By Joey Adams
The pursuit of fitness seem to have various “rules” that we get bombarded with constantly - do this, don’t do that, eat this, not that. Where is the fun in following someone else’s rules? Although there may be some valid information that comes from those suggestions, it can also become somewhat restricting. To help ensure you are getting the most out of your workouts, apply the seven Fs of Spinning® and maximize your results.
When I think of the concept of fun and the creation of my Fs (Fun-Flow-Focus-Fit-Form-Fuel-Fitness to avoid “Fooey”!), I always use fun as the ultimate litmus test. As a true Vermonter, I think of our state’s native ice cream makers Ben and Jerry’s and their famous quote; “If it is not fun, why do it?”Then I immediately think of the experience of watching my own children at play and pursuing their own fitness passions. I’m captivated by their total immersion in their sports and how much fun they appear to be having. You can see it on their faces and in their body expression.So I offer you this: when an activity stops being fun, when you don’t look forward to your pursuit to wellness in whatever form, then it’s time to stop, change course and try something new. Get outside, try a new sport, take a new class, dance, move, play and create something new that puts the fun back into your workouts! Spinning has always had its foundation in the concept of Fun
, and because of this, it’s a great way to incorporate more energy and enthusiasm into your program.
Even if you have never tried Spinning before, the key is a mindset that encourages learning, evolving and growing. Spinning’s roots combine road cycling, great music and the exhilaration and comradery that come from riding with others. It is easy in a movement, song or ride to experience what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi called Flow
, the second “F”. This is the moment of the autotelic experience, of being immersed in the moment, or a Zen-like experience. This can be achieved during a Spinning class when you mentally place yourself somewhere that provides you this sense of Zen.
Like Flow, Focus can be achieved through Spinning by focusing on a particular goal or goals throughout a class (RPM, heart rate, wattage, etc.) and doing what it takes to achieve that goal. This can lead to enhanced motivation and, ultimately, more fun!
The fourth “F” is Fit
, and trust me, your equipment and clothing has got to fit you. I cannot tell you how many people who, when asked where and how they got their shoes and equipment, answered: “I got it online” or “it was a good color” or “I thought it was the right one for me.” Wearing the wrong equipment increases your risk for injury. When a bike too big, or even a yoga mat too slippery, injuries and setbacks are just waiting to happen.This is where it makes sense to go to a local vendor, do some research and spend time checking out what is right for you and your unique body.For example, most running shoe fittings can take an hour or two to ensure you’ve got the right shoe that fits you. The clinician should have you run in multiple shoes on a treadmill and even do a video analysis to ensure proper fit, which will enhance proper form. Another example is the importance of a properly fitted bike. Having a Certified Spinning Instructor
properly set you up on the bike will deliver safe and comfortable rides for the weeks and months ahead.
Now that everything fits properly, you’re now ready to work on Form
. Form is simply how you move in your activity or exercise. Do you move well, or are there imbalances? If you are a creature of the 21st century, you likely sit a lot, or have a job or life-demands that strengthen one part of the body over another. This translates to poor form caused by body asymmetries that can cause injuries and derail your training. In addition, during exercise, you may tend to favor your strengths rather than addressing weaknesses, which may exacerbate those weaknesses.Often the movement patterns developed are done with slow movements first, then adding more complex patterns once those basic movements are mastered. During slower paces, we become more aware of form and develop it as we continue the exercise. When I work out hard, form is the first thing to go; I’m just trying to survive. The body will follow the mind, not the other way around. We can be the masters of our thoughts, and thus, our movement and reactions.
is repeatedly mistaken for the first F. When people come to me for a metabolic test, they often think they have a slow metabolism. I’ve been assessing people’s metabolism for over a decade. In all that time, I’ve tested less than three people (out of thousands) with a slow metabolism, and those people were on very restrictive diets.For most people, the key to weight management is practicing proper eating habits. For one to lose weight, the calories consumed must be less than expended. So although you may be eating more frequently throughout the day, the calories consumed must still be less than what you expend that day.Fuel and timing help build the new, better, stronger you. Isn’t that one of the reasons why you do what you do?
Now we have all our Fs in a row. You’ve mastered and embraced Fun. You’ve discovered focus that led to Flow. Your gear has the right Fit thanks to the guiding hands and eyes of a specialist. Your Form is developing as you increase the intensity and duration of your exercise. You honor your Fuel needs, helping you create a deeper fitness foundation. However, there is one last “F” that needs to be addressed.The final “F”, when any F gets out of balance, is to just say Fooey
and put the activity on hiatus. But there’s good news! You then go back to Fun and start again, maybe in a new direction. The goal of the Spinning program has always been to lead people to a state of balance, including health, happiness, peace and community.Wishing you miles of smiles down your personal road to wellness, balance and peace...and as always, lots of fun!Do you have rules that you set for yourself in the pursuit of fitness? We want to hear from you! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
to our newsletter!