90 Minutes of Spin Class: Are You Insane?


Yesterday was another 90 minutes of spin and I loved it!  Well, I kind of hated it because spin will do that to you, but I overall, I loved it.  I look slavishly each week for any 75 or 90 minute class offered.  My max was a series of 2 hour classes this past Winter.  I’m twisted like that.

If you’ve never done spin at all, let alone 2 hours of it, my biggest piece of advice is DON’T BE INTIMIDATED.  I tried spin 10 years ago and hated it (just regular hate on that one) and vowed never to do it again.  Then, last December, a random discussion with a woman in the gym locker room (thank you tall, athletic girl whoever you are!) encouraged me to try it out again.  My fitness journey had begun, so why not try spin one mo’ gin?  The rest is history.  I’m now a full-fledged spin rat ( I think I just made that up – copyright/trademark me!).

What do you need to know before you troop into that dark smelly room in your gym?  No, the one with the bikes.

  • Your butt and naughty bits are going to be sore.  Very sore.  It’s temporary – after 2 or 3 times you’ll be fine, but just know your sphinx (as I like to call it) is going to hurt for a while.
  • You will sweat a ton.   Okay, maybe gallons.  Well, a lot.  More than you’ve probably sweated before outside of a hot yoga class.  Dress accordingly.  Dri-Fit or a similar fabric is your friend.
  • Wear regular workout gear.  Yes, there are some folks in there kitted out for the Tour de France, but pay them no never-mind and put on some close fitting shorts or fitness capris, a top/tank and go.
  • You don’t need the cycle shoes.   Most gyms have special shoe cages that you slip your regular tennis shoes into and off you go.  Certain boutique spin studios like Flywheel andSoulCycle will actually provide you with shoes.  However, I highly recommend that if you like spinning, invest in getting your own cycle shoes because they really do help your workout.  The hard bottoms and being “clipped-in” give you a lot more leverage during your ride.
    • I use  Giro Riela – they can run $70+ depending on sales.  Not an inexpensive investment, but they last for years – you’ll get more than you’re money’s worth if you plan to make spin a long-term part of your fitness regimen.  I’m not getting any schwag on this blog, so this is a free shout-out for Giro, but when I was researching shoes, I would have loved some regular person to just tell me what they had so I could get an idea.  You have to buy and install the cleats yourself (less than $5 on Amazon), but that is easily a DIY project thanks to youtube videos and a hex/allen wrench.  You can take it to a bike shop and they’ll do it, but it’s really not necessary.

  • It will be loud and possibly dark.  Some gyms provide earplugs, but if you can’t handle really loud music (i.e. “in da club” decibels) you’ve been warned.  The dark part is the best though because everyone looks like crap and although no one cares what anyone else looks like or is doing, they can’t see you even if they did.
  • There will be a lot of “Wooooo!” being screamed throughout the class.  I’m a “Woo!” girl so this doesn’t phase me, but normal people may find it annoying.  Woo-ing is optional, but the motivation of working out in a group setting does seem to provide a little extra motivation that’s hard to muster when you’re slogging along on a treadmill by yourself.  Don’t be surprised if a “Woo” slips out though….
  • Do what you can – if you can only make it through 10-20 minutes the first time, that’s fine.  No one cares or will judge you if you hop off and leave early.  But if any part of you liked the class – keep coming back!
  • The Golden Rule of Fitness: Have Fun – It’s easier to make a habit out of something you enjoy or challenges you in a way that keeps you motivated.  If you hate spin – move on to something else.    I tried to be a runner for a couple of years, and I never could get to a point where I enjoyed pushing my limits.  Or even getting near them.  So eventually, I stopped forcing myself to be miserable for the sake of “everyone else seems to love it.”  Everything isn’t for everyone and that’s perfectly fine.

So that’s my not so quick guide to spin class for first-timers.  If you do enjoy it – it’s a hell of a calorie burn and the worst that can happen is you burn a few calories.

Bonus: there is truth to the term “spinner’s high”.  I feel pumped after spin class – not just the endorphin rush, but the sense of accomplishment.

Happy Spinning!!!!










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