The Structure of a Spinning Class

Updated April 17, 2017

Spinning classes are group workouts, during which the participants ride indoor exercise bicycles at changing levels of intensity. Depending on the instructor, the structure of classes will vary. Most follow a similar 40 to 50 minute schedule.

Warm Up

Before beginning more intense intervals, warm ups give the muscles a chance to wake up and become prepared for the harder work ahead. Warm ups typically last about 15 minutes, with the intensity increasing steadily. This is a good time for the cyclist to be sure that the bicycle seat is adjusted comfortably and address any issues.


Intervals are the period of the spinning class in which cyclists exert the most effort. These intervals vary greatly but typically involve bursts of intensity followed by longer cool-off times. For instance, a cyclist might pedal hard for 40 seconds, followed by 20 slower seconds and then five minutes of a relaxed pace. Intervals can include sprints, seated climbs, standing runs or other variations. Intervals often last 20 to 30 minutes.

Cool Down

Cool downs allow the cyclist to ease out the harder work and prepare to end the spinning class. Cool downs are often short, at about five minutes.

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Sally Murphy began writing professionally in 2000. She has worked as a writing instructor and written for various organizations and publications on topics ranging from history to hairstyles to television shows. Murphy graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English and also holds a Master of Fine Arts in writing.