Tag Archives: spin class

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90 Minutes of Spin Class: Are You Insane?

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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.
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Aqua Cycle Review

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Finally was able to try the Aqua Cycle class in NYC this weekend.  My initial impression is sadly just lukewarm right now.  We arrived just as class began so I didn’t have a chance to get settled and adjusted beforehand.  Then the pedal came off my bike an the new bike they put me on was wobbly like a table with one leg too short.  And there was a lot of additional upper body arm work that wasn’t terribly useful in my personal opinion.

All THAT aside, I think I still liked it enough to go back and try it again the next time I’m in town.  Being in the water definitely added a new dimension to the usual spin class, and I think once you are able to get the hang of the changes you have to make in your positioning to be able to pedal smoothly underwater, the more enjoyable it will become.

The basics:

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Cool studio – very small with a reception area upstairs.  Steps lead downstairs to a locker/changing area where you can store your things and 4 or 5 shower stalls so you can shower away the chlorine after class (shower gel, shampoo and conditioner are provided – but it is all peppermint – holy mint batman!)

As far as equipment/gear, all you need is a bathing suit.  Many are in the racing type suits you see athletes wear, but basically any swimsuit will do – no one cares.  The glasses are same-sex, men and women have different classes, so no worries about being ogled.  The studio provides towels and special swim shoes.  You can also buy water there if you forget to bring your own (which I did).

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Then you jump into the pool, grab a bike (depending on the class it can get a little crowded) adjust the seat and follow the instructor who teaches both from her own bike in the pool and standing out of the pool.  The only thing that is really unusual is at certain points during the class, you go into what they call “4th Position” where you keep you feet in the pedal straps and hang off the back of your bike holding onto the seat.  I’m not sure I buy into what benefit that has, but it is at the very least an exercise in balance and arm strength.

At that point, it becomes a lot like a regular spin class except for the water (ha!).  It can be difficult to spin smoothly at first – you have to really squat to be able to keep your legs pedaling, but all the better for your legs right?

Final Review:  Intriguing enough to try again.

(Note: photos are not mine – I just didn’t have a chance to take my own but wanted to give everyone at least some idea of how it looks)

Amazing day of fitness yesterday! 2 hours of spin, a yin yoga workshop and a full moon yoga and meditation session.

Yin and yang. It’s all about balance.

As you may have noticed, Yin yoga is now added into my fitness training. Simple postures held for 3-5 minutes at time to focus on opening the joints, ligaments and connective tissue-as well as unblock the flow of energy through the body. I’m in love with it! And it is the perfect compliment to my more “yang” activities of cycle and strength training. Not to mention the intense meditation that Yin provides.

I’ve tried other forms of yoga, the more intensive yang-styles like vinyasa, but to be honest, I literally hate it. Maybe I just need more practice, but it is excruciating for me to do one of the more power flow intensive classes. I’ll get on the bike and spin like crazy for 2 hours, but I can barely survive 45 minutes of Vinyasa. One thing I’m learning is to listen to my body and doe those activities that I actually enjoy and will push myself for further accomplishment.

Until finding Yin, I was dreading putting yoga into my regular training plan, but now, I’m excited! Increased flexibility, mobility (my hips are atrociously tight after years behinds desks) and the mental spiritual benefits of Yin have me so enthused I can’t wait until my next yoga class.

I will also take some more basic yoga classes that are slower and more focused on learning technique and form. I don’t want to give up on learning to like the more muscle-intensive yang yoga styles, but I’ll ease into that. Now I have the luxury of learning while still getting some much needed benefits from my Yin practice. Yin is part of my life now I think!