To keep from hitting a plateau again I wanted to give my exercise regimen a boost. I decided to find the nearest indoor cycling studio and get busy. I frequent the stationary bike at the gym so I thought to myself, “how hard can this be?” Doing those hill intervals a few times for 10-20 minutes a week may have conditioned me for spinning, but it was no comparison to what was in store during my first 45-minute class at Harlem Cycle. Indoor cycling is a major calorie burner (I burned over 400 calories according to my FitBit) and can be considered a full-body workout, but to prevent you from getting winded and worn out like I did, here are five things you should know before you settle into your seat at your first spinning class.
Peddle at your own pace
There were times where we had to pick up the speed and that was not so easy for me. I didn’t want it to be so obvious that I was a newbie so I tried to keep up with the vets and wore my legs out quite quickly. The resistance will be increased and decreased throughout the class so take your time and get in your own rhythm. The more you spin, the more endurance you will have over time.
While I was trying to catch my breath I couldn’t help but be bothered by how hot I was. My top was long sleeved and though it was made of DriFit material, I was hot and uncomfortable. Try to wear a short sleeve or sleeveless top to your first spinning session.
Since spinning is such an intense cardio workout, the sweat was pouring. I am still a rookie, so I have to push my body a little harder and challenge myself, which leads to me sweating more than average. You should be hydrated before a workout regardless, but make sure not to slip up on your H2O intake before you hit the bike. Catching a cramp due to not being hydrated enough will take you out before the class is over. (Most cycling classes provide towels, btw.)
The seat can be uncomfortable
The bike seat is not the most comfortable for our lady parts or our backside. Though you will be pedaling with your behind off of the seat for most of the class, there will be recovery times where you will sit. Your bum may be a little sore the day after too.
It’s not just all about the legs
My legs weren’t the only part of my body burning by the end of the class. Cycling targets the arms as well. During my first experience I was only lifting and lowering my upper body with my hands on the handle bars. My second go-round at SoulCycle had my arms on fire due to three-pound weights being incorporated. As we peddled away we did a circuit that worked the triceps, biceps and shoulders. So be prepared to stretch out your entire body after a cycling class — and to possibly be sore all over the next day too.