Last week while taking an indoor cycling class, my mind wandered. I thought about how much I ADORE the euphoric feeling I experience in cycling class: the music blaring, sweat dripping, heart pounding, and soul searching that I feel during my 45 minutes to an hour on the sacred bike. That same euphoric feeling is why I decided to become a Certified Spinning Instructor and ultimately added indoor cycling classes to the list of services that I provide to my clients. When I shared this decision with my clients, some asked me questions like “isn’t spinning the antithesis of Barre, Pilates, and Yoga?” or “I heard that your legs and thighs will bulk up” or my personal favorite, “I just don’t understand why you would want to teach that too.” All of these questions were valid concerns, but what intrigued me more than the entertaining questions, was the underlying fear that their teacher was adding a different type of exercise.
After over 20 years in the dance and fitness worlds, I have learned that people tend to like what they like. Runners love to run and must run for their sanity and happiness. Yogis practice yoga every day (there is actually a hashtag trending right now – #yogaeverydamnday). Classical and Contemporary Pilates goers stay in their lanes and don’t dare stray, for fear of betraying their respective methods. “Barre Babes” (male or female) go insane if they do not have their regular teacher, with their regular spot at the barre, during their regular barre class time at least 3-6 times each week. Weight lifters need their dumbbells, and please do not try to talk to them while they are in the midst of lifting weights in the gym. Last but definitely not least, indoor cycling fans are probably among the newest to emerge.
A dear friend and fellow indoor cycling teacher recently posted an article on her social media page that was published in the Wall Street Journal last month. The writer wrote about how he hated spinning, until he spun. This brave soul took 7 indoor cycling classes in 7 days. At the end of the 7 days and 7 classes, he admitted that he was “wrong about spinning.” Adding yet another “believer” to the thousands of indoor cycling fans out there (including yours truly). Thanks to popular cycling studios like Soulcycle, some fans ride daily, classes are packed, and teachers are treated like celebrities. In her new book, ‘Two Turns From Zero,’ Soulcycle’s Stacey Griffith touches on how she has transformed her life and the lives of many through indoor cycling. When I read Deepak Chopra’s review of Stacey’s book, it helped me to understand why I feel a spiritual experience on the bike.
After going into a meditative state while taking indoor cycling classes, I am able to challenge and push my students past their limits when I am teaching. The ultimate goal with exercise is to improve your endurance, neuromuscular connection, and overall health. According to NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine), Integrated Training is the best way to achieve neuromuscular efficiency. It is my professional opinion that neuromuscular efficiency is essential for healthy aging and longevity. For an integrated training approach, I recommend rotating schedule of classes or workouts throughout the week. It doesn’t matter where we find our best exercise experiences, as long as we keep exercising. “Re-mix” your workout regimen. The next time you are confused, debating, or planning your weekly workouts be sure to include an indoor cycling class or two. You may be surprised by how much you enjoy it!
*The term “indoor cycling” is used in this article to avoid trademark conflicts with the Spinning brand. A direct quote from another publication utilizing the words “spinning” or “spin” may be considered exceptions.