One of the most frustrating parts of being a female cyclist with only a few months of serious riding under my belt is that my pace remains slower than that of the average rider. It prevents me from being able to ride with the rest of my group at events, and on training rides, it forces those with me to ride slower in order for us to stay together. It’s something I’m desperately trying to improve — the sooner, the better!
With that in mind, I stepped into the gym and took part in my first spinning class at LifeTime Fitness. I’ve heard a great deal about these classes, but didn’t know what to expect when I walked inside. Going to a group fitness class by yourself can be so intimidating. Nevertheless, I had a goal. I wanted stronger legs, and nothing was going to stop me.
When I arrived, the room was dark, cycling videos were playing on the large screens at the front of the room, music was blaring, and people were already warming up on the exercise bikes. I chose a machine in the back of the room, not wanting to embarrass myself if I didn’t do things correctly. I wanted exercise, but I didn’t want to look like an idiot. Yes, I’ll admit it. I was hiding in the back hoping no one would notice me.
After a few adjustments to the seat position, I was ready to start spinning. I clipped into the pedals and began my adventure. The 60-minute, high energy class focused on improving cardiovascular endurance and strength. The personable instructor led us through a variety of uptempo cadences, sprints, and climbs while telling engaging stories and motivating us to push ourselves to the next level. I quickly forgot that I was a newbie, and I found myself thoroughly enjoying the experience, every sweat-dripping moment of it. I could feel the challenge to my muscles and lungs. I could envision them becoming stronger and faster. I walked into the room a little unsure and skeptical. I left a new convert. Yes, I would definitely return.
I know it may be too early to render a final verdict, but my first few experiences have been great. I can feel the difference. I know my legs are working hard. They are being challenged. They are becoming stronger and faster. Spinning is a great supplement to my training rides, and it’s especially beneficial on the days when I can’t take my bike on the road. Oh yeah, and it also burns a lot of calories. You can’t complain about that, right?
If you are like me, and you want an effective workout designed to improve your cardiovascular enduring and strength, check out the spinning classes at your local gym. It’s a great alternative to the standalone exercise bikes in the middle of the gym. It engages your senses, is customizable to all levels, and the instructors make it lots of fun!
Have other tips for how to cycle faster? We want to hear them. Comment below and share what you’ve learned with our readers.