Following up on my breakdown of Cycle certifications, let’s talk about group Cycle classes. Every time I teach a Cycle class and set up a new student, I always tell them two things. One, make sure you take the class at your pace and two, take a second class. The first of course is due to the fact that I have seen many students start too fast out of the gate and are struggling half way through the class. Make sure to pace yourself. Secondly, always make sure you return to a class a second time. I have mentioned before that not all teachers will be the same. The first class is getting a feel for the class structure and the second class is always easier as you know what to expected.
As I mentioned last week, students often have many questions before taking their first group cycle class. Here are five of the most common questions students ask before cycle classes.
1) I’ve never taken a cycle class before. What should I expect? Expect that all classes are different. Most should follow the format of a warm up, 30-40 minutes of drills on the bike and a 10 minute cool down. Drills will include sprinting as fast as you can, jumps out of the saddle and climbing with added resistance simulating a hill. Most teachers will use a mix of the drills, advise what your goal will be for the class and where you should be on your resistance/gear when cycling.
2) Do the bikes need to be adjusted to my exact height, weight and skill level? YES! This is the most important factor before starting a class. All teachers are trained to set up a new student on a bike so make sure you ask for help. Having a bike set up incorrectly can lead to injury so make sure you get set up.
3) Do I need special shoes? What type of gear do I need to participate in a Spinning class? While you do need comfortable, preferably moisture wicking clothing, you do not need to buy SPD cleats for your first class. Just wear cross trainer shoes with a stiff midsole that you would wear for any other group fitness class. Remember to bring plenty of water and a towel. If you enjoy cycling, you can purchase padded biking shorts to make the class more comfortable.
4) How many calories will I burn in a Spinning class? Of course, the number depends on different factors such as a weight, level of intensity, height, etc. However, the average student burn 400-600 calories in a 45 minute class.
5) Is a group cycle class safe for an elderly or pregnant student? Always check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program. Cycling is low impact though, easy on the joints and often recommended for those with injuries.
Taking a new group fitness class is always intimidating. Remember everyone has been there, including the instructor. You have to get your first class out of the way. Who knows? Maybe your favorite class is waiting around the corner.
Tell me: Have you taken a cycle class before? Have any tips you would recommend to first time students?