Spinning, a trademark cycling program, is offered in 17 sessions a week by Campus Recreation, making it the most frequently offered group fitness session at the IBC Student Recreation Center.
Tricia DePoe, fitness coordinator and a Spinning leader, said Spinning is one of the few group fitness sessions to offer 40 minutes of straight cardio as opposed to a combination of endurance, strength and cardio.
Each of the Spinning instructors has been trained through a specialized program, and sessions must follow specific guidelines.
Workouts are all set to upbeat music, starting with a gradual warm up and transitioning into different exercises, which utilize resistance levels and different cycling positions. The time following each standard 40-minute session is designated to cooling down and stretching.
Because it is such a cardio-focused exercise program, Spinning offers a full body workout, instructors said.
Tracey Heckstall, who has been a Spinning leader at the IBC for two years, said since it is mostly a cardio workout, the average person can burn 300 to 500 calories per session.
“The great thing about Spinning is it’s your own ride,” Heckstall said.
Both Heckstall and DePoe emphasized the fact that each person in the Spinning class determines how challenging his or her own workout will be. Spinning bikes can be adjusted for resistance throughout the session.
“Some days, you’ll push yourself harder than other days,” DePoe said.
DePoe and Heckstall also agree that because Spinning allows participants to set their own paces, it is suitable for beginners.
Heckstall said almost everybody is fit enough to spin. She found that Spinning helped her lose weight and enabled her to become fit enough to do other types of exercises as well.
Although you can control how hard you push yourself, some people find Spinning a challenging workout.
DePoe warns some beginners not to start out pushing themselves too hard because they will burn out.
Despite Spinning’s reputation as challenging, it seems to have a fairly loyal following.
“I do see a lot of familiar faces,” DePoe said about the different crowds she sees in the morning, afternoon and evening sessions.
She said the morning crowd has a lot of die-hard Spinners. In the afternoon, there is a lunch crowd with more Temple employees, and in the evening, a mix of people return, some trying Spinning for the first time, she said.
Just as Spinning is accessible to beginners and returning fans, it attracts both males and females. DePoe said more males participate in Spinning than any of the other group fitness sessions offered at the IBC.
DePoe and Heckstall stress the importance of drinking water before, during and after sessions.
Sessions are offered three times a day Monday through Friday and once on Saturday and Sunday. A complete schedule, adjusted by semester, can be found at https://www.temple.edu/campusrec/groupfitness.
Christine Fisher can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.