Making the most of spin class.

It was a good decision to only spend an hour doing arms and a bit of cardio at the gym yesterday because my legs were super duper rested up this morning and ready to rock spin class. I always try to give it my all in spin class, somedays my body gives more than others. My goal is a 110% effort… today I gave 187%. 

I make the most of my spin classes, probably because I paid good money to wake up at 5:00 am and have someone kick my butt on the spin bike and without a hard effort I feel like I have wasted my money. I also like not having to think about how to push myself or what I should do during a workout. If I have a certified instructor at the front of the class with a set playlist and a set of drills and an entire workout planned for me (oh, and others I suppose, not just me) then you bet I will take advantage of this and follow along as best I can! I don’t have to think about how many miles I will run, what biceps moves I should do or how many lunge sets I will perform… there is someone telling me exactly what to do and giving me a rockin’ workout.

Whether it is a yoga class, bootcamp, personal training, or my favourite, spin class, making the most out of an exercise class is really important to getting results and having a good time. You get out of a class 100% of what you put into it. 

Have an open mind. Whether you are trying a new class and have some reservations or your instructor is a 73-year old grandma, always have an open mind heading into a fitness class. Coming into a class with preconceptions of whether or not you will like it or how great of a workout you will get could lead to you getting exactly what you think you will. If you think you will hate it, you probably will. Go in with positive energy, an open mind, and try your best – you never know – zumba might be your new favourite exercise or a running group might be 3819751 times better than you imagined. 

Warm up. I get to spin class about 10 minutes early EVERY time. I like to be there to set up my bike, get comfortable, and start warming up my legs before class even starts. My instructor usually leads a 3-5 minutes warm up in class but I like to be warm and ready to go even when I begin the actual class warm up. Getting there early will allow you to chat with other people, ask the instructor any questions you have, get a prime spot in the room (like me running to the back of yoga class so no one can see my lack of flexibility), and get mentally prepared to blast your workout.

Get into it. I do in fact rap along with Eminem and sing along to Eye of the Tiger in spin class. Getting into the music, the moves, and the flow of the class definitely makes it more enjoyable. In an aerobics class you might be hesitant to warm up with hip circles or in spin class you might be embarrassed to celebrate winning a drill competition with a fist pump but trust me, getting into it and pumping that fist as high as you can with a smile on your face will be much less embarrassing than half-assing a fist pump. Energy is contagious, so get into the class and have fun!

Push yourself. This is 99.9% you. A good instructor will create a fitness class that allows YOU to push yourself. Give it your all and hold nothing back in class. Your spin instructor won’t make you do a full-on sprint for the entire class, so when they tell you to “GO!” you GO and sprint for the entire interval and earn the breaks in the class. If you want more flexibility from a yoga class, you have to try and do all of the moves. If you want to change your body composition, hold that plank as long as your personal trainer wants you to. If I am paying someone to give me a good workout, I am definitely going to do everything in my power to actually get a good workout. This morning I pushed my gears higher on each and every drill because my legs felt so good and needed even more resistance to get a good challenging workout.

Interact, socialize, and give feedback. Whether it is with your instructor or the others in your class, chat and discuss what you thought about the class, what you liked or didn’t like, and you will probably end up talking about more than just that class. You already know you have something in common with them because you all decided to attend that fitness class for one reason or another. In my Tuesday and Thursday 5:45 am spin class I already know that my fellow spinners love early mornings, enjoy cycling their butts off, and need a good sweat to start their day… things that I love too! Specific to your instructor, give them feedback. They cannot read your mind so let them know the drills you loved, the yoga pose you had trouble with, how great the music was, or what you expected/expect to get out of the class. The social aspect of the class is extremely influential to how the class flows and the atmosphere of the workout. 

Exercise classes are a good way to try out new fitness routines, get some ideas for your own workouts, and learn the proper way to do a specific type of exercise from a certified instructor. I fell in love with spin in the spring simply by facing my fear and going to a drop-in class.

This morning I gave it my all in class and felt so great after class; however it may have just been because I won the “trip increase” competition drill against the old guy who always beats me. Heck yes I fist-pumped after I was victorious. Remember, I’m just a little bit competitive.

If there were a “biggest raspberry contest” this morning, I would have won that as well. These are monsters!

There was a beautiful blue sky today which kind of made up for the fact that it was -24 windchill when I walked to the bus today!

Whether it is a spin class with your favourite instructor (obviously when I get my certification I will be your favourite spin instructor) or your first time trying an aerobic step class – make the most of it. You get what you put into it and if you go in with a positive attitude your experience will be a million times better!