I remember the first time I was introduced to “spinning,” in Pullman, WA. It was a hot new class at Body Magic, the local Greek Row gym. The owner of the gym had us in a back room, the lights were low, and candles were burning. It was the hardest workout I had ever experienced and yet I could feel my body and mind start to connect. I was in love.
Years went by, spin classes came and went and I realized not all classes focused on that mind body connection. Then I found Traci at Fly Fitness. The magic that I felt back in Pullman reappeared and this time I did not want to let go. It came in the form of a ride to the music of Prince. I remember it was a cold winter night, the lights were down low, everyone was wearing purple, and there was instant connection in the room. The vibe was playful, Traci was hilarious. I was instantly hooked and wanted more. The bike can definitely be just a bike but what I felt when I was riding past my edge was the energy in the room. I could physically feel my body being pushed to its limits and when I thought I could not continue, I would feel the strength of my fellow riders and the power coming from the instructor.
I have since become a Cycling Instructor at Fly and my goal is to help people find that connection. I have seen many people come into my class saying, “they hate the bike.” Maybe cycling is their arch nemesis or that they just want to get it over with. I have also seen those people surprise themselves and realize they are not just riding a bike. They are taking time to quiet the mind, feel their body and empower themselves. It truly is a practice similar to yoga, which requires a focus on breath, strength, determination and awareness. Sure, there are times the vibe doesn’t feel right, it’s a rough ride or the energy isn’t there. That is why I say it’s a practice. Each class is an opportunity to learn about your ability to control all of the elements that bring the class to life. Breathe…………Feel……………Focus………………..Connect.
The most difficult decision for many people is to give indoor cycling a try. I love when people decide to try it anyway and realize it actually an invigorating experience, not scary at all. Sure, it’s a hard workout that burns massive calories, but if you focus on the other things that are going on, it's also some spiritual cardio, baby.
Unlike meditating in yoga, you are meditating with blasting loud music and the motivating guidance from your instructor. Meditation is clearing your mind of the clutter, being in the present moment, whether you are in lotus position or in the saddle of a bike. Connecting to your spirit and your higher self and using the music to help your mind let go.
If you have not tried indoor cycling, I challenge you to give it a shot. You never know, you might just find you have a new addiction.
Written by Fly Instructor, Casey Phillips
Here are a few tips to help you avoid what happened to me...
Have fun and be safe!!
Cycling is hands down the BEST cardio workout I have ever experienced. I know that is a bold statement but cycling is fun, intense, effective and hard core to say the least. I can relate the vibe I get during a cycle class to the feeling I get during a yoga class. Although they are night and day, they both take me to another place inside my soul. I am able to clear my mind, experience a moving meditation that reenergizes my body. I credit this effect to the intensity of the class. There is no room for lost thoughts or wasted worries when you are pedaling your ass off.
I love the freedom of being able to control my own workout. I value my time and when I work out, I want results. I want to get to the nitty gritty, burn as many cals as I can, and SWEAT! Sweating is so good for your body and cycling does not permit a dry t shirt. I am proud of my sweaty self after a cycle class. I don’t know if any of you do this, but I like to give props to myself based on the amount of sweat on my shirt. The bigger the sweat stain, the more proud I am!
For those of you who have never taken a cycling class, I say, just give it a try. You are in control and you decide how hard you work. For those of you who are cycle regulars- I challenge you to really push yourselves. Feel your body working and feel the pedal stroke the entire way around. Care about your form and stick that tush way back when you are standing up! Let your body feel the music and the experience and let go of any thoughts or judgments. I give you permission to just lose yourself in a very effective workout.
Casey Phillips- A New Fly Fitness Follower
Setting up a cycling bike properly is vital to prevent injury so peep these fly tips:
Set the seat height so that it hits you right at the hip. Sit on the seat (aka saddle, baby!), placing the balls of your feet on the pedals. Push down on one pedal, stopping it at the bottom of the pedal stroke, where your foot is at its furthest point from your body. Your leg should be almost fully extended, but with a slight bend in the knee, and your hips should not rock as you pedal.
Once you get the seat about right, place your pedals so they are parallel to the ground, and look down to see how your knee is lining up with your pedal. Your forward knee cap should align with the center of the pedal. Adjust the seat forward or backward accordingly.
Now stand on the bike and see how your hands feel on the handlebars. About 40% of your weight should be resting on the handlebars while about 60% should be on your saddle. If you have too much weight up front, raise the handlebars; if you have too much weight on the seat, lower the handlebars.
Be sure both legs still have a slight bend in the knee at maximum extension. Most of us have one leg that's shorter than the other! Who knew?!
Keep in mind you always want to be comfortable because as we discussed- you are about to start a killer cardio workout!
Our Schwinn AC Performance Bikes arrived last week! They're beautiful and top of the line! Each one has a console that reads your RPM (cadence) and heart rate (if you're wearing a heart rate monitor).
Very few group fitness classes burn as many calories as indoor cycling (spinning) does. Fitness Magazine reports that a 135 pound woman can burn as many as 425 calories for 30 minutes of spinning with an accelerated rate of exertion, which means that it is possible to burn upwards of 800 calories for an hour long class. On a personal note... Traci has lost 4 pounds since she re-started spinning 2 weeks ago! Whoop! Whoop!
Below are a few answers to questions you may have about the program. If you have any other questions please contact us!
I've never taken a spin class, is it easy to do? YES! The great thing about spinning is that you may go at your own pace. If you want to sit and just spin your legs for the first class, that's okay with us. If you can, come in 10-15 minutes before your first class so we can set you up on the bike.
Do I have to be a serious cyclist to come to class? No! Although hard core cyclists can come to class and get a great work out, we find that the majority of participants don't ride outside regularly.
Do I have to wear shorts that make me look like I'm wearing a diaper? You may wear whatever is comfortable for you. If bike shorts aren't your thing, we recommend wearing pants--regular shorts will ride up.
Do I need to wear bike shoes? Our bikes are SPD compatible, but we also have cages if you choose to wear sneakers. We find that clipping into the bike provides a more stable and safer ride and also allows you to target the correct muscle groups. With that said, it's your ride... wear what ever you're comfortable with.