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Spinning vs Cycling ( Which Exercise Is Better For You )

Out door cyclingThere are many benefits to both spinning and cycling, but which one is better for you? It really depends on your goals and what you’re looking to get out of your workout.

If you’re looking for a cardio workout that will get your heart rate up and help you burn calories, then spinning is a great option. Spinning classes are usually high-intensity and can be a great way to push yourself.

If you’re looking for a workout that is low-impact and won’t put too much strain on your joints, then cycling is a better option. Cycling is also a great way to see the sights and get some fresh air.

“So, spinning vs cycling which one is right for you? It really depends on your goals and what you’re looking to get out of your workout. If you’re looking for a challenging cardio workout, then spinning is a great option. If you’re looking for a low-impact workout that is still enjoyable, then cycling is the better choice.”

Spinning vs. Cycling: Which Workout Is Better For You?


You’re going to get a great workout with both indoor and outdoor cycling. If you’re not into hard outdoor riding and have to deal with lots of traffic, riding a stationary bike is likely a better choice. If you’re committed to become a “technical” cyclist and have lots of open roads, outdoor cycling will probably get you better results.

You will have an excellent workout with indoor and outdoor cycling. If you don’t like going outdoors and you have to deal with a lot of traffic, it is likely that riding an indoor exercise bike is better. If you commit to becoming a “technical” cyclist and have many open roads, outdoor cycling will probably give you better results.

Spinning indoor

Spinning vs Cycling : Differences

In Case of Cardiovascular fitness


An American Council On Exercise (ACE) study noted that a typical spinning class keeps you between 75 and 95 percent of your maximum heart rate which is pretty good heart rate to obtain an excellent cardiovascular response. The great motivators could be the warmth of an indoor cycling room, peer pressure on bike and an instructor’s motivation to bark orders in the face. However, as you just learned, indoor cycling bikes tend to use hamstrings because of that steering wheel, which means you will get more help from the spinning bike and fewer calories burned.


Not quite as good as spinning . Still, serious cyclists and professional cyclists can easily increase the heart rate of those in a cycling class. But most amateur cyclists have difficulty pedaling so fast while balancing the bike, sailing and are not motivated by a crowd or an spinning instructor.

Unlike an indoor bike, you use hamstrings, glutes, shins, quadriceps, and calves more when you ride an outdoor road cycle. So your muscle shape will probably be greater if you don’t spend much of your time on a cruise. “But again, you have to work hard enough to hit those muscles with the right strength to make them stronger and burn significant calories, and many people just don’t cycle so hard.”
Summary: Indoor cycling wins for the average person. For those who practice cycling outdoors and are committed, cycling can achieve better results.

In Case of Difficulty


As you are riding an spin bike, indoor cycling can quickly become boring and you can also use the same muscles over and over again (without ascents or descents). This can certainly make indoor cycling more difficult than outdoor cycling. But the pulsating music, the group atmosphere and the instructor’s motivation can help in this. The fact that there’s no interval in spinning – no change of scenery, say – can make spinning “feel” harder than cycling outdoors. However, the group motivation and music can help to offset this.


Unless you are engaged in a road race, outdoor cycling seems much easier from the point of view of effort. If you want to take outdoor cycling to the next level, you need technical skills that can make it more difficult than indoor cycling. The varied intensity of outdoor cycling – freewheeling, uphill inclines, etc. – can make it feel much more spontaneous and satisfying than fixed cycling in a closed environment.

Summary: The biggest fact is, doing anything indoors, whether it’s rowing, running on a treadmill, or cycling, will feel harder, and can be the component of boredom.

spinning vs cycling

In Case of Calorie expenditure


When it comes to indoor spinning bike, it is a very high intensity workout that will burn a lot of calories. The fixed wheel of a spin bike means you can’t “freewheel” – so your muscles work the whole time.


But in case of indoor cycling, it has the potential for high-energy expenditure – particularly when you’re going for high mileage or taking in hilly terrain. According to a survey we found that the average Tour de France rider burns 124,000 calories during the race. So it depends upon you how you choose your journey. If you ride fast for long time it will burn lot of calories. And if you just take pleasure or casually ride a cycle, you can burn a lot of calories. So the choice is yours.

In Case of Convenience


Let’s face it: Indoor cycling is much more convenient. Get on the bike or go to the lesson and go. The most uncomfortable part, for many, is going to the gym. Once you get to the gym, you can work at your own personal level, – in a dry and temperature-controlled safe environment.


