The fitness industry is continuously evolving with the latest craze right around the corner. One tried and true workout consistently on the rise in popularity is indoor cycling.
Indoor cycling is a high intensity, low impact class appealing to all ages and fitness levels. It’s done in a class setting with stationary, specialized bikes. The music is loud, lights are low and the instructor guides their class through a heart pounding ride. It’s an experience for all of the senses burning up to 800 calories per hour. It’s stood the test of time but it has evolved since the beginning.
Beginning of Spinning™
“Spinning,” or indoor cycling, originated in 1994 by cyclists and entrepreneurs John Baudhuin and Johnny G under Mad Dogg Athletics. They created the Spinning bike to simulate an outdoor bike and this was known as a “road ready” ride. Spinning became a very popular workout and soon thereafter they launched the first Spinning Instructor Certification Program. Up to this point, indoor cycling was viewed as sport specific fitness. But, is it really?
Sport Specific Vs Cross Training
Sport specific training is conditioning within a sport. Example, a soccer player trains by doing the exact sport on the field, in the true element. Same is true with runners, etc. Any training outside of sport specific training is considered cross training. The goal is to improve overall performance by using both sport specific training and cross training.
Outdoor Vs. Indoor
It’s impossible to create an actual sport specific ride indoors that you’d achieve outdoors. The bike is fixed, there’s no elements to navigate and the dynamics are different. Current thought process is “if you don’t do it on an outdoor bike, why would you do it on an indoor bike.” Simply put: the body moves and activates muscles differently for outdoors vs. indoors rides based on a moving bike vs. a fixed bike.
If you’re hitting an outdoor on-road ride and attempt “presses” (move involving a specific movement in class) this would be potentially be dangerous and you’d likely fall over. However, on a fixed indoor bike, these moves are considered cross training in focus.
Reinventing the Wheel
We all know the old adage: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Part of this industry is devoted to the old ways. But as demand for indoor cycling got greater, people wanted more than a simulated outdoor ride; they wanted a beat based indoor group ex focused experience. Music shifted from the background to the foreground with this change of focus. The term “party on a bike” is quickly becoming popular but unfortunately, it’s misunderstood and ridiculed by some. They don’t embrace the cross training potential. There’s a growing divide amongst the two largest styles of classes on the IC scene: Road Ready and Party on the Bike.