Get ready for your first indoor cycling class and prepare for the challenges, the fun, and the excitement of these high-energy group classes. Not all indoor cycling classes are the same; there is something for everyone, whether you're looking for a social workout, a sweat-fest training session, or something in-between. Here are some helpful tips for getting started, finding the right class for you, and sticking with this new, exhilarating workout routine.
How to find your first indoor cycling class
If you have a bike at home, check out YouTube for different instructors and classes that you can follow along with. Kaleigh Cohen is an experienced instructor with a ton of videos and will get you working hard and having fun in no time.
If you’d rather go for the in-person cycling class experience, look for a local studio that balances cost, distance, and the type of environment you are excited about. Different apps like Class Pass can help identify different studios and types of indoor cycling classes. Or ask around; getting recommendations from friends is a surefire way to find a studio and teacher that is right for you.
What to bring to your first class
When you head to your first class, wear moisture-wicking leggings or longer biker shorts – these will help keep you cooler and comfortable as the effort ramps up. Also, consider bringing your own sweat towel and indoor bike shoes if you have them. Most cycling studios have towels and shoes to rent, but if you’re committed to making indoor cycling your new routine, investing in your own gear is worth it!
Bring a water bottle and consider adding some sort of electrolyte mix. Indoor cycling classes are known for pushing you physically, and the studio rooms can get pretty hot at times. As you sweat it out on the bike, make sure to replenish yourself so you can ride strong all the way through the class.
Speaking of making it to the end of the class, it can also help to have a quick recovery snack ready to go after you finish up your workout. This will help you recover faster, so you'll be ready to take on the rest of your day.
What to expect during the class
Indoor cycling classes typically range between 40 and 90 minutes. An instructor sits at the front of the room on a spin bike facing the class while participants are lined up on bikes in rows, facing the instructor. These classes often incorporate loud music and sometimes colorful lights to create an exciting and motivating environment that can help you push yourself harder and have fun. The instructor usually starts the class with a warm-up period so you can get the feel of the bike and get your body ready for the upcoming harder efforts. Then, you'll jump into different drills and efforts, followed by a cool-down.
What if the first class isn’t the right fit?
If the first indoor cycling class you tried didn’t feel right or didn’t offer the type of workout you were looking for, try a few more! Instructors use different cues and vary in music tastes, which help shape each class into a unique experience. But that doesn't mean you'll love every type of class or every instructor. Spend some time seeking out the right fit, and you'll be hooked in no time.
If you experienced discomfort on the bike during your first ride, it pays off to be patient. Your body will adjust to the feeling of the bike and also the feeling of the bike seat. After a few classes, you’ll notice a huge jump in how strong and confident you feel throughout the class.
If the class feels way too hard, remember you are there for yourself and you can ride at whatever level feels right. People around you, even if they may be riding harder, are also riding at a pace that is a good challenge for them. Start a little easier in your first few classes until you get the hang of it. Then you can bump up the effort and start pushing yourself harder with confidence.
Build a Friendly Community
Indoor cycling classes offer a community, a new sense of personal strength, and a safe space to challenge yourself. The communities that form at these classes often stretch beyond the physical studio walls. Get to know the instructor and the other people in your class, and you'll be more excited to return the next time and spend time with your workout crew.
While getting started with indoor cycling and trying something new can feel intimidating, cycling studios are built to be fun and welcoming. Classes offer a great opportunity to find friends and push your own limits. Between the thrilling environment, welcoming communities, and personal growth, there's a reason the sport has grown so rapidly. Indoor cycling instructor Kaleigh Cohen says, “We are going to get stronger on our bikes now so that we can be stronger out in the world.” If you’re intrigued by the world of indoor cycling, trust yourself and give it a try, chances are you’ll love it.