Love going to spin class? Good news! Indoor cycling burns some serious calories. It benefits your body without the harsh impact on your joints, too. The average number of calories burned in an hour-long spin class is approximately 800 calories for someone that weighs 200 pounds. Want to maximize your calories burned in spin class? Here are 13 ways to do just that.
1. Consistency is Key
First and foremost, staying consistent with your workouts is the key to getting anywhere. If you're not in a class, you won't burn any calories. The more you go, the more you'll burn, and the more your body will get used to feeling the burn.
2. Fuel Your Body the Right Way
Eating a heavy meal before your workout isn't a great idea. In fact, less is more. Eating a small snack like a banana or a slice of whole-wheat bread with jelly will give your body enough fuel for the workout without making you feel sluggish. Or try some black or green tea, which can improve your energy and calorie burn for the ride. You'll also want to make sure you eat after your workout, and this time, it can be a full meal. Just make sure it's healthy. And of course, be sure you're staying hydrated, even during class, as dehydration will make you sluggish and kill your performance.
3. Set Your Bike Right
It's important to make sure your bike is set up the right way for you. You need to be able to use the handlebars properly, have proper posture, and reach the pedals while bending your knees. For the handlebars, make sure the height is right and that you can sit back closer to the saddle of the bike. Leaning over the handlebars compromises the number of calories you burn because you aren't using your muscles properly. Don't be afraid to ask for help in setting it up, because this will be essential to you getting the most out of your ride.
4. Fix Your Form
Your form is important during your ride because it helps your body burn the most calories in the most efficient way. The more muscles you use during your workout, the more calories you'll burn. It also prevents injuries. Remember to target your core and make sure it's engaged, which is easier to do when the handlebars are correctly used, as mentioned in the tip above. You can also pull your belly into your spine to help support your lower back. This helps relieve any pressure on your back. You shouldn't feel all the burn in your thighs and instead, work on your hip and backside position by keeping those low and close to the seat. Keep your shoulders relaxed and look forward, not down. Again, ask an instructor for help, because getting your form down is essential to burn the most amount of calories.
5. Beware of the Bounce
A lot of people think that bouncing burns more calories, but the truth is, it stresses your joints and reduces the calorie burn. The closer you are to the saddle, the more correct your form is, and the more effective your workout is.
6. Keep Moving
During song changes, you might be tempted to take a rest. This is okay if you absolutely need it, but the best way to ensure you're burning the most amount of calories is to keep yourself moving, even if it's at a lesser pace. You need your heart rate to stay up so you can reap the benefits. You also need to keep moving after class. That helps continue the higher level of calorie burn you worked so hard to achieve. Don't just take a nap, keep moving.
7. Breathe Through It
Don't forget to breathe. This may not directly affect your calorie burn, but it will affect your endurance, which will allow you to keep going. So, make sure you're breathing throughout the workout so that your muscles get the oxygen they need to keep going, and so do you.
8. Push the Boundaries, but Listen to Your Body
There is a fine line between pushing yourself too hard and not working hard enough. You need to listen to your body, but you also need to work hard. You want it to feel like you almost can't do it so that you have to push through when it gets hard. That's where you'll find your strength and maximize the burn.
9. Vary the Ride
Varying your workout is essential, and there will be plenty of it in each class, but you also need to vary the type of class you do. Also, be smart with pre-programmed workout settings. If you're in a setting that is not pushing you hard enough, you need to up your game to get the full benefits. Alternatively, remember that you need to pace your self. If the class is doing a move or interval you can't keep up with, it's okay to go a little slower. Remember, you're listening to your body.
10. Add in Boosters
To get the full benefit and maximum calorie burn, try adding in boosters. This means that outside of your spin class, try working on strengthening your legs with some barre or engaging your core with some pilates. Strengthing each of your muscles will help you perform better in spin class, burning more calories along the way.
11. Some is Better Than None
Can't get in a full hour of spin class? Don't fret. Break your workout into two sessions or do a shorter session. When you do two thirty-minute sessions, that's still burning the same amount - and sometimes more - as a one-hour class. Moving is the most important, not how long you go for.
12. Try Getting Hot(ter)
When you work out in a hotter environment, you can burn more calories. That's because the body has to work to regulate your temperature, which burns calories in and of itself. So, give it a try, but remember that you will need more water and that exercising outside in extreme heat should be done with caution.
13. No Free Passes
Remember, that just because you spent an hour burning off those calories, it doesn't mean you get a free pass to eat - or do - whatever you want the rest of the day. Just like we mentioned with the importance of keeping your body moving to some degree, you also want to ensure that you don't run to the first slice of cake you see.
What does it all Mean?
Ultimately, the amount of calories burned in spin class is going to come down to the amount of time you workout and the effort you put into each workout. Using these tips above are ways to increase the likelihood of a higher calorie burn, but they aren't guaranteed unless you put in the effort, and of course, they work best cumulatively. The more tips you implement at a time, the better. Now, burn those calories!