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1st spinning class + 1 week of agony!?

bikerwannabe2010-05-02 13:02:49 +0000 #1
I bought a road bike this summer rode at least 3 days per week. Most rigorous rides were approx 35 miles with 2500 ft elevation. When it got too dark/cold to ride outdoors, I joined a gym and tried a spinning class so I wouldn't lose my conditioning.

I went early and met with instructor-told here i never stand when I bike- I always sit, even when climbing hills. She said just go at own pace, but then she would stand in front of each of us and count while we did whatever the exercise was and would even turn the resistance up or down for us. I could feel my thighs ache as soon as I started standing and biking but figured that was normal. Then we did an exercise that required us to bike standing up then sitting down in rapid succession. Even though I felt like I might collapse at any moment, I pushed and lasted the entire hour. My legs felt like rubber and i could hardly walk home.

I thought - So far, so good

After all I knew it was going to be hard!

The next day I could barely walk- I am not talking muscle ache here - I am talking BARELY FUNCTIONAL. I thought a hot bath would help but no way I could get into or out of the tub. This lasted for an entire week. (I couldn't even lower or raise myself from a toilet seat without assistance.) It was 10 days before I was pain free and able to even WALK at a normal pace again.

I haven't heard anyone else report being anywhere near this incapacitated. Did I do something wrong? Is there something I need to do to LEARN -like HOW to stand while biking - or some sort of stretches- before I try again. Its been 18 days now, but even though I finally recovered and have no residual pain, right now I'm scared to ever go back!

Zen2010-05-02 13:12:14 +0000 #2
That instructor should never touch your resistance, only you are in charge of that- it's your ride not hers.

In real life situations I never stand when climbing either but I do in spin class. Spinning is a little different, you'll improve but you just overdid it this first time.

The standing/sitting/standing sequences are called "jumps". Do what you can but never feel you must do what the rest of the class is doing. If you need time to recover, take it.

And try another instructor too. Each one is different.
Tuckervill2010-05-02 13:32:01 +0000 #3
I've never done a spin class, but I've done lots of other group classes.

What Zen said was right on. Only you know what you're capable of. If you don't want to stand, don't stand. If she turns the resistance back up, turn it back down. Don't let her bully or shame you.

They want you to come back, or else they wouldn't have a job. Make it an experience you want to go back to. Modify modify modify to fit your particular goals and needs. Don't let them tell you what you "should" be able to do. Only you know that. Be true to yourself.

Good luck, and do go for another try, with a different instructor.

kabewyou2010-05-02 13:33:44 +0000 #4
I had quite a bit of pain from spinning classes in the past and realized several things. I can adjust my road bike down to the smallest increment and the spin bikes that I have ridden do not allow for that. Also, when in the standing position when riding outside my posture is very different than when I am on the spin bike. I took a tape measure in to spin class and attempted to make the measurements as similar as possible as my road bike and that helped some. The best thing though has been to stand when I want to stand and to raise and lower the tension based upon how it feels for me. I took a class as a visitor at another gym with a friend where the instructor attempted to change the tension on the bike I was on and I told him it was my ride, not his. Your body knows what is best for it. Spinning classes have made me stronger on the mountain and road bike and running; but I am in charge of the ride and the best instructors I have had make that very clear. I hope you get an opportunity to try another instructor.
teigyr2010-05-02 14:39:39 +0000 #5
My instructor will change my resistance sometimes but she knows me pretty well. She's very outspoken about not doing anything that'll cause injury but she also likes to push us. When she changes it, it is never by much and it's just enough to push me over the edge.

That all being said, I know she'd respect someone who didn't want her to do that. Also (like I said), she knows me. If I'm sick, recovering from a hard workout, or otherwise compromised, she leaves me alone. She is the most inspirational and interactive of all the spin instructors at this gym and her classes always have a waiting list.

My disclaimer would be each time you do something new, hold back a bit. You never know how your body's going to react to it
bmccasland2010-05-02 14:16:28 +0000 #6
Spin instructors should NOT touch your tension control, especially if they don't know you that well. If I've been in a class for a while, this probably wouldn't be an issue, but if I'm new, back off Jack!

On the otherhand, waving my albuterol inhalor at them usually backs them off anyway. Instructors generally don't like it when you push yourself to an asthma attack.

Just because I was able to ride hard last time doesn't mean I can today - the "good day / bad day" breathing thing.

Where I'm going is that an instructor generally isn't privy to reasons why you may be backing off. Considering the fact that most members of industrialized nations don't get enough exercise, and that you're going to a class, they should want you to come back. Giving you verbal encouragement, cheering, to increase tension, push yourself harder, should be enough. If it was me, I'd probably swat the hand of the instructor if they tried that on me.
bmccasland2010-05-02 14:11:45 +0000 #7

Originally Posted by bikerwannabe


-like HOW to stand while biking - or some sort of stretches- before I try again. Its been 18 days now, but even though I finally recovered and have no residual pain, right now I'm scared to ever go back!

How to stand - you need to have enough sufficient tension/resistance to allow you to stand. So really crank it down to stand up, with you feet still able to move, then ease back on the tension as soon as you sit down. It's been my experience that the instructor has you crank the tension (harder) while your sitting, then have you stand for a bit, then sit back down - stand, sit, stand, sit without changing the tension. But for me I need more tension to stand, compared to where I have it to ride at a certain cadence without my heart pounding out of control. Maybe I'm not pushing myself hard enough, but I've also pushed myself to having serious breathing issues. Unlike riding roads, on a spin bike, you CAN make the hill "go away" if you can't tolerate it anymore.

I admit I'm a hill weenie
mimitabby2010-05-02 15:18:27 +0000 #8
Although my first spin experience does not compare to yours, i was destroyed that first day. Amazingly, i did better on the next visit and continue to.

My instructor has never touched my bike's controls. That seems out of line. What I have noticed is that they really don't know much about bicycling. So take what you can from the class, and modify what you are told.. it's your body, it's your ride. And yes, try standing, with A LOT of resistance.

good luck.



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