There is nothing more intimidating than going to a fitness class for the first time. You don’t know anyone there. You have just started working out or getting back into fitness and you hope you don’t do anything to make yourself look silly. At RAM our goal is to make you feel comfortable in a group setting and fit in with the rest of the group. We do this through our RAMPUP program.
Here are our top tips when attending your first cycling class.
- Show up early to get set up properly on the bike. You can watch our setup video here. Proper setup is critical to being comfortable for your ride since the first ride is going to be uncomfortable already on your butt. The worst thing you can do is show up two minutes before class starts. This does not leave the instructor time to get you setup properly. A proper setup and explanation of how we coach takes a solid ten minutes.
- If possible, book a private session before your first class to get more instruction on the bike and setup. At RAM we get our members to go through our RealRyder RAMPUP which includes a minimum of one private session so we can get you comfortable and ready for your first class.
- Don’t expect to keep up with everyone else in the class. Focus on yourself and go at your pace. Everyone has been in your position before and most people in the room have been around for months or years. Trying to compete with others will make for a very challenging ride the first time around.
- Don’t sit in the back row. Sure you can hide in the back row. From experience being a cycling instructor, I find new members do better when sitting near the front. You can focus more on the instructor and less on other class members around you.
- Be prepared to have a sore bottom. There is no way around this. Road bike seats are not the most comfortable. It will just take some getting used to. It does get better with time.
- Start by adding small amounts of resistance. Don’t try and be a superhero your first class. Until you get to know how the coach coaches, add in small bits of tension or else you will find yourself with too much resistance on with plenty of time to go in an interval.
- You most likely will not love it after the first class. Unless you do indoor cycling consistently, many people will not get the full benefit after their first class. Give it three classes and then be the judge. The first class is a learning curve. The second class you start to catch on. The third class you’re almost a pro. You are going to fail in some form your first class. This doesn’t mean to never try it again. Did you stop walking the first time you fell? Learn from each class and you will improve quickly. Soon it will be the most breath taking sweat dripping adrenaline pumping workout you have done.
The most common thing we see with those who try our cycling classes is they expect it to be like an outdoor bike ride. This is no hub trail ride. Our indoor cycling classes are interval training workouts made fun. Instead of doing 5 x 30 second sprints we choreograph our intervals with music to make it fun, enjoyable and upbeat. This takes pain out of doing cardio. Don’t expect a nice Sunday ride. Expect to sweat, get breathless and get outside your comfort zone. It may be hard at the time but trust me the feeling afterwards is worth it.
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