Have you ever taken an indoor cycling class at your local gym? If the answer is no, then I encourage you to read on an learn more about this amazing exercise.
Many people have told me that they are hesitant to take the class for two reasons:
1) It’s too intimidating
2) My butt will hurt on those little seats.
Well I am here to tell you that step one is to get over your fear of group exercise. I am going to let you in on a little secret. Most people (except your instructor) only care about THEIR OWN workout. So give yourself a pep talk, walk right into class, and tell your instructor that you are new! He or she will make sure that your bike is set up properly and tell you how the resistance works, to ensure that you are ready for a safe, low impact, and challenging workout. The resistance is key! If you feel that you ever need a break from class, just turn your resistance down enough that you just feel “the road beneath your feet” and coast along a flat road for a while. Once you are ready to rejoin the group and kick up your effort level, you can add on more resistance to challenge yourself again.
As for the little seats, well, your butt just gets used to it. I have six foot five, 250 pound men that take my class and sit on those little seats. After a few classes your butt won’t know the difference (and you’ll end up with a great looking butt after a few more). There are padded bike shorts available for men and women as another option if you need it.
Why should I take a class if there are stationary bikes right outside of the room that I can use?
Great question. Does that stationary bike come with an instructor who is going to push you, challenge you, and motivate you to work to your max for the 45-60 minutes? Probably not. Group exercise is such a beneficial way to improve your overall cardiovascular system. Not only are you motivated by fast-paced, exciting music, but you are with a group of 20-30 other people who are in it just like you! I have made many new friends by taking group fitness classes because you typically see the same people when you take those classes each week. People build their work weeks and personal schedules around their favorite classes for a reason! I have a friend that told her boss that she wouldn’t take a lunch break at all as long as she could use that hour to take a 9am spin class a couple of times a week. Exercises makes you more productive at work, so he was happy to oblige.
What’s so great about indoor cycling when there are so many other cardio options available?
A few things!
First off, indoor cycling is very low impact. I have been injured many times during my days as a runner, having to take time off for stress fractures and sore chins and knees. I teach indoor cycling 5-6 times a week, and I have never been injured or needed a break. Proper bike set up is key, so make sure that your bike seat is at the proper height. Have your instructor help you with the initial set up, and then you’ll know how to set your bike up each class.
Depending on you height, weight and effort level, you will burn between 500-800 calories during that 50-60 minute class. A heart rate monitor is a great way to help you get an accurate estimate of your calorie expenditure. I recommend the Garmin Forerunner 110. You can find out more information about that product here.
Cycling classes often are so great because of the music and the instructor! If you attend one, and you are less than thrilled, try out more. Each instructor has a unique style. With many options and several classes held each day, you are sure to find one that fits!
Are you convinced yet!? I hope so! Once you try it you’re sure to get hooked like me. Happy cycling (and sweating).