Spin and RPM Classes: How Many Calories Will I Burn?

Amelia Phillips

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One of the most popular articles on this site has been Spinning Classes- 5 reasons why you need to learn to love them. I always get lots of questions about Spin and RPM like “will it make my butt look big?” and “how many calories does it burn?” So I have asked James Sutherland, an experienced RPM instructor and bike riding nut, to answer a few questions for us.

1. James, what, in your mind are the best benefits of spin or RPM classes?
[James Sutherland] Increasing cardiovascular fitness, is the biggest benefit. Of course along with that is weight loss and increasing overall tone of your body, in a single RPM class you can burn from 400 to 900 calories!

2. One of the biggest questions about spin class or RPM class is ‘Will my butt get big?’ or ‘Will my legs or calves get big?’ What’s your view on this?
[James Sutherland] Take one look at the riders in the tour de France. They spend hours riding a bike every day and there are no big buts there, but plenty of toned bodies. RPM will not give you a big butt but what you eat and drink after RPM might, so you should always avoid the fat crave and replenish your body with plenty of fluids and proteins.

3. How many spin or RPM classes maximum would you recommend people do per week?

[James Sutherland] I have always felt that 2-3 is the right amount, but if you can only fit in one that is still great!

4. What are a couple of riding tips for getting the most out of your spin classes, especially as your fitness levels increase?
[James Sutherland] Your first challenge is just to finish, but as time goes on look at trying to work harder each time. It might never get easier but your recovery will get faster. Lots of people use heart rate monitors and try to gradually increase their calories burnt

5. What is your preferred handle bar position? What do you recommend for beginners and advanced spinners?
[James Sutherland] Years ago I read that the best handle bar height was 2 – 5cm below your saddle. In the 25 years I have been riding bikes I have always found this to be true. Although if your riding for first time or if you have lower back trouble, equal to or higher than your saddle if fine. Where you feel comfortable, will always be the best place.

6. Any tips for preventing a sore butt?
[James Sutherland] Sit your bum right back in the saddle. The saddle is designed so you sit on you sitting bones, so pushing your butt back a little will help relieve pressure. Also remember there are millions of different bottoms but not millions of different shaped saddles, so try a gel seat protector if you can’t get comfy.

7. How many calories does a typical class spin or RPM class burn?
[James Sutherland] Research says about 400 to 900 and I have seen evidence of both ranges. To burn over 800 though you will have to ride hard.

8. Compared to other types of exercise, is RPM or spin a good way to lose weight? [James Sutherland] Its the best way to lose weight! Low impact, fun and effective what more could you want!

9. You are known as one of the best spin/rpm instructors around. What, in your mind is the difference between a good instructor and a great one? What should participants look out for?
[James Sutherland] You should look to be challenged and have experience that takes your mind outside of the confines of the 4 walls that the studio is in. Sure it’s going to hurt, but great things don’t come easy. Most of all you should look to have fun! A great instructor will make you forget about your problems and give you an experience that may just change your life (well for a little bit anyway)

10. You are also an avid cyclist. What kind of riding/racing do you do? Do you think spin classes benefit people who race or ride recreationally? Why?
[James Sutherland] I love all sorts of riding, but most of the racing I do is centered around mountain bikes. I race in longer endurance races and sometimes up to 24 hours, but also enjoy the shorter cross country format. I have also done a fair amount of bicycle touring before, and have dragged my wife around Tasmania. I think there are many benefits to RPM, particularly the intense interval format that the class has, this format helps to increase cardiovascular fitness and strength and because you are inside no problems with the weather.

If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment and have your question answered.

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  • divamentors

    Amelia this is a great find! I’ve recently rediscovered stationary biking, and JUST starting to get the routine of doing it every day! I think I am enjoying it! LOL

    You have a great blog of information here. Would you stop by and share your link so my readers may find you? http://www.benaturallywell.com/blog/add-your-blog/ I think they are missing out if you don’t!
    I also opened the forum yesterday. I would love it if you would consider participation. I would be glad to help you share your blog with the world! :-)

    Many Blessings,

  • Peter J

    Hi, I notice you have upgraded your site, It is looking fantastic. Congratulations!

  • http://bryanking.net/ Bryan

    Another great post!..really enjoyed reading your blog..looking to read more from you..thanks for the helpful infos about health!

  • http://grabsomehealthnews.blogspot.com Kathleen

    Spin classes interest me, but (don’t laugh) – I watched one and became afraid. Is it my imagination, or do they seem highly competitive in Spin class?

    I’m no competitive, and just watching the frenzy really did scare me. Do you think that was a misrepresentation? (I did only observe one class).

  • http://www.ameliaburton.com.au Amelia Burton

    Hi Shelley,

    Yes keep up the good work, spinning might not feel easier, but I can assure you, the fitness improvements are enormous, and well worth the effort! Also well done on the website!


  • http://www.ameliaburton.com.au Amelia Burton

    Hi Peter J,

    Yes, I’ve just upgraded my site. Glad you like it. All the same articles and info, just a nicer, more usable site. Enjoy!


