If you have ever wondered which is the better workout between spin class and running, you are not the only one. These are two highly popular options for working out, and each undoubtedly has its benefits.
But sometimes, you just want to know which activity will be the best fit for you before you invest your money, time, and energy. For this reason, we have done all the legwork for you, so when the time comes, all you have to focus on is your leg work.
Speaking of legs, let’s start by taking a closer look at the muscles used in both of these workouts. Both spinning and running incorporate your lower body muscle groups, activating your calves, glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps. Both exercises also engage your core and back, and all this exertion elevates your heart rate, making these two of the greatest cardiovascular workouts you could ever do.
While you move several upper body muscle groups running, you do not target any of them directly. With cycling, on the other hand, you engage some of your upper body to support yourself upright on your spin bike.
Looking at the differences between spinning and running in terms of the lower body is where things get more interesting. Both workouts engage the lower body tremendously. Running is great for overall toning because it works all your body’s muscles simultaneously, but spin classes will help you tone and build stronger leg muscles. This difference is largely due to the different ways your muscles are activated across these two workouts.
It is much more accessible to adjust the resistance on a spin bike to achieve and maintain the intensity and strength you desire. This is not as straightforward as running, where you would have to run uphill to build those lower body leg muscles. Plus, uphill running is difficult to maintain for longer periods, so you might not be able to achieve all that you could in a spin class before becoming totally winded.
The Calories Burned
Running is known to burn more calories than spinning because it incorporates more body muscles overall than running. That said, your larger muscles like those in your legs and back burn the most calories, helping you to lose more body fat, and spinning targets these areas.
The claim that running generally burns more calories than cycling also does not consider many factors that will vary depending on the individual and the individual workout, including weight, speed, total time, and intensity.
The amount of energy you expend (a.k.a., your calories burned) depends on all these factors. While you may be able to burn more calories quicker with running, this all depends on how fast you move; it is more accessible for the average exerciser to pedal faster than they move their entire body.
Not only that but spinning for longer periods is also more achievable than running for longer periods. You can certainly achieve the same or even more calories burned with cycling, yielding the same if not greater weight loss.
You might be wondering why cycling for longer periods is more accessible for the average person than running, so let’s dive into the risks.
When done outside, running is without a doubt an efficient workout since most people can step outside their door at any time and get right to it. Time-saving and cost-effective as it may be, running comes at a different kind of price.
While you can tone your lower body and lose weight with running, it places more stress on your body and joints than cycling. Each heel strike against the ground or treadmill produces a force that is around three to four times your body weight. That’s a lot of pressure for anyone to handle, despite their total weight. This force helps your bones and muscles get stronger, but it could contribute to long-term problems in the process.
It is also worth noting some other risks and aggravating variables of running, such as traffic, stop signs and intersections, and the weather. With an indoor spin class, you can plan your workout despite the weather and get through it smoothly without thinking about any of this.
You might also want to consider what you would need for these workouts to get started and for the long term.
The clothing and accessories you need for running will depend on whether you are outside or on a treadmill. If running outside, the changes in the weather and seasons mean you will need more clothing options at your disposal. But even if you are running inside, it can take countless attempts to find your ideal attire, like items that don’t ride up or fall as you move all your limbs.
Everything from the bikes to the upbeat music is already awaiting you in a spin class. Running may seem like the more cost-effective option at first glance, yet any budget you set for it is always an easy one to break. From sunglasses to waist belts for phones, headphones, smartwatches, and hydration packs – it all adds up.
As far as your reward for consistent weekly runs? You’ll have to buy a new pair of shoes after about a year. Meanwhile, cycling shoes can last up to six years. In other words, you can use them until they become unusable, and not just because they lost some level of support or tread.
The Bottom Line and Benefits
Both running and spin classes have their strength and cardiovascular benefits, strengthening the body as much as they do the heart and lungs. Each can help you not only lower your weight but your blood pressure and risk of diseases. Both are also optimal workouts for your mood and mental health, helping to relieve stress, anxiety, and depression while promoting calm, relaxation, and better sleep.
Achieving these benefits, of course, depends on the energy you put into either one. At Studio Society, we believe that pushing yourself to the max often involves someone else pushing you. Not to mention the cinematic displays, surround sound, and synchronized lighting to keep you going. For these reasons (and more), we believe that spin classes are better than running. We are group fitness people at heart who aren’t afraid to admit that there is strength in numbers – and much more fun!
Take your gym classes to the next level
Studio Society is a fully immersive gym combining sight, sound and smell with innovative classes to bring you the most effective, stimulating and compelling group exercise experience on the market. Offering over 150 gym classes including body pump, HIIT, boxing, yoga and spin you will find harmony between physical exercise and sensory motivation.