My Head is Spinning!

I joined my first-ever Spin class today. I knew what I was getting into because I’d received good advice from the girls at the gym and by researching it on the Internet. But still!

My tendency is to avoid bicycles and let Dan be the hardcore biker of the family. But although I have resisted group classes for years, I decided a morning Spin class was worth doing because it’s a great fall activity to get in shape for ski season and I have not been keeping up on my interval training. I also like the fact that it is possible to work very hard doing this (read: burn more calories!) and make great improvements in both muscular and cardiovascular endurance. I have to say, though, that if this class wasn’t convenient and free, I never would have considered joining, despite the fact my fellow gym mates were always convinced I’d love it and wondered why I’ve held out for so long.

Here are my impressions from today’s Spin experiment:

  • My rear was so happy I had a gel seat cover! The water bottle was great to have too.
  • How in heck am I supposed to hear the instructor when the music is blaring so loud? I had to watch her and the others for cues. Loud noise has always made me uncomfortable.
  • The lights were so dim I couldn’t read my heart rate monitor without twisting my arm toward the window on the opposite wall.
  • Funny, nobody else seemed to be using a HR monitor. Maybe the bike’s tension dial gives them enough feedback about how hard they’re working.
  • My legs started burning right off the bat, even though I tried to keep the tension low.
  • I never did feel breathless (maybe I just couldn’t tell with all the noise!)
  • My heart rate shot up to the 160s within 10 minutes and it never looked back. I reached the 170s during the hill intervals, but never felt I was reaching a recovery rate during the “rest” periods. Should I be worried? My dad just had a stroke…
  • The toe basket was too long to secure the balls of my feet over the pedals for proper pushing.
  • Since I didn’t have clip-in shoes, I was not able to pull the pedals up while going hard.
  • The ability to pull up seems to be key to reaching the faster RPMs.
  • A lot of my classmates looked like they were going all-out on the “climbs,” apparently fully adapted to this workout.  That’s my goal.
  • I did not drip all over the bike, but I could not stop sweating after my cold shower (and before my first-day-at-work meeting!)
  • I felt really awkward every time we stood up on the pedals. I learned to increase the resistance so I could maintain a rhythmic stroke.
  • Because I’d worked so hard this morning, I treated myself to some leftover Halloween chocolate this afternoon!

I know that bending forward tends to make my heart rate readings higher than being upright but I was still shocked that it stayed so high for so long. As I continue participating in these classes, I figure my lower body will begin to adapt to the stress so that my heart won’t have to pump so hard to keep the legs going around and around and around.

Wonder where I can find a sale on bike shoes with clips?

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