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What’s different about Indoor Cycling?


In 1905, the first portable domestic vacuum cleaner was invented by a British inventor, Walther Griffiths. It wasn’t until three years later that William Henry Hoover invented the Model O and made it accessible to everyone by some clever design changes and pricing, but that’s what it’s known as nowadays right... a Hoover? A product with a brand so strong within its sector that the name becomes the sector itself.

Fast forward to the 1990’s and the creation of the Spinning programme. The indoor cycling industry now becomes a group exercise format and becomes widely known as Spinning, named after the education and instructor training programme used with the Spinner indoor cycles. Other education and training quickly became available as well, as a range of other major manufacturers began producing high-quality indoor cycles, but the name stuck. The indoor cycling industry becomes fairly well-known by most participants as “Spinning” whether that be correct or not.

So what’s the difference? Indoor Cycling is the category that includes indoor cycle manufacturers, digital products and education programmes; and within that category, the Spinning programme exists and is one format. So, what are the other formats and how are they different?

The Indoor Cycling category has a wide variety of class experiences nowadays and so finding something to suit you should be a little easier once you understand what each format looks like and how they are unique.

Classic Indoor Cycling

A Classic Indoor Cycling class is a class driven forward by music and movement. The riding positions mainly take their inspiration from road riding with a mixture of track drills and some off-road (mountain bike) riding positions, depending on the programme provider. It’s the format you have most likely experienced in the past, and it’s a great type of workout. Spinning would definitely be categorised as Classic Indoor Cycling, but there are also very high-choreographed (non-cycle, sport-based) styles that would be classified as Classic IC. The two styles are very different, but both share the common driver of music and movement.

Power Training

A Power Training programme is a class type that uses the rider’s power output on the bike (displayed on the bike console) to accurately manage the intensity of every ride for each rider. This can be displayed in a variety of ways that are simple to understand and apply through a combination of specified RPM and appropriate resistance. This method underpins all meaningful physical development and allows riders to better understand the success of their workout in relation to what the coach has requested.

Forward Motion Video

Whilst traditionally we’ve used music as the primary driver for our indoor cycling classes, a video-driven format engages the rider by matching the riding position, cadence and intensity to the video scene itself. A flat road will be matched by the appropriate riding position, whilst rolling flats will likely have the position changes to match the varying terrain of the road. Video immerses the rider completely through the combination of expert coaching, great music choice, riding position and intensity, all matching what the eye can see.

Data-driven Competition

This training style utilises connected technology from high-specification bike consoles, allowing the rider data to be visualised into various formats. Riders can ride hard for individual success and be rewarded by topping the leader-board, ride in teams against each other during team battles, or simply work as a large group to achieve a common goal. Data is the key, and the palpable sense of teamwork and competition are hot in the air!

During October and November this year, Team ICG® will be delivering all of these indoor cycling class types, so perhaps you can try something new, or something you have tried before and absolutely loved. It’s not just Spinning anymore, so come along and see the present and future of indoor cycling, and find out for yourself exactly what the difference is all about

To view dates and book your place at Fitness Fiesta, visit: or one of our ICG UK events visit:

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