Spinning at the Oval

Tonights spinning class was one of those occasions you just have to do a post about.

I was outside the class talking to Chris (Tina the Instructor was running late), it turns out that Chris has lost 12 stone! and thats not all, he started on the Lifestyle and Weight management course. Chris is on the WeightWatchers plan at the moment  but its a remarkable coincidence that between us we have lost 18 stone, been on the Lifestyle and Weight Managment Course and Spin at the Oval.

The Oval run four spinning classes, Monday to Thursday.
Tina,s class on the Tuesday was the first class I attended and is indelibly etched in my mind. I’ve attended all four classes and each one different from the others, there are no easy classes. It is a huge learning curve to do your first class.

Louise ,Tina, Barbara and Stephs  claim to fame is that this site now number 6 on Google if you do a search for Spinning and Calorie loss so Paul tells me.
Part of my dilemma about this site, is that I don’t know what people are looking for when they visit it.

The reason for the high Google ranking is that I wear a Heart Rate Monitor on some of the classes and log the results to the Rides and Exercise posts that I do. None are below 500 calories and the highest was about 680 I think. The HRM only starts counting at 100bpm so I can still be burning calories 5 minutes after the class has finished as the heart rate is still coming down.

I’ve been asked which was was the hardest class but my lips are sealed, I’m not about to give out info that is going to make it ever harder for me the next week. The classes are as hard as I make them but I don’t cheat on the resistance settings, if a quarter, half or full turn gets called out that is what gets dialed in.

In view of the interest in spinning I’m about to start a Spinning category down the right hand side of the page. My thanks go out to the girls at the Oval as since I’ve been doing the spinning and gym I’ve lost about 2 stone (28 lbs)

One of those highlights of the classes was Steph,s Thursday class when I’m giving it my all (I don’t do the sprints well, too slow) and the next minute I’m getting yelled at about a foot from my face “FASTER!!!” , priceless, I smiled at that one.

It isn’t too hard to see which is a hard class (they are all hard), just look at the exercise and ride diaries.
Don’t forget these are my figures yours might be higher or lower depending  on how much resistance you crank in.

Louise has taken over Stephs class on Thursday and I’ve got to admit the music is a lot better. From what I can gather Steph is yelling “FASTER!!!” on a cruise ship, probably a Saga one. It doesn’t bear thinking about.

19 Nov 2006 I’ve had a request for a picture, well here it is. You can’t miss me in a class, I sweat buckets.

19 Feb 2007 If you’re a beginner to spinning or just thinking of taking a class because you’ve heard about them may I offer a word of warning. These class’s are intense, if you’re coming into them with a poor level of fitness or just trying one out because you like the sound of it, be warned these are not gentle rides. Most of the class will be going at it 100% or something near it. The biggest shock on my first class was the amount of work my arms were doing coupled with a lack of upper body strength.
Don’t let this put you off though, you’ll soon notice a difference.

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Lost another couple of Kg since this was taken, now 83 Kg.
Looking at the weight loss diary I would reckon I’ve lost 20 kg since starting these classes. Obviously it’s not all down to the classes but the calorie counting shows how much effort I put in.They have improved my stamina no end  and I now relish a good hill.

March 2007 My year on the Lifestyle and Weight Management Course is complete and I’ve lost six stone over the year. Thanks Tina, Louise, Barbara, Steph and Sheila for the classes they have made a tremendous difference. If I’m not there on the front it’s because I’m at work wishing I was on the front. I ride on the front because the front is under the air con, there is a method to my madness.

Apr 2007  The drop out rate for first timers is starting to concern me so I’ll add a bit about the classes. Come prepared, bring a bottle of water and a towel. The water is very important you’ll need it. On the classes I attend you need to sign a waiver if your a first timer. THIS SHOULD BE TELLING YOU SOMETHING, your going to be in for the shock of your life. Get your bike set up for you. This means approaching the instructor to let them know your a first timer. DON’T hide on the back row in the corner of  the room. You need to be in eye and earshot of the instructor, they need to see how your fairing.
They are NOT gentle workouts similar to riding the exercise bikes in the gym with next to no resistance on them. You need to be able to do a program on an exercise cycle for 45 minutes as this is the length of the class or at least complete a 30 minute program regularly.
An observation to finish with girls/women seem to come to classes in pairs and drift back to a previous life after a class never to be seen again. The learning curve is too steep.  I’ve now spoken to a fair few women about spinning, lots have done it and given it up as a bad job, that’s a shame as the classes have  been an immense benefit to me. Men operate on a different wavelength. At the top end of the scale are club cyclists looking for a bit of a workout. There is also a section that go with their partners, very few blokes just go for the workout. As for the rest of them it’s their loss.

June 07 The Oval has closed for refurbishment and some of the classes have been transferred to Europa Pools. With this in mind I’m going to rename the page.

August 07  Spinning is all about setting your resistance level. You should be spinning with at least some level  of resistance. Freewheeling kids no one least not  the rest of the class. I’m one of the few with a heart rate monitor so I know when I am working out or coasting. Why pay to coast? your not gaining anything from the class.

Like I said further up this page you should be able to complete a 30 minute program (Random)on a stationary cycle in the gym before you try one of these classes. These classes are quite competitive but might not seem that way.  Quite often I am the only bloke in the class so it is not a battle of the sexes. Furthermore your not going to bulk up doing a class as they are primarily aerobic.

If you only spin on level 1 (minimal resistance but not no resistance) for the whole class for your first time you’ll have had a good workout. The aim is to get you to come back for a second class.

06 Mar 2008 There are lots of area’s of the site that may not feel current if you come to them via a Google search. I tend to tell it as I see it. Unless I am feeling under the weather it’s a good effort. If your starting out for God’s sake take it easy and don’t try to compete with the class. Some of them have been doing it for years.
One of the things with spinning is perceived effort or lack off it.You should have some resistance in and if your spinning like a banshee while the rest of the class are hard at work something is amiss.

03 July 08 Just another update  about the intensity of the classes if your a first timer. They are hard. If your a woman you can be up against a class of women who also run  to keep fit and the weight off. They can do multiple cardio classes and could eat a first timer alive. One class a week isn’t enough to be of any benefit you need to be doing a couple. I don’t think there is such a thing as a beginners class as the vets wouldn’t want to do them so you’re in at the Very deep end. If you survive this baptism of fire great but an an awful lot are never to be seen again.

28 Feb 2011  Still doing classes at the Oval, now mostly Tex’s morning sessions as it’s only 5 minutes down the road.

4 thoughts on “Spinning at the Oval”

  1. Laura, I wouldn’t like to guess but an average class for me is 600 calories worth. Thats about 2 Mars Bars. Probably equates to 12- 15 miles.

  2. Hi Frank,
    Love your website – I’m sure it’s providing a great service to a lot of cyclists (overweight or not). I live in London and have just succeeded in transferring GPX files to my Edge 305. Thanks for the tutorials. One word of advice: the Motion-Based website recommends the RouteYou mapping site for course-building. It didn’t work for me and I’ve now subscribed to Martengo which worked first time. Am now off to ride the course I made! Keep up your good work. I admire your enthusiasm!

  3. Hi Frank love you blog

    Have you tried X bike yet. I’ve been teaching Spinning in Liverpool for over 10yrs now and just started teaching X Bike aswell

    You’d love it

    If you still go to Tinas or Shiela classes send them my love I trained with them

    take care


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