  • http://www.ameliaburton.com.au Amelia Burton

    Hi Bryan,

    Welcome to the site! Glad you enjoyed my article and yes, I write 2 posts a week so be sure to sign up to my newsletter so you don’t miss them.

    Thanks for dropping by

  • http://www.ameliaburton.com.au Amelia Burton

    Hi Kathleen,

    Yes I completely understand that looking at a spin class from the outside resembles some sort of a sick, torture session that ends in death! However experiencing one is quite different. Ironically it’s one of the easiest classes to pace yourself because, unlike freestyle aerobics where you are always trying to keep up, with spin, you are always in control of your pedal speed and wheel resistance to stay at your level. The confusion comes from the instructors tone. They always have a ‘go hard’ mentality in spin, but the reality is that there are always opportunities to rest, and it’s easy to pace yourself.
    A word of warning is to not get too carried away in your first class and take it easy. If you get too puffed, turn your resistance down, slow your pedals and catch your breath, then join back in.
    Give it a go, I promise you wont be disappointed!
    ps tell me how you go, and commit to three sessions before you report back!

  • http://grabsomehealthnews.blogspot.com Kathleen

    Thanks Amelia,

    I’ll go to the back of the class, and definitely follow your advice about pacing and resistance. I’m glad I asked these questions, because honestly – I was horrified at the “go hard” mentality.

    Cool! Thanks again.

  • http://www.ameliaburton.com.au Amelia Burton

    Good Luck Kathleen,
    and commit to three classes. That’s how long it takes to get the full benefits. Keep me posted!

  • http://familyinshape.typepad.com spindiva

    As a spin instructor I can really appreciate this article. I’m glad to see that the information I share with people is right up there with well known professionals in the field. Indoor Cycling rocks, it is the best workout I will ever get and the most calories ever burned in one hour.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.fitnesssurfer.com Fitness Surfer

    I took a spin class back in college and I’ve never sweat so much in my life. The instructor was 7 months pregnant and in amazing shape. I almost bought my own gel seat cushion to take to class.

  • http://www.ameliaburton.com.au Amelia Burton

    Hi Fitness Surfer,

    Taking a spin class back in college? Whats happened since then? Why did you stop?

  • http://www.ameliaburton.com.au Amelia Burton

    Hi Spindiva,
    Thanks for your endorsement of my article and for indoor cycling. However doing spin classes and teaching them are two completely different things? I am afraid to ask how many you teach/do per week…!

  • http://familyinshape.typepad.com spindiva

    Amelia, you are correct, it is different to teach. When I take a class I work hard but I know I can slack off at any time. Amazingly I feel myself getting exhausted sooner than when I’m teaching. When I teach, I push everyone hard and I push myself harder. I actually have to make sure I eat the right foods in the right time frame when I’m teaching. Adrenaline has a lot to do with how much harder I work when I’m teaching. I usually spin 3 times a week–either teach one take two or teach two classes and take one. Anymore than three and I feel worn out by weeks end.

  • Neil

    Very good article and answers from James. I have been doing 3 spin classes a week (1 high performance) for about 3 months now and just love it. The good news is it even gets better with time and practice. Good instructors are important because they will teach you the correct posture on the bike and will push you as hard as you can manage. I’ve never felt fitter since doing these classes and I no longer suffer the injuries was from general gym work. Things I have found that help are: get yourself some cleated riding shoes, these will assist with transfer of power through the pedals, particularly with the drag upward motion. Bike knicks or riding pants are a definite advantage for comfort. Work in time to the beat of the music and learn the program if you can because it will assist with knowing when and how hard to work and when to recover. If you take the recoveries, you can work harder when needed. Finally, more residence is definitely better than less and you will gets the benefits in the long run and become hooked like me!

  • http://www.ameliaburton.com.au Amelia Burton

    Hi Neil,

    Great comment! I love your suggestions of cleats, bike shorts, increase resistance and riding to the beat. You have clearly made some big improvements since starting cycling classes and it’s great to hear that it gets better with time. I always suggest people commit to three classes because the first 2 are often painful! But it’s worth it, isn’t it!!!

  • Neil

    Hi Amelia

    Absolutely worth it in the long run. With 3 sessions a week you also get to know your fellow riders better as well. I find there is a real connection between us and this also helps with wanting to be there, in fact I get quite upset if I am forced to pass on a class! On top of that your regular instructors also get the opportunity to push you further and work on their delivery techniques to keep it interesting. Everyone benefits!

    I had a “new” RPMer next to me on the weekend and I think she was blown away by the class and how hard some of the regulars we went at it. Hope she comes back though. She just has to realise that it will take a few classes to get some fitness and technique. I was like that only 3 months ago. Can’t wait for Saturday morning now…

  • Susanne

    Hi. I’m rather new to spinning. I’ve only taken 5 classes so far, but I absolutely love it. I even went out & bought the shoes. :)

    Here’s my only problem: I am absolutely exhausted!!! For example, I took a class last night (6:00), I was in bed by 9:30 and completely slept through my alarm this morning and woke up at 8:20!! This is not the first time this has happened since I’ve started spinning. How long does it take for your body to get used to it???

