What It Is
➝ Spinning is like riding a bike—if you were speeding over mountainous grades backed by a thumping bass, in a pack of 30 sweaty strangers. Since Mad Dogg Athletics launched the trademark Spinner bike in Santa Monica in 1992, the promise of burning up to 800 calories per ride has lured cardio junkies into the gym. Spinning is 45 minutes to an hour of chest-seizing, gut-heaving intensity.
What You Can Expect
➝ A runner’s-style endorphin high but with almost zero impact on the knees. The rock-hard seat will hurt your butt—for a while. The cardiovascular assault promotes serious weight loss; the heart pumping combined with moderate but sustained lower-body resistance means, in my experience, slimming, not bulking. Some classes incorporate hand weights to give those arms equal love.
Where You Should Go
➝ If “nightclub on a bike” is what you like, West Hollywood’s trendy SoulCycle and Cycle House offer a party feel along with plush towels, filtered water, and other perks. (The SoulCycle-exclusive bike is my favorite ride by far.) The atmosphere at Toluca Lake’s RPM Fitness Studio is refreshingly unintimidating. Venice’s YAS promotes the synergy between spinning and yoga and is aimed at athletes, focusing less on flash and more on rigorous routine. Pedal Spin Studio has a shiny South Pasadena space with a yawn-busting 5:30 a.m. class.