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Going to your first spinning class? Here's how to prepare

Going to your first spinning class? Here's how to prepare

So you decided to start your New Years resolution early this year and finally get into shape and maybe even lose a little weight. So you joined a gym! Good for you. You now have at your disposal lots of shiny, big, heavy and maybe intimidating equipment. And if your new gym has group exercise classes it will be a great chance to either be intimidated again or jump right in and embrace your inner athlete!

With the right mix of cardiovascular exercise and balanced nutrition, a new you is just around the corner. Why not try a group exercise class: spinning. Though there is more to it than the name implies sounds, all you have to do is pedal. No choreography to follow. During a spinning class, riders will experience a challenging, exhilarating and fun workout.

Here is some advice to guide you through your first ride and increase your enjoyment of your first spin class. A new exercise routine is a beautiful way to begin and achieve your New Years goals.


Do

Do have water and a towel

Think you won’t get thirsty or break a sweat? Think again! Not only will you get hot and sweaty, but also thirsty. So be prepared by bringing a sweat towel and a bottle of water.

Do arrive to class at least 10-15 minutes early

Introduce yourself to the instructor as a first timer spinner. Not only will this allow you to talk with the instructor, but you can also ask any questions about the class that you might have. Arriving early and getting acclimated will eliminate any rushing in last minute jitters.

Do get proper bike set up from instructor

The spinner bikes were designed to fit all sizes, shapes and abilities. The bikes allow for various handlebar and saddle positions. With proper setup, you will reap the full benefits of the spinning movements and significantly decrease risk of injury.

Do acknowledge instructor cueing/understand several spinning terms

Just as in the sport of cycling or any sport, there are several important terms spinners should know and understand. Cadence is one of the most important concepts to know and understand. Cadence is defined as pedaling speed in resolutions per minute (RPM), which means you make a complete revolution 60 times in one minute. So a cadence of 100-RPM means that one pedal makes a complete revolution 100 times in one minute. Cadence will vary with terrain. The instructor might ask members to do a cadence check where members count the revolutions per minute.

Do know there is a learning curve

As with any new undertaking there is an adjustment period before you feel completely comfortable during class. For example, if you are just beginning to make fitness an integral part of your lifestyle after a sedentary lifestyle, adjusting to a new routine not to mention group exercise on a bike.


Don't

Do not arrive late to class

Not only will this be distracting to other members, but also because you need proper set up. Ample time should be allotted before class begins so you can enjoy your first ride.

Do not forget water and a towel

Preparation for a good workout is an important fact so do not overlook the power of these two items. In order to have an effective workout, you need to be hydrated and continue the workout without the interruption of getting up in the middle to dry your face from the sweat and grab a drink from the water fountain.

Do not jump on bike without proper set up

Without proper setup and instruction, you are setting yourself up for potential injury and unnecessary frustration. Ask the instructor to help set your bike up to fit your body height.

Do not ignore instructor cues

Actively listen for the instructor to cue the class on terrain changes and cadence. Observe the instructor if they are on the bike or a fellow classmate for correct form and cadence. Keep your head up looking about four feet ahead of you -- just like riding outside. Don’t look down too much.

Do not get discouraged

Do not judge spinning by your first class experience. Parts of your anatomy may not feel the same after class. Consider your first class as your initiation into the world of spin. Though at first it may seem like the dumbest thing ever, through time and experience in a spin class you will not only get in shape and lose weight, but it will help lead you into outdoor cycling. Perhaps it will even have you participating in charity rides and cycling events.


Summary
Jumping cartoon

For people who are beginning a new fitness routine or returning to the gym after a long break, smart preparation will ensure your success.

Following a well designed and thought-out fitness routine will help keep your gym dates as scheduled appointments to maintain just as you would meeting a work deadline. The work has to get done in order to be successful. If you need help creating a fitness plan, enlist a personal trainer or a gym buddy -- both of whom can motivate you.

Just remember every time you meet your fitness commitments, the efforts are an investment in you. Acknowledge the work, time, and sacrifices you are doing to become the new fit person you deserve to be.


More expert advice about Fitness and Exercise

Photo Credits: Kzenon/bigstock.com; Check Man, Cross Man and Jump Man © ioannis kounadeas - Fotolia.com

Lisa Ronco RD, CDE, CDN, MSRegistered Dietitian

I have been a Registered Dietitian for over twelve years, the first seven years in a clinical setting the last seven working specifically with the HIV population first in home care and now in an outpatient clinic. I also have a small private pra...

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