As in many areas of fitness, Indoor cycling started out of a real need. In this case, it was the need of professional athletes in the United States for continuous and challenging training throughout the seasons. Because the changeable weather did not allow for regular outdoor training, rainy winters and hot summers have always been an Achilles heel in the training routine of competitive cyclists.
Another no less complex problem was finding challenging training places. Professional cyclists who lived in areas with diverse geographical characteristics found it difficult to train frequently in the face of different road characteristics. Take for example the state of Illinois in the United States which is characterized by a flat terrain: the cyclists living in it have real difficulty training for competitions that include mountain biking.
In the early 1990s, competitive cyclist Johnny Goldberg sought a solution to a problem and built a static bike in the basement of his home that simulates an outdoor bike. There he began training on a daily basis during the harsh winters.
Over time he has included the bikes so that they will fit exactly to the feeling of an off-road rider only in the warm and protected environment of his home. Over time he joined his fellow riders and created a studio riding group, which combines music with different rhythms that resembled changing riding rhythms. This is how the field of cycling was actually born.
Within a year the trend created by Goldberg combined with the famous bicycle company Schwinn swept the gyms in the United States and around the world. Slightly late he also arrived in Israel and captured the local audience. There was something new about it that the Israeli audience had not yet encountered. For 60 minutes, male and female trainees were given the opportunity to break away from their daily routine and with the help of an instructor and appropriate music, bring their bodies to high-intensity training.
And yet, and despite the undisputed status of the cycling industry in those years, in the last ten years a variety of trends have emerged in the world of fitness that have taken its place. Suddenly fitness clubs invested less in their cycling rooms: the bikes were not renewed or repaired, the audio systems were abandoned and there was a sense of decline in the quality of this sport in the country.
Then, the lockdown began
Due to the sense of uncertainty that characterized the onset of the plague, many trainees rented or purchased cycling bikes for their home. This led to the emergence of hundreds of free online cycling lessons but did not record significant success: one of the missing components was the social component. It turned out that without a group, the quality of enjoyment of training decreases and so does the quality of training itself.
As soon as the closures were released and the gyms and studios opened, the demand for cycling classes rose again.
Spinning has many benefits, both physical and psychological. It is basically aerobic training and therefore trains and improves the endurance of the cardiovascular system. Working on high training pulses over time teaches the heart to pump oxygenated blood to the leg muscles, allowing the blood vessels to be in a tone that will allow the necessary muscle oxidation without a dangerous rise in blood pressure.
Training also teaches the lungs to provide the amount of oxygen needed for intense training and to free carbon dioxide efficiently. In addition, the synchronized work of about 85% of the muscles of the lower body leads to a significant improvement in the efficiency of muscle work, its size (hypertrophy) and hence its visibility.
Cycling is also an effective tool in controlling a normal body weight among trainees with different fitness levels, due to the ability to control the intensity of training. Many studies have shown that cycling training contributes to a better quality of sleep and hence to a better quality of life.
It is important to remember that the energy for one hour of cycling comes first from the sugars available to us in the blood in the first minutes of training, then from the glycogen (carbohydrate store) stored in skeletal and liver muscles, and finally from the oxidation of fatty acids from the trainee's fat stores. For this reason, a number of cycling workouts per week combined with a negative calorie balance will lead to a decrease in fat percentage and global weight loss.
In addition, as a high-intensity workout, cycling training does not create strain on the joints due to body posture on the bike. It is not uncommon to find exercise bikes in physiotherapy institutes as an effective tool for rehabilitating the body and skeletal joints.
It also has quite a few psychological benefits. Studies have shown that cycling training contributes to reducing stress and anxiety while maintaining and elevating mood. This is the endorphin effect of training, which in itself contributes to a reduction in the risk of developing minor and major depression among trainees. And of course, group training contributes to the enjoyment of the trainees, to their social abilities and to the sense of belonging and perseverance. There is no doubt that the return of this fitness field to our lives is blessed.