Fit, Fab, and (Not Quite) 40 – Pt. 4

I did it. I finally made it through an entire hour of spin class.

Spin, or indoor cycling, uses specialized stationary bikes designed to mimic outdoor riding.  Each bike is equipped with a knob that the rider uses to adjust the tension during the workout.  Typically you start out with light tension and work your way higher.  Some of the movements and positions simulate hill climbs and sprints.  The class is led by an instructor who plays music to provide the cadence.

Sweating it out...

There are three positions used in indoor cycling and each works a different part of the body. Position one is when the rider is in the saddle (seated) and the hands are resting on the center of the handle bars.  Position two is when the rider stands up but can still feel the saddle between their legs and their hands are light on the handle bars.  Position three is used for heavy climbing and the body is extended over the handles.

Spinning provides for an intense workout.  You can burn 400-600 calories in an hour!  As you can imagine, this was something I had to work myself up to.  James Robison, my personal trainer, initially suggested I try ten minutes of a spin class, just to get the feel for it.  This was after we had been working together for three weeks doing weights and light cardio.  After ten minutes – heck, after five – I was flushed and out of breath.  I was doubtful when he told me I’d be doing the whole hour after two months.

The next week we did fifteen minutes.  The following week, twenty.  You can see where this is going.  By my forth class I was feeling pretty good.  Thirty minutes went by and I felt like I was still in the game.  At forty minutes James, who was on the bike next to me, looked at me and asked, “How do you feel?”

“Pretty good!”  I was still pretty chipper at that point.

When we hit the forty-five minute mark, he again checked in with me.  “You ok?”

“I think I can do this,” I said.

Then all of a sudden it hit me like a ton of bricks.  I had to get off the bicycle.  I looked over at James and said, “I want to get off now.”

His response?  “The window of opportunity is gone.  You’re going to finish now.”

I thought I was going to be sick.  I mean, I literally thought I was going to vomit.  It took every single ounce of energy in me to finish the class, but I did it.  Afterwards, in the parking lot, James tried talking to me – but I couldn’t muster the energy to listen, let alone talk.  After a minute or two of me not saying anything he said, “You can’t talk, can you?”

Last night I finished my third class.  It’s still tough, but it’s getting a tiny bit easier each time.  The feeling of needing to vomit is gone, which is a plus, and I’m able to get out of the saddle for longer periods of time.  (Sometimes it’s a contest between which is causing more discomfort – the bicycle seat on your bottom or your legs during a hill climb.)

The result after achieving this feat?  I feel like I can do anything!

Ultimate Fitness in Aberdeen Shopping Center, Peachtree City

Jill Prouty

Jill is a reader, writer, and professional librarian who enjoys spending her free time with her husband of twelve years and their two sons. She has an MSLS from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and a BA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

May 21, 2010