Master Instructor Lucy Ulmer of Spin Society Shares Her Tips for a Great Ride

unnamed (5)Drink water. We’ve heard it before. If you’ve been in class with me I’m sure you’ve heard me say it more than once. Hydration involves more than just water though so today I’m sharing my top five ways to stay hydrated on and off the bike.

Considering where to go for your first or 100th indoor cycling class? If you have never taken a Spin Society class, you are in for a treat. For beginners, forget what you have heard about your average indoor cycling class. This workout will leave you breathless in a puddle of sweat and have you signing up for your next class the minute your first one ends. Expect high-intensity intervals, hill climbs, and sprints that spark the athlete and inner rock star in all of us. We work hard and test our individual limits on the bike all while having fun and encouraging our fellow riders. Every class begins with an inspirational message of why we are riding and builds into a challenging and uplifting cardio workout. So that you are prepared, I have some helpful tips for your next ride.

Fuel for your body

What you eat before and after class will fuel your workout and maximize your efforts and results. If you fuel correctly pre-workout you will work harder, prevent low blood sugar, which leads to light-headedness and fatigue. My personal favorite morning pre-workout meal 1-2 hours ahead of time is oatmeal with some almond butter, a sprinkle of cinnamon and half a banana. For example, if I am headed into an evening Spin Society session I will have an afternoon snack from Living Foods hOMegrown and a bottled juice from Krokodile Pear. And most importantly, stay hydrated before, during and after class with water. Post-workout your muscles are in repair mode and it is important to feed your body protein, as well as carbohydrates. Many times if I’m on the run, I will make a smoothie and include Vega’s performance protein. I love the chocolate flavour!

Get there early

Allow yourself 15 minutes before class to ensure your spot, set up your bike and ask any questions before the ride starts. Each instructor at Spin Society is happy to assist with a basic “how-to” on hand positions, tension adjustments as well as clipping in and out of the bike. Proper bike fit is critical to experiencing a good workout and staying safe. In order to reserve a bike, you can register ahead of time online. Once class starts, your bike is released to those on the waiting list.

What to wear

Get ready to sweat! I suggest moisture-wicking fabrics that allow your body to breathe while remaining comfortable. Personally, I look for items at Lululemon with Silverescent technology to eliminate stinky smells. If you are looking for some extra padding, try a pair of cycling shorts from your local bike shop. At Spin Society we provide our riders with complementary cycling-specific shoes for class or you can bring your own shoes (SPD compatible).

Listen to your body

Whether you are a newbie or have been cycling for years listening to your body is the most important part of your indoor cycling experience. Instructors will cue when to work hard and when to pull back leaving the amount of resistance you choose to add in your hands. Part of the Spin Society experience is coming in as an individual and leaving as a teammate. You will be asked to keep the same pace, but not at the expense of your own body. If you need to take a break, drop some resistance, slow down or grab a sip of water, do so. Class success comes from engaging the core, leading with your heart, looking forward, finding rhythm through music, testing your limits and bringing a positive attitude. A smile definitely helps too.

Post-Class Feelings

Don’t be surprised when you leave Spin Society glowing with an abundance of energy! That is the fun part of indoor cycling. But, if you are new or it has been a while since you jumped on the saddle, chances are your bum will be sore. Keep coming back and after about 10 classes your body will start to understand what is happening. The key to getting stronger on the bike and with most things in life is consistency.

Check us out and I look forward to meeting you on the bike!