I think that I have been attending spin classes between two to three times a week for just over a year now. Two or three days a week of this exact sight, but I really don’t get bored of it. Head below the cut for my top five reasons to love spin, and some spin tips from your spinsei! Ugh nobody let me write comedy…
Okay it’s not ridiculously loud but you get so involved in the music and atmosphere that your stress does melt away for about 45 minutes and you are just focused on your survival. I think there have been points where I have just prayed that my legs will carry on just for a few minutes more, and then there is a break, a breath, and then the music and the prayer starts again. By the end I am so tired that I drag myself home listening to something mellow and I’ve long since forgotten what I was mad about before. While I wouldn’t listen to dance music if I was sat at home, I love it out at the club or during exercise because that’s where it’s meant to be listened to! It’s there to get you pumped! Also – thanks to the music time flies and you’ve done 45 minutes of exercise before you even realise it.
NUMBER 4: The classes are primarily women
This could be a pro or a con depending on who reads it but I really like that the classes are mostly women. The atmosphere is so friendly and supportive and not competitive at all. Men do come and they are totally welcome but you never feel like the only woman in a room full of men, which is nice because gyms are usually full of tall, muscular guys and I am weedy as hell but in a big group of women you will make friends whether you came to or not. So far all of my teachers have also been female and we have each other on Facebook and the whole attitude of the class is just really upbeat and friendly!
NUMBER 3: You get sick legs and buns
One of the things I get the most compliments for is my legs! Personally I am not the biggest fan of my chunky thighs, but getting a lot of love for my legs definitely helps me feel great about them. Since starting I have definitely noticed a change in my legs, especially the lower legs which now look really toned and great. In the classes you will spend most of your time stood up cycling, and then either doing dips or going back. The best way I can describe it is something like doing squats while running. It sounds immensely hard and at fast speeds it is but your levels of cardio fitness will improve so much and it is a low impact exercise which wont take it out of your knees and ankles like jogging will! I actually started doing spin because jogging was really hurting my knees, shins and ankles and I’ve built up strength in those areas so much that I can jog most of the way home from the gym now without too much damage.
NUMBER 2: Classes give you a sense of accomplishment and routine
I feel like it’s really easy to get to a class because they’re always on at the same time so you can plan your life around them and once you’re in a routine it’s much easier to motivate yourself to go. I found that when I was just going to the gym I’d just put it off until the last minute and not really want to go, but because the classes are at set times you get annoyed with yourself if you miss that set time. Plus, I always think that if you’re keeping up with the instructor, someone who actually does fitness for a living like it’s their job or something, then you must be doing really well! Just getting through is great, even if you have to sit down and can’t do all the moves!
NUMBER 1: You can measure your improvement without going too far
A problem that I did have at some point at the gym was going too far and doing too much. I was staying for a couple of hours a night in order to just try and squeeze a little bit more in and try to do better or take breaks that were too long between things; I would go as far as saying I had a gym addiction! With the classes there is a defined start and end point and you’re not working at your own pace so you have to push yourself. The first classes you will more likely do terribly and want to go home crying with every plaster you can find on your sore butt but the next time you’ll come back and do better and it will feel amazing! It’s definitely challenging but there are so many ways you can measure your improvement such as your ability to stay up, your ability to keep up with the moves, your stamina during the sprints or your ability to take more resistance and it feels so satisfying to get better. Plus, you know you’re in safe hands with a teacher so you won’t be doing anything that might cause you harm.
I think a lot of my five points can be applied to other classes, and I do feel them in some of the other classes I go to but the pumped atmosphere of spin class definitely triumphs over all others! Your local spin class might be different than mine, but I’d still encourage you to give your local class a go if you want to try something new.
Now for some tips:
- Bring plenty of water, you’ll need it!
- If you intend to go to a lot of classes buy a pair of bike shoes, they make things a lot easier
- Don’t buy the bike shoes until you get hooked – a pair of shoes does not an athlete make
- Don’t be afraid to go to the front, you can see your teacher much better and your form will improve
- Nobody is judging you, be enthusiastic and do the moves to the best of your ability
- If you need to turn your resistance down or sit down please do it, you can try and stay up for longer next time
- Don’t let the weather put you off – the great thing about an indoor class is that you’re shielded from the elements and can work out rain or shine.
Now – on yer bike lad!