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The Four Most Important Things You Should Know Before Your First Spin Class

Have you seriously considered taking a spin class, but just haven’t made it to one quite yet for one reason or another? This article just might be what the  “fit” doctor ordered to help ease you into your first class.  Here are some useful tips that will have you spinning in no time!

My Golden Rule when it comes to spin is yes it is tough and yes you can do it! One of the terrific things about spin is that you can make it as hard or as easy as needed. Avoid making it too easy, keep in mind a little challenge goes a long way, especially when it comes to spinning. Don’t forget why you considered taking a spin class to begin with-get yourself in gear to scorch those excess calories.

Spinning has become an increasingly popular way to exercise. Because the demand is high a lot of facilities, including mine, requires you sign up for class. Some facilities even allow you to sign up for a specific bike. If you can’t sign up for a specific bike, don’t worry too much since you have reserved a bike but if you know you want to sit in a certain area of the room then I strongly suggest showing up early to get your ideal bike!

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Water: This is definitely something you do not want to forget. This is the one exercise in which I sweat the most. Keeping that in mind it is important to not hydrate just during class but before and after as well! Don’t bother bringing the little kid size waters, I recommend at least a liter! You aren’t jumping around so you don’t have to worry about a tummy too full of water. Drink your water and as often as possible during class!

Towel: You are definitely going to sweat and it is most likely going to drip. Make sure you have a towel to whip off your sweat. It isn’t uncommon for some people to form a puddle under their bikes.

Tennis Shoes: If this is your first time then tennis shoes will work just fine. There are cycling shoes you can wear and most seasoned riders prefer them over tennis shoes. The cycling shoes give you a better contact with the pedal and don’t stress your feet as much. Some studios even allow you to rent a pair, so definitely give them a test run before purchasing. Renting is a great option, a good pair of cycling shoes can be costly.

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Gals: I personally suggest wearing pants that are at the knee or below and tight to the skin. Anything shorter than the knees you may have to worry about getting into some uncomfortable situations on the bike seat. Also, if you are wearing pants then they can interfere with the rhythm of the pedals spinning around. You will also feel your pants hit the bike, which is a personal annoyance of mine. This workout is already tough enough. No need to create more aggravations. Wearing form fitting, moisture wicking pants are the best option. For the top I recommend something form sitting and moisture wicking as well. Anything loose will get heavier the more you sweat and just hang off you like dead weight.

Guys: I am not a guy so I wouldn’t dare give you a direct recommendations but I have noticed that most guys wear shorts and a tank top. More times than not the tank top ends up on the floor. Yes you can sweat that much! Again moisture wicking fabric is the best!

Both Genders: There are spinning shorts that are popular, that are essentially padded in the seat. This can be useful if you ride a lot or if you find the seat to be uncomfortable. Again, not a requirement for your first time but maybe a purchase in your spinning future.

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For your first few sessions you might consider arriving at least 10-15 minutes or more early to class. That will give you some time to chat with your instructor and make sure your bike is set up properly. Last thing you’ll want to do is arrive late to your class, especially your first one.  It can make for a complicated experience.  Feel free to get familiar with your bike, try the resistance knob- test it out and see how it feels pedaling with different resistances.

Try to avoid sitting in the back. I know it might be tempting to hide out in the back. I recommend taking a seat in the front.  I identified from the very beginning that I could learn the most from watching the teacher and more seasoned riders. Find a place in class that allows you to clearly view the teacher and experienced riders.

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-The music will probably be loud. Some places offer earplugs if you are sensitive or want to protect your ears. This is used to keep you motivated as well as keep your feet moving at the right speed. Typically an instructor will use the beat/tempo of the song to help you pace your feet. Each beat equals one circle of your feet.

-There will be drills where you lift your bottom off of the seat, if this seems challenging then try it for a little bit and then sit back down. There is absolutely no shame in sitting. The more you practice the more you will get comfortable with the challenge.

-If your feet are going faster than the instructors and you feel yourself bouncing on the bike,  then you probably need to add more resistance. Same goes for if your feet are slower; take some resistance off.

-Keep in mind, most spin classes are very supportive. You are not being judged on your performance.

-Anticipate a great deal of sweating and possibly a little fatigue at your first couple classes. Plan for a shower immediately following class. You might even benefit from a soothing bath with Epson salt, later that evening, if you find yourself experiencing slight soreness in legs or glutes.

After you make it over the hump of the initial classes, you will more than likely find yourself wanting more. Spin has been known to have addictive qualities.

What are you waiting for? Now is the perfect time time to spin. So go get sweaty and don’t forget to have fun!