    I joined the gym about a month and a half ago and was looking to lose 10-15 lbs. I’ve lost about 5 so far. Is spinning the way to go??

  • Neil

    Susanne, your body probably won’t get used to it if you keep pushing yourself. In theory the more spin classes you do the harder it will become because you push harder. One thing I did find though was it so important to drink lots of water after a class or you will get very tired. I would say at least a litre over the next 2 hours after the class. Even now, if I forget to take on fluids I get very tired a few hours later. Like all things, spinning is good for weight loss provided you mix up the training with other activities, 5 lbs is fantastic because you will be turning some fat into muscle which actually weighs more!

  • http://www.ameliaburton.com.au Amelia

    Hi Suzanne and Neil,

    I agree with Neil, that fluid intake is important and although you are going to push yourself more as you get fitter, you will notice its your recovery rate that improves. You will find that after each song, your heart rate will drop much faster and after the class you will cool down much faster. This will boost your energy levels in the long run.

    I also suggest taking a multi vitamin (such as Juice Plus) because you should not be feeling so exhausted and it indicates that maybe you are a little run down.

    Tips: Water. Sleep. Fruit and vegies. Grit and determination.

    Trust me, it’s worth hanging in there!


  • Vanessa

    Hi there

    I have been spinning now for the last 6 months at least twice a week. Since getting married in August I have upped it to three times a week for the past 5 weeks. I have avoided the scales but weighed myself today and was horrified to see that I had put on weight (I need to lose at least 1 1/2 stone). I notice in one of you other answers you mentioned it makes a difference what you eat after in terms of protein. Please could you expand on this and give me any tips. I am combining spinning with body pump classes too!

    Many thanks

  • http://www.fitnessnetwork.com.au Ryan

    Hi Amelia, great post! It’s awesome to see peoples enthusiasm for indoor cycling (spin) and RPM. They are both awesome programs which really can benefit both the novice and experienced participant.

    As a trainer for Australian Fitness Networks Indoor Cycling workshop I have seen the explosion of popularity of these classes over the last 5 years and couldn’t be more excited to see the number of participants and instructors grow day by day.

    For all you participants you can definitely burn a whole heap of calories so keep cycling!!!

    Keep up the good work Amelia I would love to see more information on cycling get out to the world.

  • http://www.ameliaburton.com.au Amelia Burton

    Hi Ryan,

    Thanks for your great comment! Yes it is one of my favorite classes, but I am afraid I have just found someone who has stepped it up a notch – Karaoke spinning! Can you compete with that?? Check out my blog “Crazy fitness crazes” and you’ll see a clip!


  • http://www.ameliaburton.com.au Amelia Burton

    Hi Vanessa,
    Don;t be discouraged, plenty of people have dramatically changed their body shape and energy levels without a major change on the scales.
    However the reason for you lack of shifting may be one or a combination of the following:
    *Eating more as a consequence of more exercise. Make sure you are eating the same or less than you ate before you started all this training. It is a common trap that people fall into.
    *You are building muscle tissue. Pump and spin build a lot of muscle. They dramatically change your body shape but if it’s more about the scales than how you look you may want to replace pump with a boxing class. You’ll have a better fat burner but still get the great tone in your arms.
    *You have reached a plateau and need to ramp it up a bit. In spin it’s more about reducing the rest time between songs and keeping your heart rate up at all times. Wear a heart rate monitor. With Pump you should be getting sore in the muscles the next day.

    But I would really like to stress the diet factor. Often that’s the culprit.
    Good luck!

  • Susanne

    I was wondering if spinning 5 days is too much? I’ve been spinning for about 5 weeks and loving it. The scale hasn’t changed at all and I’m ok with that because I’m definitely seeing some changes in my body, but I’d really like to increase things a bit. Is there such a thing as too much spinning???

  • http://www.ameliaburton.com.au Amelia Burton

    Hi Susanne,
    Yes there is such a thing as too much, however it depends on your intensity. Providing you are not spinning at 100% every day, picking your hard days then you will be fine.
    Think of an instructor that will do between 10-20 spin classes per week. Even at that frequency they may not improve if they are not pushing themselves.
    My suggestion is to have hard, and maintenance days. The hard days, push yourself more, and spend less time recovering. On the other days, just be normal, don’t slow down too much.
    The scales may not show at first as your will be laying down some active muscle tissue so don’t worry.
    If you are worried about your thighs resembling an Olympic weight lifter, you may want to substitute one spin for a run. If you can’t run, stick to spinning as running is one of the only activities as intense as spin. Defined thighs look better than thunder thighs any day!

  • Susanne

    Thanks Amelia.

    Some of the instructors definitely have a way of making you want to work for it – while others – not so much. So, I do push myself more in some classes than others. I’ll keep your tips in mind though.

