Is Turn and Burn™ the same as Spin?

Is Turn and Burn the same as Spin?

One in seven people in the UK now have gym membership, which makes the fitness market as competitive as it’s even been. Boutique gyms have exploded onto the fitness scene over the past few years, showcasing their immaculately-designed interiors, snazzy lighting and fluffy towels, while offering everything from hot yoga to under-water cycling.

Spin Cycling

Spin is one of the stalwart originals, created in the mid-80s by endurance bicycle racer Johnny Goldberg after he was knocked off his bike one evening while training for a race. It has evolved to become a HIIT (high intensity interval training) class where participants ride stationary fixed-gear bikes with variable resistance. The instructor, who is usually located at the front of the group, elevated on a platform or stage, leads the class through a series of progressive stages, often accompanied by high-tempo dance music and a light display more akin to a night-club than a gym. Spin is predominantly a cardiovascular workout, designed to improve your aerobic fitness, stamina and burn calories. Group sizes can vary greatly, in 2015 Sydney Harbour set a Guinness World Record for the world’s biggest spin class with 270 participants.

Turn & Burn™

Turn & Burn™ is a high energy workout which combines cardio and resistance training. Every 45min class includes 20mins on the bikes and 20mins on the “floor” doing instructor-led exercises at your own fully-equipped station, using weights, bands, medicine balls, kettlebells or just bodyweight. The instructor moves around the studio throughout, encouraging the class and giving individual coaching tips. Max class size: 12. The format varies too, from a “Ricochet” session where you’ll swap from bikes to floor every 5mins to “Double Trouble” where you change every 10mins and “Twenty Twenty” which is a straight 20mins on each. The focus of the training varies with focus on the Lower Body, Upper Body or Whole Body, depending on the day.

Summary of Similarities

Both Spin and Turn & Burn™ are high-energy, instructor-led workout classes. Both involve stationary exercise bikes and are accompanied by dance music. Both are effective at developing cardiovascular fitness and stamina.


Spin is predominantly a cardio-vascular workout while Turn & Burn™ combines cardio and resistance training. The bikes are completely different: those used for Spin closely resemble the geometry and body position of road cycling, while Turn & Burn™ bikes are more upright with handles that move backwards and forwards to work the upper body. Spin is better at developing cycling-specific fitness while Turn & Burn™ is better for whole-body conditioning, strength and fat-loss due to the addition of resistance training.

Info Spin Turn & Burn™
Type of bikes Spin bikes (more like a road bicycle) Air bikes (upright, with handles)
Intensity level High intensity High intensity
Body part focus Lower body Whole body
Training type Cardio Cardio AND resistance
Music Up-beat, high tempo Up-beat, high tempo

In summary, both Spin and Turn & Burn™ are effective exercise classes, with high-energy cycling as their core component. However, the feeling and training effect of each is quite different, so it’s important to understand the differences before deciding which to choose. Or do both!

Read our article on What Is Boutique Fitness?