ATLANTA, Texas — If you’d like to go for a spin after Christmas, Phil Rice at CHRISTUS St. Michael Health and Fitness Center in Atlanta has the ride for you.
It’s called a spin class and is a new form of bicycling, You aren’t going anywhere. You’ll be spinning aboard a stationary bike.
The idea is to simulate an outdoor bicycle ride of energetic pedaling in a short period of time, say, 40 minutes.
You’re in a classroom and it’s not a race, so there will be friends to keep up with and be encouraged by. You can be a beginner or a professional and still ride next to each other. One does one’s own spinning.
Sweating? Yes. You’ll have a towel nearby.
Gallery: Spinning Their Wheels
Upper body strengthening? Yes. You’ll have two two-pound hand weights just over the bars for hand-curls and overhead presses.
But the best thing will be that, once accustomed, there will be excitement, satisfaction and joy upon completing the spin.
Spin classes generate a lot of talk and laughter. There’s also loud music pumping and colored lights flashing on the ceiling.
At the end, neighbor cyclists will probably pat one another on the shoulder and offer congratulations. .
Rice took a certification course in spin cycling to be able to teach this class at the fitness center. It’s popular. You will have to sign up early and be willing to pay $5 per class because at the moment, there are only six spin bikes.
The class times are Monday to Friday at 8:30 a.m. and Tuesday to Thursday at 12:30 noon, with an extra class at 6 p.m. on Mondays. Rice is considering offering an early-morning, 7 a.m. class on Saturdays.
Here’s a precise description of the cardio spin:
You position yourself quite correctly on the bike as pointed out by the instructor. Then, you start with a five-minute warm up.
Next you’ll pedal to simulate a flat road for two minutes. Then turn up the resistance and stand up in the saddle like going uphill. For one minute. Then it’s back down to two minutes.
Do this 10 times. Cool down, but notice you have the hand-weights at the front bars. Do two sets of five different lifts with the hand-weights while pedaling.
You’ll be doing hand-curls and overhead presses.
The time is ending for the class. You’ve got a towel to dry off with and the recognition that you’ve just gone a long way toward fitness, feeling better and losing calories.
Here are two special points:
First, in spinning, your legs are constantly moving, and you even have to apply pressure to slow down.
You can’t simply stop pedaling. So that means every second of the available time is put to good use.
Second, the icing on the cake is that you’ll not dread coming to class.
Once you’ve built up to it, the mind will have dug in as deeply as have the legs.
Spinning has become a business since about 2004, when classes began opening up all over to accommodate busy people.
No one gets dropped out of class. No one gets frustrated. Push through the first session, and you’re on the way. Don’t be surprised if you get addicted to spinning.
Finally, if after two or three classes, you think you can do the Boston Marathon, talk to your instructor Phil Rice. He’s done two of them.