Spinclasstic – a first taste of hell on a bike

Today I attended my second ever Spin Class. Spin Class is a cruel invention, loved by gym types and those who like to leave work on time and need an excuse.

If you ever happen to be in a gym, while a Spin Class is in operation you will hear screams coming from the room (spin teacher) and may glimpse some furious pedaling. At the end of the class you will see puce-faced, sweaty, buckle-kneed spinners leave and stumble home.

I had wanted to attend a Spin Class for some time, but never had the courage. I thought, why would I want to go somewhere and be screamed at and besides, it’d KILL me. Then along came the wedding. All brides will attempt things they never thought possible and often, will find yourself doing something you don’t particularly want to do for the greater good.

I planned my first class for a late Friday evening and of course, missed it because of work. Unluckily, there was another one starting just as I arrived at the gym for Spin Pros and I went. Hell. Hell on a bike. Torture in a small mirrored room with plenty of other people sweating everywhere. And all going faster than me.

Spin classes generally start off easy. This lulls you into a false sense of fitness where you think ‘I can handle this’. Then they start the ‘routines’.

These generally involve pushups on a bike; squats on a bike (watch out for the pedals); sitdown pushups on a bike, standup and cycle like crazy on a bike, bend over and cycle like crazy on a bike, all the time turning an evil yellow dial that forces more lead onto the pedals. As soon as you think you are done with a ‘routine’ they launch into an even longer one, and you long to perch your sweaty behind just for a second on the narrow black saddle.

The thing with spin is, you can almost feel your fat cells melting away. Today I wondered as I stared at my legs pedaling (curling your head downwards make you look like you are trying REALLY HARD) I wondered if anyone had ever stayed so long on a bike that they had a completely different set of legs when they got off.

Today’s teacher made me laugh three times during the class. He was foreign born and had a Russian accent. I don’t know here he was from. But he liked to scream ‘push, push, push’ over again. I wondered if a labour ward was as much torture as this. The second time was when he ordered us into a Nazi salute.

At first I thought it was surely a joke. I looked around and nobody else was laughing. Instead, every single one had raised their right arm, straight out in front. Naturally I joined in and discovered, that this, for whatever reason, ensured further torture on the bike. The final chuckle came when he warned the class that he was watching us and we would be punishing us if we did not do what he said. How could he punish us even more??

And so, what advice would I give to any would-be spinners? First of all. Don’t go. Second of all, if you must go, bring a towel and water and make sure you wash your hands after you get off that bike. Let’s face it, those rubber handles are caked in other people’s sweat!

Thirdly, get to grips with the yellow dial of evil. You will be told to use this all throughout the class. I’m still unsure if I was turning it the right way today, but at least I didn’t confuse it with the handlebar lever and have the whole front of my bike shoot forward mid-spin like at my first class.

Last of all, let me know how you get on. Did the fat just melt away? Because I’m not sure when I will be back. The Russian Nazi really scared me away.

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