A little-known fact about me is that I was once a Spinning instructor during college and my one-year stint in law school (you may not have known that, either! Full of surprises today.) I was so into Spin and took many classes a week on top of teaching. When I started working full-time, it was a struggle to get to the gym in time with traffic, so I stopped teaching and pretty much stopped taking classes too. Long story short, I never really got back into taking Spin class after having two babies (you can read more about the workout I do all the time here) – but I still love it. So when I got invited to try SpinCult in Downtown Memphis, I jumped at the chance!
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I loved the crisp, minimalist vibe I got as soon as I walked into the studio and the warm welcome I received from the team. There was a great storage area for everyone to put their bags/belongings and there was also a nice locker room area in the back of the building. The studio itself was great – they had super nice and new Spin bikes (which is a luxury – I’ve been to gyms where the bikes were ancient!) and they kept the studio decor minimal since they turn the main lights down and use fun colorful lighting during class.
The team was quick to help newbies set up their bikes properly (so important) and when it was time to start, our amazing instructor Sidney went over what to expect during the class. The music was pumping and I knew right away this was going to be a high-energy workout. Sidney had the perfect mix of pushing us to work harder and encouraging us to keep up the good work – I love when fitness instructors keep it real and make you work your hardest – that’s where results happen! We did a huge variety of climbs, sprints and jumps and I left the class exhausted (in a good way) and drenched in sweat. I was able to chat with the studio owner, Victoria, and her story was so inspiring. She has an incredible vision for this studio and she’s passionate about offering an effective way for Memphians to become and stay fit. There are actually very limited fitness studio options for those living in the downtown area, so SpinCult is now filling that void in a big way! Also, the proximity to the University of Tennessee medical school campus makes it the perfect workout for med students taking a break out of their busy day.
5 Things to Know Before Taking Your First Spin Class
Whether you’re a Memphis local or not, I highly recommend taking spin class regularly to get an excellent workout! I wanted to share a few tips/advice that I learned as a diehard Spin junkie and instructor:
1. Dress appropriately. You’ll want to wear form-fitting workout attire for this type of class and avoid shorts (with the exception of bike shorts). Since you’re on a Spin bike, you don’t want to have loose clothing that could get caught in the pedals or wheels. Form-fitting clothing also helps keep your posture in check (to make sure you aren’t hunching over or rounding your back). I prefer 3/4 or full-length leggings and a racerback tank for taking Spin class. A good crosstraining sneaker is recommended and if you become a Spinning regular, you may want to consider clip-in shoes.
2. Bring plenty of water. If there’s one thing certain about taking Spin class, it’s the fact that you will sweat a LOT. Make sure you continue to hydrate before class, during and especially afterward to replace the water you lost during the workout.
3. Bring a towel. Like I said above, you’ll sweat a lot during Spin class. It’s a really good idea to bring a hand towel or workout towel with you to wipe down from time to time. I know some gyms or studios provide towels, but if you’re unsure, just bring your own. Trust me, you won’t regret it!
4. Set up your bike properly. If you’re new to Spin, make sure ask the instructor how to properly set up your bike. Most instructors walk around and ask if anyone needs help, but if the class is full/busy, you may need to ask. Do not skip this step, because proper form prevents injury and helps you get the best workout! Most Spin bikes adjust in multiple ways – for example, the handlebars move up and down, the seat moves up and down and it also moves forward and back. There are also several positions you’ll encounter during class – most instructors will either go over this with the class as a whole or explain it individually to newbies.
5. Work at your own pace. Like every other workout, the key is to always always always work at your own pace. That doesn’t mean take it easy and cheat yourself out of a good workout! You just need to listen to your body and push yourself safely, but if you feel like you can’t go any harder, faster, etc. and you feel lightheaded or nauseous, give yourself a bit of a break. Never come to a STOP, but you can take off some of the bike’s resistance and sit down to catch your breath. As soon as you feel better, be sure to hop back in and get back to work!