Spinning is the new froyo

Frozen yogurt is the sweet and sugary phenomenon.Although it may be popular, there’s a new, healthier craze creating quite the buzz.

It resides in a dimly lit room, filled with looks of determination, blasting music and a tangible sense of motivation.

From teens to adults, spinning has recently become a frequent addition or variation to many workouts.

“A large part of why I like it so much is because you can tailor it to how hard you want to work. There is no minimum to how hard you can push yourself, but there is also no maximum. You are able to make the experience your own,” Maggie Brown ’16 said

Prevention.com, a health magazine website, states that the main reasoning behind the workout’s popularity is that it appeals to “people who don’t care for traditional exercise classes. There are no complicated dance moves to follow, and since you control your bike’s tension, you can stay within a comfortable exercise zone for your fitness level, while still feeling like you’re keeping up with the class. Unlike actual cycling, there are no worries about lagging behind the pack. Everyone finishes together. And everyone gets a great workout.”

One cycling studio, Joy Ride, located on Post Road East in Westport, offers many spinning classes, both teen and adult, beginning at 6 a.m. and going until 7 p.m. Fifty-minute classes include muscle, endurance, and speed training and provide upper body arm work – all of which is set to a heart-pumping beat of popular modern music such as “Wake Me Up” by Avicii and “Applause” by Lady Gaga.

Also, spinning allows for, and is appealing to, all types of people, from hard-core athletes and avid cyclists to beginners. It is a sure way to burn calories and gain muscle. “I definitely think it helped me a lot with endurance for sports,” Brown said.

While these may be common effects of any type of exercise, many have come to find that spinning is more fun than the average workout or sport, which may be the cause for popularity.

It is also a great alternative to the regular gym workout. “I get bored and I’m too lazy to go to the gym so I tried spinning one day, and I loved it because it’s good exercise and when I’m doing it I feel like I’m not exercising,” Ruth Kissel ’16 said.

While it may not even feel like a demanding exercise, there are also many physical benefits of Spinning. “Spinning scorches about 7.2 to 13.6 calories per minute, or about 500 calories per class. All that pedaling is also great for leg toning as it strengthens your glutes, thighs, and calves,”  according to Prevention.com.

For many, it is even a form of relaxation compared to the usual demanding and hectic sports practice. One participant in the twice-a-week teen spinning classes at Joy Ride Cycling Studio, Danielle Johnston ’16, says that being a one sport (soccer) athlete, she enjoys the less stressful workout that spinning provides.

Another spinner in these teen classes, Lauren Stefenson ‘16, agrees that it is a different and fun way to workout. “I like how they play music really loudly because it motivates you. I also like how the lights are low because it lets you be in your own world and block everyone else out,” she said.

Joy Ride Studio instructor Emily Kate Swet agrees that the motivation in the room is certainly apparent, not only due to the music – which she says everyone enjoys – but also the encouraging and motivating vibe bouncing around the room. She feels that all the energy in the spin room comes from the amount of people there.“People feed off of each other and I think that’s why it becomes so enjoyable and people like it so much,” she said. If you’re thinking of jumping on the bandwagon with this new craze but are afraid that you don’t have what it takes, think again. “It applies to everybody. Everyone can do it. Some are talented at sports and others at dance, but everyone can come in and spin and get a great workout,” Swet said.