When I did my initial spin certification (17 years ago!) we were taught to do push ups on the bikes. I won’t name the certification because they are one of the biggest ones around today and I am sure they no longer include push ups in the curricula. Back then, group cycling was very new, and we did a lot of stuff that is now seen as non-functional or stressful on joints. Occasionally you will see instructors still do these sorts of things, and/or use light weights or bands to do upper body work on bike. I believe at SoulCycle, for example, which is hugely successful, they do push ups on the bike because their clients enjoy it (that’s what I have heard, not fact checked, mind you.) There are two really strong schools of thought about this: one, that spin should be very sports-derived and relate to how “real” cycling (i.e. on a bike in the street) looks/feels/performs, and two, that group cycling should be fun and doesn’t need to follow the doctrine of “real” cycling and can be more dance-like and include sculpting. You can google search to read a lot of the heated debate on these ideas on indoor cycling instructor blogs. My two cents: the real enemy here is not one instructor who loves to teach a cycling class as if it were a dance class – it’s the sad trend of inactivity and eating junk food that pervades our world. There is merit in debating the pros and cons of a movement for specific goals, tastes, functional needs, safety parameters etc. Sometimes physical activity that is fun isn’t always super safe. So educating and informing our clients on the pros and cons of different kinds of movements and their relative risks (be it a cycling class with push ups, a downhill ski race, a weekend soccer league, classical ballet classes etc) can be one of the greatest services we offer.