Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Indoor Cycling 101

I am certified to teach spinning (AKA indoor cycling, power pacing), but haven't taught a class in ages. When a good friend of mine asked me to sub her classes next month while she is away, I jumped at the chance.

It was actually this bike, but you get the idea :)

Since it has been such a long time, I took her class yesterday morning so I could become familiar with the club, the bike and participants.

Wow, did I ever work up a sweat! 

Never done a spinning class?  Here is the skinny:

What is it?
Spinning is an indoor cycling workout done in a group setting that can burn upwards of 500 calories an hour.  It is intense exercise and a fantastic way to mix up your cardio.

Most fitness centres have spinning classes and because space is limited, you are usually required to reserve your spot ahead of time (online or a via sign up sheet).

Many classes are trying to replicate the feeling of an outdoor ride (hills, sprints, races etc.) by using varied resistance and cadence.  However, the classes can be as different as the instructor who teaches them and the specific training that they have had.

Like any other workout, you are always free to take it at your own pace (especially if you are new).

What do you need?
Here are some things to consider:
  • A towel.  I always bring a large one to throw over the handle bars and mop up the sweat :)
  • A water bottle.  You want to make sure that you are well hydrated before you start the class and just take small sips of water throughout
  • Shoes.  You can purchase cycling shoes that clip into the bike (like the ones here) or just an older pair of running shoes that can be strapped in the peddle. 
  • Clothing.  Comfortable clothing (preferably moisture-wicking) is a must.  Make sure that you are wearing shorts or tighter fitting pants as you do not want the material to get caught in the peddle.  You can also invest in padded cycling shorts if you take classes regularly.  The seats can be a hard on your bottom.

Before class
Come a few minutes early and let the instructor know it is your first time.  They will help you get set up and explain all the features of that particular bike to ensure that you have a safe and fun ride.

Do you take spinning classes?  Any tips to share?

Stay Healthy,

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