    I’ve got quite a while to go though before my legs look even a tiny bit like an Olympic weight lifter! LOL Although, I must say they’ve definitely thinned out and toned up since I’ve started spinning.

    Thanks again!!!

  • millie

    I have been doing spinning classes on a regular basis 3 times a week for the last 3 months. Was just wondering, does it in anyway help with toning the abs?

  • bonita

    spinning is top i would love to teach my own class i done it before and i got big succes

  • http://www.ameliaburton.com.au Amelia Burton

    Hi Millie,

    Yes it does help to tone the abs believe it or not! Firstly you need a lot of core strength to transfer the stability created by your arms on the handle bars which transfers down to help power your legs. Secondly the body fat you lose by doing spin flattens your stomach and helps to give you more definition through your midsection. I suggest increasing the resistance on the pedals to intensify the abdominal pressure. Good luck!

  • Joann

    I’ve become addicted to spin classes, its the greatest cardio workout I’ve experienced, I take it 3 days a week. Any suggestions on other workout days, should I do cardio on off spin days or just weight training?

  • Kerry O’Connor

    Just did my first spin class tonight – must remember to wear longer shorts next time – my inner right thigh is severely abraised. I have ridden up mountain ranges and beyond on a normal bike, but that class was hard going (maybe I’m out of practice!) The thing about spin classes is that you’re not going anywhere – I prefer the wind and scenery to a stationary bike in an underventilated room. The idea is good – but bike riding is best in its natural element. I’m dusting off my bike and riding to work tomorrow!

  • maxine Tibbetts

    I just purchased my spinn bike yesterday and can’t wait to start spinning again. I started out spinning 4 years ago at a gym. I gained 40lbs and started back going to spinn classes. I decided that i needed to purchase my own spin bike due to the heavy load of my professional life as a therapist and there have been days that i was not able to spin. Being that said i need to know how many days should i ride to see result. This bike and those classes has done me well in the past and to rush to those classes was the issue of me getting my own bike. My question is with me having my own person bike how many days do you recommend me to use my bike and how long will i see some result and what other exercise could i use to go along with me spinning. I was walking 6 miles a day 5 days a week with no real result but foot pain.

  • http://www.familyinshape.typepad.com SpinDiva

    I would not exceed three classes per week. Go to this site http://8weekprogram.com/about.html and consider this program. You might like the structure of the program, the log books, etc. Also don’t forget to work on muscular strength and endurance for the rest of your body as well so using weights in between the spinning classes would be a good idea. Good Luck!

  • http://www.ameliaburton.com.au Amelia Burton

    Hi Maxine,
    Spin Diva has given you some great tips. I agree that you need to mix your training up a bit. I would maintain 1-2 walks per week as well as a stretch session (rent a Yoga DVD) and your 3 spins.
    Remember it’s about intensity so doing three hard 50min sessions per week will get you better results than 5 easy ones.

  • http://www.ameliaburton.com.au Amelia Burton

    Hi Kerry,

    YEs nothing beats a ride in the great outdoors… when the weather is good. But if it’s too hot, cold, windy, rainy many people skip their session. At least indoors there are no excuses and you are bound to work harder in a class atmosphere. I know the seats and attire take some getting used to but I always say to people give it three attempts before making your mind up. Often by the final time, people are hooked.
    Keep it up I say!!!

  • Amanda

    Hi Amelia

    Are you able to please explain how I can get details on what my stomach measurements should be? Is there a table I can look at maybe?. I weigh 64.4kg and am 166 cms (I think).

    thank you

  • galfriday

    Thanks for allowing comments in this article! I love finding out how many spinning enthusiasts there are out there.

    After my first RPM session, I almost quit the entire fitness-for-life program I had started less than a month ago at the time. It was just too hard! Our instructor was this tight ball of muscle who just kept screaming and pushing for more. The veterans in the class were huffing and puffing and making orgasmic noises the whole time. But the biggest mistake I made was not clarifying what the spinning terms meant. I did not know what “back off” meant! So the whole time I just kept turning it up, and by the middle of the session, I could not even push the pedals down!

    To make it worse, I had sore buttocks for about 2 days after that, not to mention that going up and down stairs was a terrifying endeavor.

    I remember describing it to my friends as 50 minutes of pure, unadulterated evil. I could not believe people did that to themselves.

    But I came back the following week anyway. What made me do it was that I remembered how hard I was sweating, huffing and puffing, even if I could not finish one single track. There was a puddle of sweat on the floor under my bike! Not being a “heavy sweater”, I often felt frustrated that I could not work up enough perspiration during Body Jam or even Body Combat. I thought it was worth another try.

    On my second class, there were two only participants. The other guy had a back injury, so the instructor was more patient, and emphasized on the need to back off during recovery. Thank God! Recovery just became my favorite word. She also got off her bike at some point and taught me the correct form – tail out, shoulders down, back straight. It was so much more comfortable after that.

