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As someone who mostly works out in the privacy of my own home, attending a spin class was a little intimidating, especially given that I had never participated in any sort of fitness class before. I do, however, know how to ride a bike! I have a neglected bicycle that I received as a Christmas present years ago that sits in the garage. So how hard could a spin class really be?
Picture a room full of stationary bikes lined up in rows. The lights are dim at first before the room eventually goes darker and colorful strobe lights flash across the room. Pop fan? Spin classes generally have a music theme. Depending on the instructor, you can pedal to anything from Justin Bieber to Drake. My first class’s music theme was Beyoncé vs Destiny’s Child. If that doesn’t get your endorphins moving, I don’t know what will.
But before you book your first class, here are a few small tips to prepare you.
1. Reserve a bike. Most classes will give you the opportunity to select your bike before class. This is convenient for those who prefer to be up front or if you want a little distance from others. Second row is ideal for beginners. This way you can pick up a few tricks from the more aggressive riders in the front row.
2. Wear sweat-friendly, breathable clothes. Chances are your clothes just may stick to your body. You most definitely don’t want to show up in sweats; that’s a big no-no. You don’t want a sauna inside your clothes!
3. Hydration is always key. Make sure you bring a decent size amount of water for you to guzzle in between uphill pedaling and shifting gears.
>> Read more: Find the Best Water Bottle For You
4. Bring a small hand towel. There is no fact more true than that you are going to sweat… tremendously. Most places will already have towels there for you but it’s always good to bring one just in case. Make sure that you drape it across your handlebars so that it is within close reach to pat down in between sets.
5. Seat check! Make sure you have the head instructor show you how to properly adjust your seat. There are a variety of sit-down and stand-up drills and you want to have the ability to extend your knees when needed and be positioned comfortably. Leave the scrunching for crunches at home.
6. Stretch before and after. Your muscles will thank you later.
>> Read more: 10 Stretches for Spin Class Junkies
7. Prepare to have your butt kicked. Regardless of what level of exercise “expertise” you think you have, you are going to do some serious cardio. Classes can typically last up to 45 minutes. That means 45 minutes of nonstop pedaling that will work your quads, glutes, calves and more. Best part? You’re likely to burn between 400-600 calories doing so.