Help! I need some encouragement...


Okay, I tried a spinning class yesterday and I'm dying! I want to like this class, because I can tell it's a good workout. I was dripping with sweat.

But my crotch was killing me, and it's killing me today! Our instructor suggested we buy a cushion for the seat.. does this really help??? Also I found the workout to be very hard. I couldn't believe how out of shape I felt- and I have no problem with the step and hi/lo videos.

Is this going to get better???? Help, Nancy, I know you LOVE spinning!


The agony of the seat !

I've never taken a spinning class, but I've logged many hours on a real bike, so I completely understand your agony. I have two suggestions: (1) get a good pair of padded cycling shorts and (2) give yourself a little time. I find that when I haven't ridden in a while, the first ride is okay, but the second and third are horrible. It just takes awhile to acclimate to the saddle.

Since I've not taken spinning classes, I don't know what options are available for seats, but maybe someone else out there can help. (Nancy C?)

Don't give up on it! You are using different muscles when you're on the bike. Your current level of fitness will help you build up fast. Hang in there


It's a butt thing

I don't bike but I recently read about the problem women have with bicycle seats. There is real damage involved! There is a special seat which is split at the back to alleviate pressure or some such thing. I don't know the mechanics of the thing but I'd recommend calling a bicycle shop for more information. :)


Liberate yourself!

Dear Amy:
I had the same problem with my mountain bike until I got a special seat with a groove down the middle completely alleviating the pressure. There is one on the market called the "liberator". I know REI ( has several such models to choose from. Terry Bicycles also has some. They're $25-$40.If the seatpost on the spinning bike is the same size as a conventional bike you should be able to pop one off and the other on for while you're using it. As far as your soreness and fatigue it just sounds like (IMHO) you've found a cross-training activity that's waking up muscles too used to step and hi-lo. Good luck, hope this was helpful. --Ann


The seat

You've already received 2 very important tips, 1) get padded bicycling shorts, & 2) give it some time. I ride & spin, and my racing saddle is a heck of a lot more comfortable than the seats on the Schwinn spinning bikes. I do have a few more tips. Most women prefer the wider seats, I don't because it causes more friction. Many female spinners like the gel seat covers. Ask your classmates. If your club doesn't sell them, most bike shops carry them. You can't use a special bike seat on the spinning bikes, you're stuck with what they have. I use a product, Glide, which looks like stick deodorant (very popular with runners). Rub it where your normal panty line would be. Remember no panties under bike shorts. The last pointer: when you are on your spinning bike, make sure your weight is on the fleshy part of your anatomy, not the delicate parts. You can actually curve your pelvis up a little to facilitate this. If your seat is too far back, you end up leaning too far forward & onto those delicate parts. Also the handlebars should be a little bit high as a beginner, to reduce the pressure on the sensitive parts. The instructor should be checking you & your bike for your first few classes. Don't be shy if you're having problems. Finally - give it some time & go at your own pace until your muscles (& other things) get used to this. It's rigorous.


New Member

Does anyone know at what speed you need to bike in order to burn a fair amount of calories and consider it cardio exercise? I am trying biking in addition to my regular jogging, and it doesn't seem to get my heart rate up the same as jogging.


Hi, Amy,

I can't speak to the seat issue, but as far as the class itself goes, I had the same experience -- I thought I was in reasonably good shape, but nearly died the first time, the workout was so hard. Then my quads were so sore, I couldn't walk down stairs for days! My advice is give it at least three tries. I found the class much more manageable the second time, and saw improvement in my fitness level very rapidly. Part of it has to do with the fact that after a couple of classes, you get a better idea of what is an appropriate level of resistance for you, so you don't overdo it. I would also suggest giving yourself plenty of time to recover between classes initially. I took only 1 class a week for several months, then worked up to two. It's a great workout (my gym folded last year, so I miss it now) -- but it definitely takes a few classes before you begin to enjoy it!

Good luck!

Brenda F.

Active Member

Hi Amy,

I absolutely love Spinning (I just recently got my Spinning certification - haven't taught yet though) but it took a few classes to get there! The first class was VERY humbling! I went into the class thinking I was in really good cardio shape and I left the class thinking I was a big cardio loser!
It is a very intense workout. The whole first class I kept hoping I would pass out or something so it would end sooner! It does get "easier" - but never easy!

I highly recommend a gel seat, Walmart sells them for around $15. After a few classes you hardly notice the seat and your cardio capacity will improve dramatically!!! Give Spinning a few more tries before you make your decision. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress!




Hi Amy! I felt the same way you did the first time I took a spin class. The cushion really doesn't do anything so just keep your money. Eventually it gets much better. It doesn't get easier though! It's very hard on the legs. I can only do 1 class per week. Getting old! Just keep at it and you'll how much you'll keep improving w/time. Take care, Kathy


It gets better

As was already mentioned, it helps somewhat in the beginning to have the handlebars up a bit higher so that you're in a more upright position. That kind of takes the pressure off the delicate areas (and the back, I think, too) a bit.

Otherwise, padded shorts help. I think your body just needs to get used to the position, and when you are able to sustain standing positions (running, climbing) or jumping (gently, though!) for longer periods of time (I know I couldn't stay up in a run or keep up with the jumps for too long at first), that will also offer a few minutes of much-needed relief.

