Spinning is no ride in the park, but the results are definitely worth it. A 45-60 minute ride can burn upwards of 600 calories, it’s low impact on your joints, and comes with a great endorphin rush.

I’ve become totally hooked on the spinning classes at Focus Fitness Main Line. Ever since my first class, I’ve been taking several per week, trying out all of FFML’s fabulous instructors.

Since spinning sounded a little intimidating to me before I started, I thought I would put together a short list of my top 6 tips for newbies.

  1. Show up. After hearing about the spinning craze that seems to be sweeping the country, it took me a while before I actually made it to my first class. When you think about it… it’s a stationary bike and you can totally go at your own pace… how scary can it be?
  2. Take your time. At the beginning of every class Tiffany teaches she has the same line, “Every bike is different, every ride is different, every person is different. Do what feels right for you.” So true.
  3. Bring a friend. My sister Lauren is a senior at University of Maryland and currently training for a cross-country bike ride to raise money for cancer (http://4kforcancer.org/profiles/lauren-margetich/). Having her next to me when I was starting out made the ride more fun, and many times turned the 1-hour spinning class into a mini sister day of spinning and lunch or spending time together. Now that she is at school, I’m going to class with my other sister Julie whenever possible. spinning
  4. Get to know your instructor. It’s so much easier to ask questions and learn new tips when you know your instructor. Each and every teacher at FFML is full of knowledge, from your bike set up to what you should eat and drink.
  5. Watch your form. Here’s another area your instructor can help you master. In Allison’s classes she’ll remind you to pull your belly up – not just so your legs have more room to move, but also to remind you to use your core muscles. It’s not just a leg workout; it’s a total body workout.
  6. Keep going. The first changes I noticed were mental. I felt so proud after reaching a personal “milestone” in class – whether it was reaching 115 RPM or really getting to level 10 resistance. Keep going and give yourself time to get used to the class and realize how strong you really are.

Spinners, what other tips would you share?