Fitness Friday: spinning

I mentioned last week that my employer is offering free fitness classes at the new health and wellness center that opened on campus earlier this fall. A colleague in my department is one of the instructors.
I think that’s the only reason why I tried spinning. In the past, riding a stationery bike has bothered my knees. The thought of a class on a bike wasn’t that appealing.

It turns out spinning doesn’t bother my knees. My behind on the other hand . . .

Actually, until I learned how to adjust the spin bike, my hamstring protested the most. I never thought about all the possible adjustments that I needed to make. Adjusting the seat height is obvious. One can either reach the pedals or not. Of course, the straps on the pedals can also be adjusted. Then there is the spacing between the saddle and handlebars and the height of the bars.

It’s taken me several weeks to get a placement that doesn’t strain my arms or legs but it is all worth it. On days when there aren’t spin classes or other fitness offerings, I go sit on a recumbent bike. While I get my active minutes, steps, and miles in, I don’t break a sweat. Just as with a spin bike, I can adjust the resistance and increase my speed but, to be honest, I’m usually reading a book. It is my lunch break after all.

But during spin class, I always get a great workout. The very first time my legs were so shaky I couldn’t stand without holding onto the bike. I keep forgetting to take a towel which is a shame since I sweat so much. Because of the speed, I also get a ton more steps than when I bike on my own.

After my first class I did something I should have done in advance: I Googled “things to know before your first spin class.” I muddled through by watching the other participants but it helped to learn about the three positions:

  1. hands together in middle of bars
  2. hands at bottom outer corners
  3. hands at farthest position

I’m still working on being up out of the saddle. I fatigue quickly. Of course, I do enjoy that we don’t spend all the time in the saddle. Remember, I mentioned my behind is still getting accustomed. When we sit too long my nether regions go numb.

I try to go to spin class once a week. The schedule changes next semester, so I have to see what day I pick to go. Plus, I think I’ll try adding a second class on occasion. I’ll never increase my endurance otherwise.

What about you – have you ever done spinning?

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