I’m the casual cycler. I’ve done a few triathlons mostly focusing on the swimming and running (and having fun!), so that means I’ve encountered a bike every now and then. Sometimes in preparation for these triathlons or due to the fact that the 100+ degree Houston weather has forced me inside for a workout, I’ve dabbled a bit with indoor cycling classes. I’ve done a few spin classes at my neighborhood gym, at my university fitness center, the local YMCA, etc. I didn’t realize how different those classes are from a full on studio experience until recently (I’m looking at you RYDE and Revolution Studio). Here are some fitness trends I’ve seen cropping up in indoor cycling.
- You clip in. These classes are not for the faint of heart. Nowadays you have to invest in a $100 pair of spinning shoes or rent shoes every time so you can clip yourself into the bike. Where have the good ole days gone where you could just keep your old Nikes and pedal on?? As a newbie to this cycling phenomenon, lawd knows I struggled clipping in and out of the bike. I think it’s a marketing strategy that they created, so you can’t escape…
- You need swagger. My ability to keep a beat or remotely look suave while dancing pretty much started and ended with middle school cheerleading. And I thought I was fine with that, until all these cycling instructors started commanding me to bounce and add shoulder wiggles and do pushups in to an 8 count. Cycling classes now further reinforce the fact that I can’t hold a beat, let alone make a figure eights with my hips while pedaling at 125RPM.
- Weight are involved. Apparently cycling during a cycling class is just soooo last year. Now you are required to multitask and fist bump, arm circle and bicep curl to the music with 2lb weights–while cycling. As if your legs weren’t sore enough from the class, now your shoulders and arms are too.
- You’ll have an existential moment. I used to think yoga was the only place to meditate and be mindful and think about the beauty of the moment. Now in these cycling classes, instructors are lowering the lights, blasting the music, and telling you to close your eyes and have a come-to-Jesus-moment with yourself as you pedal your heart out to songs like Years by Alesso.
- You can review your performance. Your cycling experience doesn’t end when you turn in your sweaty used cycling shoes. You get an email update after you leave the class with your cycling stats. (This also happened at OrangeTheory Fitness). Now you can obsess over your performance and compare your average RPM and calories burned with yourself and friends.
So the question is: Will I get back in the saddle? Hell yes. Catch me at Revolution Studio this weekend. They are opening a new location at West Ave and all their classes May 2 and 3 are free. After that the first week is $25 for unlimited classes. Check them out here.
Also side note: here’s what Natalie thinks of cycling classes.