Thursday, January 23, 2014

Spin it Out: Y-Cycle

I've taken a Spin class exactly two other times in my life. It's not that I don't enjoy cycling, it's just that with running and strength training and dance classes (and LIFE in general) there simply aren't enough hours in the week. With my new Y membership though, I have a goal to try as many new classes as possible over the next six months. So back to cycling it is.

I set up my membership this past Saturday at the South Shore YMCA in Cudahy. After stashing my coat and purse in the locker room I was still a bit early for the 9:15am Y-Cycle class so I wandered around the cardio room checking things out and hopped on the treadmill for a quick mile to get warmed up before heading to class.

I think one of the things that make people nervous about Spin classes is not being familiar with the bikes. I feel the same way. When I walked into the room it was already pretty packed with people warming up so I took the first open bike I saw and just started pedaling. Right away the instructor asked if anyone was new to class and if they had any questions so my hand shot up in the air. She immediately came over and helped me readjust my seat to the correct height and instructed me on how to use the gears and monitor my RPMs (revolutions per minute). This made me feel a lot more comfortable right away.

This particular class 45 minutes and out of that time I'd say 30-35 was moderate to high intensity cycling. You fit in a lot in a short period of time. We did a number of different circuits, including a slow climb, short sprint intervals and high resistance intervals where we stood up on the bike. One of the harder circuits for me was a longer, steady circuit where we slowly increased the resistance while keeping our RPMs the same. I really liked how each circuit was paired up with a song so I could gauge pretty well how much time I had before getting a break. The last circuit we did was three sets of one-minute sprints. It was pretty intense but it was fun to go all out at the end! We finished up with an easy cooldown and some stretching next to our bikes.

Overall this was a challenging and enjoyable class. I'd like to go again but mixing it up is my goal right now so I'm excited to see what else the Y has to offer.

Next up: Yoga!

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