Why Spinning Without Resistance is Not Good!

(and How You Can Tell if You’re Guilty of This)

When you workout, you wanna get results, which means doing it right. Cat Kom is the founder of Studio SWEAT in San Diego and Studio SWEAT onDemand online around the world, which are well known for top-notch Spinning classes. She’s joined by her best friend Diana, who has been Spinning with her for 15 years and is a huge fan of Studio SWEAT, to help you make the most of your next Spin class.

A super common mistake Cat sees in Spin classes she teaches (and no joke, by Spinning instructors too) is riding without enough resistance. Why is this such a big deal you ask?

5 Reasons Why you Shouldn’t Ride Without Resistance

  1. Injury. You need at least slight resistance in order to stay under control. If you’re too loosey goosey, your joints are at risk of injury. You want to stay steady to stay safe.
  2. Burn less calories. You showed up to a workout, not a Sunday cruise. Resistance helps increase your heart rate and works your muscles, leading to a higher calorie burn.
  3. You look silly. You might even get laughed at by classmates, your kids, or even your pets. But seriously, if you don’t look in control, you’re probably not.
  4. Pain in the saddle. If you bike outdoors, you probably ride with padded shorts. But you’re not usually going to be padded riding an indoor cycle. So you’ll bounce if your resistance isn’t heavy enough, and you’ll feel it in the tush.
  5. Not building lean body mass. One reason to workout IS to create lean body mass. When we talk about lean body mass, that doesn’t mean you’re going to bulk (that’s an old wives’ tale). It does mean you’ll look toned with those beautiful strong muscles.

How do you know if you’ve got enough gear on?

  • Numbered gears. You may have a bike that’s got a numbered gear system, so you’ll know from the numbers. If it’s your regular bike, you’ll get to know what gear is associated with low, medium, or heavy resistance. Just remember that “low gear” does NOT equal “no gear.” The lower numbers on a gear system tend to be no resistance, so crank it up from your lowest numbers.
  • Your hips won’t lie. If your hips don’t stay still and are loose with no control, you’ll need to crank up the load. Once you add resistance, you should notice instant stability in your hips.
  • Getting no air. There shouldn’t be daylight between your butt and the saddle (unless you’re intentionally hovering). Your butt should be square and steady in seated drills at any speed.
  • Sprint then stop. If you’re riding in a sprint (standing or seated), and when the drill stops it takes you a while to slow down, you’re too light. It should only take 3-4 rotations for your legs to slow in a standard sprint, and if you’re in a heavy sprint, your legs should stop almost instantly.

Try out these tips in your next cycling class, and for lots of options where we ride with resistance, as well as some of the best body-sculpting, fat-torching workouts, check out the Free Trial over on Studio SWEAT onDemand! Download the app, or if you happen to live in southern California, visit us in our San Diego studio.