I can’t figure out exactly when indoor cycling – an action-packed, sweat-inducing, heart pumping push of an exercise routine – became ‘just a girl thing’, but we all know that in the collective athletic consciousness, that adage is more than a little bit true.
And on some level I get it! Lots of girls in colorful spandex, some girl power tunes, and tons of motivational, pump-you-up talk from your high-energy, kick-ass instructor. But who says feeling good and building up a crazy sweat have to be mutually exclusive concepts? Good news, they don’t! Here’s why:
- It gets your ‘flow’ going
Do you know what it’s like to be totally in the zone during a workout? That mind-blanking, totally exhilarating, full mind/body meld when everything seems to click into place all at one time? If you do, I’d bet good money that spin has probably has something to do with it. If not, riding at the HB might be just the thing to help you get there. Why? According to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the guy who literally wrote the book on ‘flow’- the academic manifestation of getting in the groove – hearing motivational words during your workout is a huge factor in keeping your mind on the moment. By letting your HB instructor talk you through that climb or letting Rihanna, Calvin Harris, and Lil Wayne sing you through your sprint, you actually help your brain stay in the present and achieve exercise nirvana.
- It increases your muscular endurance
Seasoned lifters are likely to scoff when confronted with what looks like a tiny bar resting happily next to their bike at every HB class, but don’t be fooled! The songs that utilize that bar to tone your arms are increasing your musculature in a completely different way from heavy lifting. Even Men’s Fitness (yes, THAT Men’s Fitness) extolls the benefits of low-weight/high-rep lifting as a part of a balanced workout routine. While your deadlifts, squats, and intense bench presses at the gym are what help boost your muscle size, low-weight/high-rep exercises like the ones at HB are the ones that help you lift for longer!
- It’s an individually tailored workout and a group activity – at the same time!
One of the greatest things about riding at the HB is the sense of group camaraderie you get from working out with another group of highly motivated people – just like you get on the field playing a team sport. But the HB offers something that a team sport doesn’t – the ability to tailor your output and effort to your abilities. By allowing for individual levels of resistance and speed – we rate effort on a 1-10 scale, so the level of your workout is always determined by you – you have the ability to push yourself to your limits without being held up to the limits of others.
All right guys, so now you know – spinning is definitely not just for the girls anymore. So saddle up, and come join us on the bike! I promise – no spandex required.
by: sarah weinberg
Berg, Michael, and Brad Schoenfeld. n.d. “Your Ideal Rep Range.” Men’s Fitness.
Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly. 1998. Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life. Basic Books.