To lift or or not to lift whilst spinning..
I’m a big fan of lifting weights on a bicycle but I think it’s fair to say that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Give Bradley Wiggins a pair of dumbbells when he’s sitting on a spin bike and he’d probably throw them on the floor, but, for those of you who enjoy spinning for the cardiovascular, aesthetic and good-time gains, lifting weights is not to be sniffed at. Here’s why.
1. Simply and obviously, it gives you upper body strength and arms like Jennifer Aniston. A lot of spinners find that they don’t dedicate as much time to upper body work as they’d like to so spending even four minutes weight lifting per class can make a big difference to strength and muscle tone.
2. It gives you a smokin’ six pack! The position you sit in to lift weights on a bicycle tilts you shoulders slightly forward and your hips slightly back, imitating the ‘dish’ or ‘hollow body’ shape that we use to gain abdominal strength.
3. Weightlifting burns more calories than cardio: When we lift weights our muscles tear and then heal, that’s what give you ‘toned’ muscles. It may not display on your smartwatch during the class (as your heart rate dips whilst your lifting compared to cycling) but you’ll continue to burn calories throughout the day as your muscles use fat to repair themselves.
4. It gives you a little rest! As you’ll all know I’m never one for giving clients any type of rest during class, but lifting weights means you can actively rest your cardiovascular system whilst still working hard. So instead of faking the resistance and pretending to work whilst getting your breath back, you’ve got a valid excuse to give the legs and heart a little breather whilst working dem guns!
5. You’ll burn more calories in general. Muscle tissue is much more metabolically active than fat; put simply, muscle requires calories as fuel to sustain itself, even when you're just sitting in front of the TV! So the more muscle tissue you have, the more calories you’ll burn at rest. WIN WIN.