Monday, 18 November 2013

My lunchtime exercise class: Spinning

Let's get some bits and pieces out of the way about spinning as a form of exercise.

Spinning is NOT

  • what you do where you hold your arms out & turn around and around to make yourself dizzy.
  • what you do where you find a big curtain and turn around and around so it twists up, mummifying you inside it, sometimes pulling your hair, sometimes pulling the curtain off the curtain track, and almost certainly - getting told off by your mum.
  • the thing that you do with a wheel until you prick your finger it makes you sleep for a hundred years.
  • performing Kylie Minogue's 'Spinning Around' in skimpy hotpants*

Spinning IS

  • just like riding a bike, only these are like exercise bikes
  • like going for a bike ride with a group of people BUT you're never the last one at the back
  • hard - but it's all controlled by you - you can choose to increase the resistence when the instructor shouts "up one" (or not)
  • is done in a darkened air-con room - so no one can see how hot and red and sweaty you get (until the lights go on at the end)
Anyway, a few weeks ago (end of September) I decided to go spinning with my colleague Will.  It's a lunchtime 30min session and is good exercise.  I have had experience of spinning, when I tried it about 18months ago and couldn't walk down stairs properly for 3 days.  Anyhow, that aside, I decided to give it another go.  Two reasons why I wanted to do it:
  1. I wanted to get fit
  2. I wanted to get the adrenalin-fuelled drunk-tipsy-happy buzzy look that Will often had when he returned to the office after a spinning class.
So I gave it another go.

The Class

Each class is 30 minutes: sometimes standing on the pedals,  sometimes doing press-up arms on the handlebars, alternating stand-up and sit-down riding, or sometimes pedalling so hard and so fast you think your legs are going to drop off.  The Monday class is led by a girl called Leanne (same name as my older sister), who screams out "UP ONE" to increase resistence or "FASTER" when we have to pedal faster.  I like Leanne's classes, and think there must be some psychological connection, that I enjoy an exercise class whereby I'm being shouted at by a girl with the same name as my sister.

The other reason I like this class is because of the music that Leanne plays, there's a great mix of old and new, all with a pedal-pushing beat and each week there's a song (or two) that'll have me singing (quietly) to myself whilst I drip with sweat.  Music goes from Placebo to Lady Gaga to Stereophonics to Kings of Leon to Right Said Fred to Basement Jaxx to Right Said Fred to Chemical Brothers.

This is high-intensity training, some blocks of exercise will be high-resistence and slow (like cycling uphill) and other parts will be fast and energetic (like going downhill, except I don't do what I often do on my normal bike - which is stick my legs out and shoud "weeeeee")

Classes are hard work - and some weeks I get 10minutes in and decide I absolutely hate it, and never want to come back, but by the end I've got that adrenalin-fuelled drunk-tipsy-happy buzzy feeling that I really like, and I'm back again the very next week.

The Results

I've been going every Monday since mid-September - which is pretty good commitment.

I can't say if it's improved my outdoor-biking technique (I've only been to the allotment and back on my bike) but I think it's improved my overall fitness (I can run up the escalators at Haymarket without getting out of breath at the top).  And I feel happier inside too - must be those endorphins.


And I'm sorry if I've put Kylie's Spinning Around sing into your head - so just for you, I've embedded the video, so you can watch it now.

1 comment:

  1. Well done Lisa for making Monday spin a habit!

    I'm still perfecting my "adrenalin-fuelled drunk-tipsy-happy buzzy look" btw!! ;-)