Top Tips for your First Spin Class

I’ve been loving classes recently and about a month ago I tried spinning for the first time. I’d always been put off it because I’ve seen people leave the class a wobbly mess, I’ve heard stories of people throwing up mid spin, or passing out. I thought this must be on a whole other level of fitness. It’s much higher intensity than my usual steady state cardio (long runs) and a whole other kettle of fish when compared to lifting.

My step-dad goes spinning a few times a week and I before I tried it, I thought that’s pretty good. But after my first spin sesh I had a whole new admiration for the almost 65 year old. Hero.

So I arrive at the class with Matt, yep I roped him into doing some cardio with me! We got there a little early (I’d advise this if it is your first time). The spin bikes aren’t like your usual upright cycles with digital displays. they have things to twist, turn and unwind. We were bent over working out the perfect height of the saddle and handlebars (hip height, slight bend in the knee, handlebars higher) and the instructor came and introduced herself and explained about some of the phrases she will use and what we need to do on cue.

The first 10 minutes were warming the body, getting the heart rate up. Then, to pretty intense song choruses we were pushing our legs, pulling our knees up and turning up the resistance, then slowing down, then speeding up. Half way through, dripping with sweat and feeling like my legs were on fire, I actually didn’t know how people go on. But, after I’d stopped clock watching a focused on my rhythm I didn’t notice the next 30 minutes tick by. I was on a mission to the top of the hill, where the instructor promised there was an ice cream truck…There wasn't.

Spinning got my heart rate up to 172 and burned 460 kals (based on my fitbit) But there’s the after burn too- the power hour. The time where your body continues to burn calories.

Great for weight loss.

Here are some top tips for your first spin class:

  • Wear shorts and a light top

  • Set the seat to hip height, slight bend in the knee when you're on the bike

  • Start with handlebars quite high, as you get more flexible you can move them down to be level with your seat

  • Bring a mop towel – you will sweat!

  • Get there early to set up and tell the instructor that you’re a newbie

  • Take water!

  • Go with a buddy so it is less intimidating, safety in numbers and all that, or talk to someone while you’re waiting to go in

  • Eat slow releasing carbs around 2 hours before such as oats, or have something like a banana 30 mins to a hour before- don’t go to a spin class in a starved state!

Enjoy it! You get such a buzz from all the endorphins after a session that you'll be signing up for the next class on your way out!

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