Anxiety about taking a spin class is only natural. The good news is that whatever the reason for your fear, there are ways for you to approach and conquer it—and have a blast in spin class.
Take Your Time
There is no rush in joining a spin class. If you need to, acclimate yourself first to the spin or stationary bicycles at your own pace, without taking a class. Do this for however long you like, whether it is a few days or a month.
In fact, spinning is a very individual exercise even in classes. Each spinner controls his or her bike’s resistance, and the resistance and pace the instructor suggests are only guidelines. By no means do you have to go as fast (or as slow) as the instructor suggests. Instructors will not single you out in class; their aim is to motivate you and help you reach your potential. You work as hard as you like.
Help the Instructor Help You
The first time you attend class, tell the instructor you are new and a beginner. Much of the time, instructors will even ask at the beginning of each class who is new so they can provide some tips and help ensure proper bike fit. However, seize the initiative and introduce yourself before class. You will be less rushed this way, and you definitely want the best fit as possible to reduce the chances of strain from spin class.
You definitely don’t have to spin every other day. In fact, many new spinners only attend one or two classes a week at first. Spinning is challenging and will cause you to be sore. Give your muscles and body time to recover.
Clothing and Preparation
Thigh chafing is common among spinners who don’t wear proper attire. Plan on long shorts that cover and protect your inner thighs. You can also wear padded bike shorts if the seat hurts you. Bring plenty of water and a hand towel to mop up sweat. Normal running shoes work fine; don’t let cost stop you from taking a spin class.
- The more the merrier. If you’re worried about appearing self-conscious, ask a friend to come along. The friend can use a guest pass if he or she is not a gym member. Show up with a positive attitude and remind yourself of the benefits that will occur (better shape, firmer, toned legs and so on).
- Promise yourself a reward for going to spin class. Try to avoid food-based rewards, though. You could motivate yourself to go by buying a shirt you’ve wanted for a long time after class. Before long, you won’t need external motivators to go to class.
- Get to the root of your fear. For example, if you are overweight and don’t want to appear out of place among model-like athletes in class, do a few things. First, peek in at one of the classes. It is hardly unlikely everyone there is in tip-top shape. Spinning is for everyone—male, female, overweight, underweight and so on. Second, change your mindset. Use these people to encourage you, not discourage you. Look ahead to a time when you will be more in shape instead of putting yourself down for the way you look. Spinning will also release natural feel-good hormones.