As someone who is constantly working to drop that next five pounds but quickly gets bored, take it from me — spinning can be fun. It sounds intimidating — an hour-long class spent on a stationary bike in the dark. No way can that be fun, right?
As is my mentality with any new fitness class, I entered with the goal of making it through alive. Spinning was no exception. So in I walked, apprehensively, trying to make it look like I knew what I was doing. After a decent warm up and learning how to adjust gear, I quickly found my groove. The music was great, the instructor was kicking my butt, and I could (in my mind, at least) feel the calories melting away.
Truth be told, about 15 minutes in, I thought I was going to die. But at least I was having fun on my way out. As we “climbed hills” and “rode down” I found that I could actually have a bit of fun racing my neighbors. And, like any newbie, I loved anything that got me out of that seat (first lesson: bring your own padded seat cover. Your tush will thank you.). I did make it to the end of that first class — and ended up hooked, going back two to three times each week.
Each class is a little bit different — whether the instructor changes or the music is different. Each ride is your own — you decide how difficult your workout is and how much you can push yourself. Not only will you develop great quads and glutes, but the success you feel at the end of each class is amazing.
Spinning classes are great not just for the regular gym buff, but also for anyone with health conditions. They are highly compatible with heart monitors, given that everyone can tailor their own workout. It’s easy to adjust your level of effort to stay within — or reach — your recommended work zone.
In comparison to many fitness options, spinning is also a relatively low-impact sport, meaning that you can gain muscle and endurance without straining ligaments and knee joints as is common in other sports, such as running.
Spinning can also make a great companion workout to other fitness regimens. I know many runners who swear that their pace per mile improved when they added spinning to their repertoire.
On a technical side, spinning classes are often taught as interval classes — meaning that your level of effort changes in rotation. You might climb at an effort level of “eight” for three minutes, then take a two-minute recovery before gearing back up. These intervals make your body more efficient at burning fat, allowing you to get even more great results from your hour on that bike.
Best yet, spinning gets results. While it took a month to see them, after two months on the bike I was down five pounds.
So grab your water bottle, a towel, and a seat cover — your legs will thank you.