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Calories Burned With Spinning

Spinning is a popular way to get in some extra movement. A common question is how many calories are burned with spinning.

Spinning, also known as indoor cycling, is using a specific type of exercise bike with a flywheel and bent-over position. This intense activity can help you burn a nice amount of calories.

The average person can expect to burn around 251 – 432+ calories per 30 minutes of spin class. This number will vary from individual to individual due to a variety of factors.

For example, a 125-pound (56 kg) individual will burn around 251 calories during 30 minutes of spin class. On the other hand, a 215-pound (97 kg) individual will burn around 432 calories during 30 minutes of spin class.

Add to this the adjustable resistance settings of the spin bikes and that some people push themselves harder than others and it becomes clear that the exact numbers will vary a lot.

This article will also show you a more detailed chart that takes multiple factors into account, calories burned with different spinning intensities, how to burn more calories during spin class, and more.

Biggest influences on calories burned

A fact that many people find annoying is that the number of calories you burn while doing something like spinning is hard to predict and measure correctly.

This fact can make things like weight loss feel like a guessing game when you are trying to balance these numbers with the calories in food.

Even so, good estimations for the number of calories burned with spinning can be a helpful starting point. By taking a few important factors into account you can make your estimations more accurate.

Some of the biggest factors that influence how many calories you burn with spinning include:

  • Weight: To move around your body needs energy, measured in calories. The more you weigh, the more energy your body needs to fuel its movements.
  • Body composition: Body composition is how much of your body weight is made up of different tissue. Two people can weigh the same but for one individual most of the weight can come from fat while the second individual has a lot of muscle. The reason that is important is that the same weight of muscle requires more energy than that weight in fat.
  • Intensity: If you’re looking at calories burned per minute of spinning this can vary a lot by moving your body at a fast vs slow speed. The difference in calories burned between some light pedaling and giving everything you have will vary a lot.
  • Resistance setting: Most spin bikes have at least a few different resistance settings. These can make it so you have to pedal harder which in turn allows you to burn more calories.

Hidden calorie burning from spinning

There are many other aspects that make it even harder to put how many calories you burn by spinning into an exact number. This includes the fact that the calorie-burning effects of spinning are not limited to during the workout.

As mentioned, how much you weigh plays a relatively big role in how many calories you burn. This doesn’t just apply to your workout, this is also the case during everyday activities.

Some people also build or preserve some muscle mass by spinning, especially at higher resistances. This amount of muscle mass will definitely not be as much as something like weight lifting but it does help you burn more calories day in, day out.

It is however extremely hard to put this amount into a number since this muscle mass will be so different from person to person. Individuals more experienced with resistance training will likely not build any muscle by spinning.

Next, doing an activity at high intensities can also cause something called “afterburn”. This is basically having an increased metabolism for a while after you stop doing the exercise.

Lastly, by moving more you influence the levels of certain hormones that in turn can benefit your metabolism.

Estimations for calories burned from spinning usually don’t take these effects into account.

Estimations calories burned with spinning

The centers for disease control and prevention simplifies the number of calories burned by spinning into between 3.5-7 calories per minute for a moderate effort pace and more than 7 calories per minute for spinning at a vigorous pace (1).

In reality, there are tools to make more precise estimations. To calculate calories burned during certain exercises more specifically you can use a formula with MET values.

A MET value is an exercise-specific value to indicate how intense a specific type of workout is. This number represents how many times more intense the activity is compared to sitting still.

You can use this in the following formula: METs x 3.5 x (your body weight in kilograms) / 200 = calories burned per minute

Estimations for METs while spinning depend a lot on intensity and vary from 3.5 at very light to light effort stationary cycling with 30-50 watts resistance to 14 at very vigorous effort stationary cycling with 201-270 watts resistance (2).

You can look at the number of calories burned by spinning from different perspectives. The first table will show the calories burned with the MET estimation of a spin bike class (8.5) for different weights and time intervals.

After that, you can find charts comparing the number of calories burned for different effort levels and how spinning compares to running.

Again keep in mind that these are estimations. This formula doesn’t take into account certain important factors that do influence the number of calories burned with indoor cycling.

To put these estimations into perspective, 100 grams of boiled potatoes contains about 87 calories (3).

Calories burned with spinning

One of the most convenient ways to see how many calories you burned while spinning is by looking at how much time you spent doing it.

These estimations are for the number of calories burned during an RPM/spin bike class.

