History of Spinning: From Johnny G to the Present

These days, a lot of health buffs are either spinning in their homes or active participants in different spinning classes located in different states and even around the world. In spinning classes, for example, it is already common to get your adrenaline pumping as you spin amidst a blaring energetic music while the instructor prods you to spin some more. For some, a spin class a week is not enough, that they got to reserve two to three more classes just to quench their thirst for this workout. Spinning really have gotten a long way since its first conception.

Do you know how spinning came about? Do you know who invented this amazing workout? Probably some of you who are active in this workout have no idea how it came about. Who are the pioneers in this kind of fitness workout? How long really has this workout been here and been enjoyed by lots of health buffs? What are the new developments in this workout craze?

This article will answer these questions one by one and by the time you are through reading, your spinning workout will never be the same – what with all the background information you have about this great workout.

Johnny G During the 80’s

Some of you probably would not think that spinning came from one person – Johnny Goldberg or Johnny G to most people. Spinning could not be what it is today without him that is why he is considered to be the father of Spinning. He was an immigrant from South Africa who happened to work as a professional personal trainer in a California gym.

It is during this opportunity to live in United States when Johnny G came to actively participate in different endurance cycling. He was also competing in marathons around the country. It was during the period when he could not train when he thought of a way to continue cycling when the weather would not permit it. He thought that he should develop something that could mimic the cycling experience when spinning indoors. The contraption should emulate the hill climb, rolling hills and flat road experience.

Thanks to this contraption, which later on called indoor or stationary bike, Johnny G was able to set a world record of riding a bike for more than a day without a break – this record still stands up to the present.

First Spinning Center

Due to the success Johnny G due on his personal indoor bike, there came a huge demand for a workout to train cyclists and health conscious people. Johnny G then opened the first spinning center in California. In these spinning classes, cyclists were taught how to ride in groups.

Unlike, spinning that you see today, spinning classes during those days incorporate many aspects that can make you a total athlete. Johnny G’s spinning classes usually incorporate motivational coaching, urging each spinner to try to attain their full potential, both in body and mind. More than this, breathing awareness was also taught so each participant could last several hours cycling.

Madd Dogg Athletics and Spinning Programs

In 1992 Johnny G also made a business partnership with John Baudhuin, an accountant and avid cyclist during weekends, to form the Mad Dogg Athletics. Their main goal was to design and create an indoor bike that had similarity with real outdoor cycling bikes. They were able to manufactured more than a hundred of these stationary or indoor bikes in three years time. These bikes have been put and placed in different spinning centers.

Yet, the two knew they were not good manufacturers of indoor bikes that they decided that they should make a partnership with real bike builders. During those times, no company showed interest with their idea. But, in 1994, they were able to make a deal with a Colorado-based company named Schwinn. This date, Schwinn is able to sell almost 2,000 Spinner bikes a month.

As much that the two was interested in manufacturing indoor bikes, what Johnny G came to concentrate was the spinning program which he focused developing for more than ten years. In 1995, his company began giving instructor certification for those who want to teach the same program he had been developing.

Spinning the Most Interesting Exercise circa 1993

During the time when Johnny G and John Bauhuin were struggling to be successful in their company and had been busy giving certifications on new instructors for their cycling programs, Rolling Stone magazine tagged Spinning the “Best Exercise” in 1993. This was a turning point as when the news broke out, a lot of people came to have an interest with Spinning Bikes as many wanted to try this new workout.

Spinning Became Popular and Even Became Virtual

These days, no gym is complete without stationary bikes or spin bikes to complete their fitness offerings. More than this, spin class have been popping up in different places that it seems everybody is into this workout. The spinning classes then that was more of a motivational coaching and breathing training, have been replaced with loud blaring of music that urge participants to spin as they mimic cycling through hill climb, rolling hills and flat roads.

There are even spinning classes these days when virtual reality is incorporated. Just recently, a start-up company in New York introduced group spin biking wherein their progress during the workout can be seen in wide screen wherein participants are represented by avatars.


Spinning have come a long way since it was developed during the 80’s. During those times, Johnny Goldberg was only interested in having a means by which he could train cycling when the weather would not permit it. His passion for cycling then has brought about the birth of a new workout called spinning. These days, no gym is complete without these stationary bikes. Spin classes have also sprouted everywhere that it seems everybody gets fit because of spinning. This workout has really come a long way.

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