what’s the spin?

i used to belong to this really cool gym, qi.  it was an old warehouse converted into a gym and was downtown not too far from my old house.  it had a really nice yoga room, state of the art cardio equipment, and a spin room with a huge garage door that they could open in the summer.  there was local art all over the walls and i just loved the atmosphere.  of course, it came with a $100 per month price tag.

my friend deb was a member and i went to the spin-yoga class with her.  it was a half hour of spin and then a half hour of vinyasa yoga.  it was the only exercise class that i actually enjoyed, mostly because the music in the spin class was perfectly matched with the changes in the routine and i could really lose myself.  the routines were challenging and different every time, with a bit of yoga and strength training incorporated.  the instructors were really good at telling you what was going on and what form you should be using.

i went to this class for a few months, but when j and i started adjusting our budget, the membership was something that had to go, especially since i already had a lifelong membership to 24 hour fitness that was paid for years ago.
last night i decided to try out the spin class offered by 24 hour fitness and was highly dissapointed.

the instructor, while a perfectly nice lady, is a little older and i’m not sure she quite understands how a spin class should work. 

when i think of a spin class, i think of upbeat songs that most people know, that have super energetic bursts and then slow down a bit, so that you can match the intervals of the spin intensity.  this can be about any dance-y song that is currently on the radio.  i don’t think my instructor understands this.  the intervals she has us do don’t match up with the songs at ALL.  then after every song (or sometimes in the middle of them), she has to get off the bike and fiddle with her ipod because i don’t think she has any idea on how to create a playlist!  this makes for a really choppy class that goes by pretty slowly because you can never get fully into it.

now lets talk about the routine itself. while i appreciate the encouraging “woooooo!” that she gives us every 2 minutes, i wish she would be as vocal with the actual instructions on what we were supposed to do.

in the qi class, the instructions would be something along the lines of this:  “turn it up to level 7 and hover – backs straights, arms bent, hand spread on the bars.  ok, now turn it up to an 8 and climb up that hill – stand up..  now we’re going to do some jumps in 4 second intervals – turn it to a 6 and UP-1-2-3-4, DOWN-1-2-3-4, UP-1-2-3-4…”  the instructors were always talking and letting you know exactly what you should be doing.  

in the 24 hour class, the instructions are more like this:  “woooooooooo!  ok let’s start climbing. silence for 30 seconds.  ok now you’re going down hill.  feel the wind in your hair!   woooooooooo!  ok now pedal fast.”  i have no idea what level i should be at and it gets pretty boring – all we do is sprinting intervals and standing climbs.  for an HOUR.

my friend erin says the key to sticking with the gym is finding classes and instructors you like and then you’ll want to go to the classes. unfortunately, this is the only spin class near my house.

i feel like i could teach it better.


2 responses to “what’s the spin?

  • Lori

    That sucks!! As someone who teaches fitness classes, let me say, she sounds like a crappy teacher. I feel like that about yoga. Most of the classes I go to, especially up here are too easy or too "spiritual". Do they have any other instructors you could try out?

  • kt

    there is another instructor on thursday nights that we're going to try. and i'm also going to try the zumba class on monday. i just have to keep trying them and i'm sure i'll find some i like. my friend erin has a few she likes and she just goes to whatever class they're teaching around town that day. i think that's what i'm going to have to do too..

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