Time
Weight Person
1 Minute15 Minutes30 Minutes45 Minutes60 Minutes
125 Pounds (56 kg)8 calories126 calories251 calories377 calories502 calories
155 Pounds (70 kg)10 calories156 calories311 calories467 calories623 calories
185 Pounds (83 kg)12 calories186 calories372 calories557 calories743 calories
215 Pounds (97 kg)14 calories216 calories432 calories648 calories863 calories
Chart of calories burned with RPM/spin bike class

Calories burned with spinning intensities

Next, there is the chart for calories burned while spinning at different intensities. These numbers represent keeping up the movement levels for 30 minutes.

Weight Person
Spinning Resistance
& Intensity
155 Pounds (70 kg)185 Pounds (83 kg)215 Pounds (97 kg)
30-50 watts, very light
to light effort
128 calories153 calories178 calories
51-89 watts, light
to moderate effort
176 calories210 calories244 calories
90-100 watts, moderate
to vigorous effort
249 calories297 calories345 calories
RPM/spin bike class311 calories372 calories432 calories
101-160 watts,
vigorous effort
322 calories385 calories447 calories
161-200 watts,
vigorous effort
403 calories481 calories559 calories
201-270 watts,
very vigorous effort
513 calories612 calories711 calories
Chart of calories burned per 30 minutes for spinning intensities

Calories burned spinning vs running

Lastly, spinning is not the only workout out here. Another popular option is running, inside on a treadmill or outside in the sunshine. The numbers in the table below are again for 30 minutes.

Exercise Type
Weight Person
RPM/spin bike classRunning
(5 mph/8.1 kmh)
Running
(6 mph/9.7 kmh)
125 Pounds (56 kg)251 calories295 calories340 calories
155 Pounds (70 kg)311 calories366 calories421 calories
185 Pounds (83 kg)372 calories437 calories503 calories
215 Pounds (97 kg)432 calories508 calories584 calories
Chart of calories burned spinning vs running

How to burn more calories in spin class

The number of calories burned with spinning is certainly not something set in stone. There are a few ways you can increase this amount per time interval.

The challenge for most people is fitting in activities in their busy schedules. They want to burn as many calories in the least amount of time, which means burning more calories per minute of spinning.

If you do have more time, spending more time spinning will generally burn more calories although at some point overtraining may cause the reverse.

A more obvious way to burn more calories while spinning is doing this activity at higher intensities. At some intensity point, you also get the added afterburn effect.

The second way to burn more calories with spinning is by increasing the resistance setting of the indoor cycling bike.

Lastly, you can also build extra muscle mass with resistance training. This will increase your body weight in a healthy way and in turn, help you burn more calories in spin class.

Can you lose weight from spinning?

One pound of body fat is about 3500 calories (one kg +-8000 calories). How long it takes to see weight loss results from spinning will also depend on the number of calories in your diet.

One person might eat more than the other. This might make it so they need to exercise longer or more intensely to see the same weight loss results. You can even lose weight without exercising so there are many factors that influence it.

15 minutes of spinning a day could help you burn an extra 1560 calories in 10 days which is about 0.45 pounds of body fat. 30 days 4680 calories (= +- 1.34 pounds of body fat) and so on…

Keep in mind that losing weight too fast can be suboptimal. In general, a 500 calorie deficit per day is considered to be a healthy weight loss rate.

Muscles worked by spinning

Spinning classes mainly work muscles like your glutes, quadriceps, calves, hamstrings, and lower back.

If you are relatively inexperienced when it comes to resistance training, indoor cycling could help you grow and strengthen these muscles a tiny amount. Especially if turn up the resistance setting.

For individuals more experienced with resistance training, spinning is likely not enough to build a lot of muscle mass.

Both groups of people generally benefit from giving their bodies enough nutrients, rest, and sleep to repair and grow their muscles after a spinning class.

Should you do spin class to burn calories?

As you can see, spinning is a good workout that can burn a lot of calories. There are a few exercises like running at high speeds that are even more effective but spinning is generally one of the top options for burning calories.

If calorie burning is your main goal, implementing some exercises in your schedule specifically for building muscle can be helpful.

The extra muscle mass will help you burn more calories day in, day out, including during your spin classes/sessions.

Also keep in mind that the things you eat stay important no matter what movement routine you’re following. It’s hard to out-exercise a bad diet.

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Matt Claes

Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.

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