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Aggie_Ama2012-01-30 16:19:43 +0000 #1
My mountain bike team gave me (and a total of 10 members) a free one year membership to a gym. I am super excited about trying spin, what does a newbie need to know? Do I wear bike shorts? Take my old road shoes with SPD cleats? This is a totally foreign area for me but I figure it will be way more fun than trainer intervals.
indysteel2012-01-30 16:35:30 +0000 #2
I would suggest bike shorts and a wicking shirt or tank (as you will sweat), SPD-compatible shoes, a 20-ounce water bottle, and a small towel.

Arrive at your first class early if you can and ask the instructor to help you set up the bike. If and when you get it set up to your liking, make note of the specs so you can quickly set it up again in the future. If something doesn't feel good as you spin, feel free to jump off the bike--even during class--and adjust it.

During class, I would suggest just taking it a bit easy at first. If anything the instructor suggests hurts or just doesn't seem "right" for your body, don't do it. For instance, my knees don't like jumps, so I don't do them. Some instructors are better than others. Just remember that it's your class and your body. If you use a heart rate monitor, it can be a good tool during spin class.
Catrin2012-01-30 16:29:28 +0000 #3
Indy gave great advice, I would only add that there are a few spinning instructors out there who like to "mix it up" by having people get off of the bike during class and doing pushups or something like that on the floor. If this happens please feel free to stay on the bike and keep pedaling - you don't have to do that.

We have two instructors who do that - which I do not understand - but I don't have to go to their class

Congratulations, that was a great gift!
Miranda2012-01-30 17:28:03 +0000 #4
Lucky you on the freebie stuff! Yes, group IDC is way more fun-better than riding your trainer alone at home lol. I have a trainer, it's waiting for me to mount the trainer tire on my bike to be ridden atm, not happening fast .

Besides road riding, and mtb, I'm certified as a Spinning intructor & currently teach 6 classes a week at a couple gyms. You've received good advice already. You might also want to bring tennis shoes, plus your spd equiped mtb shoes. Some of our bikes also have the older style road Look Deltas. I say this because not all of our bikes have the ability to clip in. Some are platforms with toe cages only. While you could ride with your mtb shoes strapped in, it's just kinda weird if your cleat grinds the metal at all imo.

Besides setting your bike up, your instructor will hopefully give you some general guidelines about class. My basic heart rate / heat safety tip is any dizzy, sick, light-headed feeling... back it off, take it to the saddle, lighten up, grip your handelbars if necessary... signs your HR is too high, or you've gotten too hot. My guide for resistance adding is that things should always feel like "muscles working" never "knee joint grinding". Unlike our mtb and road bikes, the spin bikes are like a fixie and with about 40lbs on the fly wheel weight without resistance added. So, no coasting or gears to click.

There is usually some type of resistance knob/button you turn to add onto the challenge of the fly wheel. Plus, something red, button or lever, that is your brake to stop the bike (typically press downward = stop). Remember, fixie, no coasting plus 40#fw rocking = red buttton/lever STOP. Sounds simple, but always scares me with newbies I have who never got the info on how to safely stop their bikes from others classes, ugh lol.

The cardio w/o is always riding the bike. Each teacher has a diff style and music etc. If one teacher's class is not your thing, try another. I tell that to newbies even about me. It's all good.

While a lot outdoor riders comment how much they hate riding inside, it's actually a great op for some things. No cars, stray dogs, trees to bite it on, fun music, you can close your eyes and focus just on your pedal stroke etc. Plus, people like me love seeing your smiling sweating face for 60mins lol.

Hope class is fun... good luck .
nscrbug2012-01-30 18:04:50 +0000 #5
I've been spinning for years and personally, I don't wear my cycling shorts to spin classes. The classes I take are only 45 minutes, so I can endure without the need for a chamois. Plus I do other stuff at the gym on my spin days, and can't imagine working out in padded bike shorts...that would be WAY uncomfortable for me. Not to mention the weird looks I'd likely get.

However, I DO use cycling shoes and would definitely recommend it. When I first started spinning, I was wearing my regular running shoes and would always get hot spots and numb feet due to the flexibility of the shoes. By switching over to a stiff-soled cycling shoe, I eliminated all those issues. I use MTB shoes with SPD cleats. For the road, I use road shoes with Ultegra cleats.

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