If you are a fitness fanatic, you will know what the rush of an intense workout could do for your not-so-great day. The feeling of pushing yourself to your limits, losing yourself in the midst of it, and coming out feeling refreshed and cleansed is incredibly addictive--this is what spinning does for me.
You enter a dark room full of people setting up their bikes, preparing for the fight and there you are, joining everyone else in this battle. Once the heart-throbbing music starts to play, you feel like you have entered another world.
There will be slow climbs, jogs, and sprints, depending on the type of song played. My favorite is the sprints, the feeling of stomping through a rapid beat in sync with fellow riders beside you; getting stronger and stronger as you hit those beats. It is like being a part of something bigger than yourself. It is quite a special thing if you ask me.
I am no expert nor an instructor, but I started making spinning a part of my everyday routine a year ago and it has changed my life inside and out--shout out to Ride Cycle Club Vancouver! Here are a few tips and tricks I have learned from behind the instructor’s podium:
You will be off the saddle 80-90% of the time.
Do not expect a nice scenic stroll on a bike through the park. You will be standing the majority of the class, but don’t worry, trust the instructor to pace your workout and give you instructions for a safe and fulfilling one.
Posture is very important.
Keep those shoulders wide, spine straight, and arms on the handlebars for support and ONLY for support. Do not hold onto them as if your life depends on them! Keep that butt back as if you are squatting, tighten those abs, and glide your legs through with your core and your hips. This will make sure you do not overwork your knees.
Resistance, resistance, resistance.
Your instructor will tell you to twist that knob according to the style of the music. The slower the beat, the more twists. The faster the beat, the less. Make sure you listen carefully, this will make it easier for you to follow the beat. If your resistance is too low on a climb, you will be bouncing around too much and you might actually injure yourself. The instructors are there to help you follow, so listen up!
Use the correct foot.
This will help you follow the beat a lot easier and get in sync with your fellow riders. If you are told, “left foot heavy," hit the beat with your left foot and sway in that direction but not too much, just enough to tell your body, “this is the dominant foot, buddy."
Can't keep up with the beat? Sit down.
There is nothing wrong with sitting down at all! Do not be afraid to sit down and restart your engine. However, do not take too long, you may lose your mojo and the rest of the class will be very tough. Sit down only to correct yourself, get back up, and kill it!
Hydrate, it makes a world of a difference.
Dehydration sucks and passing out in a dark room is not pretty. You will be sweating buckets and you will find puddles of sweat on the floor. Drinking water cools you down and doing so in between songs makes a big difference in your performance.
Cliché, but you must eat.
Some may spin to burn fat and believe it is easier to do so on an empty stomach. However, it is highly recommended that you eat a snack an hour before, not a full meal, but a snack. An egg white omelette, a peanut butter banana smoothie, greek yogurt--pile up on protein. Not only will it make you feel satiated but it helps for muscle fibers to form new scar tissue and muscle mass. You do not want to feel weak on a workout like this, nor do you want to projectile vomit and make a mess on the bike.
Have the time of your life. The moment that you step out of that 50-minute workout, you will feel like you just had 4 hours of training.
It is a very special and cleansing experience. Not only will the workout change your body but it will repair your mind, and set it free. It has changed my life, it may probably change yours. Give it a go and you will know what I mean!
Photo credit: Sweat The Style