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Spinners Going Nowhere Faster

July 23, 2009 1:15 AM
 | 
Story by Maureen King and video by Paula Burch-Celentano newwave@tulane.edu
  

Spinning classes are one of the most popular activities at the Reily Student Recreation Center, enjoyed by nearly 400 students, faculty, staff and alumni each week. There is seldom an empty bike in the spinning studio.

Missie McGuire, assistant vice president of campus recreation and student centers, says that the single most common request the Reily Center received from its members was for new spinning cycles. The proverbial squeaky wheels came through loud and clear, and thanks to a good turn from the Perkin Fund, the studio now sports 22 top-notch Star Trac Spinner NXT bikes.

"The spinners made it known that the bikes we had weren't in the best condition — they were five years old and had reached and exceeded their life expectancy," McGuire says.

Spinning classes are choreographed and paced to maximize the benefits — and the benefits are many. The exercise is non-impact, intense and fun, and you can burn 600 calories in less than an hour. Water and towels are must-haves, as sweating is a given.



Pumping and jumping to the beat of the music, a class instructor who is part trainer and teacher — and a little bit preacher — leads spinners through their routine. Forty minutes into a workout that is tiring just to watch, popular instructor Joe Coleman laughs as he repeats the refrain: "Keep pushing, keep pushing, you only get stronger."

Spinning is adaptable to any fitness level, as the bikes can be adjusted to control the resistance. And, as Coleman says, "resistance is the key."

Reily Center members who are interested in trying out the new bikes can sign up for a class online.

There's a special introductory class for beginners.

Tulane alumnus Nicholas R. "Nic" Perkin serves on the board of the Perkin Fund, which also has provided funds for projects at the School of Medicine and the School of Science and Engineering.

Maureen King works in the Office of Development at Tulane.