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Almost everyone in a metropolitan area of the United States has heard of spin classes. For those who haven't, it's an exercise class that has indoor stationary bikes, usually led by a "spinstructor" or spin instructor. These classes are all the rage for people looking to burn off calories and extra weight. They're intense, they're intimidating and they're inside.
The Flywheel is a LIE
One of the reasons many people opt for spin cycling is because they want to burn the calories as quickly and efficiently as possible. Most indoor bikes have what's called a "flywheel". This flywheel is a 30-40 pound wheel in the bike that provides the resistance for the stationary bike. Once you get the flywheel spinning, it becomes easy to let the wheel do the work for you and keep spinning. This is the reason people look like they're pedaling at warp speed when ACTUALLY they're just letting the flywheel do the work. To slow down the flywheel, you'll need to use your hamstrings mostly. Outdoor bicycles obviously have resistance wherever and whenever YOU decide to take the bike. Road friction and environment provide the resistance which you will need to use your quads and your hip flexors.
Outdoors = Multiple Muscle Movement
Indoor cycling will get your heart rate going quite high. To get the same heart rate when outdoor cycling, you'll need to be moving very fast, which many beginner cyclists are hesitant to do at first. Many beginner cyclists cite difficulty bike handling, while navigating the roads and fast pedaling to be the reason for their hesitancy. However, that's the whole point of learning a skill isn't it, to find new challenges, grow and master the art of cycling. Outdoor cycling will need the use of your gluteus maximus (your butt...heh), quadriceps, hip flexors, shins and calves. This means overall, even if you are not pedaling at the same heart rate indoor cycling provides, you are using energy to work those extra muscles and getting an overall better muscle workout outdoors.
Yes, indoor cycling is a class you can do with your friends and an instructor who yells at you. Outdoor cycling is also a group activity when you want it to be, and it takes you places. Date places, coffee places, beach places, food places, work places, you get the idea. Indoor is one (repetitive) activity you can do with your friends. Outdoor cycling is a gateway activity that leads you to other activities and back again! It's also a great way to meet new people, because now you have a shared hobby. Check out our weekend morning group rides, all are welcome!!
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