You Spin Me Right Round {guest post from Crazy Running Legs}

Hey hey party people! Today is my first real day of work at the new job–wish me luck! And give my good friend Michelle some love here! I first met Michelle IRL this past January at the ING Miami half when we shared a bed on the first night. Yeah, we’re both that kind of girl . . . ;) While she loves running just like me, she’s been cheating on us lately. Check it out:

Hi all! I’m Michelle, I blog over at Crazy Running Legs, and I love Melissa!

IheartMelissa

{I love you, too, Michelle!!!}

I normally complain write about running, but today I’m here to tell you about my first love – indoor cycling – aka spinning!

SpinBikes

According to good old Wikipedia spinning (or indoor cycling) is..

…as an organized activity, is a form of exercise with classes focusing on endurance, strength, intervals, high intensity (race days) and recovery, that involve using a special stationary bike with a weighted flywheel in a classroom setting.

Basically, it kicks ass.

I was introduced to spin class about 8 years ago when I first moved to Orlando. I wanted to try something new and heard it was a great workout. I’m not going to lie – the first time I took spin I was intimidated. I sat in the back of the class and did not adjust my bike AT ALL . This made for a VERY uncomfortable ride. For some reason I went back and then I just got the bug. It got me through 2 pregnancies (I did spin both times until 40+ weeks) and introduced me to a few of my closest friends.

I didn’t start running until AFTER I had built up my endurance on the bike and I like to think it’s help me get where I am with my running. While I’m not super speedy (like Melissa!), I couldn’t even run a mile back in high school without wanting to fall over and collapse – and now I’ve completed 13 half marathons and 1 full marathon. So really, spin was my gateway drug to this…

Running

The best part about spin is that ANYONE can take it. You don’t have to be in the best shape, you don’t have to have any experience, you just have to be willing to work and push yourself. If you can’t find a spin class that fits your schedule, you can even do your own spin class (like my husband does) with a workout and a playlist. There ARE a few basics you should know — things I wish I had know when I first started…

Setup
Setup can be really frustrating – even if you’ve been to a million classes, but is essential to an enjoyable class. Try to make sure the seat is at the right height so you can sit on the seat and pedal all the way around – keeping your knees at a 90 degree angle. When you put your arms on the handle bars your back should be flat. If you are not comfortable doing this — you may need to adjust your bike.

Positions
There are several positions you need to get familiar with in spin class. Surprisingly, none of them are sexual.

1st Position

First Position

(source)

This is also known as “seated.” Your butt is on the seat, your hands are directly in front of you on the handle bars. I like to ride in 1st position with my hands as fists because I avoid overgripping the handle bars and giving myself carpal tunnel. When you ride in 1st position for a long time it’s likely that your crotch will go numb. “Crotchbone pain” is typical and expected the first few times you ride (guys – I’m not really quite sure HOW you do it, and I don’t want to know any time soon), but it generally gets better over time.

2nd Position
This is a standing position where you are “jogging.” You literally just stand, keeping your hands low on the handlebars or in the “hook” and jog. It’s hard to go fast in 2nd position, but it’s really easy to take a break and make it look like you are working.

3rd Position

3rd Position

(Source)

This is the main standing position. Your up, you booty is over the top portion of the seat (so the top of the seat bumps you in the butt/crotch a little), and your hands should be lightly gripping the top of the handlebars.

4th Position

4th position

(Source)

This is an “optional” position (some instructors just call it 3rd) where you push your booty all the way back and you hoover over the seat with your hands still gripping the top of the handlebars. This is my least favorite position.

After you get the positioning down you are ready to start the ride. There are a few standard activities that you should know about – you will either love them or hate them.

Seated Flat Road – You keep your resistance as a moderate level and ride between 80-90 rpm. You should be able to take during a seat flat road, but you should also be breaking a sweat.

Seated Climb – You sit, crank up your resistance and climb. And sometimes your crotch hurts.

Standing Climb – You stand and you climb. I *heart* standing climbs.

Sprints – Sprints are well, sprints. The general rule of thumbs for sprints is to do them seated and not go above 110 rpm. If you can’t tell what your rpms are just go as fast as you can and make sure you have enough resistance on the bike so you aren’t failing around. Nobody likes a flailer.

Jumps/Lifts – Jumps/Lifts have you moving from one position to another in a certain amount time. You typically go from 1st position to 3rd position or from 2nd position to 3rd in either 8, 4, or 2 counts. (so you would sit for 8 counts, stand for 8 counts, etc). Some people hate Jumps – I kinda love them.

There is, of course, more to spin than just this (and I an in now ways an expert!) but I hope this breaks down the basics of spin/indoor cycling, breaks down that wall of intimidation, and get more people to try this great workout!

As a bonus — here’s a 33-minute spin workout/playlist you can try on own.

MelissaPlaylist

Hope it gets you super sweaty!

A huge thanks to Melissa for letting me share my secret first love. Hope you are having a great week in DC!

Are you too a spin lover or too intimidated to try?? Any questions — let me know I’ll be stalking the comments!

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10 thoughts on “You Spin Me Right Round {guest post from Crazy Running Legs}

  1. I LOVE spinning, thanks for sharing all this helpful info…

    Spinning is so fun because you get all this fun club music and you get all pumped up on endorphins, but with non of the sketchiness and hangovers of a club hahaha.

    • Melissa actually titled it (I called it something boring like Spin 101). She just wanted to be part of the club :)

      Alright fine, 3rd position is kinda sexual. Just sayin’

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