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Your First Spin Class: Riding for Success

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Spin class, an indoor cycling workout that ranges anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, is an incredible way to increase your power, speed and athletic ability in a short amount of time. They’re addictive, high energy and challenging.

Going to your first class can be an intimidating experience, but with the right prep beforehand and an understanding of what to expect, you’ll be riding with the best of them in no time.

The Day of Class

If your class is first thing in the morning, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water the evening before. If your class is in the afternoon or evening, drink water throughout the day so that you’re hydrated and ready to go. It’s also a good idea to eat a balanced meal that day, as spin classes can burn anywhere from 200 to 600+ calories.

What to Wear

Wear breathable, sweat-wicking workout clothes that you’re comfortable in but are tight-fitting enough to not get caught in the bike while you ride. Don’t worry about having the fancy brand name gear, as you’ll likely be in a dark room where everyone is focused on their own workout, not the person beside them.

Taking Fitness For A Spin

Ochsner Fitness Center offers a variety of exercise classes including spinning. View a full list of classes.

What to Bring

Water, water, water! Staying hydrated throughout class will help you get the most out of your workout while staying safe.

Depending on the studio you’ll be attending, they may provide spin shoes that clip into the bike or give you an opportunity to rent these shoes. Some studios may also have “cages” where you can slip your own tennis shoes in and tighten the straps. Check the studio’s website or call beforehand to find out what to expect.

Setting Up Your Bike

Having your bike at the right settings makes a huge difference in your experience and workout quality. Feel free to ask a staff member to help you out – that’s why they’re there. Get there early enough (10-15 minutes before class starts) to ask for help, ride the bike for a few minutes and make any necessary adjustments. A good rule of thumb is to match the bike seat height to your hip bone. As you sit straight up on the bike, your leg should be straight down when the pedal is all the way down.

Familiarize yourself with any gadgets attached to the bike – such as a screen with stats and the resistance knob.

During and After Class

Specifics vary by studio, but most spin classes feature an instructor leading the group through pre-determined workouts to high energy music. This instructor will shout out directions and encouragement throughout the class, so make sure you pay attention to what he/she says to do next, whether it’s to adjust your resistance up or down or to get ready to stand up. Many classes also feature an arms workout about halfway through class.

At the end of the ride, a good class will lead the group in a cool down song and stretching. Many studios also request that you clean your bike afterward, so follow the lead of everyone else once class ends. If your shoes clip into the bike, turn your heels out and away from the bike to unclip.

Make sure you continue to drink plenty of water after class ends. It’s also a good idea to grab a banana or an apple to refuel – you’ll deserve it!

The best thing about spin is that you make the workout your own, and you’ll get stronger with every class.


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