View Full Version : 60 Minute Format???

02-25-2008, 10:43 AM
Can anybody point me in the right direction? At the club where I mainly teach all Spinning classes as 45 minutes which I know is the standard. However, at all other clubs in this area there are a few 1 hour classes each week (even though most are still 45 minutes).

A lot of members have said they would like to see 1 or 2 1 hour classes on the timetable and a slot has come up which would be idea for this. However, the studio & gym manager says he will not agree because of "health and safety isses". I do understand that 1 hour is too long for newcomers and many people will never want a 1 hour class. However, 1 hour classes are so widespread and this particular club sometimes does special events where some ride for 2 hours or more. They don't stop that for "health and safety".

Can anyone direct me to literature (ideally from MDA) which clarifes whether a 1 hour format is acceptible or not. I took a look on Spinning.com but didn't find it there (although I may have missed it).


02-25-2008, 12:03 PM
The original 40-minute Spin class format was based on the ACSM guidelines at the time that stated that 30-min is all that is needed 3-4X a week as the MINIMAL guideline to maintain cardiovascular health (Spinning added 5 min w/u and c/d). [Now I believe ACSM has raised it to 5 days/week, can anyone clarify that?] Repeat: Minimum guidelines. This is so people won't shy away from cardiovascular exercise if they think they HAVE to go for longer, and can't/won't fit it into a very busy schedule. 30-min is better than nothing, and can help maintain a healthy heart, but there is nothing unsafe about a 60-minute format. Reams of reports have been written that longer sessions simply increase the benefits and burn more calories. And if weight loss is a goal...you gotta go longer. If performance is a goal, you gotta go longer (but I don't think that's a problem for performance athletes. As you know, many train too hard, but that's a different subject)_.

Newbies to exercise should start with less, then build up, but they too can manage 60-minutes.

02-25-2008, 12:32 PM
From the ACSM web site:

Basic recommendations from ACSM and AHA:

Do moderately intense cardio 30 minutes a day, five days a week
Do vigorously intense cardio 20 minutes a day, 3 days a week
Do eight to 10 strength-training exercises, eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise twice a week.

Moderate-intensity physical activity means working hard enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat, yet still being able to carry on a conversation. It should be noted that to lose weight or maintain weight loss, 60 to 90 minutes of physical activity may be necessary. The 30-minute recommendation is for the average healthy adult to maintain health and reduce the risk for chronic disease.

Here is a link to the ACSM site with the minimum guidlines.


02-25-2008, 12:34 PM
Where I teach we only do 60 minute classes, based on the following structure:

Warm Up : 10min

Work Out: 40min

Cool Down:10min (inlcudes on and off the bike stretching)

We have also done son 90 minute and 120 minute rides split between aerobic and anerobic sessions.

02-25-2008, 01:42 PM
I know it isn't from MDA, but if you look at Spinervals (based on cycling training), I think the shortest class they have is 45 min, but most are 60+ --- some are 2+ hours. It sounds like the director who thinks more than 45 minutes is too much for health & safety may not exercise themselves? Or maybe they don't cycle? I've never heard of limiting the time, other than when the class gets really long, it's very difficult to do tough intervals for hours on end...

We have a hard time with classes over 45 min because of people's life commitments.

02-25-2008, 02:42 PM
I have taught the 45, 60 min and 75 min classes. I found with the 45 min classes, by the time I had them warmed up, I only had about 22 min of work effort, then it was cooldown/stretch time. With 60 min classes, I have about 37-40 mins of work effort. The regulars in my two classes actually would like to go longer most nights.

The 75 min class can be long for newer riders, but I like it in that I can either offer one long contiguous ride, or break it up into two or three smaller rides (intervals, hills, paceline, etc.)

I heard originally like Funhog said, that spinning was mostly 45 min rides, but I think now that logic is changing, as I have seen the Spinning profiles that they send out every month actually extend to 60 min.


02-25-2008, 02:43 PM
Hello Paul,
if MDA says 45 Minutes and you`re cycling in a MDA conform Studio, cycle 45 Minutes! If you look in the manual you see
- one liter in 40 minutes class
- 40 minutes on the class sheets, all incl. Warmup and Cool Down.

But is it important how long a class is??
2 minutes Warmup
5 minutes Flat Runnings 85% HFmax
15 minutes Hill 85% HFmax
10 minutes Flat 110RPM 80% HFmax
4 minutes Flat 70% HFmax
4 minutes Stretching

Thats a 40 minutes class!
Maybe same class 55 minutes long, only the Warmup and Cool Down Phase is longer!

8 minutes Warmup
5 minutes Flat Runnings 85% HFmax
15 minutes Hill 85% HFmax
10 minutes Flat 110RPM 80% HFmax
6 minutes Flat 70% HFmax
4 minutes Cool Down
5 minutes Stretching

First look what is inside your class and then dicuss about how long!

I need 25-30 minutes to be warm and and ready for 100% achievement, so in a 40 minutes class i have to cool down, after be ready for 100% :confused:

My classes are 50, 60, 75, 90 and 120 minutes long and i love the 75 minutes classes!!
You have enough time do increase strength and respiration and itīs not too long to be boringly.

Jennifer told." Newbies to exercise should start with less, then build up, but they too can manage 60-minutes."

I see it the same and i do it the same! There`s no cause of impediment
to stay one hour on the bike, if you are not ill, enough water in your bottle and two eyes on her HFmax!

Most Events i know are 8h up to 24h, 55 minutes classes and 5 minutes between every class. I think everyone take a big focus to cycle healthy and safety!
Only my two cents

02-29-2008, 11:39 AM
Thank you to all of you guys for your sound words. The logic is there in everything you say and I have tried most of these arguments (although you have also come up with some news ones which I will try). His line seems to be "MDA say 40 minutes so it's 40 minutes".

I'm gonna keep trying tho :)

02-29-2008, 12:51 PM
How about coming from a point of view that the longer classes might attract outdoor riders who want to train indoors? I teach RPM and freestlye classes. My freestyle tends to be 50-55 minutes-so I can leave enough time for the next intructor to set up-if there's one after me. I agree with the minimal requirements and that most people don't want a longer format,BUT the longer classes attract the outdoor riders. It's ridiculous to limit class length using the broad paint brush of "health and safety". I'm an outdoor rider ramping up for the Spring season and I'd never make my first 50 miler if I quit at 45 minutes. Time in the saddle is precious time spent towards those longer races-and it just can't be done in 45 minute increments. If anything trying to train for a century in 45 minute classes is not safe. I do understand that most members aren't training for endurance rides but what if you manager tried the longer format and packed the room?? And most members can do 60 minutes. Heck I'll be 50 in a month and 60 minutes is a short training ride for me!! When I started teaching my members got used to the longer time very quickly. You could format the class to have longer cool down and stretch and slowly replace those added minutes with work minutes. The change could be gradual and the members probably wouldn't notice.

02-29-2008, 03:49 PM
At our gym all classes are 45 minutes, but the instructors come in 15 minutes early to set up. Riders then can come in early and ride. (They usually want to be there to make sure they get a bike.) We have a few classes that are back to back. The outside riders love these classes and usually stay for both. Hope this helps. Pat

02-29-2008, 06:13 PM
Thank you to all of you guys for your sound words. The logic is there in everything you say and I have tried most of these arguments (although you have also come up with some news ones which I will try). His line seems to be "MDA say 40 minutes so it's 40 minutes".

I'm gonna keep trying tho :)

MDA no longer enforces a 40-min format. It's still in a lot of the materials, especially the older ones, but any newer information, either in newsletters, WSSC, workshops, etc, your class length can be your choice. It's just that 40-45 minutes works well in many areas - especially downtown, metropolitan areas or early morning classes for people rushing off to work or working out at lunchtime.

02-29-2008, 10:53 PM
I think you have enough arguments for the health reason behind a longer classes. All of my initial 45 minute classes have moved to an hour long class. The reason is simple - the members want it. Provide the group director with some data, perhaps a signed petition - group exercise classes are an important part of their membership fees but often hard to track. I teach 3 lunch classes a week and there are always a couple folks that need to shower and get back to work. Accommodate those folks as well by reminding them to back off and stretch at the 40 minute mark or so.

I have one class longer then an hour, 90 minutes. It has been the biggest success both personally and professionally for me. I decided back in the fall to make my Sat AM class longer since I knew it would attract a lot of outdoor bikers during the colder months. I had to convince the director to do this and I really only had sign-on from about 10 people. I can't tell you how happy I am now that I took this risk. The class is packed. I am now mountain biking with a team of women that I have met (most from this class). Sometimes we bike outside with a group of guys from the class and sometimes we do a mellower ride with my son (who is 7) and his friends (they stink at the climbing but can motor down any hill and over any jump…just like skiing). We are going to do our 1st 12 hour relay in a couple months. I now own $500 worth of lights for night riding. Nuts.

03-18-2008, 11:25 AM
Well thank you all again for your input on this. Since the last time I posted I have spoken to the Studio Manager again and I think I there is more to this than I had thought......

His real concern is that a 60 minute class will be TOO popular. Right now they run about 10 Spinning classes per week with 18 bikes and most are full. There is a booking system and the ones at the busiest times always have about 10 people on a wait list with people disappointed they cant get into their classes.

Adding many more classes to the schedule is very challenging because it's not a dedicated spin studio and hence in great demand for other classes at the times members would want to come. Adding more bikes is also a problem as there is not enough storage space (and the cost of course but I think that is less of a problem).

His fear is that if a 60-minute format was very popular with the members there would then be pressure to extend some of the existing classes to 60-minutes. This wouldn't be possible without taking other (non-Spin) classes off the timetable which he believes would bias the timetable too heavily towards spinning.

Apparently there is a plan to build a dedicated spin studio but that's at least 2 years away.......

I wish he'd told me all this in the first place, rather than citing "Health and Safety".........

03-18-2008, 02:24 PM
One of the non-technical reasons why the original Spinning class was 40 minutes is because when it started, clubs "shared" the spinning area with other regular group fitness classes... which meant...

- Move bikes from the perimeter of the room
- get everyone set up
- teach class
- Move bikes back to the perimeter for the next "aerobics" class to start...

(I'm dating myself, I remember those days...)

it took about 20 minutes to move the bikes back and forth... today, most facilities have their own separate cycling room and bikes no longer need to be moved, hence, we can have longer classes.

Hope that adds to your list of reasons why it is ok to have 60 mins or longer classes in the schedule.