Before you walk into your first spin class there are a few spinning basics you should know. There is spinning terminology you should be familiar with and I wanted to share some tips to help you get the most out of your spinning class. Spin class is fantastic cardio, but it also provides some Strength & Conditioning training as well.
What happens at Spin Class?
During a spin class, you’ll pedal an indoor bicycle while the instructor guides you through a workout that’s similar to outdoor cycling. Your spin class instructor will set the pace for the class. The pace in which you spin during spin class will fluctuate but always do your best to go at a pace that feels comfortable for your workout.
Most spin classes allow you to wear regular sneakers, whereas other classes may require you to wear a specific type of cycling shoe. You can purchase cycling shoes if the gym requires it or you feel like spinning is going to become a regular part of your workout routine. Cycling shoes have a hard clip that fits into the pedals snug to give you more security as you fluctuate speeds during spin class.
During a typical spin class, you’ll be spinning with a group of other people who are looking to get a fabulous workout, just like you. The instructor will guide you through the steps of getting a solid workout during spin class, making it easier to know you’re benefiting from spin class as a workout regiment. Some spin classes are in the dark, and most have loud music to keep your pumped up and motivated. If you go to a spin class that is in the dark, they will probably have black lights, the ones I went to did. I actually liked being in the dark, it gave me the chance to zone out a bit and just focus on the instructor’s words.
Here are some Spinning Basics:
Bring Water and a Towel
You’ll work up a sweat during your first time (and every time!) spinning, so be sure to bring a towel. Some gyms provide you with a towel, it’s always good to bring your own for your first spinning class. Bring a bottle of water with you and take continuous small sips during your spinning class to stay hydrated.
Check Your Bike
Before you start to spin, it’s important to check your bike. Make sure the saddle is stable, the bike is on an even surface, and that the pedals and straps can hold your feet in securely. You’ll want your bike to be in tip-top shape so that you’re as safe as possible before spinning.
Take a Break
It’s okay to go at your own speed at a spin class. Don’t be afraid to take a break if the workout is too much, you’ll build up your tolerance to spinning as you attend more classes. The key is to make sure the workout is reasonable for your skill and health level.
What terms do I need to know before spinning?
There are some terms that spinners use and know, you should become familiar with basic spinning terminology. This will help you fit in during the spinning class, and know what others in the spinning class are talking about even though you’re a beginner.
Resistance – this refers to how much tension you have on the pedals. The more resistance, the harder it will be to push the pedals during your spinning session.
Gear – the part of the indoor bicycle that allows you to adjust the resistance during your spinning class. Turning the gear right or left will help you adjust the resistance.
Cadence – this is a spinning term that refers to how many complete circles your pedals will go during a minute. If your cadence is 50 cadence, it means the pedal goes around 50 times per minute.
Sprinting – this spinning term is all about moving fast, it’s usually when you have your bicycle set to a lower resistance and can pedal faster to get your heart rate up to get a good cardio workout.
Saddle – the saddle refers to the seat of your indoor bicycle while spinning
Brake – the brake is the same as the gear except you push down on the knob to stop during spinning.
These are a few of the spinning basics every spinning beginner should know before heading to class for the first time. Spinning is a popular way to enjoy a good workout indoors all year round. Many people opt to take a spinning class in their local neighborhood, but you could purchase your own indoor bicycle, like a Peleton or other spinning bike, to do spinning on your own terms at home.
Have you taken a spin class before? Did you like it?
As with any healthy lifestyle, eating well and touching base with your doctor is always a good idea too!