    I have now been to six sessions, and loving each one every time. I am now able to finish all the tracks without stopping, just by pacing myself and listening to my body. I still sweat like a pig, and the last time I think I also made soft “orgasmic” noises like the veterans in my first class. I have come to realize that by using the adjective, I was closer to reality than I thought at first – the sudden burst of endorphins during recovery, when you know you’ve made it, is as close to a sexual high as they come. The build-up and anticipation for the next one is a truly delicious feeling. And the sense of fulfillment you get after finishing the entire session – priceless. I just love it when our instructor says “You can go home now..”

    But the biggest, most noticeable benefit of taking up spinning for me was that I discovered how to sweat! I now sweat up a storm even when doing Pump. I guess that first session activated my sweat glands and they realized that they liked getting busy.

    Thanks for posting this article, and thanks for all who added their comments.

  • http://www.ameliaburton.com.au Amelia Burton

    Hi Amanda,

    I assume you are talking about your waist to hip ratio? Definition is here; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waist-hip_ratio

    This is where you divide your hip by your waist measurement. For example my waist is 64cm and my hips 88cm. Therefore 64/88=0.73

    So my WHR is 0.7.

    The ideal is 0.7 in women and 0.9 in men. The average for women is 0.9.

    You may also wish to measure your BMI (body mass index), which is a more common tool. Yours is 23, which is perfect! The healthy range for women is 20-25. So you can afford to drop a few points and still remain healthy.

    Hope that helps!

  • http://www.ameliaburton.com.au Amelia Burton


    I am laughing so much I can hardly type! People have compared spinning to many things, but sex!?! Come on!!!!! I wish I’d thought of that, I am sure spinning would become a lot more popular…
    Your point about almost giving up after your first class is a good one. Many people hate their first class and never come back. They should read your comments and give it at least three attempts, and like you I bet they get hooked, especially if everyone is making orgasmic noises!

    NOTE TO INSTRUCTORS: Check Galfridays seat positioning and copy it – obviously hits the spot!!!

  • Susanne

    I agree! Galfriday’s post was fabulous. I actually forwarded it along to a couple of friends of mine with a comment…. “I think I figured out why I love spin class so much”. LOL

  • Susanne

    I began spinning about 6 months ago. At that time, I took some measurements and then I hid the paper where I wrote them down! I hid it so well I haven’t been able to find it since. Well, last night, I found it! I nervously took out the measuring tape and looked to see how much progress I had made (if any). THREE and A HALF inches off my waist!!! I couldn’t believe it! All I’ve really been doing is spinning 2 or 3 times a week!!!!

    So – I just thought I’d share that! If you’re looking to drop a few pounds and inches — spinning has definitely worked for me!

  • millie

    I can so relate to Susanne’s comments-I st arted spinning about 7 months ago although I havent measured myself 7 months ago and till today but this entire week I have been getting comments from people to say that I have lost a lot of inches from my waist and also lost weight from my thighs. I didnt think that spinning would ever reduce my waistline at all.

  • http://www.ameliaburton.com.au Amelia Burton

    Wow Susanne,
    Great work!!!! I must say that I usually don’t promote spinning as a waist reducer but obviously I should! I love that you hid the paper too well, I can just imagine how nerve racking it must have been to re-measure. But your story just goes to show, don’t obsess about your body shape, focus on other benefits and the physical results simply follow…
    Thanks for your fabulous story!

  • maxine Tibbetts

    Hello everyone, well i finally got my bike and i am truly enjoying it. Just want to comment on Galfriday, that is so funny….because it is like an organsim and i truly express mines when i go to the spinn classes and when i spin at home. The video that i have that goes along with the spinn bike that receive the guy truly look likes he is getting an organsim. I have notice that i am trimming up from going to the spin classes and spinning at home. I thought i was the only one noticing that spinn has something to do with the grunting, huffing and puffing which give the body and mind and great organsim by itself. That means that the body is getting it’s stress off!!!! May everyone continues to enjoy spinning and enjoy this Easter Holiday. Will let you all know when i get down to the potential numbers of weight loss, however i am noticing the change in my body.

    maxine tibbetts

  • http://www.ameliaburton.com.au Amelia Burton

    Hi Millie,
    Excellent, more proof of the waist reducing effects of spinning. I also like your point that it has slimmed down your thighs. Many people think spinning makes your thighs bigger, but for most women their thighs slim right down and firm right up!
    Keep up the good work!

  • http://www.ameliaburton.com.au Amelia Burton

    Haha Maxine,
    Not another one! I wonder if all those male instructors really know why their female participants have such a big smile throughout the class! Just promise me Maxine, no Meg Ryan moments in a packed out class…ok?!?

  • maxine Tibbetts

    Roger that!!! Amelia


  • Susanne

    Well, I didn’t want to recap ALL of my measurements, but since you brought it up…. I lost an inch & half each thigh!!! I actually do “feel” like my legs are getting “bigger” sometimes, but I guess the tape measure doesn’t lie. (At least I hope it doesn’t!)

