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 Post subject: Spin class: What to expect?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 6:13 pm 
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Has Isa on speed dial
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Hey all,

So I signed up for spin class for an hour a week until December 8th. I've always been keen on trying this but never have. What is it like? I heard it's pretty intense (my best friend in DC is a devotee of spin classes). Is there anything I should be aware of? FWIW, I am in pretty good shape; I already about 90 minutes of moderate exercise a day. Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Spin class: What to expect?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 6:29 pm 
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Spin class is great. It's a great cardio workout, your heart rate will be up within the first 5 minutes. The instructor sets the pace and will tell you how fast to go, and how much resistance to have on your bike throughout the class. Some tracks will be alternatively high/low intensity, others will have a bit of rest time and some will just be hard and then harder! They'll have you stand up on the pedals, go slowly with high resistance, spin fast with lower resistance sitting down, that type of thing.

Don't forget your water bottle!

And seriously, make sure you wear comfortable bike shorts and underwear. I'm not kidding about this. If the gym has bikes with hard seats then you might be a bit, um tender afterwards! Most of the new bikes these days are pretty good though, but when I first did spin about 11 years ago it hurt like hell. The instructor said 'that area will toughen up after awhile so stick with it' and I thought oh hell no! and didn't go back for awhile. But I started back a couple years ago and all the bikes at my gym are HEAPS better than that.


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 Post subject: Re: Spin class: What to expect?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:02 pm 
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Get there early to ask the instructor to show you how to adjust the seat & handlebars to fit you. If things get too tough, you can turn down the resistance and fake it! It's a lot of fun if your instructor had good tunes.

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 Post subject: Re: Spin class: What to expect?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:35 pm 
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If you haven't really developed cycling muscles (do you ride a bike?) it'll be really hard at first, but it will get easier! It's sounds like you are in great shape so I'm sure you'll be fine! I went to a class after not really exercising for a couple of months and it killed me.


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 Post subject: Re: Spin class: What to expect?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:49 pm 
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Spin class is AWESOME.
It's challenging, but about halfway in I get the BEST endorphin rush. I love doing isolations, like when we hover over our seats to isolate our thigh muscles and it burrrrrrns but feels so good.

My best friend spins several times a week and she strongly recommended getting some padded cycling shorts. Now that I know I'm sticking with it, I'm going to take her advice, because my ladybits haven't toughened up much and I still get sore.


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 Post subject: Re: Spin class: What to expect?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:24 pm 
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I love spin class!!

You control the resistance on your bike, so you can really tailor your workout to what you want.

Definitely ask the instructor for help adjusting your bike, it makes all the difference in the world. When I used to go to class the instructor would always ask if we had any new people to the class that needed help.

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 Post subject: Re: Spin class: What to expect?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:59 pm 
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Oh, I'm so glad there is a thread for this! I Just signed up for my first spin class starting next week. I would not have thought to adjust the handle bars on an exercise bike. Duh!

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 Post subject: Re: Spin class: What to expect?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:40 am 
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Water, water, water. And drink it. If you run out halfway through, leave and fill up. And towels! You'll sweat a lot!

Definitely what has been suggested: please don't be afraid to ask the instructor to help you set up your bike (he/she will probably offer to help new people).

Don't have really low resistance and spin the hell out of the pedals as you will likely hurt yourself (knees). I've seen people in there that look like hamsters on those spinny wheels and it's just not good for joints. Always have a little bit of resistance on the bike. I'm sure your instructor will make this clear, though!

The first class I took, the instructor said that I would probably hate the first class, but that I'd love it if I stuck with it. I ended up loving the first class, but sometimes it does take me time to push through the first part and then I feel so good once I get into it and then of course afterward!

Have fun!


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 Post subject: Re: Spin class: What to expect?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:54 am 
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It's really hard, but it's awesome. The first time I did it my arse was killing me and my legs were jelly afterwards, but it gets better.

I keep meaning to go back, they do it in my gym.

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 Post subject: Re: Spin class: What to expect?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 7:26 am 
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Thanks for the awesome responses thus far!

What's going to make this class interesting as well is that it is entirely in French.

Bike shorts? Really? Okay, I guess I will....


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 Post subject: Re: Spin class: What to expect?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:18 am 
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Kitten the Destroyer wrote:
What's going to make this class interesting as well is that it is entirely in French.

Perfect! If your French isn't so good (or if you want to pretend that is isn't) you get a pass when the instructor tells you to up the resistance/speed. Just look confused. I'm a seasoned work-out slacker.


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 Post subject: Re: Spin class: What to expect?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:11 pm 
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One of my former spin instructors always said to give it 3 tries before you decide whether you like it. But I loved it right away. Don't be afraid to change things to your pace if you need to a little. For example, because of my weight and my legs being small compared to the rest of my body, I can't always stay up off the seat as long as the instructor. So I sit down until my legs/breathing recover a little and then get back up. When I do it regularly, I get better pretty quickly.

