First Timer: Trying Flywheel's spin class
I felt very confident entering Flywheel's Flatiron studio. I ride my single-speed bike all the time and I think of myself as relatively fit. "How hard could this be?" I thought.
As I stood in the lobby waiting for my session to begin, I noticed weird noises coming from inside the classroom. It was like an underwater disco, or a rave on a spaceship. I looked around: everyone waiting for class was extremely fit and good-looking. What had I gotten myself into?
The previous class ended and out came a throng of panting cyclists drenched in sweat. I walked apprehensively, and took my place in the back row.
The instructor helped me get set up, explaining how the bicycle worked and adjusting the seat and handlebar height, which functions just like any other stationary bike. He taught me the positions, showed me how to adjust the torque (which adds or reduces resistance as you pedal) and showed me how to track my RPM's.
Then the room went dark, the music started blaring and we took off.
Though I could barely hear, what we were doing was interval training -- pedaling at hyperbolic speeds at low resistance (sprints), then slowing down and working at a slightly higher resistance (jogs), then really turning up the torque to simulate an uphill climb. For the first 20 minutes, I thought I was going to lose my lunch. I was working as hard as I could, and I couldn't keep up. I was getting completely owned by this class, to the point where I thought I might have to tap out early.
But after the initial burn, I started to get the hang of things. And it was fun -- the ultra loud music distracts from your suffering, and the intervals mean that as bad as an uphill climb may be, it won't last long.
By the time class was over, I was a hot mess, literally. But later I saw on my online profile that I burned about 800 calories and rode about 25 miles in the hour. Under the Performance tab I was able to compare my output to others in my region.
Let's just say there's plenty of room for improvement, but it wasn't bad for a first timer.
Tips for rookies from instructor Chris Tracey
1. You’ll need to take at least three classes before you get the technique, and build up your strength and endurance.
2. Be comfortable in your workout clothes, and be prepared to sweat. Women should wear leggings or shorts and tank tops, and dri-fit material is a must for men.
3. Arrive early to your first session so your instructor or the staff can show you the ropes. They’ll get you situated on your bike, help you with your shoes and show you where to find the complimentary water and towels.