So for those of you who are hip and with the times, you know that spin class is all the rage. Gone are the days of trudging along on the treadmill or the elliptical. If you want a kick booty cardio workout, you get your little Lululemon-dressed tush to spin class.
Because I can be somewhat of a follower at times (don’t knock it, you can be too), I had to check out spin and see what it was all about.
A year or so ago, I took my first spin class at Highpower in New Orleans. I fell in love instantly. I’m not sure if it was the dim lighting, the instructor screaming “PUSH HARDER” as if I was in labor, or the fact that I got a red velvet donut from Blue Dot after, but spin class became my new thing.
Since being in Virginia and joining a gym, I’ve taken approximately six spin classes that my gym offers, and I’ve loved them each for their own reasons.
This one instructor is a woman from Jersey, so she says stuff like, “Ah, get ova it already,” and “If ya want me to stahp tawking, jus say so. I’ll listen to ya.”
This other instructor is a really cool middle-aged man who constantly reminds you that “No one is faster or stronger than you,” and I’m like you’re damn skippy because I am KILLING IT on this bike rn.
And another instructor belts out the songs on his playlist, and it gives me life. There’s nothing like being on minute forty and wanting to jam your eyeballs into the handlebars and then hearing your spin instructor sing “Fight Song” at the top of his lungs.
It’s a gift, really. Spin. A gift to my soul and a gift to my quads.
… but it’s not all fun and games.
It can actually be an incredibly miserable experience at times, which is why I’m here to break it down for you.
My Thoughts During Spin Class: A Near Minute-By-Minute Breakdown
5:25pm – show up to class and pick your bike
5:28pm – finish adjusting your bike and start peddling to warm up your legs. This is also when you scope out the room to see who will be joining you on your adventure.
5:29pm – instructor says something along the lines of, “Okay, are we ready to ride?” and the class responds with different variations of yes. Sometimes one person will mumble “No.” That’s usually me.
5:30pm-5:45pm – warm-up ride. This is typically low resistance, moderate pace. So your legs are spinning really quickly, but you aren’t getting winded. I always pretend like I’m the witch at the beginning of The Wizard of Oz.
5:46pm – We begin a climb. This means higher resistance, lower pace, to simulate biking up a hill. You can start to feel the burn in your quads, but “no one is faster or stronger than you,” so you’re good.
5:50pm – Rest #1, which isn’t even a rest at all. You’ve ended the first climb, so now you’re back in the saddle (which means you’re sitting on the bike) and you’re peddling faster at a lower resistance. This is the moment where I dab sweat off of my face, chest, and the back of my neck and drink water like a newborn camel. If they even drink water. I don’t know their lives.
5:53pm – We begin climb #2. Basically the same as before, except you want to push harder and up your resistance. There’s usually some female empowerment song happening at this point. You can see the sweat falling OFF OF YOUR FACE and splashing onto the bike. Part of you is like, “I AM SUCH A BADASS,” and the other part is starting to get pissed that you’re hurting your muscles on purpose.
5:58pm – Rest #2. This is when my mental game starts to get weak. About half an hour in, I contemplate leaving. I daydream about pizza and brownies and how thirty minutes is enough, and I don’t have to stay here if I don’t want to. Then I look to my right and see a lady in her 80’s still peddling away, so I make myself stay, even though I might vomit.
6:00pm – Climb #3 and straight away into ab sprints. Basically the next ten minutes or so are incredibly cruel, and now, not only do your legs kill, but your abs do too because “ab sprints” are things.
6:11pm – You tell yourself you have nearly fifteen minutes left and you can do it.
6:12pm – You tell yourself that you have nearly fifteen minutes left and you cannot do it.
6:13pm – Spice Girls comes on. I figure this is on purpose. Because if there’s one thing that can keep me in a room (or on a stationary bike), it’s the Spice Girls. I sing “Wannabe” at the top of my oxygen-deprived lungs, which is less like singing, and more like mouthing the words in between gasps for air.
6:18pm – We’re nearing the end of class and have about one or two more songs to go. Some instructors have you sprint it out, while others have you do a variation of positions 1-3 on the bike.
So you’ll start off in Position 1 for eight seconds, move to either 2 or 3 for eight seconds, and back down to 1. Then you’ll do the same cycle for four seconds, two seconds, etc.
Or, if you’re me, you somehow end up in this position, which I’ll dub as Position 4: Am I Doing It Right?
6:24pm – Resistance starts to ease up, pace follows suit. It’s time for the cool down and also the part of class when you start to feel lightheaded but just convince yourself it’s a “cycler’s high.”
6:26pm – Bikes stop and we begin to stretch
6:27pm – You’re not really sure if your muscles are still muscles, because they feel as stiff as the drink we all had after watching Melania Trump’s disaster of a speech and you begin to question everything ranging from your age to why you never stretched more as a child and this must be caused from that one year I didn’t take vitamins in college.
6:30pm – Class ends and you find yourself clapping 1. because everyone else is and 2. because this shit is over and you can go cry in peace.
Spin class is no joke. It’s not for the faint of heart. It is a wonderfully difficult workout that you really can set at your own pace and intensity. I’m addicted. Yes, it sometimes makes me wish I was doing literally anything else but biking, but it’s such a good workout. And the cycler’s high that I totally made up is a thing. I mean, typically it just means you’re starving…
So if you’ve been contemplating giving spin class a go, definitely do it! Just make sure you wear workout leggings (NOT shorts), bring a towel to sop up your gross sweat, and a water bottle the size of those insulated jugs teenagers bring to the beach and fill with Sonic slushes and vodka. You can also find more tips here.
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Have a great weekend!