published Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Take a spin: Cycling with a musical twist popular


by Laura Galbraith

After an accident left him with a broken knee, fitness enthusiast Clay Cochran knew he could no longer run as well as he once did. The stress would be too great for his joints.

As he recovered in rehab, however, his luck began to change.

“I liked (spinning) immediately because I was looking for something,” Mr. Cochran said. “I was looking for a way for me to exercise efficiently that would be successful where I could reach my fitness levels and fitness goals.”

Spinning is a group aerobic exercise on specially designed stationary bicycles called spinning bikes. In a typical class, an instructor shouts out encouragement while music drives the tempo of the group.

“I think that everybody can take a spin class, and that’s why people are drawn to it,” said Erin Minor, an exercise coordinator at The Rush Fitness Complex downtown.

“You don’t have to be a certain size or shape or height. If you have joint problems, although it’s a high-intensity workout, it’s very low-impact,” she said.

“So if you have knee issues or ankle or any kind of issues with joint problems, you’re really not going to injure yourself as long as you figure out the right way to position your feet and handlebar.”

Mr. Cochran soon started taking so many spin class at The Rush that he was recruited to teach. On Monday and Thursday afternoons, Mr. Cochran teaches a 55-minute class that is almost always full.

“I try to build more of an intense environment, and I think building the intensity through the environment of the people that are around you usually tends to make people work harder,” he said.

Patrice Wishmyer said she enjoys the spin classes that she and her husband take at the Signal Mountain Athletic Club.

“We’ve both lost about probably 10 pounds since we started doing it,” said Mrs. Wishmyer. “We know (spinning) burns calories, and we like to eat.”

Other local gyms that offer spin classes include the YMCA and the Sports Barn.

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