After joining the gym 6 years ago, I was completely intimidated by the cycling classes. I've never been one to really ask questions (I know, right? What's my deal?) so trying a new class was almost out of the question. How would I set up the bike? How would I know how to change the resistance? What if I couldn't make it through the class? How could I leave unnoticed?
My mom was actually the first in the family to try a spin class. She thought she would try something new, and ended up being the only one who showed up for the class. She wanted to die, but like me, would never let on that she was suffering. I still laugh until I cry when she relates the story. Being alone in a group fitness class is my worst nightmare!
Not too long after my mom's experience, a friend invited me to try a cycling class with her. I totally gave in to the peer pressure, and went, knowing full well the torture that certainly loomed. Not surprisingly, I HATED the first class! Everytime the instructor shouted in her happy, motivating, chipper voice to turn up the resistance, I wanted to rip off the resistance knob and chuck it at her pretty little sweatless face. I was dripping. How was she still even talking? I think I looked at the clock literally every two seconds to see how much longer I had to endure the pain. After a grueling hour, the class finally ended. I walked out looking like I'd just jumped in a pool, and went home with a saddle sore backside.
As the hours in my post-cycling day passed, I sort of felt good. You see, spin classes are a lot like childbirth. You endure, and you forget because you love the result (although the forgetting may take a year or two)!
I now go to cycling classes on at least a weekly basis. And you know what? I still sort of actually hate it, but in a weird way that makes me love it. I still watch the clock every few minutes (and occasionaly every few seconds), but I leave feeling ready to conquer the world.
If you've never tried a cycling class, try it. It's definitely not your everyday bikeride. But here are a few reasons I love this painful class:
- I love the energizing music!
- You don't have to wear a helmet!
- It is the BEST interval training workout around.
- It does wonders for the heart and lungs.
- It burns a gazillion calories.
- It lowers total cholesterol
- It decreases stress (although those hill climbs can feel pretty stressful!)
- It reduces the risk of some diseases.
- The classes provide a fun, non-competetive setting (You don't really know who's winning!)
- It increases leg strength (cuz it uses all the muscles...glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves...watch out!)
- It helps improves posture.
- There is a lesser risk of injury...it's a great, low-impact workout since your body doesn't have to support your full body weight.
- It's a great cross-training option for runners.
- It boosts your metabolism.
- It has helped bring my resting heart rate to 49!
- The best showers are post-spinning showers.
- I love the sweat.
- It always feels good afterwards.
- It helps keep sickness away.
- It forces me to push my limits.
- Because I can.
Have you ever tried spinning? Are you a fan, or does the thought make you cringe? If you're interested in trying, 24 Hour Fitness is offering a 7-day free trial promotion to new members. Come with me...it's always better with a friend!