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Indoor Cycling: What to Expect At Your First Indoor Cycling Class

June 20, 2012 3 min read

There are a lot of misconceptions about indoor cycling classes and the intimidation alone is enough to deter some future indoor cyclists. At Zensah, we want to help make sure your first class is a success. So if you’ve ever considered taking an indoor cycling class, here are a few things you should know.

Your First Indoor Cycling Class
Your First Indoor Cycling Class

The Basics

  • Cycling is a low-impact activity, making it a great form of exercise for those recovering from previous injuries, people suffering from back pain or arthritis, post rehab patients, and event pre-natal and post-natal women.
  • Cycling is an intense cardio workout, so expect to burn a lot of calories. You can burn up to 400-600 calories during a 40-minute class, but this depends on your weight and the intensity of your workout.
  • Most cycling classes are 40-45 minutes long, which varies from the typical group exercise classes that often last one hour. Some beginner cycling classes are only 30 minutes long.

What to Bring

  • Water Bottle – It is important to stay hydrated during a cycling class because you will work up quite a sweat!
  • Towel– You will need something to soak up the sweat dripping from all over your body (don’t worry, you won’t be the only one!)
  • Wear comfortable clothes – including padded bike shorts, a moisture-wicking top, and low-top shoes such as cross-trainers or cycling shoes. Bike shoes have clips that attach your feet to the pedal, which allows for better cycling and gives you more power, but in general, shoes with stiff midsoles provide more cushion and stability to make for a better and more efficient ride.

Overall, indoor cycling is a one of the most effective cardiovascular workouts, which is one reason why indoor cycling classes have experienced such tremendous growth and popularity in recent years. While some believe that you have to be in top shape to be a successful indoor cyclist, a stationary bike provides the option to choose your own resistance level, making it easier to customize your workout while still keeping up with the class. It is important to remember that all indoor cyclists, beginners and professionals alike, must go at their own pace.  You are in complete control over the difficulty of your workout, but first-time participants in any indoor cycling class should ease into this form of exercise and start increasing the intensity after two or three classes.

Lastly, speak with your instructor if you have any questions or concerns. Inform them of your previous injuries, illnesses, and overall fitness history and fitness goals. Instructors are the best resource when starting an exercise program for the first time. Arrive a few minutes early to allow enough time to ask them about proper posture, seat adjustments, and how to adjust the speed and resistance level of your bike. These are tips and important features that you should be familiar with before you start your first class.

What to Expect After Your First Class

  • You will be sore– Muscle fatigue and soreness will often be felt in the upper and lower legs, pelvis and sometimes in the knees after your initial indoor cycling class. However, as with continuing any program, these effects will lessen after the first few classes. Compression apparel
    is able to help alleviate some of the effects of DOMS and a good bike seat cushion can help prevent some soreness.
  • New motivation –Stick with it! Make a commitment to attend an indoor cycling class a few times a week. Oftentimes the intensity of a class and the soreness after a class can scare people off, but it will get easier and you will begin to see and feel results after a couple of weeks. Indoor cycling is for the individual – remember this is not a group sport so work at your own pace and at a level that is comfortable for you.

Though it might be intimidating to attend a group class, indoor cycling is truly designed for participants of all fitness levels. So have you ever wondered what it would be like to experience the exhilaration and intensity of an indoor cycling class? Have you ever wanted to be part of the group of cyclists huddled over stationary bikes while being absorbed by the sound of the instructor’s voice? Now is the time to enroll in your first indoor cycling class and take in all of the benefits of this not only trendy, but one of the most fun and effective cardio workouts.

For those that have attended an indoor cycling class – what was your experience? Share below!

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