Peggy, Week 12: The Secrets of a Great Spin Class

peggy avagliano

After the school bus picked up the kids at 6:30 a.m., Peter and I headed to the gym for a 7 a.m. Spin class. If you’ve never experience Spinning, or indoor cycling, here are a few basics from the session we attended:

  • There are about two dozen spin cycles in a small room with many fans.
  • While the music plays, the instructor talks you through an imaginary trip up and down a mountain. He tells you when to increase resistance, when to stand up out of the saddle, and when to decrease resistance.
  • Each song corresponds with a “set” or series of movements and resistance-levels designed to achieve a goal, such as climbing a hill.

Peter and I were sweating before the warm-up was over, so we knew it would be a challenging workout.

With my first glance around the room, I saw some things which were expected. Gym rats, all of whom were size 5 or smaller, took the seats at the front of the class. Women outnumbered men, 3:1. Everyone else in the room was going faster than we were.

But halfway through the class, I realized we were all getting a workout. Spin may be done as a group activity, but it is really about achieving your individual best. The instructor may tell you to dial up the resistance ¾ of a notch, but if you can only handle ½ notch, do ½ a notch. Doing as much as you can do, is all that matters.

We finished our class, and we were both proud of simply cycling to the end.

And then, an amazing thing happened. The other members of the class came over to us and offered encouragement. One of the other men in the class told Peter to make sure he came back, because they need more guys in the session. Others warned us not to be discouraged if we felt like we could not move in the morning. “That’s normal,” they said. The instructor, Erik, checked in with us and told us to come back soon.

Peter’s response was, ”Maybe, Sunday.” Or was it really, “some day”?

Have you ever taken a Spin class before? What did you think of it? Post a comment and let me know.