I was never very fond of exercise. I played lacrosse from seventh grade to tenth grade and that was basically the extent of any consistent physical activity. My first semester of college, I had more of a freshman 10 than a “freshman 15,” but considering it didn’t look like much of a difference and I had to walk across campus so often anyway, I wasn’t too concerned.
At my school, we have to take a 100 and a 200 level gym class to graduate. The 200s are fun. I took bowling, but you could play tennis, gymnastics, badminton, basically something fun. The 100s, however, are actual workout classes. I took step aerobics because hey, how hard could it be. What I wasn’t prepared for were the multiple days of full body workouts my teacher liked to throw at us.
Why am I telling you all of this in a post about indoor group cycling? This college gym class is what first showed me how great you can feel after a good workout. Towards the end of the semester, my sorority had two private indoor group cycling classes we could go to for free. I went to both and, well, I was hooked.
My first ever cycling class was at Flywheel!
If you don’t know, indoor group cycling (aka spinning) is basically just what it sounds like. You ride a stationary bike in a group environment at different intervals of climbing, racing, and recovering all set to an upbeat, energizing playlist.
I go to a “premium indoor cycling” studio on the weekends and the campus gym class during the week, but many public gyms offer similar experiences as well. I fell in love with Cyclebar and have really enjoyed making it a part of my weekly routine.
Personally, I can’t just “go to the gym.” I don’t know what workouts to do or for how long or how to use any of those machines. I don’t have the self-discipline #noshame. In a group class, I not only find a structured workout, but I also get encouragement, community, energy, and a push when I’m struggling. The music is loud and pounding, the lights create a pumped-up atmosphere, and the energy of the instructor is contagious. We get intense cardio and sweat seshes with a break towards the end for arm weights. At the campus gym, we swap the arm workout for core instead.
I love this semi-split format because everything’s not all thrown at you at once. They work you super hard, but you leave loving every minute of it. I used to have doubts about going to classes and hated myself during them, but the rush you get after you’ve finished makes it all worth it.
Now, going cycling is one of the highlights of my week. I can leave all my stress at the door and just sweat it out for an hour. Even if you’re not the biggest fan of cardio, give spinning a try!
Many studios have free introductory classes so it may not even cost you anything. If you’re worried about budgeting the cost of going regularly, buy in bulk. Classes at my studio are usually $20 each, but with packages I go for around $11 each time. This also keeps you from backing out the day’s workout since you’re already financially committed.
If you’re still in college, go to the free classes on campus first! I look at it like this. You need to have some time for yourself. This is something that I like doing and it keeps me in shape, so I don’t mind spending a little extra out of my paycheck to get that.
It’s been said that you need three hobbies- one that makes you money, one that allows creative expression, and one that keeps you in shape. This blog is my creative expression and cycling helps keep me in shape. If you have one that will make me money, let me know 😉
~What’s your go-to workout? Have you tried indoor group cycling before?