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7 Things to Know Before Your First Spin Class
I heard from a lot of my friends, who are also new moms, that the pregnancy weight is “9 months on – 9 months off!”. I seem to be a special case in that it has now been well over 9 months and I still have a closet full of clothes that I am not able to squeeze myself into quite yet. I have been looking for workouts that suit me so that I can one day wear the lovely J.Crew pencil skirt that I own in 11 different colors and not just have the rainbow of work appropriate cotton skirts take up room in my closet.
I am not a fan of running because there are not a lot of private places to run and I have an abnormal gate that has been likened to Phoebe from Friends. Walking is a preferred fitness routine of mine, but I don’t have 17 free hours a week to really get what I need out of walking. I did have a gym membership at one point, but I was a part of the 67% of Americans who didn’t use their memberships.
Recently, I had a friend introduce me to ClassPass which has allowed me to try out several different workout classes without committing to one class to have and to hold for all of my days. I tried barre and reformer pilates, which have both been awesome. I have wanted to try a spin class but didn’t think I would be able to hang with all of those skinny model types that they keep showing on the Peloton commercials.
As I am sure you can surmise from the title of this post, I did find the courage to sign up for a spin class and I. Loved. It.
Things to Know Before Your First Spin Class
You will need to have spin cycle shoes.
Never fear – most studios will rent them to you for $3-$5 for the class. Or you can buy your own if you want to commit to spinning or if you feel uncomfortable about sharing shoes with strangers. I would recommend renting from the studio until you feel ready to shell out $50 for shoes.
Please note that walking in cycle shoes feels a lot like walking in cleats, which is a bit difficult on an indoor floor. Since I never actually wore cleats growing up (just pointe shoes and riding boots), this was a new thing for me and I was too confident and took a tiny tumble as I walked up to my bike. Don’t worry, I recovered well and earned pity from everyone in the studio.
Spin is an Arm Workout
I was mentally prepared to come out of spin class not being able to walk but I did not expect that the teacher would have us do pushups on the handlebars for the majority of the class. I think my arms were more sore than my legs! That did explain why the instructor had arms bigger than North Koreas ballistic missiles, but I was not prepared!
45 minutes of push up intervals might sound miserable, but after the first song, I really didn’t notice that we were actually doing intense arm workouts. It wasn’t until the next day that I could feel how hard I had worked out my biceps and shoulders. There is typically a small section of class where you get to stop peddling and you use free weights, which is a nice time to catch your breath. Just be sure to stretch those arms out afterward!
Spin is like Dancing on a Bike
When the instructor gave me the “spin newbie” rundown, she said, “we ride to the beat so take your time to make sure you are on rhythm before adding in any of the extra movements”. I had always pictured spin as a bunch of sprints and constant turning up of the resistance. I was not aware of any choreography.
But the music was awesome and so much of the class was really planned out based on the beats that it did feel like it was a dance at points. And if you are struggling with the moves in one of the songs, all you have to do is make it to the next song and you get to change it up. It was really nice to know that there was a break or variation coming with each change in the beat.
You will Sweat
Bring a towel to spin class y’all. I have mostly been doing Pilates classes through ClassPass, and those are good workouts but the goal is to tone, not perspire.
But in spin – the goal is to sweat profusely. Spin is quite the cardio workout and you will certainly get what you pay for in sweat equity. I don’t normally like sweating, but it did feel good to know that my body agreed that I was working hard during that spin class!
Ask for Help Sizing Your Bike
Each studio will have different bikes, so be sure to let the instructor know that it is your first class there so they can show you how to size your bike properly. If you don’t get the sizing right, it may cause you to be uncomfortable during class (or get injured!) and then you won’t be able to jam out, bust a move and enjoy spin the way it was meant to be.
You Control Your Resistance
I am not sure why, but I was terrified of going to spin classes because I thought they were going to make me turn up the resistance to level 1,000 and my legs were going to give out and everything would be awful. But in reality, that is nothing like what actually happens (which is good, because I would not be a repeat customer).
You get to control your own resistance and nobody is judging you if you have to take a break for a minute. There were a few times the instructor made it clear that we needed to have a certain level of resistance for safety purposes, but for the rest of class, you are really able to determine what feels right to you. It makes it easy for a spin beginner to get the hang of things first!
Spin is A Lot of Fun
While I like barre and pilates, spin is easily the most fun class I have taken. Energetic music, bike dancing and being able to walk out of class feeling like Mel Gibson in Braveheart is a really good way to get my workout in.
I have signed up for several more spin classes through my ClassPass program and I am pumped about it.
What workout classes are your favorites? Are there any other first-time class guides that you would be interested in reading about? Let me know in the comments below!
And if you want to find your own favorite work out class, be sure to check out ClassPass! You get $40 off your first month when you use this link! My gift to you!
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