  • http://www.ameliaburton.com.au Amelia Burton

    Susanne, Many women feel their thighs get bigger but you’ll probably find that your muscles have firmed right up but the amount of fat on your thighs have drastically reduced, hence the three inches. Think how much that would have cost in Liposuction!!!!


  • Madison

    I just started going to a spinning class, and i fell in love with it. My only concern is that it’s not going to be a good way for me to drop a significant amount of weight. I am going two times a week, and i am sweating like a pig when i work out. What do you suggest?

  • http://www.ameliaburton.com.au Amelia Burton

    Hi Madison,

    You can certainly drop a significant amount of weight doing spin classes. I suggest four days per week of cardio, 2 spin and 2 running sessions. If you aren’t up to running yet visit my post on great treadmill workouts http://www.ameliaburton.com.au/2008/04/honestly-when-was-last-time-you-really.html You’ll be trotting in no time!
    Remember though diet is everything and you must eat under 1500 cal per day to drop a significant amount of weight, so get yourself a calorie counting book and start learning about your food.
    Keep me posted on your progress!

  • Susanne

    So….after spinning for the last several months, I decided to try and hop on a real bike and see if I remembered how to ride. I had an old one that had been sitting around for years – untouched. I took it to the local bike shop where they gave it some TLC. I had not been on a bike in probably 20-25 years. It was a little scary at first, but once I got the hang of it, I found myself really enoying it. Although I’m not nearly ready to ride with anyone because I panicked if even a car drove by. Kind of funny. I was drifting down a very slight incline in my neighborhood when I remembered being a kid and riding down the street with NO HANDS and I laughed to myself as I thought “There is NO WAY I’m letting go for even 1/2 a second!”. LOL

    Just thought I’d share….

  • Kate

    I have just joined a gym to get my fitness back following major hip/pelvis surgery which involed several fractures to the pelvic area. I am not allowed to do impact stuff for another 6 months-how fit do you need to be to start a spin class? How long/resistance should I work up to on a stationary bike before taking a class?

  • http://www.ameliaburton.com.au Amelia Burton

    Hi Kate,
    Spin classes can be pretty intense so I would suggest a few months on a stationary bike beforehand.

    I would suggest using a recumbent bike to begin with. It places less pressure on the pelvic region and stabilizes your pelvis and spine. Use that 3 times per week for 2 weeks, building up the time you spend on it by 5 mins each workout. start with 15min, and build up to 40min. After 2 weeks, progress to an upright bike for half the time, ie 20min recumbent/ 10min upright bike.

    I would spend 1-2 months doing that or until you feel no stiffness or soreness after the workouts. Then you will be ready for a spin class. I would also suggest doing 5 mins on the rower and build that up to 15mins as well. Swimming would also be a good choice but no froggy kicks just scissor style kicks.

    Keep me posted as to your improvements.

  • Amanda

    Hi Amelia

    I only get 25mins every working day to exercise. It’s still quite dark outside to jog at 5:30am and after work, I’m just too tired. So recently I’ve joined the work gym and go there nearly everyday but because it’s quite small, the bikes and treadmills etc are all taken, so I take to the streets for a power walk/jog. Today for instance, I managed 15 mins of power walking, came back to the gym and did 10 of ab work. (there was no class today so I had room to do this). Normally there isn’t room for ab work because of classes (4 times a week). My question is, because of my time restrictions at work (crazy I know), am I better off power walking/ jogging for the whole 25 mins? I simply don’t have the time to fit anything else in during the week. What is your suggestion please?


  • Amanda

    sorry, I just realised that this is all about spin classes…!! sorry to break up the pattern here guys!!….Amanda


    HI Amanda

    It is not all about spin, it is about sharing you workout to get some type of feed back…is that correct Ameilia? My suggestion is that get whatever type of work out that you can get to make the goal that you are trying to accomplish. I do understand about the gyms being crowed and fighting over a spin bike and that is why i purchase my own bike for my home. So now what i do i mix up the work out. Walk at least 3 days out of the week and use my Spin bike to get the rest of the days to spin. HELLO everyone, i have not made any comments lately due to me being very busy and getting ready to graduate from Grad school. So i am Spinning my butt off and walking of course to lose the weight and it appears that i have not dropped a pound yet, just muscle. I NEED TO SEE THE NUMBERS GO DOWN!!!! TAKE CARE EVERYONE AND CONTINUE TO SPIN YOUR BUTTS OFF!!!!!

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  • http://www.ameliaburton.com.au Amelia Burton

    Hi Amanda,
    25 mins is enough time to have a rip roaring session! I don’t know exactly what your goals are but if it’s improvement rather than maintenance then I would suggest a four week rotation of goals. For example if weight loss is your primary goal then you should go out jog/running 4 days per week (no walking, you’d need to power-walk for at least an hr to see decent results).
    Then do one pump class or weights program on the 5th day.
    What are the classes on the 4 days? If spinning/boxing/body attack is one of the 4 classes you can mix the jogging with either of those.
    The following month focus on tone and shaping, doing 4 days per week of that (you’ll need to get a program created) and one day per week of running. You’ll see much faster results focusing on one aspect than doing a bit of everything.
    Once you achieve the body shape/energy levels you desire, then you can mix it up more each week.
    Spinning and running are the fastest fat blasters.
    Good luck!

