Get in the Saddle
You may wonder why people would sit on a stationary bike in a dark room filled with sweaty strangers at their gym. Maybe it’s time to discover, or rediscover, the hottest fitness trend around, spinning classes. Spinning has been around for a couple decades and has never fallen out of favor with the fit for the following reasons, according to FitMe Wellness trainer and spinning instructor Tracy Cusick:
You’ll push yourself to the max, but no further.
Spin classes are for everyone from beginner to advanced levels of fitness. “We focus on metabolic intervals, light resistance to heavy resistance, so your legs burn and are challenged,” says Cusick. Interval training gets the heart rate up so you can burn more calories in less time.
You’ll get lost pedaling to killer music.
Move those feet to the beat! There’s nothing like keeping pace with a good beat and seeing everyone else around you on the same count. Research even supports that athletes work out harder when listening to music at a faster tempo. “Music is a huge part of working out,” says Cusick. “Had a bad day? It helps you restart.” And you may discover some new tunes to add to your own exercise playlist!
One of the best things about spinning is that you’ll blast through calories. Get in the saddle for one hour of spinning and burn up to 700 calories. Participating in two spin classes weekly could help you burn up to 1 pound of fat a month. “There really is nothing as motivating as putting on your clothes and noticing they’re too big, even better if it’s something you can fit in again after having ‘grown’ out of it,” says Cusick. “It reinforces your desire to stick with your workouts.”
Increases cardiovascular fitness.
“Getting those feet moving to the beat really gets the heart pounding,” Cusick says. Cycling is a great way to make the heart pound in a steady manner that helps to improve cardiovascular fitness by up to 3-7% as shown in a study. Cycling uses the largest muscle groups, your legs, raising your heart rate to benefit stamina and fitness.
You’ll define and lean out your legs.
Notice we didn’t say bulk up. Cusick hears it all the time. “It’s a huge misconception that your legs are going to get big from spinning,” she says. The interval training that most instructors practice allows you to tone and define muscles that you may have not even known you had and sculpt your body back into youthful shape.
Being able to show off those toned legs will motivate you to get used to that sore butt feeling.
We’re not going to lie, if it’s your first time (or fourth), chances are your tailbone will be sore during and after class. So what can you do to avoid feeling like you need a tushy massage? Be sure you’re not in the saddle the whole time. “Though it might seem easier to stay seated, most classes will have you in and out of the saddle every other song,” says Cusick. Still not comfortable? Try using a padded seat or padded cycling shorts.