So for part of my birthday present earlier this year, my boss gave me two classes to Soul Cycle. Now, the average person could take this type of gift two ways. The first is, you need to get off your butt and exercise. The second is, I know you love to exercise. I was actually THRILLED because spinning happens to be my favorite form of cardio exercise! She had already excitedly told me how much she loved Soul Cycle in particular and that it was definitely a turned up version of spin. Think exercise meets the nightclub, if you will!
Well, cut to a couple of weeks ago when I finally made my first reservation to attend class. Let’s not get into why my birthday was in April and I was JUST now using my birthday gift! In any event, after finally finding a class that wasn’t already booked (these classes fill up quickly), I was ready and fired up to go experience spin on steroids! Okay, not the best reference in a fitness blog, but you get the idea.
Anyway, I got there and because I don’t have spin shoes of my own (my exact birth date is April 14th and my size is 8 just in case) I had to rent some, yes, just like at the bowling alley. However, since it was my first time, the rental was complimentary instead of the usual $3.o0 fee! I was given a tour of the studio and some tips for my ride and then taken to the lockers to store my stuff during class. No locks were necessary since it was a digital combo that you come up with yourself to use- pretty high-tech and convenient huh?
So, when the room was ready, I walked in and got on my assigned bike. When you reserve your class, you look at a map of the room and choose a bike. I had chosen one in the back (same thing I used to do in math class in high school) since it was my first time and at the recommendation of my boss. She had mentioned the more seasoned riders tend to take the front and really help carry the class. I think this was probably the most nervous I have ever been taking a fitness class!
It was 6:00 a.m., on a Friday, so there were only about 12 or so people in the class. The room was dark only illuminated by a candle. The instructor came and cheerfully introduced herself to me and then introduced me to the class as a first time soul rider. Then, it was time to get busy. She got on her bike, cranked up that music and we got going! Now, with Soul Cycle, not only do you ride, but during the class you are also provided with small hand weights to use as part of the ride as well. So, about halfway through there were various arm exercises to do while pedaling. By this point, I was already sweating up a STORM and my legs were on FIRE!
My boss was definitely right, this class was like no other! The ride was intense, but so was the atmosphere and the music was bouncing off the walls just like at a nightclub. The music is really integral for the class because you are really riding to the beat, so for those of you that may be rhythmically challenged and have issues with coordination, be aware, but do it anyway!
It was a challenging, fun and extreme workout and my Polar monitor was on the blink so I wasn’t able to see how many calories I burned in those 45 minutes, but I’m assuming it was one million–okay, I exaggerate! I did fell that I left my soul on that bike for sure!I got a killer workout and truly felt it for the next couple of days.
Now, if you are not in Los Angles or New York City and don’t have a Soul Cycle to try out, don’t hang your head down low just yet! There are spin classes in various places around the country where you can still get a wonderful workout! I have taken spin classes in various places and have enjoyed them all! It’s a great exercise you can do year round if you live in a place that makes bike riding outside challenging during certain times of the year.
There are also tremendous health benefits associated with spinning. FitDay lists quite a few benefits including burning about 500 calories in a 45 minute class (not quite the million I spoke of earlier, but still), increasing muscle endurance and building muscle tone! It’s a great overall type of exercise in my opinion and all of the classes I have taken have been quite high energy with enthusiastic instructors pushing and encouraging you throughout the ride! If you haven’t taken a class yet, I highly recommend you put it on your to-do list, I don’t think you’ll regret it! Hope to see you on a bike soon!
When Christa isn’t torching calories in a spin class, you can find her over at Veggin’ Out With Christa!