Indoor Cycling: The Perfect Winter Workout


We all know how unpredictable Wisconsin weather can be. While exercising outdoors has its benefits, the weather still limits the types of exercises you can perform. Even for the avid cyclist, snow, ice, and wind can make it too difficult to ride outdoors during the winter. That’s why indoor cycling classes (aka spin classes) are the perfect winter workout!

Here are some of our top reasons why indoor cycling classes, also known as spin classes, are the perfect winter workout.

Avoid the Cold

The most obvious reason these classes are a great option during the winter is because…well…they’re indoors! This can be said about any exercise, but cycling is typically done outdoors. And why wouldn’t you? You can explore the scenic areas of Greater Milwaukee faster than you could run or walk. But in winter, that’s simply not an option, unless the weather is uncharacteristically warm.

Indoor cycling can recreate the experience of cycling outdoors in a way. You might not get the same views, but you can simulate certain terrain by altering the resistance your bike has. Turn up your resistance high and go for standing climbs or take a nice relaxing “flat road” ride.

Cardiovascular Fitness

Spin classes are a great cardio workout, similar to other cardio exercises like running, swimming, and elliptical training. Another added bonus is that it doesn’t put too much stress on your joints. These classes will definitely get your heart rate up and improve your heart’s ability to pump blood throughout your body.

Burn Calories

Looking to lose weight? Cycling classes will help you burn a good amount of calories. Depending on the duration and intensity of the class, you can burn around 400-600 calories per class. If your goal is to lose weight, make sure you’re eating a balanced diet but not so much that you’re eating more than your body needs.

Strengthen Those Legs

Perhaps you’ve heard the common saying, “Friends Don’t Let Friends Skip Leg Day.” Indoor cycling might not be as effective as a full-blown leg day in the fitness center, but it definitely is a suitable alternative. You’ll feel the burn in your quads, hamstrings, calves, and glutes. You’ll even work a good portion of your core and some back muscles.

It’s a Party!

Music – check. Group of friends – check. Energetic atmosphere – check. Mood lighting – check.

The atmosphere in spin classes makes it feel like more of a club scene rather than an exercise class. Various instructors have unique styles and workouts so no two classes are ever the same. For example, rhythm riding is a style of spin class that incorporates the music into the workout. Other instructors might employ a HIIT-style ride that involves sprint or climbing intervals. Whatever the case may be, the high-energy classes will give you a little extra burst so you can work a little bit harder and have fun doing it!

Another key component of spin classes is that you can do it with your friends. The group dynamic will motivate you to work as hard as everyone else in the class. If you’re using one of our Matrix IC7 bikes, your Coach by Color is on display for all to see so you’re held more accountable to stay on target. Same is true if you’re using a Myzone belt, and your effort appears up on one of our displays.

Spin Classes in Milwaukee

The spin classes offered at Elite Sports Clubs are plentiful. You can find a spin class that fits into any schedule. Ride in the morning, at lunchtime, or in the evening throughout the week. The North Shore and West Brookfield locations feature the Matrix IC7 bikes, while the Brookfield, Mequon, and River Glen locations have Keiser M3 bikes.

Check out our calendar for a full list of exercise classes at each Elite Sports Clubs location. Printable versions can also be found here.

Need Help Getting Started?

Indoor cycling classes might be intimidating to some at first, but as with anything, it just takes a few classes to get the hang of everything. If you’ve never taken this type of class before, you might want to show up a little bit early so the instructor can help you set up your bike. A few things you’ll need to do are adjust your seat and handlebars to an appropriate height and distance forward or back. In the case of the Matrix IC7 bikes, you’ll also want to figure out an appropriate FTW level (Functional Threshold Watt rate), or in other words, the average number of watts a rider can sustain over an hour. Watts are the power you are producing – a combination of speed you move the pedals and the force needed to overcome the resistance on your bike.

If you’re still hesitant to try spin, read our blog on “5 Reasons Not to Be Scared of Indoor Cycling.”

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