I was actually thinking today how excited I am that since i have tomorrow off that I get to go to a morning cycle class :)

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 Post subject: Re: Spin class: What to expect?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 8:10 pm 
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I went! It wasn't as bad as I thought!

In fact, I was disappointed that I wasn't so sore the next day, but I think I just may not being doing it too intensely just yet. Our instructor is really cool and encouraging; she advises first-timers to slowly achieve the pace of hardcore enthusiasts. I look forward to going again next week!


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 Post subject: Re: Spin class: What to expect?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 8:59 pm 
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That's great! Glad that you enjoyed it. I don't really get sore muscles the next day from it either - just the cardio workout of the class itself.


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 Post subject: Re: Spin class: What to expect?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 1:36 pm 
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Me too. My calves usually hurt a little, but it's generally not bad. Glad you enjoyed it!!

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 Post subject: Re: Spin class: What to expect?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:02 pm 
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I love spinning! its the only class ive ever been able to go to somewhat consistently and enjoy. i feel like im good at it and dont have to worry about following a routine and almost always know whats going on.
the most important thing:
when doing jumps, ease yourself back onto the saddle (position 1) from standing or leaning (2 or 3). if you just bounce back down in the seat you will regret this later. your vageeney will especially regret this.

whats up with cycle shoes? do you guys have them or no?


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 Post subject: Re: Spin class: What to expect?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:59 pm 
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rocklobster wrote:
the most important thing:
when doing jumps, ease yourself back onto the saddle (position 1) from standing or leaning (2 or 3). if you just bounce back down in the seat you will regret this later. your vageeney will especially regret this.


I learned this the hard way last week!!

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 Post subject: Re: Spin class: What to expect?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 12:00 am 
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rocklobster wrote:

whats up with cycle shoes? do you guys have them or no?


I have them for my bike, but I don't take them to class. Any of the spin classes I've been to are pretty geared toward 'cardio bunnies.' There aren't really any cyclists in there so you don't really see bike shorts and/or bike shoes.

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 Post subject: Re: Spin class: What to expect?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 5:58 am 
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lobsteriffic wrote:
rocklobster wrote:

whats up with cycle shoes? do you guys have them or no?


I have them for my bike, but I don't take them to class. Any of the spin classes I've been to are pretty geared toward 'cardio bunnies.' There aren't really any cyclists in there so you don't really see bike shorts and/or bike shoes.

I don't yet, but my instructor and some of the folks in class have them and love them. Since I just got a real bike too, I'll probably be getting some in the near future.

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 Post subject: Re: Spin class: What to expect?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 6:07 am 
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vijita wrote:
Perfect! If your French isn't so good (or if you want to pretend that is isn't) you get a pass when the instructor tells you to up the resistance/speed. Just look confused. I'm a seasoned work-out slacker.


Clearly I'm not alone. I was going to suggest learning how to mime increasing the resistance, in case you push it too hard and the others are increasing it and you can't, and you don't want to look slack but can't try any harder - just mime it. My husband came along to one class and left 30 minutes into the class as he just kept pushing it and not pacing himself well. I think you are better off getting through the whole thing with pacing.

That, work out how to adjust the bike's seat height/handlebars (or if you are like me and gangly, find the one that was sat on by a very tall person beforehand), and expect a sore bum, depending on the style of cycles they have. The newer ones seem kinder.

I enjoyed spin at the first gym I went to. The second gym had it in this tiny dark room and the music was so loud that I could hardly hear the instructor and was deafened afterwards. And there were these people who would randomly yell when they were pushing themselves. I'm an introvert. Random shouting for no good reason unsettles me and I nearly fell off my bike the first time one of them let loose on the bike next to me. So this wasn't a winner.
But if you find a good one, stick with it!


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 Post subject: Re: Spin class: What to expect?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:20 am 
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I will admit to pretending to push up the resistance but not really doing it, hehe. Spinning's hard.

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 Post subject: Re: Spin class: What to expect?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:24 pm 
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I'm bumping this because I just did my first spinning class tonight! I couldn't stand for very long AT ALL and had to sit down constantly, but the bits when we had to turn up the resistance and really push (sitting down) I didn't seem to have a problem with. Also sprints were easy for me. The instructor said that was the opposite of most people, but normal for someone who cycles in real life (which I do). I guess that makes some sense?

It was HARD, but I plan to go back again next week!

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 Post subject: Re: Spin class: What to expect?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:16 am 
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Yay spinning! I loved the class and the fact that I don't get sore.

I am signed up for another quarter of it. Starts Wednesday!

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