Can’t Drop the Pounds? Why Spin Class and Other Exercises Aren’t as Effective as You Think

No matter what you do, or how dedicated you are, the pounds just won’t fall off. What gives? This isn’t a sign that exercise doesn’t work — you just aren’t burning as many calories as you think.

Part of the problem is that people aren’t educated enough in the exercises they are doing, thus not losing weight as quickly as desired. It is a common error, Alex Carneiro tells “Fat loss might be the most common fitness goal,” he said, “but it’s definitely no easy task to achieve.” And that has a lot to do with us not working off as much fat in our favorite workouts as expected.

So what are these seemingly fabulous workout staples that are causing such a problem?

 1. Spin class

People enjoying spin class

People enjoying spin class This fun class works up a sweat, but it isn’t burning as many calories as you think. | Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

OK, before you ditch this story altogether — yes, spinning helps you work up a sweat and burn calories. Not to mention, it helps to tone your legs and give your heart a good workout. But Today explains just doing straight cardio won’t work. Michael Mantell, senior fitness consultant for behavioral sciences for the American Council on Exercise, elaborated, “People do cardio as a main way that they’re trying to lose weight, and the problem with this is 60% of the weight they lose is fat, and 40% is muscle.” He also added, “And we don’t want to lose lean muscle, because lean muscle burns more calories per pound, per day, than fat does.”

All that spinning also makes you hungry. Being that you aren’t burning as many calories as you thought, powering down beers after class is pretty counterproductive. This doesn’t mean you should ditch spin class, though! Just make sure it’s not your only source of exercise.

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