281.2 – Day 7
Tuesday mornings are usually a great training day, because that means we end up at Rebecca’s spin class. It is amazing how rare it is to find a really good spin instructor. Most instructors pick terrible music, have no sort of structure to their class, and are inaudible because either the music is too loud or they mumble over the microphone. Rebecca, just seems to get it all right. She set the standard for spin classes for us and that is saying a lot, because we are road cyclist first.
I know spin classes can seem a bit stupid to some and difficult for others. They are generally dim-lit, close quarters, sweat boxes that can leave you saddle sore. Some people just don’t like the feel of a stationary bike in general. My boss even thinks that spin is only for women. I look at spin the way my dad used to look at dancing. He would say that we all look kind of stupid gyrating around like that when you think about it, so just have fun and don’t worry about what other people think.
I think incorporating a spin class into your regular workout schedule is a very smart approach. Spin is a great way to build your road cycling muscles, get in a great cardio workout without all the impact of running, and burn a ton of calories in the space of an hour. If you really want to get the most out of the class, focus on maintaining high resistance level and limiting how much vertical bounce there is in your peddling.
Additionally, most spin classes offer two-sided pedals that allow you to either slide your foot into the straps on one side or clip into the SPD locks on the other using the correct cycling shoes. I recommend going with a pair of SPD cycling shoes like these; because they allow you to generate power through the entire pedal stroke and can even be worn around like regular shoes before and after spin class.
One of the last things I recommend doing before spin class is to get in a good 10-15 minute ab workout, especially if you cycle outside as well. A good solid core is pivotal in being able to develop one of the most important cycling skills, riding hands free. This skill is valuable because on long road rides it allows you to reach your water bottle, food in your jersey pockets, or just rest your shoulders easily and without coming to a complete stop or losing too much pace.
I took some time after class to pick Rebecca’s brain about possibly teaching my own spin class in the future. She was all for it and offered to try to help me get started. So hopefully I will be updating my blog one day with information on my first class. I would have shared a picture from spin class today, but that would just look plain creepy. So here is a picture of the cacti on our balcony instead.