I walk into this packed room filled with about 5 rows of stationary bikes, snugly positioned next to each other – about 6 in each row. Everyone seems to know what to do; adjusting this and that, and I look over to my cousin and meekly ask for his help. Then the instructor sees me, the new face, as lost as ever, and walks over to show me how to adjust the bike according to my body.
It looks easy enough, but I know I’ll probably forget how to do it myself the minute she walks away. Because I still have no clue what comes next, I take visual cues from the other participants in the class and climb onto my bike and start my warm-up with an easy pedal.
Then the torture begins.
I thought starting Shaun T’s Insanity program was tough; spin class is a whole other world. During the 50-minute class, the first 20 minutes were the most agonising. It was a real task keeping up with the instructor’s pace and my thighs were screaming bloody murder. My heart was working triple the effort I’m used to, and I honestly felt like I was going to be wiped out by the end of the class.
I do have to admit though, I really only started getting into the rhythm during the last 15 minutes of the class and could finally find the mental focus to push through the muscle strain and motivate myself to do my best.
For anyone looking for an excellent workout to shake up your routine, I would definitely recommend trying a spin class. And when you go, give it your all. But I also have to highlight this super important reminder: make sure you’re feeling good that day, physically, and that you have at least a basic foundation of fitness. I kid you not, spin class isn’t as easy as it looks. I’m very used to the gruelling physical expectations of HIIT, but I did not expect spin class to test my limits. I’m glad I did it, but I don’t think it’s something I would do regularly.
Not because it’s tough (although yes, I wouldn’t volunteer to put myself through that sort of pain again!); I just don’t enjoy it as much as HIIT. So, from one spin class virgin to all those others out there, I would say give it a spin (haha, pun totally intended!), and see if it’s your new thing. Unfortunately for me, I’ll take my circuit training any day. 😉
For those of you up to the challenge, here are few pointers for your first time:
- Don’t be shy about asking for help adjusting the bike to your height and body requirements. You’re going to be on that bike for quite some time, so it’s important you feel comfortable.
- Listen to your body. As much as it feels like you should try and keep pace with the instructor, don’t over-exert yourself till you’re in excruciating pain. Even if he/she asks the class to up the resistance but you know you can’t handle any higher, keep at the current setting (or even turn it down a notch). Never feel bad about not being able to ride as tough as everyone else is.
- Remember to bring along a water bottle to class! You’re definitely going to be parched!
- At the end of the day, just like any other workout, have fun with the music! Yes, its going to be really tough to get through, but as I sit here with my thighs as sore as ever, I’m so damn glad I really went for it and got out of my comfort zone.