I did it. I finally tried a spin class.
I felt like I burned a TON of calories. With my legs and butt being the part of my body that I’m personally focusing on, I felt like 45 minutes of spin was the perfect way to not only target that area, but also target the biggest muscle in the body — your quads — for a high calorie burn. So, if you are targeting those areas, and want to burn a lot of calories in 45 minutes — I recommend trying a spin class out.
I had several different instructors, and I totally understand now how important the instructors are. I can see how people find their favorite instructor and then only want to go to their classes. I think the style in which the instructors teach can make all the difference. I am just speaking about spin in general here, but I definitely preferred certain instructors over others in my experience. Nothing bad, just more of a preference thing just like with any exercise class or personal trainer.
I think the culture of spin is interesting. Going into my first class, I really only knew what most people had heard about spinning — pumped up music, instructors with lots of personality, dim lights, etc. I’d heard how people get obsessed with it. I’d heard that certain classes with certain instructors in NYC cost over $60 PER CLASS, and there’s a waiting list for them (that is not the case here in DC)! Crazy town.
For me, I don’t know if spin something I could go to multiple times a week for months. I could see myself doing it a few times a week for one month, or once a week for an extended period of time. As much as I loved the classes I went to and thought the instructors and studio was great, I just don’t know if it’s something I could go to over and over and over several times a week for a long period of time. BUT I did love the high calorie burn, and targeting my legs and butt for the workout.
RIDE DC — 2217 14th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20009
Since this was my first experience at a spin studio, I have nothing to compare it to. I loved the high level of technology at RIDE DC. Each bike has a computer (or something techy) on it to where you can see where you are at in the class compared to everyone else (by bike number) on a big projection. I found it helpful to see where I was stacking up to everyone else. If you are worried about having your info in front of the class (no names or anything), I really didn’t think it was a big deal. No one cares if you are slower than them, everyone is pretty focused on their own level and if they can push themselves harder. Also I think you just have to be OK with where you are at. I was always either on the bottom or close to the bottom. Which is what I assumed would happen. I’m definitely not a spin or biking pro, and I can’t say that my legs are strong (at all). So I figured that I’d be toward the bottom of the class. But knowing I was on the bottom helped motivate me to work harder! It also helped me see where my resistance was compared to others.
After the class is over Ride DC sends you a follow-up ride performance email with your stats from your spin session. All I really cared about was the estimated calorie burn, which is generated from the personal info you entered into their system when you signed up and your performance from that class from your bike stats. I have no idea how accurate those calorie burn estimators are, but if they are close then on average I burned around 466 calories per class! I like that number. If you are a serious spinner or biker I think the other stats provided would be interesting to see over time.
The Ride DC website site is great. I love that you can actually pick the exact bike you will be on in class. Not only do you get the follow-up email but you can login into your profile on the site and see all of your rides, how far you went each ride, how many calories you burned, etc., and it averages it out for you.
One part of class I didn’t anticipate was the arm section. It actually ended up being one of my favorite parts of class. You continue to cycle while you do countless sets of reps with light weights. I had no idea they did this in spin class, but it definitely helped break the class up for me and I really liked that my arms also got a bit of a workout.
A great thing about this spin studio is that you don’t have to have the clip-in shoes to participate in class. On all of the bikes you can either have the clip-in biking shoes or just wear regular tennis shoes. I’m sure that the clip-ins have benefits with pulling up on the pedals, but I’m just not that far into my spin career (ha!) to need special shoes.
Overall, I had a great experience at spin and at Ride DC. For me, I can see spin being something I do every once in a while for a month to keep switching things up, which is what I like to do for my workouts or I get bored. The high level of calorie burn and working my legs and butt was definitely my favorite part of spin.
Have you done spin before? What did you like/not like?
Photos by Yvonne Rock