On the other hand, outdoor cycling can be messy. You should dress appropriately, be prepared for bad weather, change tires (and know how to change a tire), deal with stop signs and traffic and the list goes on. But your home spin bike is more accessible than an spin bike that you have to access in the gym. Since you can cover a lot of miles in an hour, you need to plan your routes – and watch the weather. There’s also a risk from being on the road .

So, If you have an indoor spinning bike, cycling with this bike is more convenient and effective, especially in adverse weather conditions.

In Case of Lower-body strength


Spinning on a stationary bike uses the same muscles as outdoor cycle. However, the weight of the flywheel increases the number of pedal strokes per minute. It also forces the hamstrings to work harder.


It uses all the major lower-body muscles – the hamstrings, gluts, quads, shins and calves. In particular, the thighs are worked incredibly hard.

Spinning & Cycling : Check Out The Similarities

Now that you understand the difference between indoor spinning bikes and outdoor cycles, here’s the breakdown:

spinning vs cycling outdoorsIf you’re into indoor cycling, then you know that Spinning along to your favorite feel-good music can be addictive. Hell, it might even inspire you to bust out of that dark room and take your pedaling power out onto the road. Yes! I mean, if you can crush 20 miles in a 45-minute spinning class, surely you can take on a road ride or your first sprint triathlon, right? Well… kind of. Before you hit the road, there are a few things you should know.

If you like indoor cycling, you know that shooting with your favorite music can be addictive. Hell, I could even inspire you to get out of that dark room and take your pedaling power to the road. Yes! I mean, if you can reach 20 miles in a 45-minute cycling session, you can surely make a road trip or your first triathlon sprint, right? Well, before starting the road, there are some things you should know.

Both Are Stress Free Exercise

From the point of view of indoor spinning, there are some important advantages that cannot be obtained when driving outside. As it is an ultrafast and stress-free exercise for one. If you have little time and equipment, indoor cycling is an easy option and you never have to worry about changing a flat tire. It is also quite liberating to close your eyes (a big no-no on a bicycle!), Get away and let your legs do the job. “Indoor cycling is the closest you can meditate,”

While most spinning bikes have a front wheel with weight to mimic what you would hear outdoors, this weight increases momentum while spinning, which makes it a little easier than pushing the weight from your body on a hill or on a flat road.

Both Are Killer Workouts

If you are looking for a fast and dirty workout, spinning indoor has grown in popularity for this exact reason. It is almost impossible to finish a lesson without being soaked in sweat. “It’s a very intense workout”. In indoor spinning class you will get the help of an instructor who pushes you and tells you when to exert yourself and how much resistance to add.

But in case of cycling outdoors, you can burn up to 100 calories per hour if you only go at the speed of a snail, or more than 600 if you are really knocking it down, but the choice is yours. And cycling outside means choosing your rhythm and the path determines your resistance. You cannot reassemble the knob when you grind a hill with the lowest gear. In addition, your entire body will function, from its core to the buttocks to maintain balance.

Both Are Ultra Efficient

The spin class is usually a 45 to 60 minute pain guaranteed to burn calories. Usually, there is a place to shower afterwards, and it is independent of weather conditions, so even a snowstorm will not keep you away from the bike.

But cycling outdoors can be equally effective in a different way. You can go to work by a cycle that means you are burning calories while traveling or going for work not time waste plus great result. In addition, traveling to work by bicycle has shown that it increases happiness and it is more convenient than ever with bike sharing programs that appear at all over the United States.
Both Train Your Brain and Your Body

Can’t quite get into meditating? Try a moving meditation instead. “You can really clear your head in a spinning class,” Southworth says. “You’re working your ass off, but you can zone out and decompress.”

Many studios (inspired by the OG SoulCycle) now focus on inspirational music and mood-setting candlelight to help riders get in the zone. You’ll challenge your brain by reacting to the instructors cues for different positions, rotations per minute (RPM or speed), and resistance.

Although Spin is a great way to zone out, you’re not getting any fresh air in nature or challenging your brain with new stimulation. “The motivation, the tunes, the community, it’s all great; but your brain and vision aren’t stimulated the way they are outside where you have to engage in a variable environment,” Glassford says. “That variety is good for your brain and body.”

