Get fit for Michaelmas: the OxStu guide to fitness classes

OK, so summer’s over. Out go the barbecues, the lazing in the garden, and the general sun-induced overindulgence. For those of you regretting one too many visits to Nando’s, OxStu gives you the ultimate fitness guide on how to get fit for Michaelmas, meaning that you’ll never be left behind, whether it be on the sports field or on the dancefloor.




Right, so you’re probably wondering why you would pay £4 for a spin class when you can ride your bike outside for free. The truth is that this is nothing like real cycling – tt’s way harder.  Good instructors will vary their routine each week and alternate between sprints, slow climbs, endurance training and co-ordinating arm movements.


  • Spinning is great if you’re busy or easily bored because most sessions run for 45 minutes rather than an hour.
  • The short sharp sprints in spinning burn calories much more effectively than prolonged periods of low intensity exercise. An average session burns around 400 calories (but if you’re anything like me you’ll lose about 10 pounds worth of sweat, so either way you’re winning.)


  • Obviously I can’t speak for all establishments, but the cycle studio at my gym is a hellish place where sweat hangs in the air and drips down the handlebars. All you can do is hope that the previous user of your bike gives it a thorough wipe down and doesn’t leave a puddle of perspiration on the floor.
  • If you have a sensitive posterior, constantly getting up and down in the saddle can really take its toll. Best advice is to wear padded cycling shorts; otherwise you’re in for a rough ride!


Morning After Burn Factor: 3/10 – Muscle aches are rarely a problem after spinning since it’s mostly cardio, which means you can get right back on the horse… or bike.

Classes in Oxford: Oxford University Sport offer spinning classes from Monday to Thursday every week:


Tomorrow: Circuit Training