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What to Expect From Your First Spinning Class

spinning class

Ever since an LA instructor first put spin cycling on the map back in the 1990s, spin classes have pretty much taken the world by storm. Today, there are celebrity spin trainers, countless of playlists with beat-based choreography, and even indoor spin bikes designed for use at home.

Of course, if you’ve just signed up for your first spinning class, you’re probably new to this huge trend!

These intense classes are a great way to ramp up your calorie-burning during a fast-paced cardio workout, but they can feel a little intimidating if it’s your first time walking through the door. If you’re wondering what to expect from your sweat session, here’s what to keep in mind.

What Is a Spinning Class?

Before we get too far into expectations, let’s go over the basics: what is spinning class?

Also called “spin class,” these are instructor-led courses in which you’ll use a stationary bike for an intense workout. Your instructor will change up the speed, ask you to get into different positions, and encourage your team effort.

If you’ve ever looked in on a class, it might have seemed intimidating: most people are drenched in sweat by the end under the instructor’s loud encouragement. But don’t be fooled! These workouts can be incredibly fun, intense, and rewarding.

Once you’ve had your first session, you’ll find that the benefits of spin class also include enhanced strength, fat and calorie burning, and a fantastic cardio workout.

How to Prepare Before Spin Class

On the day of your first session, there are a few simple ways to gear up for the workout.

Dress for Success

You’ll be doing an intense gym workout, and in most cases, you can wear your typical workout clothes. Make sure to grab your most breathable clothes, as you’ll be doing a lot of sweating!

In addition, there are a few other things to note.

First, consider wearing tight-fitting shorts or even cycling shorts, as these are less likely to hamper your cycling than loose-fitting clothes. Next, ladies should wear a good sports bra, as your instructor may have you jump onto and off of the bike saddle.

Last, though you don’t need cycling shoes, you should wear them if you own them. Whatever footwear you go with, make sure to tuck your shoelaces into your shoes to keep them from getting caught in the gears.

Bring a Towel and Water

These two gym staples should not be overlooked during spin class. As we’ve mentioned above, you’ll need to be ready for a sweat session, so come prepared!

What to Expect and Do When You Arrive

Once you’ve arrived, it’s time to get cycling! Come a little early to meet your instructor and prepare yourself.

Adjust Your Bike

You’ll be spending the next 30-60 minutes on your bike, so arrive early to make sure it suits you. Most spin bike models allow you to adjust the saddle, handlebars, or both.

A good rule of thumb is that the saddle height should match the height of your hip bone when standing. When you sit in the saddle, you should have a slight bend to your knees when they’re at the lowest part of the cycle rotation. As for your handlebars, you can put them wherever you feel most comfortable.

Get to Know Your “Flat Road”

Your “flat road” is a position on your resistance dial that offers a small amount of resistance without making you work too hard. This will act as your baseline in class, so check the level before your instructor starts encouraging you to gear up.

Be Ready to Stand

During spin class, your instructor may have you stand up while pedaling. This can feel tricky at first, but it’s not too difficult to get used to. Keep in mind that it’s easier to do at a higher resistance level.

Your instructor may also have you “tap back,” meaning you’ll stand from the saddle, return almost into a seated position, and then stand back up over and over again. This “tapping” move is a great muscle builder.

Don’t Be Afraid to take Breaks

If this is your first session, just know that there’s no shame in taking a break! Spinning can be pretty grueling, so feel free to dial down the resistance on your bike as needed. No one else can tell what resistance level you’re working against.

Don’t forget to also take frequent water breaks as needed, and remember to breathe!

What to Expect After Class

Once you’ve caught your breath, it’s time to reward yourself for a job well done.

Rest, Fuel Up, and Hydrate

Just as you would after any new workout, it’s a good idea to rest and listen to your body after your first workout. Spin classes may be a great way to supplement your leg day workouts, but your glutes and leg muscles may not thank you for it right away!

In addition, don’t forget to refuel once you’ve finished exercising. A rehydrating smoothie is a safe bet if you’re not ready to eat anything heavy right after class.

Try Out Different Instructors

Now that you’ve experienced your first class, don’t hesitate to try sessions with different instructors! Each instructor will play different music and encourage different moves, and you might find that you match better with one type of motivation over another. Different instructors may also train for different terrains, use different paces, or focus on specific muscle groups.

Book your next session with someone you love, and get ready to jump back into the saddle!

Join Our Group Spin Classes Today

Ready to rev up your heart rate while enhancing your strength? Trying your hand at spinning class can be an effective and fun way to work out, and you might not want to stop once you’ve had your first one!

If you’re ready to book one of these high-intensity, low-impact classes, check out our group classes or give us a call today.


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