You’ve heard people rave about going to spin class. Whether it’s Flywheel or SoulCycle, Cyc or Cyclebar you know that these classes work – but you are terrified to go. Maybe you’ve been scorn from spin classes in the past or you heard of how painful they can be when you first spinning. I’m here to tell you it’s really not that bad. If you go in prepared and knowing what to expect you can have a pain free ride and dare I say it – even have fun? For those who are looking for a different kind of cardio or hate running (raising my hand), cycling is a stellar alternative, if you do it right.
Get There Early
While your bike is likely already assigned to you, setting it up correctly is essential for a successful ride. Make sure that you get there early and ask the instructor or a team member to help you set it up. Your bike should be adjusted to your height for a proper ride. Put your settings in your phone so you remember for next time, but honestly, for a solid 6 months, I just asked for help every time. Oops.
Learn The Basics
Watch an intro video on YouTube like this one so you know what you are getting into. Spin classes focus on speed (BPM – beats per minute) and resistance which is often just a number (1-40). You should also learn the positions on the bike, there are two: sitting down “in the saddle” and standing up “out of the saddle”. Lastly, the hand locations: there are multiple depending on your bike so ask when you get there. Proper form also includes having your butt way back, a loose grip on the handlebars, your upper body is still and your head is up.
Wear The Right Clothes
Your cute new shorts may be perfect for a run, but that isn’t what you want to wear to a spin class. Opt for full or cropped leggings, a supportive sports bra, and a loose fitting tank *totally optional* ride in that sports bra if you want to girl! (See cute leggings here & sports bras here) You will swap out your shoes with spin shoes from the studio so just remember to wear thick athletic socks (similar here).
You’re Doing Too Much
I’ve been spinning for nearly two years and I still can’t keep up with the speed & resistance recommendations. I do my best to match the speed and get as close to the recommended resistance as possible vs the other way around. I wish someone had told me that it’s nearly impossible to get there the first time. Just do your best and improve every time you go.
It Will Hurt
I would be lying if I told you that it wouldn’t hurt. If I’m being honest, after my first cycling class, I didn’t go back for about 2 years. But that was at a local gym and I didn’t have the proper shoes to clip in or the right atmosphere. I highly recommend that for your first class you choose is a rhythm ride. It’s called different things at different studios, Flywheel calls it “Tempo” and it’s pretty much any Cyc or SoulCycle class. This class matches the song’s beats per minute and you feel like you are in a strange dance-cycle hybrid. Usually, in these classes, you spend more time standing (out of the saddle) and only sit during breaks or to sprint. It’ll help ease you into the painful parts of spin and save you a sore bum the next day.
Spin can be a lot of fun and truthfully, even if you are miserable – it’s usually only a 45-minute class. Doing a class 2-3 times a week can be a great source of cardio and are good for your arms & abs too. Find a studio that you enjoy, there are so many out there (see my favorites here). Don’t be scared, you got this!