Spinning vs. Indoor Cycling

A topic that’s been interesting to me lately is the question of whether or not there’s a difference between Spinning classes and “indoor cycling” classes like Flywheel and SoulCycle.

As someone who has taken both- it seems obvious to me that there is, in fact, a difference.
However, after Googling around quite a bit, I wasn’t able to find much literature on the topic apart from the differences between indoor cycling and outdoor cycling.

The one article I found was actually a blog post, written by Pumps and Iron, and made perfect sense to me. I thought I would share it so that you could have the same “AHA, totally” moment that I did.

Aside from the fact that “Spinning” is a trademarked name, here’s how I like to break it down after reading Pumps and Iron’s blog post. 


-Meant to imitate an outdoor biking experience
-Focus on heart rate, training zones, etc. 
-Different types of rides, similar to training for a road bike race- strength rides, recovery rides, endurance rides, etc. 

“Indoor Cycling:”
-These are the boutique classes you pay $30 a pop for at places like Flywheel and SoulCycle 
-Every ride is designed to get you drenched in sweat- no recovery rides or focus on staying in target training zones here 
-Non-traditional moves like crunches, squats and pushups done on the bike 
-Sometimes feature sections using light hand-weights  

Of course, everyone has their preference. There’s a lot of debate out there as to whether or not these “indoor cycling” classes can be harmful with all of their crazy moves. But then again, they’re fun and total calorie-blasters.

What’s your opinion? Do you prefer Spin classes, or trendy “dance in the saddle” cycling classes?