Introduction to Indoor Cycling

Welcome to the wonderful world of Indoor Cycling or Spinning(TM)!  I am a certified Johnny G Instructor.  If you’d like more information about the programs or the certification you can check it out at http://www.spinning.com.  I’ve been teaching some form of Spinning for nearly 5 years and have been taking classes since I was 18 (almost 14 years!).

I’ve often heard from people that Spinning is “scary” or “it must be so hard, people look so tired when they’re doing it”.  My response to those people is that it is only as difficult as you make it – just like any exercise.  If you’re new to Spinning, I’d like to ease you into it and show you what you can expect from a class should to decide to be adventurous and take one!

Before You Come to Class:

-Be prepared to sweat!  Wear comfortable clothes and/or what you’re already used to wearing when you workout.  Avoid wearing baggy pants since you’ll be pedaling a bike – you don’t want to run the risk of getting anything caught in the flywheel or pedal!

-Since this is your first time, you most likely don’t have cycling shoes.  No worries!  If you enjoy it, I’d definitely recommend getting them because they can change your workout and give you a more efficient ride but for now – SNEAKERS are your best option (preferably ones with hard bottoms, if they’re worn out, avoid using them).  Do not wear the Toe Shoes to a spin class.  Just.  Don’t.  When you push on a pedal you need the solid foundation to hold you – especially if/when you get out of the saddle.  SNEAKERS!

-Bring Water and a Towel (if your club doesn’t already provide them).

-Heart Rate Monitor(s).  As an instructor we emphasize bringing one/wearing one but if you’re still new and don’t know if you’re going to stick with Spinning, you don’t necessarily need one just yet.  It does help to know your HR as you workout – another post for another time.

-Bike seats/gels – you’re more than welcome to use these and/or sometimes your gym will already have them.  The seats can be uncomfortable but after a while you’ll get used to them 🙂  Welcome to spinning! (hehe)

-A positive attitude!  It’ll make your first ride a good one 🙂  It’s important to keep in mind to give yourself  a break.  It’s your first class ever, no one is expecting you to do everything that everyone else is doing.  The fact that you’re trying something new is AWESOME!  GO YOU!

When You Get to Class:

-Depending on where you decide to take class will depend on how the instructor helps out or it could even be the gym staff that helps you set up your bike.  I’m not going to get into the specifics of setting up your bike in this post because it’s an entirely different post all together but I will say setting up your bike is important.

-First and most importantly – tell the teacher you’re new!  Good instructors will ask before any class if they have any new riders for that class.  As an instructor, we prefer newbie’s to get to class at least 15 minutes before class starts so we have time to chat with you about where your fitness levels are at and to set you up properly on your bike.  It’s important to us that you enjoy riding!  If you skip this or arrive late, there is a chance you won’t enjoy it as  much or could even hurt yourself during the class.

-Come prepared to have fun!  A good instructor will tell you to have fun and to give yourself a break before class.  I always tell my new riders to go at their own pace but to at least keep riding because then you’re at least burning calories.  I also give them a brief synopsis of how to change the resistance and how to use the bike itself.

During Class:

-Go at your own pace and just relax.  A good instructor will tell you how you should feel throughout class and that it’s okay to not do everything they are telling you to do.  It’s YOUR workout – you do what you need to do to make it count. For details on terminology and hand positions check out the other posts with that information.

After Class:

-You will most likely feel tired and/or sweaty.  Good!  Congrats!  You made it through!  Hopefully you’ll want to come back and try it again.

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