Hopping on a stationary bike has always been a popular way to get exercise, but over the past few years it seems like boutique spin studios have been popping up all over the place.
Despite their popularity and cult-like like reputations — yep, Soul Cycle birthday parties actually exist — plenty of people are intimidated by the idea of stepping foot inside spin studios. Will you be pushed too hard? Will the instructors yell at you? Will you just pass out?
The Huffington Post consulted with a few popular spin studios around New York City to get the lowdown. Here’s what to expect at your first spinning class:
Your class will NOT be hours long …
Trust us, you won’t be pumping away at those pedals for 90 excruciating minutes. Most of the studios we consulted — Drill Fitness, Soul Cycle and CYC — all have 45 minutes-long classes. That’s not too terrifying, right?
… And you can leave whenever you want.
Since indoor cycling is all about building up your strength and endurance, some studios are all for you leaving before the full 45 minutes are up.
“Maybe start with 20 to 30 minutes of the class the first time and build up to a full class,” Drill Fitness’ Justin Sanchez told HuffPost. “We give you full permission to leave when you think it’s the right time. Then come back next time and add five more minutes to your ride.”
There will be music involved. Good music.
If you go in with the right mindset, a spin class can just feel like a giant party — classes are incredibly energetic and full of upbeat music.
“Every instructor has their own style, and I promise you will never be disappointed with the set list,” said Soul Cycle’s Madison Lari, while CYC’s classes have a drummer, according to instructor Keoni Hudoba.
You’ll get a full body workout.
Think spin class is just a really good leg workout? Nope. Pretty much every studio aims to work your entire body. “We use over 20 different weighted sports-specific moves combined with endurance rounds target on working the whole body the whole time,” Hudoba said of CYC classes.
Lari noted that at Soul Cycle, “We ride to the beat of the music and incorporate choreography to work and tone every muscle group in the body.”
You can go at your own pace.
Although spinning is a group fitness class, your workout is all about you. “You control your own resistance levels and sprint speed so you can build up your training level over time,” Sanchez said.
You’ll get some help with setup.
Worried about getting your feet locked into the pedals correctly? Wondering at what level your seat should sit, or where you should place your arms? You’re not all on your own with this one. “[Drill Fitness] instructors show you how to set up a bike and will give options to match your own fitness level, allowing you to personalize your ride,” Sanchez said. Just make sure you get to class a few minutes early!
Think spinning’s for you? Stop reading, start pedaling!
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