As a Spinning® instructor, I regularly read several articles, blogs, and Facebook posts from a variety of fitness professionals. Lately, there’s been a lot of outrage over claims that Spinning makes you fat and gives you big thighs. Really?
Here’s breaking news. Overeating is what makes you fat. Heredity determines where those fat cells tend to cluster.
However, a variety of experts from personal trainers to professors of exercise science were quoted in several articles a few months ago that seemed to bash Spinning. As I read through them, my PR background tells me that one “celebrity trainer” has a good publicist who snagged several placements in national media with quotes that support her client’s “method.”
That celebrity trainer is quoted as well, and she’s the only one who uses the words “fat” and “bulk.” If you read those stories carefully, you’ll notice that those quoted who have a science background don’t actually endorse her. They may seem like they agree, but it’s a weak agreement. One points out that people may delude themselves into eating more to compensate for the calories burned in Spinning, and other suggests taking a day off and adding other forms of exercise. They don’t even give the real names of people who are used as examples.
One of the celebrity trainers says that he never allows his clients who are fashion models to ride. Seriously. Most fashion models don’t eat enough in an entire day to fuel a couple of hours of biking.
Jennifer Sage, the voice of reason for indoor cycling, points out that a recent Self Magazine article refutes the idea that Spinning bulks your thighs because of the different types of muscle fibers used in endurance exercise vs. strength training. (Click on the link for the complete article in Self, as well as links to the articles previously mentioned.)
Now, about that cookie diet: A few years ago I ran into a woman I hadn’t seen in a while who had obviously lost weight. She happily described her 800-calorie-a-day cookie diet and said that the best part of it was that you aren’t allowed to exercise. Of course not — if you do cardio without proper fueling, you bonk. Nutrition fights fatigue.
I teach Spinning because it makes me a better cyclist outdoors. I guarantee you that none of my students are fashion models. They are normal looking people. Some may be a little heavy, but they didn’t get that way in class.