The evolution of spinning

20 April 2017 by
First published: 28 September 2016

Saddle up as we take you on the ride of your life through the evolution of spinning. As gone are the days of laborious spin classes that only did what they said on the tin. With the rise of bespoke spinning studios across the country, spin has never been cooler!  As consumers expect more and more from their workouts, studios have had to meet the demand. WHL has decided to explore this super trend and find out how it all began…

Where it all started

Back in 1989, in the United States, a personal trainer and endurance cyclist was nearly knocked off his bike while cycling. This promoted the said rider, Jonny Goldberg, to take cycling indoors, and spinning was born! The first ever spinning studio to grace this earth made its debut in Santa Monica, shortly followed by appearances in Hollywood. Jonny G, as he became known, used specially-designed stationary bikes and recreated real road conditions to cycle on. As this was the 80s – a great decade for pop music – classes were set to background music like Madonna and Duran Duran.

The variations

From full-body workouts to disco-rides, spin studios have thought of it all; so it’s rare now that you’ll find yourself signing up to a spin class that’s similar to Jonny G’s original programme. Spinning has become a serious sport. With advanced technology and expert instructors, you can be in for the ride of your life. It’s now the norm to use hand weights while you pedal your way through a class getting a total body workout. Some studios have even gone to great lengths to recreate race-like environments with leader boards, digital roads and wind machines.

The benefits

Obviously spinning is a fantastic full-body workout if done correctly. Along with toning and strengthening leg muscles, you’ll work your core, arms and glutes in the process. As it’s low impact, it’s perfect for people recovering from an injury or experiencing fitness for the first time. We just love how the time flies when you’re on that bike and how many calories you burn in the process. Your heart will get a good workout, as it’s a brilliant cardio-based activity and you may even find your posture improves, too!

The new studios

Word on the spin bike is that it’s really important to choose the right tribe to ride with. From BOOM Cycle to Pure Ride, Pscyle to Ride Republic, each one has something a little different to offer. You’ll get a feel for the place as soon as you walk in the door, but whether you pick a place due to its playlist, studio setting or social scene, you’re sure to be hooked from the offset!

The social aspect 

Most forms of exercise are social and will see you interacting with others and making new friends. Spinning, however, seems to have something extra special about it. You feel like you’re part of a special club or a close-knit family. Not only do you ride together, but you become friends on social media, go for shakes after class and meet up on a weekend. Lots of studios now offer social events and parties alongside rides, which makes the experience even more fun.

The status

Say you’re a regular at certain spin studios and you’re bound to get an impressed look from those in-the-know. Spinning studios have now become like elite clubs that are more than just a way to keep fit. You’ll also find that there’s some serious endurance cred up for grabs. Some studios create a race-like environment so you can monitor your performance and compete with other riders. Others have chalkboards in reception so you can write down your PBs. And you can even be rewarded with a round of applause and a free class by completing a certain number of rides.