Indoor Cycling Class 101 How to Shred Fat Without Pain
Are you wondering what to expect from your first indoor cycling class? The biggest mistake most beginners make is coming to the group cycling class – late. For whatever reason, if they are embarrassed and want to avoid being noticed, are nervous about being inexperienced, or just under estimate the critical steps required in matching the geometry of the machine and his/her body being ready early sets you up for a successful first day.
First of all, come in with a positive attitude, well hydrated and bring an extra bottle of water. Second, introduce yourself to the instructor, knowing their name makes this experience much more personal. If your body has any physical ailments, share these with your instructor. After building a relationship with your instructor, and adjusting the cycling machine to fit your comfort, start to get a feel pedaling with the resistance lever turned to the lightest possible setting.
Remember, the number # 1 determining factor in determining your intensity is the resistance on the pedals. This resistance can be created a few different ways. Most popular gym indoor bikes have two felt pads that slowly increasingly squeeze a ~45 lbs. flywheel. More recently, magnetic resistance has been sweeping the fitness industry. Magenetic resistance is popular due to the magnetic resistance’s ability to measure the infinite levels of resistance being placed on the resistance wheel. An older style that you may find (often with moving arm bars) is the air resistance flywheel. This model is quite noisy and really unpredictable, unless a person can gauge the wind to manipulate appropriate resistance level.
Considering these factors, seating will be chosen much like you will find at a church. A few of the inside clique members will sit up front, a few of the veteran members will stake out their “favorite spot” from experience it’s best to allow others to reclaim their position if possible. My secret tip for you is to focus on the fan placement. A strong headwind actually feels good and unlike the outdoors, a headwind will not slow you down at all!
In regards to the style of instructors the style and intensity varies tremendously. With time you can find a good blend between instructors that meet your style and personality blended with the logistical reality of finding a consistent schedule that you’ll be able to commit to for at least 3 months.
Now that you are armed with insight for this upcoming leg workout, allow me to share a few fundamentals that will make your hours less painful and more enjoyable.
1.) Give consistent mental focus to the engagement of core muscles. Fight the natural tendency to rest the weight of our upper body onto the palms of the hands. Keep enough resistance (friction) on the wheel that you are able to lean slightly forward and while pressing into the pedals keep the torso at a 45 degree angle. If your core is properly engaged, you’ll be able to take your hand behind your back without any additional movement in the saddle required!
2.) Think about the music and allow the pre-choreographed work dictate your leg speed. This allows us to focus on one resistance. *Also, the more comfortable we get with this motion and environment the more time we can engage in visualization of outdoor rides or other ‘happy places’ that allow us to disengage from our uncomfortable reality.
3.) Make friends. If this was just about burning calories, or pedaling on a stationary bike we could set up a home studio- let this time be your social hour. Where else can you ride next to someone with a different fitness level for an hour only to finish just a few feet away from them at the end. In sex or in our dedicated workout time, it’s always best when we can finish at the same time as our partner.