ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Vol. 42 - No 04

Spinning it

By Esther Williams

Looking for a complete workout? How does hopping onto a saddle of a stationary cycle and spinning yourself to cardiovascular health sound to you? Best of all you can burn those calories rapidly through the instructor-led group cycling programme.

Mike Chomley, CEO and Managing Director of Lifestyle Fitness Lanka that offers Spin explains that it is a high intensity workout on a stationary bike that offers an aerobic component, flexibility and strengthening of core stability – all in one class. Nevertheless, it has low impact on ankles, knees and hips (meaning no stress to the joints), making it suitable for all levels of fitness.

The idea of achieving everything in one class – weight loss, flexibility, fitness, abdominal strength and endurance is perhaps what makes the workout technique so effective. "The exercise targets all the largest muscle groups of the body – the gluteus maximus, quadriceps, hamstrings and abdominal muscles," Mike explains. In addition the workout encourages the use of stabilizer muscles that enhance body alignment and posture, both in the seated and standing positions used during the class.

At the studio, everyone was having fun spinning to the beat of music. Beginning with a low-intensity warm up, followed by 5 minutes stretching, they were taken through various intensities that simulated a typical road ride. It appeared that they were either riding flat, over hills or sprinting – all from a stationary bike. Mike took them through the energetic program voicing encouragement through the instructions.

By this time, participants were perspiring profusely but continued with the routine amidst sips of water. The last twenty minutes of the session included 10-minutes of abdominal exercises, ending with 10 minutes of stretching. The indoor cycling experience workout proved a challenge to all those who rode. That much was evident.

The spin cycles that are adjustable for comfort are designed with a weight flywheel, front wheel and a resistance knob that is controlled by the rider. While new comers are allowed to take it easy, others are encouraged to keep to the gruelling routine, ensuring that they stay in complete control of the intensity of the workout.

Mike explains that the unique workout is suitable for all fitness levels – unfit to over fit. The supervised classes cater to four different levels ranging from beginners to advanced. His advice to individuals is to put as much variety as possible. If it is spin alone, twice a week would suffice. Notably, Spin does work better in a group as it can turn into a fun activity as you challenge yourself. A typical session lasts for a little over an hour.

Research indicates that Johnny Goldberg created the concept of spinning in 1986 while training for the 'Race Across America,' a gruelling 4800-kilometre ultra-endurance cycling race. Since he trademarked his Spinning programme, many companies designed similar group cycling programmes.

Dhanila Fernando's fitness level has certainly improved tremendously after attending Spin sessions for almost a year. "I couldn't keep up at the beginning. I had difficulty breathing and my legs hurt," she smiled adding that the aches gradually disappeared. Having started with low resistance she is now able to keep up with others and essentially, having fun doing so.

For those looking for an exercise routine that really works for the entire body, guaranteeing great results, go for spin. You would never need to worry about weather conditions in this indoor cycling activity – all year round.

With a degree in Human Movements, Mike has worked extensively with athletes. However over the last 15 years he has focused on Corporate Health and Lifestyle Management.

Top to the page

Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.