Last week for Fitness Friday, I posted the top 5 things I looked for and chose in my gym. While trying out various gyms, I also tried out different types of exercise classes offered. I wanted to see what would appeal the most to me. Traditionally, I had taken aerobics classes: step, jazz, high-impact, water you name it. I wanted something different. After all, I was trying to change things up right, so I decided to try a spin class.
In the Seattle area, if you are into Spin (sitting on a stationary bike and pedaling to nowhere like your life depends on it) then you need to go to Fly Wheel. By far, Fly Wheel has the best spin class around. The music was thuming, the bikes were humming and the lights were turned down low… say whaaa? Yep, at Fly Wheel, they put the spotlight on the instructor so the participants don’t see anyone else but the instructor. It makes it kind of intimate really, almost like a one on one session. It is a great time to be had, once you get used to it.
The bike: I swear the seats on a spin bike are made to be uncomfortable so when your teacher takes you up out of your seat to climb that virtual hill, your butt will weep with releif while the rest of your body screams “NO, how could you do this to me?” Its like some sort of design element, intentional Im sure. You strap your feet to the pedals and start moving. The wheel you are moving can have increasing or decreasing tension. Since the wheel is weighted, you can’t just stop moving your legs and coast like a regular bike. Oh no, the evil masterminds who created this bike wanted to make sure there were no coasters allowed.
So, when the wheel moves, so do your feet, which should stay attached to your legs. It takes muscle to start the movement, it takes muscle to end the movement. This is why the class is so good for you, it works cardio and muscle groups by increasing and decreasing the wheel tension as well as bike position, e.g. sprinting, climbing etc.
To combat the soreness your butt will feel for days, I highly recommend wearing cycling shorts. These shorts will cover your ‘softer parts’ with extra foam padding. Veteran spin masters, those who have attended over 12 classes regularly have built up callouses or something, and will ride sans padding.
While I joke about the butt-pain, once you move past that, Spin class can be a lot of fun! Really. When the music and the instructor are right, it’s almost like going to a really good dance club and getting your groove on. You feel exhausted, sweaty but accomplished at the end of the ride.