Spin class is both a mentally and physically challenging form of exercise. Although the level of difficulty will change generally with each song (most spin classes are designed to have two peaks), your legs never stop moving for a full 45 -60 plus minutes. In other cardio focused fitness classes, you’ll see instructors encouraging their students to lightly jog or skip during the transitions, but how many people actually do it? The momentum you build up while on a bike forces your legs to continuously stay in motion, so that you never truly get a break.
As I sweated through my very first spin class, I remembering having some serious doubts that I would be able to finish. I consider myself to be a very physically fit individual, but my legs were exhausted 15 minutes into the hour long class. I remember looking incredulously at the timer on my bike as it ticked by at what felt like an impossibly slow speed. “When will I be allowed off this sadistic contraption?” I thought to myself. Despite the difficulty, I returned for a second class the following week, and found it to be easier. Encouraged, I returned a third time, then a fourth, then a fifth, and now I’m a spin instructor. Funny how these types of things work out. In the beginning I couldn’t fathom how anyone could potentially enjoy this as a form of exercise, but now I love it. Biking uses muscles that are different from those you use in your everyday life, so OF COURSE it’s going to be hard the first time you try it. Your body just isn’t used to it, but don’t base your decision to love or hate spinning on one class, because you won’t really know until you’ve tried it 3 or 4 times.
Like any form of exercise, give spinning a chance before you decide whether or not to incorporate it into your weekly routine. In the end you’re either going to hate it or love it, there isn’t really a grey area. Making exercise a part of your life is so important, and finding a form of exercise you love is going to make this commitment so much easier. I encourage you to try out a bunch of different forms of cardio: sports, dance, kick-boxing, yoga, Pilates, running, spinning – the list could go on. You’ll likely gravitate towards the form of cardio that you’re naturally gifted at, and that’s great. Now challenge yourself to get better, and maybe even look into setting some weight loss, endurance, flexibility, or speed-related goals to help you moving forward. Also keep your eye out for any events going on in your area, as some healthy, and a chance at a materialistic gain, always helps with motivation.
Why might you decide to choose spinning over another form of exercise?
Spinning is one of the best lower body cardio workouts there are, but it also works your core and your arms. When you’re out in the real world with your bike you’re also working to stay balanced, and although that component is missing in a spin class where the bikes are stationary, it is replaced by a motivating instructor and fast paced music that should leave you dripping in sweat. In an average spin class you’re looking at burning between 400-600 calories, maybe even more. Spinning is also an impact free cardio option, making it ideal for someone with joint issues or injuries that prevent them from partaking in more plyometric forms of exercise.
Alternatively, spinning can start to feel repetitive (there is only so much variation you can do) if you’re someone who enjoys more dance inspired forms of cardio. I find spinning to be very similar to yoga in that it requires you to disappear into your mind and focus your energy forward. By allowing your body to take-over while your mind escapes, you’ll get off of that bike feeling rejuvenated and clear-headed.
Try a class out for yourself. It’s not for everyone, but maybe it is for you.
GUEST BLOGGER- Christine Bissonnette is a fitness enthusiast, actress, and “positivity seeker” Check out her blog: http://the-positivity-project.com/