The Beginnings of the Spinning Craze

A South African endurance bicycle racer, Johnny Goldberg invented Spinning® in the mid-1980’s.  Subsequently, the discipline gained mass popularity and has since become a true science and sometimes an art. 


Johnny Goldberg was hit by a car while training for a cross-country race at night. There had to be a better way – and indeed there was. Johnny G. (as he is affectionately known) tapped into his innate creativity and his love for innovation by hand-making a stationary bicycle that could be robust enough to simulate the rigors of riding on the road, while also allowing him to be at home.  In 1992, Goldberg and his partner John Baudhuin began manufacturing the first Spinner® bikes, and the first Spinning programme was officially offered at Crunch Gyms in New York in 1993.

“This bike would become an essential tool for developing the bio-mechanical infrastructure and cardiovascular endurance essential for an ultra-distance cyclist: allowing the rider to sit and stand for long periods of time.” (

He didn’t stop there. Riding the wave of Spinning success, Johnny also developed a new athletic training program called “Kranking” especially for training the upper body. “Krankcycles” are stationary arm bikes, basically, with just a seat, a suspended front wheel, and hand-pedals where handlebars normally go.


Why spinning gained so much popularity is easy to assume. By cycling indoors one is unaffected by weather conditions, safety concerns and most importantly, excuses. 

What is spinning?

Spinning is a low impact, high-intensity sport that keeps you in shape without damaging your joints, as much as other high impact activities, such as running. It is ideal for shedding those extra kilos and building a lean and athletic physique.

spinning stages

Spinning vs. regular cycling

Focusing on your core and lower body, spinning differs from traditional road cycling for many reasons:

  • It is an ultra-fast, stress-free workout.
  • A Spinning bike is locked in a vertical plane, so by nature, there isn’t a lot of side-to-side movement, which means that spinning requires less coordination and balance compared with outdoor cycling.
  • If you’re looking for a ‘quick and dirty’ workout, there are few that hit the same caloric burn rate as a sweaty spin class: on average 400 to 600 calories per hour.
  • Riding outdoors, you could burn as few as 100 calories per hour if you’re just cruising at a snail’s pace, or more than 600 if you’re really throwing down.
  • Can’t quite get into meditating? Try a moving meditation instead – in a spinning class you can close your eyes and follow the instructor’s voice.
  • It’s a great environment to develop friendships with like-minded individuals.
  • Riding 20 km on a Spinning bike differs greatly to riding 20 km on the road, simply because of the type of resistance and pace offered by the two types of bicycles.

VSL HB spinning

Both outdoor cycling and spinning have incredible health benefits and the choice between one or the other will largely depend on your lifestyle. In a place like Hout Bay, Cape Town, cycling outdoors can be tempting- ocean tinted views along fynbos mountains can be alluring for most. However, if you have limited time to spend and you don’t want to worry about cars or other safety hazards, a Spin class with inspiring 180-degree views of the Hout Bay beach may just be the ideal choice for you.

Velocity Sports Lab in Houtbay offers daily classes, that will blow your mind, and shape your body at the same time.

From the welcoming environment and breathtaking views of the ocean to the great music carefully selected by experienced trainers, Spinning is full body workout for people of all ages. Whether, you are beginner, intermediate or an advanced spinner, you are welcomed with open arms and encouraged throughout the class.

It’s what you could call a ‘maximum experience” and we know you’ll absolutely love it.