I'll admit, I was skeptical of going into cycling. Obviously, I did my research, and although it looked crazy fun, I was terrified! All the girls posting about the craze were already crazy fit girls. Overall, all the pages I did find said similar to the following; it's cult-like, it's intimidating, it's hard as hell, and it's insanely addicting. Ready to make the jump for myself, I texted a friend of mine and a cycling veteran, Gracie Swift, who also took to writing her experience with cycling, which you can find here. Within 15 minutes, we were set up for a class for the following morning, and ready to go.
The set up itself was super straight forward, for us, we went to our local club, The Madison Tempe, and took a 9:00 am class with Demar Jackson (@djfromsocal). The Madison charged $15 for the drop in class, and for your first class, your shoe rental and water is also free. From here, the anxiety really set in. I was excited but terrified.
When walking into the class, immediately all of my fears went away, everyone was so welcoming and the energy is insane. Gracie referred to it as "a frat party on a bike" and I've never agreed more. For us, our instructor DJ also used weights towards the end of class, making an already tough workout even better. If you're a headbanger like me, take a spin class, if you're a rap lover, take a spin class, if you need to take time to focus on you, TAKE A SPIN CLASS.
Throughout the entire class, DJ would keep our energy high by adding choreography to the music, from sway to the left and right, to a full headbang, there was never a lack of energy. Start to get tired? discouraged? Around halfway through DJ made the room pitch black, slowed the music and essentially said to just focus on you, you're here for a reason, you can't get this moment back. You can do this, and you will do this. That alone will keep you motivated all day.
Now, the class is hard, I can't lie. However, you don't HAVE to do it all, consistency is key, just do it at your speed, but following their instructions and you got it. However, good luck, you may go through a moment where you'll need to slow down for a moment, but in all reality, the energy is so high throughout the class you won't want to stop.
Stepping off that bike, I have never instantly been so sore, my legs felt like jello, I could barely stand, I was dripping sweat, yet I didn't want to be done! I instantly started looking into monthly packages and memberships, my own shoes and the next classes. Like I said, cult-like, and addicting.
Now, I will say, I know "gym anxiety" is a huge thing, but I promise you, not a single person in that room is focused on you. You're so zoned into yourself and the music, and not railing yourself on the handlebars that you don't have the time to focus on anyone else.
For the rest of the day, I swear, I have never felt better. I left The Madison feeling energetic, fit, and so much more. And that energy lasted all day.
So...what do I wear?
The reality behind cycling is that you will, without a doubt, be sore as hell. I promise though... it's the best sore I have truly ever experienced. My chest and arms were sore, my legs still jello, yet I wanted to go back within four hours.
When it comes to attire, not everyone will love it. My best suggestion and the population suggestion which you'll see within classes is tight leggings and a high neck sports bra, shorts will rub way too much and are a huge no-no, even the men wore leggings under their shorts. With that the amount of sweat pouring out of you makes it hard to wear anything up top — if you aren't a sports bra only type a gal, I would suggest a TIGHT fitted tank or crop top.
Overall, taking the leap to go to a spin class was the best decision I've ever made. I don't think I will ever regret the leap and I'm so glad that I did it.