I went to my first ever spin class this morning. I was a little nervous, as I am pretty much at the outset of pretty much any kind of group activity in which I don’t know the other people. I was also a little worried about the technical details – how do you set up the bike? Do I need to bring bike shoes? Do I need a ticket? And so on. I was also a little worried about being able to complete the workout. However, I imagined it would be low-key, and it was. I went to a 9:30 class while B was at preschool, and as a result the class featured a disproportionate number of old people and also about half women. (I have noticed that the Y is dominantly filled with men before 7:30 am, and dominantly filled with old people and women after 8:30 am. I haven’t had to time to fully flesh out conclusions based on this.)
Anyway, we did 4 by 8 “Tabatas.” That is 20 seconds hard, 10 seconds easy a total of 32 times. The instructor generally told us how to set the resistance, saying either seated hill climb, or standing high hill, or whatever. People were definitely working hard. I don’t really take a lot of gym classes, so maybe that’s true in all classes, but there wasn’t much chatter and there was a lot of sweat. I began to feel like I was in a torture chamber with the music blaring and people immersed in sweat and discomfort around me.
After the Tabatas, she had us do three sets of 6 minutes. She advised starting at resistance 13 or so, and we were to maintain 90 rpm. Then, we should increase resistance by one at 3 minutes, and then again by one at 5 minutes. I decided to start at resistance 11 rather than 13, and otherwise followed instructions and maintained 90+ throughout the exercise. Then, she had us do it again.
I had forgotten to check the duration of the class and kept thinking it would be over and then having to do another exercise.
The class was called spin / core, so after 45 minutes of spinning, she led us in about 10 minutes of core exercises and then some stretching. I’m not sure if it’s because I was exhausted from spinning or because I just have a weak core, but the core stuff was so hard. She started out with a basic plank and then you sort of rocked from side to side. I basically couldn’t really do it. I was toast. But maybe if I persist, I’ll get better at it. I’m not sure once a week is a high enough frequency for 10 minutes of core exercises to make any difference whatsoever, though. I’d hoped my pushups were working my core, and there’s no doubt they are, but perhaps I should add some type of plank exercise to my thrice weekly strength exercises. I think core strength is not only good for cycling and running but also for preventing back pain. Ever since having the kids, I’ve dealt with on and off minor back issues, no big deal, but something that could potentially become worse with age.