so i love spin class… really i do. and i tell myself that over and over and over twice a week, every time i get ready to walk in there. so i decided that you all must really want to know the things that run through my head as i pedal faster and faster just to stay exactly in the same place for an hour every wednesday and saturday:
1. shit… i’m late
2. i hope there are some bikes left
3. oh god, please tell me there are more than the one in the front and center of the room!
4. thank goodness… there’s one in the back.
5. ugh, great… it’s got the sucky seat. my ass is gonna hurt.
6. oh dear, it’s the sadist military instructor.
7. who would have thought a sadist, military instructor could be so perky?
8. ok, you’ve got this steph… it’s only been two weeks that you’ve missed class and it’s just spin 2
9. jumps? jumps! oh shit, i forgot about jumps*
10. my ass hurts.
11. thank god for sprints**
12. i fucking hate sprints (i think while also trying to remember how to breathe).
13. i really shouldn’t have eaten before class.
14. i’m going to throw up, i’m going to throw up, i’m going to throw up…
15. don’t throw up, don’t throw up, don’t throw up…
16. and it was just a burp. but gross… garlic humus was a bad choice at the office party. sorry neighbor biker lady…
17. but hey neighbor, at least i didn’t throw up!
18. hovering??? are you serious?***
19. spin 2 my ass (looks at schedule on wall) christ… this is spin 3
20. on the bright side, now i can’t feel my butt at all!
21. damn sadist instructor lady.
22. but she’s my favorite so it’s ok.
23. so… you want us to climb? i’m cool with that. damn level 8 is hard. wait? you want us to run at an 8? that’s like running full speed up the steep side of grandfather mountain. you are crazy lady!
24. oh god my legs are shaking.
25. more jumps? are you fucking kidding me?
26. holy bejesus has it been an hour yet?
27. yeahhhh cooling down bitches!
28. wooo hooo this was so much fun! i can’t wait to do it again on saturday!
as you can tell it is a love hate relationship. i love hating spin class and i hate the fact that deep down, i love it. below i’ll explain some of the terminology. but first, if you’ve never taken a spin class and you are medically cleared to do so, you really should. it’s no bike ride in the park, but you’ll come out of it with a full body work out and a sense of accomplishment as an hour-long class generally nets you 20-30 miles. also, start at the beginning. in my gym we have spin 1 which is for beginners, spin 2 which is for intermediate spinners with experience, and spin 3 which is for
masochists… ahem… advanced, very experienced spinners. it’s also cool because you’re so focused on what you’re doing every single thought not related to how much you hate… i mean love… what you’re doing kinda just flys away for an hour. it’s challenging and it’s good cross training. and if you have a good instructor, it also has good music.
*jumps: this is where you pedal at moderate to moderate-heavy (level 4-5 or a moderate size hill) resistance and sit in the saddle (seat) for three to four rotations then stand for three to four rotations. you repeat this until you think your legs might fall off.
**sprints: done at a level 2-3 (think a flat road with maybe a slight incline) you move your legs as fast as you possibly can for intervals of 90 seconds followed by 15 seconds of recovery (or other intervals depending on the level of pain your instructor wants to inflict) until your lungs feel like they are going to explode and your lunch threatens to make a reappearance.
***hover: the mother lode of holy shit this hurts. this can be done at any resistance, but usually at least at a 5 or higher as you are out of the saddle. this is where you stand up (while pedaling) and lean your upper body over your handle bars (while pedaling) and hover there using basically your leg and stomach muscles to keep you in place (you use your arms for balance but most of your weight is held up by your other muscles).