I tried a spin class once. I wobbled out after 45minutes, exhausted, confused and uncoordinated. That was in 2008 and I’ve not sat on a stationary bike since.
However Londoners seem to love this retro fitness trend and spin studios are on the rise – Maybe I’d been too quick to jump off my bike. I’ve decided to give it another shot and signed up for a Group Cycle class at my gym.
Time to see what this spin thing is all about.
I arrived a bit early and thought about which bike would be the best spot. It needed to be far enough back to that I was comfortably anonymous but close enough to see the teacher, a bouncy Russian woman called Nichole.
Tragically, my trepidation was noticed and Nichole quickly dragged me to a front bike and showed me how to adjust it to the right height and distance from the handle bars.
She spoke very fast and told me just to listen to her and try to keep up. I wasn’t feeling any more comfortable with spin at this point.
Still, I climbed on and clipped my feet into the pedals. The class filled up, Nichole pumped the dance music up and we were “Rrreeeaaadddyyyy”.
It was like a cross between a noughties disco and a Zumba class on wheels. And a lot of fun.
Spin teachers must have different energy levels and inhibition sensors to the rest of us. Nichole was singing, dancing, toot tooting and beeping as she bounced along and we tried to follow.
The cues were simple (despite spin language being a series of excited grunts, ‘beeps’ and ‘woos’) and I was comfortable adjusting the resistance to suit.
The class was hard work and everyone was pushing, climbing invisible hills and sprinting against imaginary competitors. The other exercisers in the class are like your pack. Thankfully with stationary bikes you don’t get left behind or I’d have been stuck at the bottom of some of the hills we climbed.
Training on a treadmill is a much more personal experience and it’s easier to slack off or make excuses to yourself.
The 45minutes were done before I knew it and I clambered off feeling sweaty and jelly legged, the perfect signs of a good cardio workout.
Would I trade in my treadmill routine for spin? I’m already booked for next week’s class.