Back in the mid-nineties, I was working in a health club in the Utica, NY area called Brookside Athletic Club. I love everything about Brookside. I loved the staff, I loved the members, the equipment, the classes. Everything.
I was teaching what we then called Aerobics and Cardio Kickboxing in a tiny studio on the second floor of the club. The room was small but always packed full of amazing people who were positive, supportive and so very kind.
When Brookside converted a couple of tennis courts into an expanded workout area, everyone was excited. But what most people, myself included, didn’t understand was the little, dark room that was being built just off the new fitness floor.
Enter one of the most amazing people I’ve ever worked with/for: Christina. She was the group fitness director and she asked if I’d be interested in a new program called Cycle Reebok. Now, I wasn’t green enough to have not heard about these Spinning classes that were all the rage in large cities, but I hadn’t seen or tried one in person yet. But if Christina thought I’d be good at it, then I was absolutely on board.
The certification was held in the new area of the club prior to its opening to the members. We sat on the risers that would soon house brand new cardio equipment and listened to lectures and read our manuals and learned about Reebok and Cycle Reebok. We spent hours and hours in that dark room learning the mechanics of the bikes, how to set them up and riding until every square inch of our bodies, including our ears, were tired and sore.
I loved it. I taught themed rides and spent hours picking out my music (which had to be copied onto a cassette tape in those days) and took as many classes from other instructors as I could.
Then I went to work on a cruise ship – one without a cycling program. And my certification lapsed, and then my interest was caught by other things. Yoga. Marketing. Management.
Flash forward to 2019. Almost (but not quite!) thirty years later. Cycle classes are in every self-respecting gym and have made their way onto cruise ships, even! I found myself back in Spinning classes as I worked on implementing heart rate monitor technology into our classes at Elevate Fitness. The last class I’d taught was yoga and that was over a decade ago. But after a few rides, I was hooked again! I was taking classes every opportunity I got.
I bought spin shoes. I bought a cadence sensor for my shoes. It was like finding an old friend again after life had taken us in different directions, to find we still had everything in common and we were able to pick up right where we left off. So I got re-certified. And there’s been barely a day since that I haven’t climbed onto a bike and taken my position in the saddle.
This journey back to the saddle has reminded me why I loved (and still love) spinning so much:
1. It’s as easy as riding a bike. There are literally no other special skills you need. And you don’t even have to be particularly coordinated since this particular type of bike riding involves a bike that doesn’t actually move!
2. You can scale every ride to your fitness level, your energy level, and your mood. Because you control your resistance and you control your pace, you can work out at the level that’s perfect for you every single time.
3. It feels great. When you finish a challenging hill-climb or a really fast sprint, it’s impossible to not feel like you’ve really given 100% – and nothing beats the feeling of stepping off that bike after an amazing workout.
Want to learn more about Spinning at Elevate Fitness? Click here. Not a member and interested in trying it out? Your first class is free at Elevate Fitness: