Spinning makes you fat.. and other “facts”

hbz-september-2013-is-spinning-making-you-fat-quilt-lgRupl-bikeThe other day a friend’s Facebook page blew up when she posted a article from this month’s Harper Bazaar entitled ‘Is Spinning Making you Fat?” (with the accompanying photo on the left)

Now ignoring the fact that posted directly underneath this article is one entitled, “Is your cellphone making you fat?” (apparently HB considers all activities and products potentially responsible for that slight curve around your hip area (otherwise known as “your hips”)).. well lets dive in shall we.

After all, I’m a  spinner and a cyclist. I’d love to know how my burning 550 cals per hour is pushing me toward obesity.

But before we get to the meat of the article (sorry, low carb, low fat, organic, macrobiotic meat substitute.. this is after all, Gwinnies mag of choice), lets first consider the article photo.

I’ve been riding a bike since I was about 5  years old (yes I count the stabilizer years), and I can’t say I’ve ever ridden a bike in this manner. One may question whether the lady is in fact a good illustration for the article as she’s a) clearly not fat, b) she’s facing backwards so clearly hasn’t ridden or even seen a bike being ridden before,  c) is wearing 5 inch heels (probably a bit of a hinderance when climbing those inclines even if she was facing the right way) and d), appears to be riding a padded bike rather than wearing padded shorts. I’m going to skip right past the denim jacket and over application of oil to her legs and come out and say it. Chick isn’t a cyclist at ALL. In fact, chick is clearly deranged (and heading for a very fast accident if she insists on riding backwards). Which is weird because those two words -“deranged” and “cyclist” – typically tend to go hand in hand.

But on to the actual article.

While the author doesn’t discount the fact that a spin class can in fact burn 400-500 cals (apparently she’s not only of questionable intelligence, the chick appears to be somewhat lazy.. 550 MINIMUM lady), she goes on to the horror of the outcome ” Spinning can make your butt and quads bigger”


In fact, she quotes some professor from Appalachian State University (no.. really), “Some cyclists get really big thighs”.

Wow. That university is on the cutting EDGE of research. Next up.. “Air… its so… breathable”

Now I’ll agree that some of my favorite riders have thighs I could gladly lose my life between.. (Tom Boonen comes to mind), but these guys ride 200-300 miles a WEEK. Often more.  A 60 minute spin class is hardly going to give me the glutes of Tor Hushovd (Google them.. they’re magnificant),

Sure.. I’d expect a firmed up butt and potentially a little less jiggle in my thighs as a result of riding, but isn’t that the point?

No says Harpers. Quoting Julie* (named changed to protect her from sane people who ride bicycles)  a 30-year-old publicist, who was forced to quit spinning when she noticed “my butt felt and looked padded and my legs felt heavy”

Yes dhaling. We call that muscle. And that heaviness? Lactic acid build up. It goes away. Take a valium.

But not for Julie. Scampering quickly away from her ‘heavy’ legs, Julie “gave up all exercise for a month to let the muscles atrophy”. I guess now she’s a limp and mushy size 0 but at least she’s happy. Mentally questionable.. but thin.

Even instructors need to beware according to HB, as Erica* (named changed because she sounds like an idiot), a 49-year-old indoor-cycling instructor gave up teaching eight classes a week after she noticed that her jeans were getting “really tight, uncomfortable in the butt and thighs’. Yes Erica. Teaching cycling for 8 hours a week would give you some muscles… didn’t that occur to you AS.A.PROFESSIONAL.INSTRUCTOR???

Apparently not.

(Next week: Ballet dancer complains about sore toes)

Harpers Bazaar really did find some smart people for this article.

Though they do , finally, consider the role of diet in the apparently fattening of the nation through spinning… after all “Cycling makes most people extremely hungry”

(omitting the obvious and yet simple fact that all exercise makes people extremely hungry. Its called ‘burning calories’).

Yes. Cycling can cause you to eat more.

Stop the clocks people. Game over. Exercise makes you eat MORE??? What kind of insanity is this??

Their recommendation. Stop cycling. After all who wants firm muscled thighs and a butt you can bounch a walnut off? Who wants to fill out their jeans and hold up their panties? Who wants to get strong, build up their cardiovascular system and get that endorphin rush when you hit your VO2 max? Who wants to discover new places, new roads, new mountain and vistas you’d never see if you were sitting in a car? Who wants to overtake a weekend warrior on a $7000 bike and mentally punch the air?

Not me. I’ll be sitting on the sofa waiting for my hunger to dissappear, my body to atrophy and my ‘lean’ look to return.

Hang on though.. isn’t that sort of the definition of ….well…dying?

Ah.. the things we do for fashion.





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