How to survive a spin class
Ah spin class, we love you and we fear you at the same time. Anybody who has conquered an indoor cycling class knows that it’s a killer workout that can see you burn (yes, your legs will be burning) a serious amount of kilojoules in just 45 minutes. Despite the endorphin-inducing atmosphere of semi-darkness, a nightclub appropriate soundtrack and instructors that scream motivating statements while peddling furiously, a spin class can be intimidating.
Fear not, spin class newbies! We asked Vicious Cycle managing director, Tanya Weeks for her expert advice on surviving (and nailing) a spin class like a boss.
1. Train in twos
Bring a friend! There’s nothing like bonding over the shared feeling of intense lactic acid burn. Committing with a friend reduces the risk of pulling out of class and letting someone else down. Plus, your mate is going to notice if you crawl out 15 minutes before the class is over. Encourage each other to show up and push yourselves. Oh and reward yourselves with a yummy, healthy meal after, that’s a non-negotiable!
2. Get in early for your first class
Arriving fashionably late isn’t fashionable at spin. You’ll want to get there with five minutes to spar to allow the instructor some time to set you up properly on the bike with the right bike fit. They can give you come technique pointers and explain how to ride on the beat so that you feel confident from the outset.
3. Pace yourself
Spin class isn’t about going hell for leather for the entire 45 minutes. By using short bursts of speed and power you can maintain your intensity throughout the class. Add small gears at a time and listen for cues from the instructor about how long you have until the next recovery. Then go hard out in the last 15 to 30 seconds of effort, depending on your fitness level.
4. Stick with it
A majority of people aren’t jumping for joy after their first indoor cycling class. Most of us aren’t used to having our heart rate elevated for a prolonged amount of time and running out of breath during the class is a reality that no amount of Beyonce music can help. It doesn’t take long to break through the other side of that though. Give it time and try to get another class in within seven days. Indoor cycling is a results based program so the more you do the faster you will get fit and see results. Plus, we promise the second one will be a lot more enjoyable.
5. Bring the right gear!
Water water water! You will most definitely get your sweat on so water and a towel are essential for each class. Ensure you rehydrate after the class too. Guzzling one to two litres in the hours after your ride is essential.
And for the ladies that find the bike seat a little (ahem) uncomfortable here are my top tips, make sure to sit on your ischial bones (your sitting bones). Don’t forget to engage your core, this will stop you from bouncing around too much. Lastly, don’t lean too far forward and keep your lower back neutral. That means, not arching and no rounding of the vertebrae near your tailbone. This will help to keep you positioned comfortably on the seat.
We have also developed our own Vicious Body active wear label with padded bike shorts and padded crop pants to help give you a little more comfort and protection where it’s needed! With no seams in all the right places and just the right amount of padding to give protection without the unflattering bulge we’ve eliminated a major issue that stops girls coming back.