Like with any new activity, I think you just have to stick with it so your body can adjust. Before I started spinning, I was stepping, jogging, kickboxing 5 times a week. But I felt like I was going to throwup after my first spin class. I gave up running several months ago while recovering from a knee injury but am now trying to get back into it. Now I'm ready for more after a 90-minute spin class, but I'm pooped after 30 minutes of running.

I guess it's just how the body works.

Daphne M

I went through the same thing

I was in agony on that bike. I asked other participants in the class and even the instructor for advice, but they were so vague! "You'll get used to it," is what I heard. Meanwhile, I was so chafed, I was to the point of bleeding.

I was saved by some great advice from my fitness friends on the web.

1 -- I bought padded bike shorts. Instant relief.
2 -- I MADE the instructor (who was habitually late, so I felt guilty holding up the whole class for my own problems) come over and help me figure out how to adjust the distance from seat to handlebars and distance from seat to peddles. This also helped a lot. But the padded seat was the winner.

As far as the intensity goes, spinning can be a very tough workout. Some classes are tougher than others, but most of them are interval type workouts, since most of them incorporate sections where you just go as hard as you can. Remember to go at YOUR own pace and work only as hard as YOU want to. Just like doing Interval Max or another interval type of workout, it takes a while to build up to spinning.

I haven't taken a class in over a year now and I do miss it. Great crosstraining. Nothing has ever made me sweat so much -- not even Body Max.


cycling calories

Shelley, there are quite a few factors that affect energy expenditure when cycling. Your weight, your average speed, the terrain (hilly vs. flat), your bike, & wind conditions are all factors. For a ballpark number, if your average speed is 15 mph then your are burning .0561 calories per minute * your body weight (on the flats, w/o wind). That's 438 calories per hour for a person who weighs 130#. Fifteen mph is a pretty good pace for a recreational cyclist & sometimes tough for urban rides because of traffic & stop lights.

Hills, interval sprints, & out of the saddle work can add intensity to your rides if just picking up the pace doesn't do it for you.


Thanks My Spinning Buddies!!!!

It's sooo nice to hear your advice!! After a few days grace, I have recovered a little, forgotten the pain!!!!(like childbirth)

I think I may be ready to try it again... if I don't chicken out
. I have one more question - I didn't feel comfortable on the "jumps" at all. I always felt like I might fall forward, I think this kept my body in an unnaturally tense position. Has anyone noticed this?

Also, I will only be doing this class once a week; is that enough time to get acclimated to it??

Thanks again everyone!!!!



I would stay away from jumps until you have a few sessions under your belt. The instructors usually suggest that beginners do fewer jumps (eg 1 in 5) when you do attempt them. Check with your instructors, but I think most instructors say more tension is better when learning jumps so that you don't flail around & risk injury. Play with the tension, if you feel out of control, then you're at the wrong tension. You don't want to feel like you're climbing Pike's Peak either.

Post again after a few more spins. I'd be happy to give you a few tips that'll make more sense once you're feeling comfortable.



Is it possible to do spinning and get a good workout on an old fashion exercise bike? Are there a lot of different features on a spinning bike and if so, what are the approximate price ranges of an adequate bike? TIA! DebbieH

Nancy C

Hey Amy!

Spinning is a killer isn't it!

My own experience...the first couple of times, my bottom killed me. I did get used to it and didn't invest in a jell seat but have just now purchased some bike shorts
. I have not been able to use them yet but hoping to this week...sorry can't tell you if they make a difference yet for me.

The best thing about spinning is being able to adjust the intensity to your own fitness level. If I need to sit...I sit. If I only turn the knob a tiny bit to make it harder...that's OK. Just make sure you have enough tension so you don't bounce on the seat..which will cause friction and unpleasentness. Don't give up Amy! It also took me a few "spins" to feel comfortable with the movement...I know that sounds funny..but it isn't like an outside doesn't sway so give yourself time to adjust to the jumps and standing work...the hard parts...but there is a bright side to least your not sitting down on that sore tush

Happy spinning



I just did my first spin class...

I just took my first spin class this morning. It was a lot more fun then I thought it would be. Funny, I'm not sore anywhere. The instructor came over and showed me how to adjust the bike to my size. Maybe that helped? I'm wondering if I had the tension on high enough. My quads were burning and I got a really intense workout but I was able to keep up with the class. I really like the way you can adjust it to your level.



I've always felt that jumping and running properly, with good form, are very difficult. They're really movements that are powered by the legs, with the hands on the bars just for support.

Both, I've been taught, require you to think about rising up out of the seat in a more upright position--really just like you're coming up out of a chair, lifting upward with strictly leg power as opposed to "catapulting" yourself forward. There is almost no upper body involved here. If you are using your arms to "pull" yourself out of the saddle (picture folks at the gym who lean on the stairmaster railing bars so they can keep pace), perhaps it might be better, like Debra advised, to cut down on the jumps when first starting out. As a beginner, I would only do every other jump, then take a little break before going back to it. Before you know it, you'll be able to keep up and do them all.

Again, as Debra noted, it is probably best, starting out with jumps and runs, to turn the tension up so you feel more stable. The less tension you have on your bike, the more difficult it is for your legs to hold you up. You may not be able to "spin" your legs as fast as the music tempo or anybody else in the class, but at least you will be safe. You can adjust tension as you progress.

Good luck!


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