Top Tips for Indoor Cycling By Spin Instructor
Indoor cycling, it’s not easy, but it’s so much fun. When I first started, I found it very challenging and wasn’t used to the intensity. The more I did it, though, the more I learned to love it, and I got much better at it. I am now a spin instructor and have been for years. I also teach a lot of home workouts remotely for people. When I often am asked if I have any tips to help make the workouts more manageable. In this article, I want to run through my top tips for indoor cycling.
Although this might sound quite simple, being prepared is essential. Depending on if you’re doing an online class or going to a studio, I’m always 15 minutes early. I will set my bike up, make sure it’s all working ok. I will have my towel and bottle and will have settled into the environment. This makes me feel much more confident, and I get a much better workout from not having rushed to get started.
There’s nothing worse than being in an exercise class and being in pain while trying to better yourself. This is something I see quite often in a class. I would highly recommend asking the instructor to check that you have the bike appropriately adjusted as if you don’t, it will make the session so much harder and leave you in pain after.
Having a good attitude is so important, and getting on the bike saying in your head, “I’m going to smash this today,” will go so far. I know it sounds cheesy but believe and achieve. When you get your head in the right place, nothing can stop you. Getting halfway through a workout and saying, “I’m only halfway through I’m struggling,” isn’t ideal. Saying “I’m halfway, let’s make the second half stronger” is the right way to go.
Don’t go in too strong.
As an instructor, I see this so much, people going in way too strong. When you first start, enjoy the warm-up, and you want to pace it. Try not to go silly, and make sure you’re going to have energy in the second half of your workout. There’s nothing worse than being burnt out and having to sit through the rest of the class feeling awkward.
Although it might not sound like much if I’m ever working out indoors, I find ventilation a big help. Whether I’m on my spin bike at home or in a class, I always want to be near a fan or some fresh air if possible. It seems like having air forced at you helps your body stay cool, and it gives you the best chance to get as much oxygen in and down to those muscles keeping you nice and strong. Your body uses so much energy to stay at an ideal temperature by helping it stay cool. By helping your body save energy, It can focus on putting more power into your legs.
Working out indoors is hot work, and having some cool water will help you lower the body’s temperature. Not only will it make you feel better, but it will also really help your performance on the bike. I like to put ice cubes in my bottle, and as they melt, the water gets super cold and refreshing.
Wearing comfortable, appropriate clothing will help so much. I use full cycling lycra as it keeps me cool, and the padded shorts means whatever the saddle I feel good riding on it. I also feel much more confident riding inappropriate gear; it’s like turning up to a job interview wearing your best. It gives you an excellent positive feeling.
Ride with Friends
If you ride at home or in a spinning studio, it’s always good to ride with a friend. I loved going to classes with my friends; we would motivate each other and push to see what we could do. It made me train harder at home the next time we would head to the studio and made me understand why I love it so much.
Upgrade your game
One thing that helped and motivated me was adding data to my workouts. I started to use a sports watch and a heart rate monitor. I didn’t think it would be my thing, but I love looking at the data. I can see the calories I have burnt, the heart rate, and the session average. Most importantly, I can see myself improving. Then before I knew it, I invested in a magnetic spin bike with a power meter. This gives me everything I need to know and makes me work so much harder to challenge myself.
Consistency is key
Regular workouts are the best way to get fit. You don’t have to train every day, but it’s good to train 3-4 times a week. The improvements you will see will be incredible, and after about a month, it will just feel like a regular habit.
Rest is Best
Training every day, although fun, isn’t ideal. Make sure you give your body time to recover and some good food to help it repair and build those muscles back stronger. I see way too many people doing too much in the gym when overtraining negatively affects the body.
The most important thing to do is enjoy the miles on the bike and have fun, and the process of getting fitter and stronger will be so much easier. Instead of counting the number of calories every second, try to picture riding uphill in a destination you like or something that makes you happy.
A Final Note
Indoor cycling is so much fun and can be a great way to stay healthy and get fit. We hope these tips help you step your game up and smash some monster workouts. I wish when I first started, I knew this as it would have made my journey much easier into becoming an instructor. Enjoy!