Things to Know Before Your First Spin Class

Hi Everyone!

I tried spin classes this month for a two week period with my friends. We went for a total of 7 days. Everyone’s experience with spin class is different: some people hate it, some people love it and there are people like me who will give anything a try once (within reason). If you’re anything like me, you will read a few articles and posts about what to expect, what to wear and bring to your first class.

As someone who hasn’t regularly exercised in the past, I actually enjoyed it. I had a positive experience with spin classes and I don’t know if it was mostly due to the instructors or I just enjoyed the camaraderie with my friends and the rest of the class. When my friends asked if I wanted to try spin class with them, my first thought was, “OMG, I’m going to die!” Then I found out that classes are 50 minutes long…cue panic mode and thoughts like “I can’t cycle for that long!” “I haven’t exercised in over a year!” “I’m going to fall off the bike…what if I pass out?!” After that initial thought process, I agreed and said I’d try it with them. We went to Spin Co, read about my experience with them here!

Below are some things that I think are useful to know before your first spin class:

What to Expect/How to Prepare:

  • Arrive early
    • you’re expected to arrive 15 minutes early so that you can sign in, get your shoes and do whatever you have to do before spin class starts
  • Bring a positive attitude and do your best
    • You don’t have to cycle as fast as the instructor or the person next to you
    • try your hardest, but know your limits
      • don’t push yourself too hard if it’s your first time, you don’t want to pass out!
    • you don’t have to turn that resistance knob all the way, just do half turns until you’re ready for more
    • if you can’t get out of the saddle each time or do everything the instructor does, then just spin (before my first class, I considered it would be a victory if I just kept my legs moving the whole time. To my surprise, I was able to do everything the instructor did. I wasn’t as fast obviously, but I was proud of myself for pushing myself)
  • Prepare for an intense full-body workout!
    • One thing I didn’t expect was how much we’d work on the upper body (I know it says full body workout, but I wasn’t expecting how much)
      • you do pumps, dips, work the core by moving your hips back by hovering over the saddle
      • you also do weights at the halfway point (while still cycling)
  • Don’t base your experience after going just once
    • go at least twice to see if you like or hate it

 What to bring:

  • Water, water, water!
    • I would suggest a water bottle that has a spout like this CamelBak one so that you don’t spill
  • Towel (unless they provide towel service)
  • Granola bar, trail mix, protein bar for after
  • combination lock (just in case)

What to Wear:

  • Leggings or bike/athletic shorts
    • don’t wear any flared athletic pants, you might get caught as you cycle
  • Sports bra
  • Athletic top or t-shirt that’s breathable
    • don’t wear anything too long or loose (the longest shirt I wore was something that just covered my butt)
  • athletic socks
  • hair ties/hair band or clips

If you plan to go to spin class regularly, it’s worth investing in at least one sports bra and a pair of leggings from a better quality brand because they obviously wick moisture much better than cheaper brands.

Make sure you aren’t holding your breath. Focus on breathing normally.

I’m not going to lie; it’s been a while since I’ve exercised, so I think it was a bit of shock to my system when I went to the first class. I also realized I was breathing weirdly. Usually I breathe through my nose, but for some reason I was breathing through my mouth and it made my throat feel dry and also my ears popped. I looked it up and it said your ears can pop if you’re holding your breath. I didn’t think I was holding my breath, but I guess I was. On the way home after the first class, it was hard to talk because it sounded muffled. The second time we went, I focused on breathing through my nose and made sure I wasn’t holding my breath, and my ears didn’t pop.

Don’t wear makeup!

I don’t usually leave the house without putting makeup on. I don’t always have a full face of makeup, but I at least wear powder or bb cream. I always have makeup on to cover up redness from acne. This is the first time in a long time where my skin has been clear enough for me to go out in public with a bare face. I read about wearing makeup to workout and it said whatever you do, don’t wear foundation! Wearing makeup while working out is bad for your skin because the foundation or powder risks blocking the pores and your skin needs to be able to breath while you sweat. Your pores enlarge when you sweat which means your makeup will absorb into your skin which increases the likelihood of a breakout. Only wear makeup if you absolutely have to, and keep it to a minimum. Remember, you’re there to make yourself feel better, not to impress others. I know most girls aren’t wearing makeup to impress others, you’re wearing it to improve your own confidence and feel better, but it doesn’t do you any favours to wear makeup during a sweaty workout and then breakout because of it.

Don’t forget to have fun and do your best!