Are you looking for a hard, rewarding workout to add to your currently boring fitness regimen? Do you think you would enjoy a class that will push you to burn fat and get into better shape? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you should consider taking a spin class (sometimes also called group cycling).

Spin is one of the hottest group fitness classes currently offered throughout the country, and it is truly challenging. I have taken numerous fitness classes and completed various workouts of differing styles throughout my life, and spin is definitely one of the most enjoyable, challenging, and beneficial programs I have come across.

I know what you're thinking. It's biking, what's so hard about that?

What makes spin different from traditional biking workouts is the fact that spin bikes were designed with intensity in mind. Most bikes allow you to work hard, but whenever you need a break, you can simply stop pedaling and coast for a bit.

Your first spin class will present a shocking surprise - the pedals are completely locked in place. This means that in order to slow down, you need to slow the rate at which you are pedaling. There is no coasting in spin class. This assures that all class participants will be required to pedal hard during the entire 45 minute workout.

Being an avid road biker, I must admit that getting used to this "no-coasting" style of biking was a bit awkward at first; however, once I completed my first class, I was completely used to the different style of pedaling and ready to attend class again soon.

Though locking the pedals in place seems like a minor detail, the extra focus and effort that must be given to the workout is immense, and greatly improves the overall effectiveness of the workout.

Another great aspect of spin bikes is how easy they are to understand and operate. Unlike the numerous cardio machines of today that possess hundreds of buttons and zero instructions, once you have your seat positioned correctly and you strap your feet to the pedals, you only have one dial to adjust during the entire spin workout. Turning the dial to the right will increase total resistance. Turning the dial to the left will decrease total resistance.

The resistance dial allows individuals of all fitness levels to partake in the class, as those who want an easier workout can start with less resistance. Another welcoming factor is that, unlike free weights, only the individual riding the spin bike knows how much resistance they are using during the workout. This eliminates any chance of ridicule or embarrassment for the individual related to the amount of resistance they are using during the workout.

Spin workouts focus a great deal on interval training (alternating high intensity sprints with lower intensity riding). I am not usually a big fan of interval training, but I figured I would give spin class a try anyway. Having others in the class held me accountable for pushing myself and completing the entire workout without cutting any corners.

Another added benefit of this style of training is that interval training helps burn fat more effectively (something that everyone is a fan of). The constant fluctuation of intensity throughout spin class helps rev your metabolism, and you therefore burn more calories both throughout the workout and during the hours that follow it.

These are just a few of the reasons that spin class has grown so rapidly in popularity over the past couple of years. As I mentioned before, if you're looking to burn some calories and increase your overall fitness level while doing so, definitely consider taking a spin class in the near future!