How to survive your first indoor cycling experience

Photos courtesy of Electric Studio

The first time I took a spin class, I died.

It was in Electric Studio’s BGC branch, and my soul shuffled off the mortal coil for a good 45 minutes because I made amateur mistakes — mistakes that could be easily avoided through common sense, but cost me what could have been a genuinely fulfilling experience. I know this because I took another cycling class about a year and a half later and came out with the most intense exercise-related endorphin rush of my life, bar none.

You deserve to feel that high. To celebrate the opening of Electric Studio’s newest branch in The Podium, here are a few tips on how to survive — and more importantly, enjoy! — your first spin class.

Get oriented

At places like Electric Studio, there’s always going to be a friendly instructor ready to brief any first-timers for what’s about to go down. Which is useful, because part of that means working the stationary bike you’ll be busting your butt on. It’s not an intuitive thing — you’ll have to know how to adjust the position of the saddle and handlebar to make sure your body’s in its best form during the whole workout. It might be a little embarrassing to look like a beginner, but do yourself a favor and leave your ego at the door.

 

Plan your meals

What you’re in for is a high intensity cardio session, and if there’s anything that feels as uncomfortable as running on empty, it’s the other extreme of food jostling around in your stomach while you rage on a stationary bike. If you’re gonna have something heavy, have it two hours before. If you’re gonna have something light, maybe one hour before. Of course, different bodies behave different ways, but the point is to properly energize yourself without over or underdoing it! Make sure to bring baon so you have something ready after your workout as well.

Pace yourself

What’ll happen during the session is that inside, an instructor will take you through a high octane workout that involves pedalling in such a way that your butt is off the saddle while you pedal and keeping up with the instructor’s rhythm. Really though, as your instructor will tell you, you’re not obligated to be at the same speed as everybody else. If you feel you’re at your limit, slow down and catch your breath! That’s still going to end up in a crapton of calories burnt.

 

Hydrate

Part of why I died the first time is because I didn’t drink water. Sometimes, during a workout, you can get so fixated on the stress and labor of your body that the feeling of thirst doesn’t register in your brain, and by the end of it you feel less like a sweaty miracle and more like a spent husk. Bring a bottle or jug and remember to take a few swigs of good ol’ H2O throughout.

Get loose

What might shake you the most about a spin class is not the exercise but how much of a production the whole thing is. The music and lighting makes you feel like you’re in a club, the instructor is extremely high energy, and everybody else looks so in sync. It’s understandable to feel insecure or nervous in that kind of situation, but man, trust us, no one’s there to make you feel like you’re less than the best person you could possibly be. Look, it might sound like a dig to equate a spin class to high octane self-help but man, it really is, so embrace it! You’re strong! You’re on your way to a new you! You’re having a salad after this! Why be embarrassed?

Tags:
#fitness #health

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