Indoor cycling is popular, and for good reason too. It's a great way to get in a challenging workout in a short amount of time. You can also meet new friends, all the while cycling to some pretty sick beats. Indeed, spin class has become a scene unto itself, with its own unique characters and settings. It even has its own brand of language.
Your first indoor cycling class will no doubt be peppered with words and various terminology that seem foreign to you. This quick guide will give some basic understanding of what they actually mean.
This means rhythm, usually measured in revolutions-per-minute (RPM). Lower RPMs are usually associated with uphill cycling while higher RPMs will have your heart hammering and legs liquefying, due to the sprint-like nature of it.
The little thingamabob that measures how far you've cycled. Distances vary between classes, but be prepared to clock up to 25km!
Switching from one bike gear to the next. Shifting to a higher gear increases the bike's resistance, making it tougher to pedal. It can also be used to simulate uphill riding.
What you'll be doing when you're at the highest gear setting.
The little space between your bike's pedal and its strap. Designed to keep your feet snugly secured when you're pedalling like a maniac.
Where your hands rest while you're cycling. The common positions are: at the base, outside of, and at the end of the handlebars.
Put the pedal to the (imaginary) metal!
Besides distance, power generated by your cycling is also tracked; the faster your pedal, the more power you generate. The bike's resistance level is also factored into the final power score. The standard measurement comes in watts.
It's exactly what it sounds like. Instead of cycling with your butt down like most people, you hover slightly above the seat while pedalling. Guaranteed to make your quadriceps burn!
Some studios provide cycling shoes; specially-designed shoes that basically allow you to anchor yourself to the pedal (in case the cage isn't enough). The act of securing yourself is referred to as “clipping in”. It may seem hard to do at first, but you'll get the hang of it soon enough.
Involves getting in and out of your seat multiple times while cycling. Doesn't sound like much at first, but you'll be surprised at how tiring it can be when you're 10km in.
A given time period or distance during which you go all-out. Designed to have you seeing more stars in the studio than you would at the Oscars.
Hopefully, memorising these terms will help you avoid looking like a total newbie in your class. Even if you don't get it, don't worry; everyone starts off fresh. A good studio wouldn't look down on you even if you fail to grasp the most basic of terms. So enjoy your time on the bike, and who knows, you might end up teaching the lingo yourself one day!