For All Spinning® Enthusiasts

clearing your head...

Getting what you come for

There is a reason you take Spinning® at the gym.  What is it?  Can you remember your first class - your apprehension, exhileration, exhaustion?  More importantly, can you remember your second class?  Something made you go back and taking a moment to remember how and why you (for lack of a better phrase) got hooked is sometimes all it takes to get you in the right head space to maximize your next Spinning® experience.  Explore past your first response which might include killer music, an awesome inspirational instructor and a nuclear attack on calories.  Sit for moment and don't try to put words to it but rather feel what it is that you get from that class you keep going back for.  Chances is something less physical and more, well, mental, emotional...spiritual even if you're lucky enough to find those awesome moments of release.


Setting yourself up for success

You're lucky if you're one of the few who can duck in and out of different life modes - hectic family stuff, pressureful work stuff, personal growth stuff.  But if you're not, and you find it hard to get that "thing" that other people talk about in Spinning® you can work on it with a few strategies.  Much of who you are boils down to chemical balance - in the head and in the body, so all it takes is tweaking to get it right...and when it is right you'll know it and you'll be back for more.


3 most important tips for maximizing your Spinning® experience past the physical realm

1. Know thy time management skills:

Whether your class is 45 minutes or more you should schedule in an additional 20 minutes, which may sound impossible in your already hectic day, but here is why.

Being at the gym and ready for class 20 minutes in advance allows you the time you need to inform people that you will not be available for the next 90 minutes - deligate authority for your kids, block off your co-workers and simply turn off the phone...right before you lock it in your locker.  Believe me, you are not as important as you think you are.  You need this one hour (I added a bit for your shower, too) to be off the grid.  Remember, Spinning® is not just a physical thing.  It is introspection and that cannot happen without concentrated focus.  Practice saying it.  "I am not available for the next 90 minutes."  


Along the same lines, getting your Spinning® classes into your daily planning calendar is a must.  In the same way that you'd block off a meeting or a dentist appointment, just automate your calendar for one to three months at a time...


2.  Know thy bike: 

Showing up early allows you the chance to get in (assuming there is not a prior class) and set up your bike.  If you're lucky, your instructor will be there for the fine tuning of your bike fit.  If that isn't possible, ask your instructor if you can meet after class or at another time to get that fit down right. 

Also, over time you'll get to know other regulars - the one who talks on her phone during class, the one who tries to chat with you.  Don't get too stuck in one place, but planning is not a bad idea when you actually pick your bike.  Asside from your classmates, think about the air conditioner, the speakers, the lightes and other things in order to determine what will help you and what will hold you back from sinking into the class.  Nothing is more distracting than a noisy bike that others can hear or finding that the fan doesn't reach you and you wish it did.


3. Know thyself:  

Have you ever felt hunger pangs while in a Spinning® class?  What a drag.  Or maybe you climb onto the bike yawning because you didn't have enough sleep to get you through.  Maybe worst of all, you had cake at the office birthday party and are having a sugar crash right before class starts.  Timing is everything.  Being hydrated, fueled, but not full, and having adequate sleep is just that start of the things you can and should have control of to make sure you set yourself up for a great class.


So, what is that *thing* people get?

Spinning® calls it rhythm release.  When you harmonize your large muscle groups in continuous rhythmic action that is steady and predictable, and all other aspects of the moment line up so that you feel safe, undistracted and relaxed, the chemical shifts in your brain are almost palpable. Endorphins, dopamine and even chemicals akin to those in cannibis can leave you feeling euphoric.  Some athletes refer to it as the white zone and many feel a sense that they've lost track of time.  This is a good place to be.


You see, we live in a world where you are in constant demand.  Remember when you were a kid?  You didn't have a cell phone.  You knew you had to go home because the street lights were turning on.  Spinning®, I've said it many times already, is in my mind more about this than getting my heart rate up or losing weight.  It is more about letting go, disconnecting with the outside in order to get in touch with the inside.  There are no questions to be asked and answered, no disappointments or dependance on others.  


It is a moment purely for you in a way that few other acivities in life that we do are. I can't stress enough how important it is for you to set all the conditions for success up in advance, disconnected from external distraction, set up on the bike and within the studio and fueled and ready to go.  


If you have other thoughts on this, I'd love to hear back from you - Have you experienced that *thing* in Spinning®?  Can you tell the difference between when you've set up the conditions for a perfect class and when you've come in late, distracted, hungry, etc etc?


I hope you get to a most excellent class next time you head in to a Spinning® class!  It is worth the effort if the pay off is that *thing!*  You'll know it when you get there....and you'll want it again.  




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