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It’s 2018 and you still haven’t tried a Spin class? Or maybe you tried one years ago, and for one reason or another, you didn’t stick with it? Well, it’s time to consider adding Spinning to your workout rotation.
“There’s more to [Spinning] than riding a stationary bike in a dark room with music so loud you can’t tell if your body is screaming ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to repeated all-out sprints, gnarly uphill climbs and four-minute out-of-the-saddle jogs,” says Kristina Girod, managing lead instructor at Flywheel Sports in Scottsdale, Arizona. “It’s therapy for the stressed. It’s counseling for the hurt. It’s sunshine on a cloudy day.”
While there are numerous benefits to spinning, Girod shares her top five reasons why, after four years of serving as an instructor, she still believes this workout is the bomb.
You Feel Better
Have you ever crushed a tough workout and walked out feeling miserable? Yeah, me neither. Studies show that you genuinely feel happier and have more energy after a great workout. All those positive thoughts and good feelings are working overtime to ensure you view yourself in the best way possible. The wonderful part about this type of self-love is that it’s contagious. People love being around happy and confident people.
You Are Healthier
Physical activity can reduce your risk of heart disease and other stress-related illnesses the natural way. Typical Spin classes are a great way to boost metabolism, increase endurance and cardiac health, and gain lean muscle mass.
You Set and Crush Goals
Not every day will be perfect, but learning to stay motivated and squeeze in a quick class when you can helps drive intention in other aspects of your life. You teach yourself to work through the tough stuff, and with each success, you grow more confident and are apt to set bigger goals in the future.
You Make Friends That Hold You Accountable
Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals is one of the easiest ways to hold yourself accountable and make it to class. Set “sweat dates” and commit to never missing them. Also, if you have that one competitive friend in the group who always goes for gold, sit next to him or her every time. You’ll find yourself working harder, too.
You Increase Your Focus
In a solid Spin class, you can easily lose all concept of time. This is a perfect scenario when you’ve had a hard day, didn’t want to show up or wanted to leave before class even started. You learn to focus your thoughts and energy on the task at hand, and that drive doesn’t stop when class is over.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Spin Class
So are you ready to take the plunge and jump on a bike after that ringing endorsement? Follow Girod’s simple rules to set yourself up for success:
- Go with a friend. Whether they’re new like you or have been Spinning for years, it’s always a great idea to have a familiar face in the room.
- Call the studio ahead of time. Check to see whether they offer complimentary shoes, towels, water, etc. This way, you know what you need to bring.
- Arrive at least 15 minutes before class. Make sure to allow yourself plenty of time to find the studio, get checked in and properly set up your bike. This is crucial for an optimal first-time experience. Arriving early allows the studio staff and instructor to give you as much attention as you need to learn the ropes.
- Commit to testing the waters. There’s only so much you can do in any Spin class, but it’s easy to feel overwhelmed if you’re new. Commit to giving it your all and trying everything at least once. In most cases, you’ll surprise yourself and realize you are a total badass.
- Check for deals. Most studios have first-time rider discounts or deals on platforms like Groupon or ClassPass. You can save some serious coin by doing a little research before booking a class.
- Pretend you’re a pro. Give yourself permission to not have it all together for a change. You’re new! Ask questions and learn as much as you can before class starts. The more knowledge you have, the better.
- Be afraid to try out different studios and instructors. Every instructor has something unique to bring to the table, and some may or may not resonate with you. Find an instructor that sets your soul on fire and leaves you wanting more.
- Try just one class. If your first experience wasn’t the greatest, don’t chalk it up to “been there, done that” and walk away. Give it a fair shot by committing to three to five classes before making up your mind.
- Skip a class. If you’re booked in, commit to showing up and creating a habit. That way, it becomes a lifestyle versus a chore.
- Compare yourself to others. Everyone is on his or her own path. Commit to finding riders in class who inspire you to push harder, but don’t get lost in competition and allow that to suck all the fun out of the workout.
“An experienced, soulful and authentic instructor will make you a believer,” Girod says. “Most riders enjoy the group workout, finding it difficult to motivate themselves on their own. The hooting and hollering that comes with a dope beat drop of your favorite song can keep anyone motivated. Typically, it’s the pairing of great music, motivational coaching and a class full of energy that allows even the most novice rider to thrive and come back for more.”