You can not meditate? Try a moving meditation instead. You can really clear your mind in a classroom. Many spinning studios now focus on inspirational music and candlelight to create a mood that helps cyclists enter the area. It will challenge your brain by reacting to the instructor’s signals for different positions, rotations per minute (RPM or speed) and resistance.

Although Spin is a great way out, you’re not getting fresh air in nature or challenging your brain with new stimulation. The motivation, the melodies, the community are fantastic; but your brain and your vision are not stimulated by the way they are outside, where you have to get involved in a variable environment. That variety of environments is good for the brain and body.

Cycling race

Both Communities Are as Strong As Hell

The spinning class is a great activity for your crew, since you can have all the different skill levels pedaling together and nobody falls. Even if you don’t know the person on the bike next to you, you feel united by the tribe’s effort. And if you regularly attend the same class, you may end up making good friends.

Outside is no different. Cycling is both a group sport and an individual sport, so you often see groups of cyclists traveling together in a pack. When facing long distances, you can drive more and more with more people drawing (or breaking wind resistance) with each other to conserve energy. There are some faster ways to get in touch with some new friends than take a long walk, a difficult climb or an epic adventure together and then cheer up some beers later.

You don’t know where to start? There are tons of cycling clubs that are increasingly looking for people to join in the fun. If you are new to driving and are nervous about driving alone, go to your local bike shop and ask about beginner groups or women’s races. Most likely, you will find one in your area and make new friends in the process.

7 FAQs about “Spinning vs Cycling”

  1. What is spinning, and how does it differ from cycling?

    • Spinning is an indoor group fitness class performed on stationary bikes, whereas cycling typically refers to riding a bicycle outdoors. The key difference is the setting and the type of bike used.
  2. Are the health benefits the same for spinning and cycling?

    • Both spinning and cycling offer cardiovascular benefits and help improve endurance, but spinning classes often incorporate high-intensity intervals and strength training, making it a full-body workout. Outdoor cycling can provide a similar cardiovascular workout but with different terrain challenges.
  3. Which one is better for weight loss: spinning or cycling?

    • Both spinning and outdoor cycling can aid in weight loss when combined with a proper diet. Spinning classes often focus on interval training and can lead to quicker calorie burns in a controlled environment, while outdoor cycling can offer variety and enjoyment for longer rides.
  4. Is spinning less impactful on the joints compared to cycling?

    • Spinning is generally considered lower-impact on the joints than outdoor cycling because it involves a stationary bike with adjustable resistance. However, proper bike setup and form are crucial in reducing joint stress in both activities.
  5. Can I use my outdoor bike for spinning, or do I need a specific indoor bike?

    • Spinning classes use specialized indoor cycling bikes designed for the unique demands of group fitness. While you can use an outdoor bike with a trainer stand for indoor training, dedicated spinning bikes offer better ergonomics for this purpose.
  6. Which one is better for beginners, spinning or outdoor cycling?

    • Spinning can be more beginner-friendly due to its controlled environment, guidance from instructors, and stationary bike setup. Outdoor cycling may involve more technical skills and road awareness, making it a bit more challenging for beginners.
  7. What should I wear or bring to a spinning class compared to an outdoor cycling ride?

    • For spinning, wear comfortable workout clothing and athletic shoes. Most spinning studios provide stationary bikes, so you only need to bring water, a towel, and possibly padded cycling shorts for added comfort. For outdoor cycling, you’ll need appropriate riding gear, a helmet, and possibly tools for maintenance or repair on the road.


Spinning vs CyclingAt the end of the day, both indoor and outdoor cycling are equally awesome and offer a lot of similar benefits. But are they the same in terms of circumstance, workout, and payoff? In a nutshell, no. To put it plainly, riding 20 miles on a Spin bike is not the same as riding 20 miles on the road.

Regardless, figure out which one works best for you and your lifestyle. The answer can be both! Spinning is often a gateway drug to outdoor cycling, so although it may seem daunting at first, keep an open mind to spinning your legs outside. No matter which you choose, crushing a cycling workout of any kind is sure to make you feel like a total badass on a bike.

At the end of the day, both “Spinning vs Cycling” are equally fantastic and offer many similar advantages. But are they the same in terms of circumstances, training and benefits? In short, no. Simply put, driving 20 miles on a Spin bike is not the same as driving 20 miles on the road.

Anyway, understand which one works best for you and your lifestyle. The answer can be both! Spinning is often a drug for access to cycling outdoors. No matter what you choose, crushing a cycling workout of any kind will make you feel like a true cyclist.


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