Let's kick off today with (to use my learned Northern)...
'a RIGHT POPER RANT'.
I. Just. Uh....ARGH I'm so angry!!
The other day, one of my team told me about 'hot spinning'
Spinning in a fucking sauna.
So much of this program is wrong that we really need to educate people about the dangers.
Here's the deal:
Even though I AM angry about this, I'll make my case using facts, research and PROOF.
So this may seem heavier going than normal, but stick with it, the concepts are very simple.
Looking at a hot spinning class website we can see that the proposed benefits are:
> elevated body temperature
> increased workout intensification
> higher detoxification
> increased fat burning
My argument against these benefits are:
> heat impairs performance
> workouts will suffer a DROP in intensity (AKA the exact opposite of what they are selling)
> people deal with heat at different rates
> inefficient fat burning due to above drop in workout intensity
I'm looking forward to this!
Here we go:
HEAT IS A GOOD THING FOR SURE
According to Periard et al., 2015, once the body has adapted to heat the body benefits from:
> improved sweating
> improved skin blood flow
> lowered body temperatures
...and reduced cardiovascular strain, to name a few.
Basically this means you can stay cool and alive whilst exercising in the heat.
You can get benefits when exercising/competing at your regular temperature/climate too.
Kind of like altitude training, if that makes more sense.
BUT - HEAT CAUSES ABSOLUTE EXHAUSTION
But Nielsen et al., (1993....old reference I know), discovered that heat adaptations are great, but the critical factor that stops a human performing is... HEAT.
Same study showed that adapting to heat means you can exercise longer in the heat before exhaustion.
But sweating your arse off is STILL the thing that stops you.
Let me put this another way with a study from Nybo et al., (2014) who looked at a bunch of studies from the past, and concluded that:
"performance is markedly deteriorated and exercise-induced hyperthermia is associated with central fatigue."
TRANSLATION: You will exercise LESS intensely in the heat and you get absolutely fucking knackered BECAUSE of the heat AND heat is the ONE critical factor that causes you to reach exhaustion.
PEOPLE WITH DIFFERING BODY FAT LEVELS FATIGUE AT DIFFERENT RATES
Dervis et al., (2016), suggested that people with different levels of body fat will NOT deal with heat in the same way.
I might sweat loads and deal with the heat, so I may finish the hot spinning class.
You might not sweat as well, be 30lbs overweight, experience a massive increase in body temperature and hit exhaustion.
That's exhaustion BEFORE your body has achieved anything worthwhile in the gym. Sweaty for nothing, in other words.
FAT LOSS BECOMES LESS EFFICIENT
If we completely forget that nutrition is the best way to lose body fat, pretending that exercise intensity is everything.
Then exercising in the heat, which drops your workout intensity, and quickens time to fatigue, means a drop in fat burning.
We don't need a reference for that!
Their claims are total bollocks. After just 30 minutes of looking at the research, it's clear that workout intensity drops.
Seeing as the proposed benefit of 'hot spin' is INCREASED workout intensity and better fat loss.
Well, I think they're lying to us guys.
The danger of heat exhaustion is also massive.
With a large group workout you can't account for differing body fat levels and abilities to cope with heat.
It makes sense to adapt to heat though.
But just sit in a sauna a few times per week, or go on holiday for 2 weeks to somewhere hot.
Allow your body to adapt to heat, to sweat, to put a greater demand on the system...
....then go train HARD at a regular temperature.
Don't try to do both at once.
FINAL THOUGHT: SOME PEOPLE COULD BENEFIT
People who are exposed to heat and must perform well could benefit from hot spinning...
> firefighters (could be a matter of life & death, worth looking into)
> athletes competing in hot countries
....and that's about it.
My advice is to take 'hot spin' claims with a pinch of salt.
Truthfully, the idea is based on good science.
But twisted WAY out of hand.
REFERENCES (for you cynical bastards)
Dervis, S., Coombs, G.B., Chaseling, G.K., Filingeri, D., Smoljanic, J., Jay, O. (2016). A comparison of thermoregulatory responses to exercise between mass-matched groups with large differences in body fat. Journal of Applied Physiology. 120, 6, 615-623.
Nielsen, B., Hales, J.R., Strange, S., Christensen, N.J., Warberg, J., Saltin, B. (1993). Human circulatory and thermoregulatory adaptations with heat acclimation and exercise in a hot, dry environment. Journal of Physiology. Jan; 460: 467-485.
Nybol, L., Rasmussen, P., Sawka, M.N. (2014). Performance in the Heat Physiological Factors of Importance for Hyperthermia-Induced Fatigue. Compr Physiol. 4, 657-689.
Périard, J.D., Racinais, S., Sawka, M.N. (2015). Adaptations and mechanisms of human heat acclimation: Applications for competitive athletes and sports. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports. 25, 20-38.