I used always view spinning as a wimpy class. Why? Because you’re sitting on your butt and just using your legs. This is not running (nothing is as good as running–see where my mind was at?). Well, in a continued effort to find new workouts since it’s too cold for me to run outside comfortably, I gave the class a shot last week.
The spinning class at the NYSC near my office offers a 6:30am class 4 days a week, and my first go was Jan 4th. My first day back at work in a week, I figured I’d kick my ass beforehand to make it a little better ;). Waking up at 5:30 wasn’t as bad as I remembered it being, and I got to the gym with 5 minutes to spare before class.
The instructor asked if anyone was new right before we started and I waved my hand. He came over and adjusted my bike for me.
Two things I learned about proper spinning bike setup:
- When you push one leg all the way down, your knee should not go over your toes, just like when doing lunges. Your lower leg should be in a straight line.
- The handlebars should be in-line if not a tiny bit higher than the “saddle” (the seat).
Once set up, the class started. Holy. Man. It was an intense workout. My first mistake was not brining a water bottle because my lips and throat were burning. But besides that, I haven’t worked that hard in a long time. My thighs were definitely fatigued after 15 minutes, and my breathing was very fast. The “jumps” (where you stand up and sit back down repeatedly) were a good challenge, and of course increasing the resistence was like torture. In my head I was thinking “I will kill you! Make it stop!”. But then before I knew it the class came to an end and we were stretching.
Why did spinning kick my ass so much if I’ve been running for 10 years? Because it worked my muscles differently than I ever have. I think if it was between running for 45 minutes or spinning, my body would need more energy to spin since I’ve never built up my muscles that way. Also noteworthy–I didn’t get the mental treadmill ‘going nowhere’ feeling on the bike. Probably because I rarely ride a bike outside, so I didn’t have a different environment that I was wishing for.
Now I currently have a new found love for spinning. I’ve been going three mornings a week, and am going to stick with it until I get bored…. or until spring comes and I can run outside again :).