The difference between Spinning and Indoor Cycling

Potato, potato, tomato, tomato - well not really. Spinning and Indoor Cycling are in fact two very different disciplines. Although on the surface they may look and feel the same, you could get into a fair amount of trouble for advertising your gym’s class as ‘Spin’, and here’s why…

  • A few decades ago (1991 to be precise) two blokes started off the craze of cycling to nowhere on a stationery bike. They developed an indoor bike and a class format which became known as ‘Spinning’. This was then trademarked by Madd Dog Athletics.

  • Mad Dogg make specialised spin bikes and only teachers who are certified by MD to be spin instructors are allowed to teach spin in studios which are licenced by MD.

  • A Spin class is more ‘traditional’ in it’s approach to teaching - simulating road cycling with endurance rides, hills and sprints. Think of Spinning like a quiet Sunday service in a country church and indoor cycling like a huge gospel celebration.

  • Indoor Cycling can be done in any gym anywhere and can go by any name (except spin obvs). There can be armography, hand weights, split classes, and some fairly impressive choreography.

  • Spin purists have been known to turn up their nose at Indoor Cycling. I recently posted a video of my course participants busting out sick synchronised press ups and received some pretty nasty comments.

  • Personally, I like to combine a mixture of fricking hard hills and endurance tracks with choreography, hovers and musicality.

  • There is no ‘winner’ between spinning and indoor cycling. Just as there’s no winner between body-weight and weightlifting when it comes to strength training. Whatever makes you happiest on a bike. After all you’ve got to be there for 45 long sweaty minutes.

Melissa Power