I’ve always wanted to go to classes, but the thought of it filled my stomach will butterflies.
I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to set up that bike, or that I wouldn’t be able to keep up and that everyone else would be all pro and I’d be there all red faced, struggling and looking like a dick.
But surprise surprise, I didn’t need to worry about it. But if you are worried about it, here are a few tips I have for your first spin class and what you should expect.
Before going to your spin class, it might be useful to look up how to set your bike up. I watched a YouTube video that showed you how to do it.
Remember to arrive 5-10 minutes before the class starts to set up your bike. At my gym, a lot of people are already on their bikes spinning away when I get there. On your first time spinning, you want to make sure you have enough time so you don’t feel stressed out.
The basics are that the seat should come to your hips. There’s generally a knob under the saddle that will like you move the seat up or down.
You can also move the seat and handle bars forward and backwards, as well as the height of the bars. I generally leave the bar height as it as and just move the handlebars a bit closer to me so I can rest on them easily during sprints.
When you get on your bike, try standing up and pedalling and see how it feels then adjust the seat and handlebars accordingly.
When the gym class starts, the instructor will guide you through a warmup and then into the spin. Each instructor at my gym does different routines. No one class has ever been the same for me. I like that.
On your bike display, you’ll see a counter for RPM. The instructor will often ask you to keep the RPM at a certain speed – like 100, then trying to keep it above 130 for a 30 second sprint.
As well as the speed, there is the resistance, too. The resistance is how hard it is to pedal. Some instructors will tell you to turn the resistance up half a turn, a full turn, etc – or they might refer to it as a percent – 100% being the hardest for you and ask you to turn it up to 80%, for example.
My spin classes are usually split into rounds that last the track of a song – you up the speed or intensity at the chorus. Some rounds are gradually increasing the resistance while trying to keep RPMs the same, others go into a mad sprint, others have you move the resistance up to the point you can barely move the pedals, then stand up and hammer it out.
It’s really great that you have control of the resistance – if you feel like it’s too much, just ease off a bit. If the RPMs are too hard for you to keep up with, just slow it down a little. Nobody is going to shout at you!
I’ve totally been guilty of turning the resistance to lighter instead of heavier!
You know your own limits and as long as you are pushing yourself, it’s fine to just turn the resistance half a turn when the instructor has asked you to turn it up a full turn!
In my classes, there are all types of people. There was a guy next to me yesterday who seemed to be just spinning fast on a low resistance, not turning it up or not getting out of his seat. I assume he had a knee injury or something. Nobody cared what he was doing, just like nobody is going to be watching or judging you! There’s people of all shapes, sizes, abilities and some hammer it out, some get tired and slow down and it’s fine.
There is one instructor at my class that stops half way through and makes us get off the bike and do things like pushups, star jumps and burpees. It’s fine, but a bit annoying as there’s not always space unless you’re on the back row. Now I’m always on the back row 😉
So if you’re worried about a spin class – don’t be.
Just turn up, get on your bike and go. Nobody is judging you or looking at you, we all just want to get fit and reach our goals! Just go, even if you don’t absolutely hammer it out the first time – you can at least know what to expect for your next class.
I burn about 350 – 400 calories when I go to a 30 minutes class. I love it because I sometimes struggle to push myself to do a lot of cardio on my own. With a class, you have no choice!
Have you ever done spin class?