Are You Too Old For Spin Class? An Indoor Cycling Instructor Explains.

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robbie ferri headshot
By Robbie Ferri CPT

CPT & Indoor Cycling Instructor

Indoor cycling is a huge amount of fun. It makes you feel amazing, offers many health benefits, and improves your fitness. As an indoor cycling instructor, We get asked many great questions here at Girl Bike Love. One that I really liked was “Am I too old for a spin class?” 

I am a big believer that age is just a number, and good cardiovascular fitness goes a long way in older age. I have trained many older adults who are friends, and with their feedback, I am going to give you my opinion on when you might be too old.

This article will discuss everything you need to know, from the benefits of spinning for older people to managing intensity and workload and when you might want to stop. Let’s go!

  • What Are The Benefits Of Spinning For Older People?
  • Are You Too Old For A Spin Class?
  • Managing Intensity And Workload
  • Alternative Options To Keep Cycling Indoors

What Are The Benefits Of Spinning For Older People?

There are so many benefits of spinning for older people. In fact, for many people who have reached a later age, it becomes an important part of staying fit and healthy. Here are some of the benefits older people generally find.

Cardiovascular Fitness

Spinning is such an amazing way to improve cardiovascular fitness. This is the efficiency of the heart and the transportation of blood, amongst many other things. This isn’t just going to make cycling easier but walking up stairs, jogging, and anything that raises the heart rate. 

Joint Health

Spinning is great for the joints. Not only is it very low impact, but it helps by lubricating the joints well, making other activities, such as walking and even jogging, much easier. It can also help improve the stabilization and flexibility of the joints. 

knee pain after spin class

Coordination And Balance

When it comes to spinning, you can gain a lot of coordination and balance from moving around the bike and increasing your flexibility. Spinning requires a lot of stabilization, heavily improving the balance, and the rhythm can help coordination.

Muscular Strength

Spinning is great for firing up the muscles and gaining strength. Just a few sessions per week can hugely improve your ability to get upstairs and also help with daily tasking and even lifting with your legs. 

Sense Of Community

Spinning also offers an excellent sense of community. You can meet lots of like-minded people in a spinning studio and people who can help and support you in a class to continue pushing and improving.

back pain after spin class

Are You Too Old For A Spin Class?

Spinning can be done up to a very late age and is much better than running and other sports, which have a heavy impact on the body. In my opinion, it doesn’t come down to just age. It more comes down to ability and how you feel. Here’s why you might not want to start or keep spinning.

Doctors Orders

If you are worried and feel spinning is too much for you, consult a doctor. You can discuss any conditions you might have that could be affected, and the doctor can give great advice on how to progress into spinning if they recommend it. 

If High-Intensity Exercise Makes You Stressed

If you find that high-intensity exercise makes you feel stressed, you might not want to take up spinning. It can get very intense, the heart rate can get very high, and the last thing you should be doing is causing those feelings. 

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If You Get Pain Or Discomfort

If indoor cycling causes pain and discomfort, it should not be done. It’s one thing to be uncomfortable at a big, powerful effort, but when you’re in pain and want to stop at a light effort, that’s a clear indication you shouldn’t be riding.

If The Aftereffects Are Painful

Although you can feel a little tender after you start spinning, if this persists, it’s important to stop spinning or reduce the intensity or duration of your riding to prevent these awful aftereffects.

If You’re Not Enjoying It

Finally, the last reason you should stop spinning is if you are not enjoying it. Some people tend not to enjoy indoor cycling as much after a while, and when they get old, it’s just natural. There’s nothing wrong with this.

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Managing Intensity And Workload

Where a lot of people who feel a little too old for indoor cycling are managing the intensity in a session. Spinning in a studio or at home can be very motivating, and you can end up pushing yourself too much and overloading. 

It’s important to remember each bike has its own resistance dial, and you are in control of that. Keeping the intensity lower will make it easier and keep your energy high. You might also want to invest in a heart rate monitor to ensure you can keep it low and not get lost in the moment.

changing resistance on a spin bike

Alternative Options To Keep Spinning

If you are concerned that you might be getting a little older and feel that spinning might not be for you, then there are other routes you can go down to ensure you can cycle indoors. Here’s what I recommend.

Lower The Intensity

You can still go into spinning classes in person or online, but just with a lower intensity. Speaking to the instructor tells them what your plans are important so they know. You could dial it back, enjoy the class, and not let the heart rate get too high. 

Train Alone

You could train by yourself instead of going to a spinning class. Make the sessions shorter and easier so the spinning is at the correct level for you. A perfect opportunity would be a Bowflex bike with an application such as Peloton.

exercise bike indoors

Swap To An Exercise Bike

Exercise bikes have a much more upright riding position, a much softer seat, and can have very light and heavy resistance levels at the press of a button. They are much easier to ride and much less harsh on the body.

Consider A Recumbent Bike

Recumbent bikes are also much easier on the body, meaning you can still do basic spinning and indoor cycling with much less pressure on the hips, back, shoulders, and even your hands. You don’t have the option to stand but still can have a lot of fun. 

robbie ferry rides his spin bike indoors

A Final Thought

When it comes to spinning, no age is too old. It all comes down to ability and the current state of your health. We highly recommend seeing a doctor before anything if you are questioning whether you are too old and want to start spinning.

If you are already spinning and feel it’s getting a bit much, then it might be worth reducing the resistance or swapping to a different bike to make it more comfortable and a little easier. Thanks for taking the time to read this article. Make sure to check out the video!

Robbie Ferri CPT

Robbie from “Riding with Robbie” is a Personal Trainer living in in Norfolk, UK. He has bikepacked all over the World, and also raced ultra distance at a top-level. He has worked closely with industry leaders such as Shimano.

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