A NOTE FROM PIP: Jess from Happy = Healthy is a busy young gal livin’ the life in Cleveland, but she somehow found some time to sneak in a workout and write this guest post. When I reached out, I didn’t have any specific suggestion on what to share, but then she surprised me by writing about one of my favorite cardio workouts at one of my favorite studios in all of Northeastern Ohio – taught by one of my great friends, Bethany. Thanks Jess – take it away!
Hi Poise in Parma readers! Thanks so much to Alicia for allowing me to guest post. I’m a young professional in the advertising field who’s on a journey to a healthier & fit lifestyle. I’m training for my first 10K and have been looking for new ways to cross train. I’ve been wanting to try spinning for quite some time now (along with yoga, Crossfit, and pure barre), and I recently got the chance to check it off my list!
I actually had a class credit at Harness Cycle but wasn’t able to make it out to The Cycle Lab before they move to their Hingetown location, so I have another spinning class to attend in the near future. I decided that I wanted to try a couple places and see how my experience was at each one, so I booked my first ride at Ride + Workout in Lakewood, Ohio.
[Images courtesy of Ride + Workout’s website]
The class I took was actually a Ride/TRX Basics class, so we did the cycling for about 30 minutes and then the last 15 minutes we used the TRX (suspension training) system. (You can learn more about TRX here.) I had never done either, so it was a fun way to experience 2 new things! I’ll tell you now, after class my muscles were WEAK. Like, wobbly shaky weak. But in a good way
[Images courtesy of Ride + Workout’s Facebook]
The instructor (Alicia’s good friend Bethany!) was incredibly friendly and helpful to me and the other new attendees – she showed us how to set the bike up, the proper height for the seat, and how our feet should be situated. More people filled up the other bikes and we all started slow cycling to warm up. As newbies, we were told to focus just on riding and form, and we could jump in and out of the more advanced moves as we felt comfortable. The lights were dimmed, the music was turned up, and we got to work! Non-stop spinning, with periods of more resistance and slower motions, mixed with periods of standing up and alternating in “jumps” made for some really awesome, intense cardio. I didn’t do as much of the standing up spinning because my legs aren’t as strong as I’d like them to be, plus with my heart condition I got tired pretty quickly. I did keep the intensity at a level I could handle but that also challenged me and I alternated between a lower resistance and faster pace with a higher resistance and lower pace. It was a lot of fun, and really got me sweating! The instructor showed me how to keep my feet and heels for better form, and she encouraged us to do whatever was comfortable for us. I am glad I pushed myself more than I normally would, but also knew when to do my own thing. After the 30 minute session, we did a quick cool down on the bike before hopping off and heading over to the TRX area.
It was interesting getting to use the suspension trainer for the first time, too. We did lunges, push ups (while we were standing), SO MANY PLANKS, and some other strength moves. Then we did a little stretching at the end. It was really intense and I got a great workout. I also learned how much work I need to do on my muscles, I don’t have much strength in my arms.
Overall, it was a fun experience and I will definitely take more spinning classes in the future. My only concern was the price – it does add up if you go enough (but if you love it, it’ll be worth it).
photo credit here
Thinking of trying spinning for the first time? Here are some of my suggestions:
- Consider trying multiple locations and instructors. Part of the appeal is the experience and atmosphere, so you’ll want to find a place you feel comfortable and an instructor you like. Most places offer a discounted price for your first class, too.
- Arrive to your first class early! The instructor will help get you ready with bike adjustments and just generally talking you through how the class will go.
- Bring a hand towel. I did not bring a towel to my first class and while I was fine without it, it would’ve been nice to have to wipe off my forehead.
- Bring a water bottle. You will definitely need this. Also the instructor told me to drink a lot of water after the class too – you want to stay hydrated.
- Bring a friend (if you can). I went alone, which was fine… but it definitely would be more fun with a spinning buddy. Plus, if it’s both of your first times, you won’t feel so awkward. Then you’ll have someone you can start regularly going with!
- Be prepared for your butt to hurt. I was told it would take about 3 classes for it to not hurt anymore. There’s no way around it, the seat is just not going to be comfortable and your butt will be sore afterwards for a day or two.
- Don’t worry about getting spinning shoes until you know it’s something you want to do long-term (and even then, it’s not a requirement). Most places have cages that fit a regular tennis shoe, or may even offer a spinning shoe rental. For the price, it’s best to wait since they can be pricey (unless you find a good deal somewhere!).
- Most importantly… HAVE FUN! Get in the moment, find your groove, and just enjoy it.