Going for a Spin!
I've always been curious about spin classes! I think the reason why I hadn't tried them prior to a few days ago is because I unfairly associated this type of fitness class with monotony, when that is far from the reality of what I most recently experienced!
For me, exercise needs to be varied, enjoyable, not feel like misery, and occur in a setting where I undoubtedly look forward to engaging myself in it. I typically dabble in a few different types of exercise at a time (to target cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, muscular strength and flexibility); some activities of which change with the season and weather conditions and some of which I engage in year-round.
Non-negotiable factors for the time I do invest in physical activity? Effective, personable instructors that motivate and push me in positive ways, effective use of the time, a comfortable and welcoming environment, and some great tunes never hurt! If outdoors, some sunshine and beautiful scenery also certainly don't hurt!
Given that I invested in a mountain bike this past summer and look forward to doing a lot of biking both in the city and in the Rockies this spring and summer, and given that I was looking for a new means of enhancing my cardiovascular endurance leading up to such warmer weather, spin classes seemed to be the logical answer!
That's when I discovered YYC Cycle, a spin studio with two locations in Calgary.
Why do I love this place (any why might you gravitate to another studio with a similar philosophy and set-up)?
A clean, contemporary and welcoming atmosphere. Friendly and helpful staff. Participants in and around my age with similar fitness goals. Easy-to-operate equipment. Highly effective and enthusiastic instructors that will make every penny you paid count! Darkness and constantly-changing lighting and loud, pulsating beats (playlists customized by the instructor), and just GOOD OL' FUN!! I was also glad to experience a proper warm-up and cool-down, including stretching of all major muscle groups (while still perched on the bike), to bring the class to a proper close.
If you're looking for a new type of cardiovascular activity that will greatly enhance your cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength and endurance and core strength (and is anything but monotonous!), spin classes might be the answer.
Highly motivating - an opportunity to push yourself in positive ways
Sense of community and team spirit
Suitable for all levels of fitness
You are in control of the level of resistance, increasing it incrementally upon the instructor's command, within a range that is suitable to your fitness level
Raises your heart rate and burns a great number of calories in a short duration of time
Full-body workout (between being on and off the saddle of the bike, every muscle group is engaged and working!)
Weight training with dumbbells of various weights are often incorporated into the workout (you choose the dumbbell weight), as your legs take a bit of a break
High impact training in terms of toning and sculpting your muscles
Improves your overall coordination, not to mention your core strength!
There is no need to worry about building bulk in your muscles, if that is a concern. Between the short duration of time that constitutes one class (mine was 50 minutes in duration), and the fact that intervals are being executed, you'd have to be using heavy resistance for long durations of time on a regular basis to experience those types of results!
I'd love to hear about your experiences with spin classes/cycling! What do you like or dislike about this type of cardiovascular activity? What is your cardiovascular activity of choice?
*Photo credit: www.yyc-cycle.com