SO…it’s your first time taking an indoor cycling class. Or…you’re thinking about it! Here’s a cheat sheet for everything you need to know BEFORE the first song starts!
Wear tighter fitting workout pants
Shorts are going to ride up and give you a wedgie and/or a rash between your thighs where they rub on the seat. You can wear shorts if they are on the longer side, but you will feel best if your bottoms are at knee length or longer.
Bring water and a towel
Most studios will have water, but not all will have towels. Be safe and bring your own.
Arrive at the studio or class 15 minutes early
Besides having to sign a waiver, you are going to want plenty of time to get situated and set up your bike. A good studio/gym will offer to help you set the bike up to fit your body. Don’t be shy, accept the help. They know exactly how the bike moves. You want it to be done right so that you are comfortable and safe (make sure those knobs are tight!)
Some studios.gyms will offer shoes to borrow or rent. Do it! Your ride will be so much easier and effective with the cycling shoes on. If they don’t have shoes for you, the bikes will be equipped with baskets that you can slide your sneakers into with ease.
Don’t sit in the front row
I’m the girl who always likes to sit in front but in your first class avoid it. In cycling classes, the front row is usually filled with riders who set the pace. They know what the instructor is going to do because they have taken his/her class before. They almost serve as assistants. Work your way up there! That being said, don’t sit in the back! It’s hard to see everything back there, and you may lose out on some of the energy. Choose a seat in the middle and off to the side. You can see, you can feel the energy and you will have a great ride.
Say “Hi” to the instructor before class
I know…you are already out of your comfort zone. You are in a new studio, trying a new class and now I want you to introduce yourself to a stranger? Yes. Instructors will typically introduce themselves to new riders but if you get overlooked, wave your hands and say “hi”! This lets them know you are new and they can double check your bike, give you a tip and help you in your first class.
Don’t freak out
When that first song starts, and everyone seems to know exactly what is happening, and you are still figuring out how to stand up…you might freak out! Don’t. We’ve all had our “first class.” Know one is laughing at you. Plus, you said hi to the instructor, so they know you aren’t going to bolt up and be perfect. Just breathe. Get to know the bike, the music and the rhythm of the ride. Do what you can, and you’ll do more the next time.
A few tips to keep in your head
When you go to stand up, add more “gear” than you think you need. Even if your legs slow way down, you will be safe and in control. If you stand without the proper amount of gear, you could lose control of your legs and feel really wobbly. Once you are up, try to move your butt over the seat vs. towards the handlebars. You are stronger there. Keep your hands light on the handlebars. This will be easier if the booty is back over the saddle. If you find yourself all hunched over the front of the bike and your quads are on fire, these are signs that you need to move the butt back. Trust me. If you are still burning and you need to sit down, SIT! We don’t expect you to be perfect in your first (or second or third…) class.
Just have fun!
Yes, you will sweat. You will be tired. But you are doing it! And with the music and energy…it is fun! Don’t let the guy in the spandex suit make you feel like it’s super serious!
You are now set to ride! Let me know how it goes!!!
P.S. To receive my fave post-workout seeded energy bar recipe, enter your info HERE.