  • http://www.ameliaburton.com.au Amelia Burton

    Hi Maxine,
    Welcome back! Congrats on graduating. Keep spinning but ditch the powerwalking, start jogging and watch the scales go down down down. Remember as you get fitter, you may get more hungry so don’t eat more just because you are exercising more!
    Stay in touch,

  • Amanda

    Thanks so much Amelia

    Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to finish off a class. They have spin (not a fan of the bike, sorry) and boxing on those days. My goal is to lose another 5 kilos which I’m finding quite simple and fun to achieve. On my short lunch breaks, I go outside for a run. I struggle with the running because I’m only beginning. After about 15 mins, I go back to the gym to do either 10 mins of abs or light weights. I spend 5mins stretching my weary muscles. I will take your advice about the 5th day and do some weights but it’ll only be for 25 -30 mins. I worry about my stomach, it still carries the flab I’ve had since giving birth to kids….12 years ago..!!!!!. Will the running create faster results than ab work?? as mentioned earlier, I only need to lose another 5 kilos.

    Thank you for your time Amelia

  • http://www.ameliaburton.com.au Amelia Burton

    Hi Amanda,
    You’d be much better off running than doing abs for the first month. Even if it’s 3mins running, 2min walk and build that up to running nonstop. I’d suggest this:
    day1) 20min run + 5min stretch
    day2) boxing class (leave early just tell instructor at start of class)
    day3) 20min run + 5min stretch
    day4) Weights program: Squats, pushups, tricep dips, core exercises on ball. Oblique exercises (use these http://www.ameliaburton.com.au/2009/03/abdominal-exercises-exercise-your-oblique-muscles-to-get-rid-of-the-love-handles.html)
    day5) 20min run + 5min stretch
    day6/7) rest but do incidental activity like playing with kids.

    Do that for a month without skipping a day and see how quickly that 5kg drops off! Just don’t fall into the trap of eating more when you exercise more, it’s a common mistake.

  • Amanda

    Awsome. Will be in touch in a month. Thank you!


  • Taka

    hi Amelia and all,

    Great article and the comments by all are all very special.

    I used to be quite fit and a mad cycling enthusiast. I even rode from Adelaide to Melbourne via GOR in 8 days.

    Now in the mid 30s, and had a warning signal of high blood cholesterol level. I had to drag my 94kg body to the gym again last autumn. I used to do gym class and hey why not start with that. I met a few good instructors @ the local gym . I remember one said in his class, “think why you want to come to a rpm class and what do you want to achieve”. I then told myself, “my 28 year old body.”

    After that I sign up Around the Bay in a day and vowed to get close to my PB, set when I was 28.

    Now it’s a month to go to the big ride and I now can keep up to the fast riders on Beach road. Doing some 100km+ rides. All thanks to the dedication and motivation of my instructors!

    Btw, I am a big contributor of the ‘orgasmic’ type noises… Hehe.

  • http://www.ameliaburton.com.au Amelia Burton

    Hi Taka,
    What a fabulous story! I think having a goal to get back to that 28yr old body is great. I put to you that you will surpass that goal and be the fittest your have EVER been. I am training a 56 year old who is at that point. The body is an amazing machine designed to be taken to be challenged. I bet you have a great ride next month and smash your goal.

    Well done!!!


    hello everyone, it has been a long time since i have posted. well, have not been able to ride my bike since i got sick and i have gain weight. i went to a nutristionist and was informed that i was not eating correctly and now i have been doing a food journal. first i was eating as they informed me and gain weight and then i stop eating a lot and start eating lighter every 1 to 2 hrs…still have not lost any weight. i have now gotten the go to that i can ride again….so the question is HOW MANY DAYS SHOULD I RIDE TO SEE RESULT? I just graduated with my Master in counseling, and glad that journey is over. also i had been walking 1 to 3 or 4 miles 3 days a week and that only build muscle for me because i was using a weight vest….SO MY SPIN PAL GIVE ME SOME SUGGESTION OF ME GETTING AT LEAST 20LBS off ….thanks again!!!!

    maxine tibbetts

  • http://www.ameliaburton.com.au Amelia Burton

    Hi Maxine,
    I am so glad to hear you are back in teh saddle. I would suggest riding every second day and walking on the other days to begin with. Remember 75% of weight loss comes from your diet so get that right and the spin will take care of the rest!
    Great to have you back :)

  • Chris the Proofreader


    I’m a professional proofreader and I spin twice a week.

    Did you have a professional proofer proofread your Web site? I found a major typo here:

    Any tips for preventing a sore butt?
    [James Sutherland] Sit your bum right back in the saddle. The saddle is designed so you sit on you sitting bones, so pushing your butt back a little will help releive pressure. See last line this is how you spell RELIEVE.

