So you have decided it’s time to finally take a Spin class. You have probably wondered why anyone would sit on a stationary bike in a dark room with a bunch of strangers and become a sweaty mess. Nonetheless, you are willing to try it.
As a long time Spinner and a certified Spin instructor I can tell you first hand that it takes a lot of physical and emotional gumption to get through a class. You will probably want to quit 30 minutes in, watch the clock constantly and feel like you have been riding a horse for hours after your first class. This is completely normal, and even those of us who have been Spinning for years can attest that sometimes we still have a hard time getting into the right mind-set and leave feeling like it was our first time. Other times, you will have such an amazing ride that you will leave on a high and want to stay longer.
If you have tried Spin once and hated it, give it another try or try a different instructor. If that isnt an option go back anyway! Try changing bikes, locate a fan and sit close to it. If you need help with your bike settings ask your instructor. It might be that you just need a slight adjustment to make your ride smoother.
Some tips for your first ride:
Bring a towel: You will get sweaty and drip everywhere. Wipe yourself off! No one wants to feel your sweat as it splashes them in the face.
Hydrate: Bring a large water bottle. You will be exerting a lot of energy and you will need to replenish yourself.
Reserve a seat: There are a lot of regulars in Spin classes. If you are able to reserve a bike do so. Some regulars can be what I call, “bike snobs” meaning they will only Spin on the same bike every time. Don’t just come in and take a bike, reserve it if you can. No bike reservations? Then first come, first serve.
Attire: If you have moisture-wick work out clothing wear it. If not, cropped pants, shorts and a t-shirt are fine. Some veterans wear padded shorts, if you plan on making this a regular work out you might want to think about padded bike shorts. If not, some shops sell padded seat covers which work great too.
Shoes: The majority of gyms do not rent cycling shoes; that is okay. If you have tennis shoes you can wear those. However, before going to a class check out the website in case they require you wear specific cycling shoes.
Heart rate monitors: These are great for those who are training of those of us who just want to keep a close eye on the calories burned. They are not a requirement for your class, but if you find that you want to track your progress it might be a good investment.
Food: It is okay to have a light snack before class. When I first started Spinning I made the mistake of having a yummy burrito for dinner….let’s just say that was a bad idea. Don’t have dinner and go to class afterwards, you might make a big impression and so will your dinner.
Come early to get help setting up your bike. This is so important in order to avoid injury!
Go at your own pace. Just because everyone in class is doing everything the instructor says that doesn’t mean you need to. Pace yourself, take water breaks, and most importantly, listen to your body.
The resistance knob is your friend! Use the knob to “up” your resistance or to bring it down. It might take you a few times to get the hang of how much resistance is right for you. Just don’t pretend to turn the knob. It is there for a reason and also to help you avoid hurting your knees.
Stretch! Don’t skip out on stretching after class.
Post work out food: Drink plenty of water! It is recommended that you eat a small, balanced snack of carbohydrates and protein to help your muscles recover quickly immediately after a workout.
So gear up and enjoy your ride!