Join a spin class to help get in shape
If you're looking to add an extra boost to your workout, an indoor cycling class is just the thing to snap you out of your slump. A cycling class (also known as a "spin class" or a "spinning class") is a high-intensity, calorie-burning workout that will have you sweating off the pounds and inches in no time. If that sounds a little scary, not to worry – cycling classes are literally just like riding a bike.
What to Expect from a Cycling Class
A cycling class takes place in a workout studio full of stationary cycles facing in one direction (except for the instructor's bike, which faces the group). When you climb onto the bike you'll be in a slightly hunched over pose and your feet should rest comfortably on the pedals and your hands should easily reach the handle bars.
Spinning classes typically last from 45 minutes to an hour. When the class starts, your instructor will begin to take you through a program. Some may give simple instructions as to when to adjust tension and speed level, while others may have you simulate and visualize an actual outdoor bike riding program, complete with hills and turns.
Your instructor will vary the intensity level of your program between high speed/low tension intervals and the reverse low speed/high tension periods. This will help get your heart rate up, burning fat while also building muscle.
Though the bike will be provided for you, there are a few exercise accessories you'll need in a spinning class. First off, a workout towel is a must. You'll be sweating a lot, and will need it to keep your hands and forehead dry. You'll also want to get a good cycling water bottle, or one that can easily be attached to the stationary bike. With all the water you'll be losing through sweat, you'll need to keep hydrated.
What's Great About Spinning (In General)
Not only does spinning burn a lot of calories and tighten your inner and outer thighs, it's also one of the easiest aerobic workouts, as it requires far less concentration and attention to form. Today's modern spinning bikes have also made the workout more enjoyable with the following features:
- Music. You can plug in your headphones to hear motivational music and also instructions from the trainer if you're taking a class.
- Video. Some spinning bikes have TV screens in them, so you can watch a program as you work out (just don't let it affect your intensity!).
- Programs and courses. On the same video screen, you may also be able to select a cardio workout program to cycle through. These could include a challenging hill tour, a curvy forest bike ride or a city marathon, and much more.
- Fitness tracking. Many stationary bikes now have calorie, speed and heart rate counters so you can monitor your progress and set new goals and challenges.