    I recently proofread the entire Lexus Web site at: lexus.com and many others – I’m willing to help you.

    Please let me know,

    Chris the Proofreader

  • Taka

    Forgot about this article.

    RPM class rocks. Remember last time I said I was going for my PB @ Around the Bay in a Day. I was very close to it. I did 6 hour 40 mins for the 210km. The PB is 6 hours 20 but I was 15kg lighter back then. I am very happy.

    Now going to ride up Mt Holtham in March on that 3 peak challenge. I am officially crazy!


    hello Amelia,

    Thanks so much for the response!!! My response to proofreader about the pain in the butt from spinnning. I can remember when i first started spin classes i experience the same thing. The way i got rid of the pain was using a hot pad on my butt and got right back out there and spin. I do believe when we continue to spin your butt get use to it and there is no more pain…..ouch!!!

  • Reema

    Dear Amelia,

    I am planning on becoming a spin class instructor and I do spin classes everyday and I absolutely love them. My question is regarding technique. I need tips on how to improve my technique with keeping the upper body still while I am sprinting and out of the saddle climbing. The instructors at FF give you all the tips…but I still find it challenging at times. So any innovative and new information will be really useful.


  • shazza


    I am A RPM instructor and have been for 5 years. I am interested in hearing what participants like and dislike about the way instructors teach the class?

  • http://www.pybymoni.com Monika

    Hey Shazza,

    I started doing RPM classes because my foot was injured and I couldnt run, I normally run and box, skip, do weights, all that stuff. I never cycled and when I started, being a trainer myself, I really paid attention to the different trainers.

    I developed favourites, and the one I love the best, decribes the terrain and makes a story that makes you feel like you are in the mountains, her mic is not too loud and the music is the right level, she also does this thing where when we do speed intervals, when you need to go super hard she turns off all the lights, its almost pitch black, and I dont know…it really works! I wear a heart monitor and in her classes I always work the hardest and burn the most calories. Hope this helps…

  • shazza

    Hi Monica,

    Thanks for your response, it was helpful and what I was after.

  • Amanda

    My gym offers both spin and RPM classes, what are the difference between the two? I’m doing spin 3 times a week and would like to boost the weight loss a little more. Is 1 day of RPM a good way to mix it up?

  • Amanda

    My gym offers both spin and RPM classes, what is the difference between the two? I’m doing spin 3 times a week and would like to boost the weight loss a little more. Is 1 day of RPM a good way to mix it up?

  • Michael Wilkins

    spin and rpm best way to loose wait

  • Michael Wilkins

    spin and rpm is the best way to loose weight


    I have been trying to spin everyday and in a class that goes one hour and fifteen minutes on the Real Ryder Spinning bikes. I guess the wheel on these weighs 25-30 pounds more than your regular spin bikes.

    I can’t seem to get through the week without being exhausted, and taking a couple of days off after about 3 days in a row. It doesn’t seem like I am overdoing in class although they are very difficult, because the bikes turn from side to side etc. and wobble so you need to use your core to stabilize when standing up. My whole body aches. Its been three months should I be worried that something is wrong with me?

  • http://Google Jo bee

    For the past month I’ve been doing 5-6 rpm classes a week with some upper body weights and stretches after class. I’m sticking to 1000-1200 calories a day in order to try and shift the extra 15 kilos I found. I wonder how long this will take..??. I don’t weigh myself( I figure if I’ve been in control with my diet and exercise but the scales don’t reflect it – I just get discouraged) but i know by my clothes and my face I’m starting to drop some weight. I’ve just turned 50 and it’s a battle as you age.
    To the person who wanted some instructor tips, I like good clear time prompts and a clear over view of how the track goes at the start. Then turn up the music and GO! I hate a class full of fast spinning tracks, keep us honest with some serious out of you seat hill work.

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  • BarbaraW

    I’ve been spinning for 3yrs now under 3 different instructors, plus I’ve filled in as a sub when needed, so I’m no stranger to Spinning. Since starting my endurance level has differently increased. I have 2 instructors that focus more on light/moderate resistance with maximum effort, with some heavy thrown in here and there… and then 1 that focuses more on moderately heavy/ to heavy resistance with maximum effort, with some light/fast thrown in here and there…I’m noticing that my heart rate isn’t being challenged with the light/fast, but the heavy/fast is really putting it through the roof…I guess my question is, which one is better and which one will have the most calories burn? I have my theory, but wanted to hear yours…I believe it’d be the heavy/fast, cause I’m working my largest muscle group, hams & quads harder, which in turn would have a higher and longer calorie burn…Just wondered if this theory is correct and if I shouldn’t follow the other 2 instructors and do my own thing by going heavy/fast more…

  • Hayley

    I reguly compete in sprint distance triathlons and was wondering if doing a spin class once a week would make me go faster o the bike. Apart from spin I ride 3 times a week on my bike.

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  • Gino

    i’ve been attending RPM classes for a year averaging three class’s-I’ve developed a heal spur- do you have any suggestions ??