Angela Leon 07/18/2014
Over my last two years as both an indoor cycling instructor and owner of my own studio I have met many beginners. Some coming in to continue their current fitness program, some to recover from injury and others looking to start an exercise program for the first time. While we encourage new riders to take it easy and provide them with cushions, we still feel that a percentage don’t return for their second ride because it was not quite what they expected.
Here are the key things you should expect when taking a spinning class for the first time:
1.The seat is tiny and you will be sitting on a section of your body that you probably don’t often use. No, really, it’s a very small area. Use the provided cushion, take breaks and stand when you need to and most important… position yourself to the rear of the saddle! Your glutes should actually hang off a little (some more than others) on the back. It’s important that the cushion of the seat be under your special region. Not only does this help with the initial pain, it allows you to use your entire leg in the pedal stroke, which helps with better workout.
On another note, it typically it takes 4-5 rides before that region gets, um, calloused. Now don’t worry ladies you will not develop actual callouses but you will get to a point where your business down there is not so sore.
2. The music may be loud. But most studios offer earplugs, so just ask ahead or bring your own just in case. At C-Cycle Studio (my place) we have them at the counter and available for free to anyone that needs them. Always feel free to let the owner or instructor know if you are having issues hearing the instructor or if the music is offensive. Instructors should always play the filtered (non-explicit) versions of songs. Any good studio will look for and respond to feedback, whether it’s good or bad.
3. All instructors are different. If you don’t like the first one you visit, then be sure to try the next. All of them have their own style and while you may not dig the awesome chick with the tattoos, you may like the many other personalities that most studios offer. At C-Cycle we have a choice of 14 different instructors all of them amazing, but with different styles and characteristics.
4. Ride your own ride. Dont be intimidated by the triathlete beside you or the young college coed who is in front of you. Focus on your ride and listen to your body and the instructor. They are in their zone and are not worried if you feel like your who-ha is on fire (see number 1) or if you are sweating last night’s Cabernet. Those people will become your spinning buddies and friends before long…most classes are like clubs and there are regulars.
5. Learn the bike. In our studio, we have the RealRyder Bikes that actually move and tilt. These are a lot of fun, but can be a little intimidating, even to the more experienced rider. When starting a new indoor cycling class or trying a new bike, it is important to understand the resistance and use the first few songs or even the first class to learn how the bike works and how it challenges you.
6. If your have questions or concerns… speak up! At C-Cycle Studio, we want to know what we can do to make you want to come back. Most studios will listen and try to help you better your next visit. We can also make suggestions based on your needs and concerns.
7.It’s not easy, but it’s fun! Your first workout is filled with a lot of emotions as you get set up, and adjusted, but take my word and give it at least a few classes to get your “business” adjusted and your mind on the real challenge…a great workout and a fun experience!
So whether you are considering your first class, or if you are trying to convince yourself to go back for a second ride, remember we have all been there and it will get better!