Boy, oh, boy. Where do I even begin? If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you probably know that I’ve never really been a “spinner”. In fact, I actually used to hate it. The more I take classes, though, the more I am growing to like it.
With that said, did you know indoor cycling is different from spinning? I didn’t, until I read this excerpt from Boston Magazine which explained the difference:
“Indoor cycling, though, features choreography that works the whole body. Classes also target arms and abs, and not just as an afterthought. The choreography and the music keep you mentally engaged, so you’re never bored. The best part is when all of the riders are in sync, sweating together to tempo to create an energy unmatched by any other group class out there.”
This is what sold me on the idea of indoor cycling. All of the things listed out in the article are exactly what I look for in a class. Why go to a class and only work your lower body? I want to leave feeling like I got a full body workout… and after taking my friend Lindsay’s Saturday morning “Reboot” ride, I can honestly say I didn’t feel like I need anything else after that class. We worked our core, we worked our legs and holy moly did we work our arms (a 4 minute song with 2lb weights for upper body toning is NO JOKE.), so it’s no surprise that I left there feeling totally hooked on the “indoor cycling” workout.
Let’s back up, though. Lindsay and I met a few years ago, back when she just checked people in at Recycle Studio. Recently, Lindsay went through the teacher training and now has 3 permanent weekly classes on the schedule and when she sent me a free code to come try a class, I was stoked!
I wore my brightest pants to get me pumped up… it worked.
I arrived at the studio, rented shoes (btw, spinning with spin shoes makes a WORLD of a difference. I feel like I need to buy a pair.), and got set up.
Lindsay turned the lights off and at 9:30 on the dot we got spinning. She started the class with an intention and some motivational words and thoughts, which reminded me of yoga and has been something I’ve been trying to bring into my own classes. Here’s what Lindsay’s intention was:
I suffered a hip injury years ago which has totally inhibited my running. I went to Barry’s Bootcamp Friday night and on the treadmill realized I can be pushed and pushed myself out of my comfort zone. So, today my intention is to break through the point of comfortable because that is where your body will change- If it doesn’t challenge you it doesn’t change you.
I couldn’t agree with this more. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: decreasing my cardio and increasing my weight training has changed my body in the best way possible. Sure, it’s “easier” to jump on a cross trainer for 45 minutes to an hour, but that’s not going to give you the best results. We often skip the challenge because it’s hard, but Lindsay’s message about needing to break through that because that’s when change happens couldn’t be more spot on with the truth. If working out and being fit and healthy was easy, everyone would do it. It takes determination, motivation and dedication to get the change you want to see, and that is NOT easy.
With that said, I kept that mantra (If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you) in my head throughout the whole class and it really helped push through the various challenges I was faced with. Between the “booty drops” (umm, loved that move and the name!), tricep presses, chest presses, isolations, hill climbs and 4 minutes of crazy upper body work, the class certainly pushed me out of my normal boundaries, but I loved it! I am big on choreographed routines, so “going with the beat” and being able to anticipate the next move and keeping up with the routines made the class fun and literally made me smile through the pain (yes, I caught myself smiling AND laughing at various times throughout the class).
As an instructor, I have to say I can be overly critical of other instructors, not because I think I’m a terrific instructor (because I am not- I have loads of ways to improve), but because I just hold them to a higher standard because I know what goes into training and prepping and actually teaching the class. Lindsay far surpassed any expectations I could have had. She had so much energy, gave clear directions, had amazing music and really pumped us up with various things she said throughout her class. Her words made me want to push myself harder, even when I didn’t know I could!
“Thank yourself later for the work you put in this morning”
“We are a team, a unit that gets through 45 minutes together.”
“When it comes to 2lb weights it’s mind over matter, you have to believe you are strong enough to push into the point of uncomfortableness.”
“Everyone here has a heart of a champion. We can’t stop won’t stop… so dig deep, leave your worries behind you and give 100% into a sprint that will leave you breathless“
“Every bead of sweat has a purpose. Every minute of your ride has a purpose.”
I loved this. It really made me think about why I was there, why I workout, why I love to workout and try new things. I’m there for the passion. I’m there for the endorphins. I’m there for the energy. I’m there for those 45 minutes where all that matters in my life is getting through the next hill/sprint/song/etc. And… it’s wonderful. Sure, the physical aspect and benefits of working out are great, but even more than that, I live for the mental benefits and the way I feel after an amazing workout is one of the best feelings.
So, thank you, Lindsay, for not only an amazing workout, but for asking us to give our ride a purpose, an intention. For making us feel like a team and for making us appreciate every bead of sweat that we dripped (ok, dripped is an understatement. I was pouring out sweat throughout the whole class.). Thank you for reminding us that we are blessed to be able to do what we do and that we have the ability to push our boundaries. It’s easy to take things for granted, so it was a nice reminder to appreciate all that we can do. I can’t wait to go back!
Questions for you: Have you been to Recycle? What’s your fitness mantra that helps get you through a tough run/ride/class/workout?
PS- When you go, be prepared to sweat. A lot. I went in with straight hair and when I left, the end of my pony tail was totally curly. That’s the sign of a good sweat sesh if you ask me 😉