Spinning, when taught responsibly, should be ideal for someone recovering from an injury or post-rehab so why isn’t it?
In many a commercial gym/studio, atmosphere, cheerleading and life coaching has replaced once qualified instruction. A fitness newbie is more likely than not caught between a rock and hard place. With no shortage of loud music, barking orders and mood lighting, you can walk in-and-out of a aerobics studio exhausted and bewildered.
The “fitness formula” for building membership and revenue makes a once zany program the norm. Are you seeking entertainment or results? Both have a cost.
Here is a guide to be able to discern whether you are taking a physiologically sound aerobic class or participating in a highly choreographed cardio smackdown on a piece of machinery resembling a bike.
- Who is the target demographic of this class ? Regardless of advertising or marketing, no class is for everyone. Is this class for you? My motto is “when in doubt, opt out.” Observe a class or two. Ask if you can watch from a safe distance. Talk to friends, or gym members whose work ethic you admire, and seek instructor referrals. Accommodate your needs first.
- Don’t hide. Position yourself up front and center. Introduce yourself to the instructor. Explain your exercise history.
- Ask questions. A true professional will be happy to address your concerns. Some pertinent questions may be: Is there a lesson plan for today? What’s your style of teaching? What kind of training has the instructor undergone? Is the class music and choreography driven or is it a structured heart rate monitor based workout? For example, if the instructor shuts the lights off first thing and you spin in the dark, ain’t no heart rate training going on. It’s a dance party on a piece of exercise equipment.
- Stay in your comfort zone for the first few times you train. You don’t have to finish your first class. If you are returning to exercise, or never taken a class before, you can choose to stay for twenty minutes and work yourself up to forty-five. Don’t check your common sense when you need it the most. If an exercise appears questionable to you, sit it out. After the class, inquire about it. Learn the form. There should be research and outside references to support the exercises being lead.
Sadly, most people are working out chasing a feeling. Taking random classes over time will make you a better class taker but not necessarily an injury-free competent athlete. Experiences that one can objectively monitor leave lasting value.
I would like you to put yourself first, trust your instincts and think of how your every workout can make your life better outside the gym.
P.S. Don’t forget to check out my guide to proper bike setup.