Photo Credit: ksweetsweat
You’ve walked past the room and, even when it was empty, were like whoahhhhhh.
Yup, we’re talking about Indoor Cycling (Spinning is a registered trademark of Johnny G/Madd Dogg Athletics so, thus, Indoor Cycling).
I’ve been taking Indoor Cycling classes for 14 years and teaching for 13 years.
I got certified as a Spin Instructor before I started teaching for Crunch in NYC. Since then I’ve taught in Seattle, Delaware, St. Louis, and West Palm Beach, FL.
So with all this knowledge I bring you the
Top 5 Ways People Screw Up Indoor Cycling:
1. Don’t Get Set Up Correctly
There are different adjustments on the indoor cycling bike, regardless of brand or version. The most important is the height of the seat. Standing next to the bike, the top of your seat should line up with you hip bone. The idea here is to have a slight (5%) bend in the knee at the bottom of the pedal stroke. The “back and forth” of the seat is based on not wanting to “overreach” for the handlebars. The height of the handlebars is based on experience: the lower they go, the more challenging it is (think about it: the more bent over you are the harder it is to breathe).
2. They Go ALL OUT Their First Class
It’s easy to “over-do it” in indoor cycling. The music, the room, the people around you all sweaty and hot messes… you can get in a little over your head. So, seriously, pace yourself. A great instructor will say something like “my goal is not to kill you… my goal is to have you back.”
3. Work The Resistance First, Leg Speed Second!
Indoor Cycling is not about how fast your legs can go. Anybody can go fast… downhill. It’s about that resistance training, that mind-body connection. Listen to your body! Do about 80% of what you think you can do… you’re probably doing a lot more than you realize!
4. Drink, Drink, Drink! (Water and Electrolytes, Ideally)
It is recommended participants (“riders”) drink 40 ounces each class: 24 during, 8 before, and 8 after. If you’re not used to drinking that much liquid on a regular basis… it can be tough! Pace yourself, drink every few minutes, stay hydrated.
5. Invest In Padded Shorts and Cycling Shoes
You don’t need either to participate in most locations (some require shoes or provide them) but OMGOODNESS are they blessings from the Cycling Gods! Particularly the padded shorts. They won’t make your ass look too big and they will save you from potentially painful chafing. Cycling shoes are great in that they will allow you to “clip in”. This is nice as it’ll keep your feet more secure and work the back of your leg (hamstring, glutes, calves) even more.
Get into Indoor Cycling and you’ll quickly be hooked. Your calorie burn in one class will be 600-800 on average. Not bad for a 40-60 minute experience!