles we have in our body. This is where dieting might be helpful. If you have a longer duration and lower intensity, you tend to have more toned thighs and abs but if you try and use a higher intensity short duration approach, after a few months, you might be hearing the word “quad-zilla” more and more. Spinning is a great way to burn calories but you still need to be smart about it and always consult professionals about your goals.
Calories burned in Peloton class, SoulCycle Class and Flywheel class
The advent of spinning classes has given birth to other products and fads like the Peloton bike,flywheel bike and SoulCycle classes. A Peloton bike is a stationary bike with virtual spinning classes that can be accessed through its built-in display. For people who enjoy the idea of working out at home, the Peloton Bike is a great option. You get to exercise in your own home but still have the convenience of an instruction-led spinning class. SoulCycle is a spinning class that uses candles for lighting and various motivational words written on the wall. Both are great ideas stemming from the original concept but they do not have a considerable advantage over the other. It all boils down to preference. Both still follow the same principle and essentially produce the same type of results. People are just motivated differently. As far as calories, both can give you that great workout and burns virtually the same level of calories. Both can burn anywhere between 300 to 800 calories in 45 minutes relative to intensity. There is no significant difference between the traditional spinning class, Peloton Bike and SoulCycle.
Accurate Indoor Cycling (Spinning) calories burned calculation
There are a number of ways to calculate the calories burned of spining bike, Peloton Bike and SoulCycle. There is MET, Heart rate monitor and Power meter. MET allows you to basically measure the intensity of certain exercise which then gives you a rough idea on the impact it has to your overall fitness goal. A MET is the amount of energy used over a particular amount of time. One MET is basically your “at rest” value. Meaning, you are not engaging in any significant physical activity like if you are just sitting on a chair. MET calculations can help professionals in determining a suitable exercise plan for a particular person. Another way to gauge your calories burned is with a heart rate monitor. This measures how well your heart responds to the exercise relative to your age. It has a relatively easy way to calculate what your maximum heart rate should be and can then tell you the intensity of your workout session by your heart beat. Power meters measures the amount of force you use while cycling. This is the most accurate calculation.
All these measure the amount of work we put in certain activities and thus can give you a good idea if you are moving on the right direction but they each also have limiting aspects. MET puts value on certain activities but do not put into consideration other factors that affect the intensity of the activity. For example, walking at 2.5 mph has a MET value of 2.9 but does not take into consideration one’s weight and fitness level. A relatively fit man will have a lot easier time walking at 2.5 mph than a guy weighing 300 lbs. (calories burned walking on a incline treadmill at 4 mph in 30 minutes is around 131). A heart rate monitor calculates max heart rate as 220 minus your age. So if you are 50 years old, your max heart rate is 170. This however does not put into consideration other factors like if the person has an existing heart condition. Power meters measure the force exerted by the user through tension it detects but it can get external data that can manipulate the value you get from them.
The best way to gauge how effective one’s workout is how you actually feel. That is the best way to know. Everything else will give you an idea but you definitively know that you are doing great by how you feel.
2011 Compendium of Physical Activities