Spin class has a reputation for being intense and fast-paced, and many people are overwhelmed by the idea of attending one for the first time. No need to fear – spinning can be a great workout for anyone at any fitness level!
Not sure what to expect at a spin class? It is simply riding a stationary bike in a room with others while being led by an instructor. It is surprisingly low-impact, adjustable for your individual endurance and skill levels, and a fun way to burn lots of calories. Many spinning enthusiasts find they become addicted to the challenge of spin class, and also love the high energy and positive attitudes of fellow spinners.
There is no special training required for spin class, but there are a few things you can do to make your first attempt successful. The most important thing to remember is to keep hydrated! Spinning is one of the most sweat-inducing workouts out there, so it is crucial to drink plenty of water before, during, and after class.
What about gear? There are no hard rules about what to wear, but comfort is important. Even if you are a regular bike rider, it is recommended that you wear either padded bike shorts or bring a gel pad to sit on. Your glutes will thank you later! Serious spinners usually have special shoes to wear, but regular bike shoes or workout shoes are perfectly acceptable. Wear a shirt long enough to cover your rear, and be sure to bring a towel to mop up the sweat.
Always arrive early for your first class; it will allow you to have your choice of equipment and get the bicycle adjusted properly. Being early will also enable you to have a few minutes to speak to the instructor to find out class rules, expectations, and get help with your equipment if needed.
During class, the instructor will guide you by setting the pace and telling you how to set resistance and when to change it, when to speed up and when to slow down, and will encourage you to push yourself to get the most from your workout. It’s ok if you can’t fully keep up at the beginning, but over time you will build your endurance and strength to ride faster and harder. Form is as important as intensity; riding correctly will help prevent injury and can reduce soreness. Use your abs to hold yourself up instead of leaning on the handlebars, and always keep your knees pointed forward and your feet parallel to the ground.
Spinning is one of the very best cardio workouts, and can be one of the most rewarding. Don’t be intimidated – this is an excellent workout for both beginners and pros alike!