Ride or Die — Your Action Plan
Whether you’re a spin class newbie or simply brushing up on the etiquette, here are some tips for a successful joyride:
- Suit up. The body will definitely work up a sweat, so throw on moisture-wicking clothes to keep cool n’ dry. As for the feet, cycling shoes are required for some classes, but normal athletic kicks will work fine in most cases.
- Take a seat. If it’s an option, reserve a bike online to guarantee a spot in the class. Otherwise, get there early to snag a seat! And newbs, don’t head straight to the back: Getting a bike up front will make it easier to follow along.
- Adjust your saddle. Create the perfect fit on the bike. The right height on the seat is when one leg is at a 30-degree angle at the bottom of the pedal stroke. The seat should also be able to slide forward or back depending on what feels best. As for the handlebars, position them so the neck and back doesn’t strain. And strap or clip in the feet: The balls of the feet should rest on the center of the pedal and the kneecap should be aligned directly with the center, too.
- Know the numbers. These bikes have a different kind of lingo: Some instructors call out numbers for different hand positions on the bars. Gripping the center of the bar is usually “Position 1,” home base for warm-ups and cool downs. “Position 2” is where the hands will be for most of the class — right on the bar that crosses the body. And “Position 3” is normally only used when standing and climbing up those “hills.”
- Insist on resistance. There are no real gears to change, but there is a resistance knob (or computer!). This will control how hard the muscles need to work to increase RPM (that’s bike talk for revolutions per minute).
- Towel off. Keep a towel draped over the handlebars for easy access — we’re sure that face may need a wipe off here and there. And swigging water is encouraged mid-ride to stay hydrated (although the spin n’ sip may take some coordination…).
- Choose wisely. Love the club? Choose sessions with dimmed lights or a disco atmosphere. Or, if seeking more adventure, opt for classes that bring the outdoors to the studio. Studies show the fun factor is increased when the mood is juuust right .
Indoor cycling puts things in full gear with its awesome tunes, control over resistance and speed, and overall intensity. Hop on to the nearest bike and give this class a go!