Progress: Spin cycle

Published 1:00 pm Wednesday, April 4, 2012

People participate in a spinning class at the Albert Lea Family Y in the aerobics room. — Andrew Dyrdal

The Albert Lea Family Y’s indoor cycling classes are spinning out of control.

Some spinning classes offer weight training.

The classes, known as spinning classes, have become a hit are the Y after its inception last April. The Y first purchased 10 stationary bikes — Kaiser M3 indoor cycles — but is up to 15 with an increased number of classes and instructors, too.

“People love the bikes,” said Susie Holst, sports and fitness director at the Y. “I can’t imagine this place without them.”

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Spinning classes offer a full cardiovascular workout with different levels of resistance to maximize the experience. Music is played throughout the class and the instructor, through a headset microphone, motivates and directs the class on the desired resistance and RPMs.

An exercise ball stands at the ready to be used during a spinning class.

Holst said the workout puts little stress on people’s knees, making the class great for all ages.

“I just love it because it’s low impact, and you burn lots of calories,” said Holst. “You’re not on a bike by yourself so there’s a little more accountability. You can feel the energy in the room and feed off that energy.”

Spinning classes have been popular since they began at the Y, and Holst said the classes are still filling up. To account for this, the Y added four more classes and three more instructors.

“Our night classes are pretty much full every time,” Holst said. “Before and after work are our busy times.”

Holst also said the Y added a new class length. The Y has offered 45-minute and one-hour sessions since April, but has just added a 30-minute session. Holst called them “mini classes” and said more may be added in the future.

The latest innovation with spinning classes was to add strength training to the routine. The Y now offers cycle-strength classes where it rolls its bikes into the aerobics room to maximize the space.

During the cycle-strength course, people bike for 10 minutes before doing pushups and upper-body lifting for the next 10.

Holst said the Y has no pending plans to expand its spinning classes in the future, but as interest continues to grow, it may just have to.