I love spinning. It’s fantastic cardio, the music is usually fun, and I feel like I get a good strength workout in, too. It’s multipurpose, and I love that.
With the New Year — and all the New Year’s Resolution-ers that come with that — I’ve been unable to get a bike in any of my normal spinning classes in 2010. I’ve gotten there 15 minutes early, snagged a pass (which theoretically ensures you a bike) … and still been SOL. There are 39 bikes in the classroom. I can’t leave any earlier from work.
As you can imagine, this seriously bums me out, and means that my only options for cardio at the gym are the treadmill and the elliptical. I’ve been making do, running was fun for awhile (I never knew I could run 5 miles at one time before!), and now I’ve been mixing things up on the elliptical thanks to The Fitnessista’s workouts (the “boredom buster” is awesome).
But, I miss the bike.
So this morning, armed with a towel, waterbottle and the workout mix on my iPod, I went into the spinning classroom and decided to do my own mini spin class. (No, I didn’t use the instructor’s bike, but I was sorely tempted for a minute).
It was kind of weird at first, because I really didn’t know what the hell I was doing. I’d gotten used to the instructor telling me when to adjust the resistance, change positions, etc.
I ended up adjusting what I was doing to match the beat of whatever song came up on my iPod. It was sort of disjointed, but I don’t usually care about any “guided imagery” that the instructors use, so it was okay. I tried my best to mix things up … including sprints and seated climbs (both of which I hate with the fire of a thousand suns). I made sure to give myself a little rest every once in awhile in position 2 (usually during the bridge). And when I thought I was done, guess what song came on? “The Hand That Feeds” by NIN. My power song. I kept truckin’.
I biked for about 40 minutes. I got really sweaty. I kicked serious ass. And I realized how much I miss spinning!
While it may seem odd that I can really push myself on a bike without an instructor — when I have issues with the same thing on the treadmill — I think it’s because I go song by song. I listened to what my body was telling me … instead of listening to someone else. When nobody is around, it’s a lot easier to focus on the different muscle groups in your legs: How much gas do my quads have left, can I up the resistance and finish the song? Can I pull a sprint … or a hover out right now? Am I squeezing my hamstrings on the way up?
I busted out a couple of circuits per the Winter Shape Up week 3 afterwards, and felt like a total badass.
Now that I’ve gotten this first one under my belt, I’ll probably do this a little more often. Odds are I’ll start going back to the spinning classes when the resolution crowd drops off in March … but it was empowering to see that I can push myself hard, even when nobody’s looking.
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! BF and I have a devastatingly romantic day planned … looking at apartments for our move at the end of next month. Ugh, at least I am making him take me to First Watch to fuel up 😛
image from pedrosimoes7’s Photostream