As a rider, I prefer to march to the beat of my own drum, especially when it comes to indoor cycling. Here are the seven things that I typically avoid doing in my spin class:

  1. Following the Tempo: When I’m out of the saddle, I sometimes struggle to keep up with the requested RPM. Instead, I do what I can or remain seated and match the tempo.
  2. Bike Dancing: While it looks enjoyable, I don’t feel agile enough on the bike to move up, down, and side-to-side to the beat like we’re in a disco.
  3. Upper Body Weight Workouts: I often skip the weighted bar and clean towel on the handlebars and instead pedal at a moderate pace without pumping iron like my fellow riders.
  4. Isolations: Although I’d love to try it, I don’t feel confident enough to hover just above the seat with minimal weight on the bars and spin like a levitating swami.
  5. Holding onto the Bars: During sprints, I prefer to sit up straight and sprint without holding onto the handlebars. It might be because of my big belly, but it feels more comfortable.
  6. Pre-Sprint Sprints: While some instructors may prepare us for sprints by having us reach 130+ RPM, I prefer to save my energy for the actual sprint.
  7. Instructor’s Stretch Routines: I stretch my calves on the bike but then get off and stretch my quads and hamstrings, which take a little longer at my age.
Hanging with my Spin Instructor from Biker Barre back in 2016
Hanging with my Spin Instructor on Sia theme day from Biker Barre back in 2016

Although each spin instructor adds their personal touch to the ride they offer their riders, there are still some similarities in each class, including warm-up, hills, sprints, dancing on the bike, upper body workouts, meditative riding, and stretches on and off the bike.

Afterglow, second week, first day, at Cyclebar Columbia Pike
Afterglow, second week, first day, at Cyclebar Columbia Pike

Never Been to Spin Before? No Problem!

Are you considering attending your first spin class? Here’s a primer on what to expect from start to finish:

Before You Attend:

  1. Research: Find a spin studio in your area and look up their website or social media page to see their schedule, pricing, and any requirements for attending.
  2. Registration: Sign up for the class in advance, either online or over the phone. Some studios allow walk-ins, but it’s best to secure your spot beforehand.
  3. Arrival Time: Arrive at least 10-15 minutes early to sign in, get your bike, and make any necessary adjustments.
  4. What to Bring: Bring a water bottle, a towel, and wear comfortable workout clothes. Some studios provide towels and water, but it’s always best to be prepared.
  5. Clipless Pedals: If you have clipless pedals, bring your shoes, or check with the studio if they provide shoes that fit their pedals.
What a Cyclebar studio looks like upon early arrival
What a Cyclebar studio looks like upon early arrival

When You Arrive:

  1. Introduction: Check in with the front desk and let them know you’re attending your first class. They may ask you to sign a waiver or give you a quick orientation.
  2. Bike Sizing: Ask a staff member to help you size the bike, adjust the seat and handlebars to fit your height and body type.
  3. Lights and Music: Some studios may dim the lights and play loud music during the class, so bring earplugs if you have sensitive ears.
It's really so much fun! It's both exercise and a community!
It’s really so much fun! It’s both exercise and a community!

During the Class:

  1. Follow Instructions: The instructor will guide you through the class, including adjusting your resistance, RPMs, and posture. Follow their instructions as closely as you can.
  2. Take Breaks: Don’t push yourself too hard if you feel overwhelmed or need a break. It’s okay to sit down, adjust your resistance, or reduce your RPMs.
  3. Hydrate: Drink water throughout the class to stay hydrated.
  4. Scoreboards: Some studios have scoreboards that track your progress, but don’t get too caught up in the numbers. Focus on your own ride and pace.
Kicking your own butt makes me feel so proud!
Kicking your own butt makes me feel so proud!

After the Class:

  1. Stretching: Cool down and stretch after the class to prevent injury and reduce muscle soreness.
  2. Clean-Up: Wipe down your bike and return any equipment to its proper place.
  3. Feedback: Give the studio feedback on your experience, whether positive or negative, to help them improve their services.

Remember to be courteous to others in the class by not talking loudly or distracting others, and respecting the studio’s policies and rules. Following these tips will help ensure a successful and enjoyable spin class experience!