The idea of getting on a spin bike and inflicting pain on my already out of shape legs was not something I was psyched about. I pictured that cruel and totally fit instructor yelling at everyone to, “Climb that hill!” And of course, I imagined myself as that one embarrassed patron collapsing on the bike while everyone else pedals as though they’re ready to join Lance Armstrong on the Tour de France.
These of course, were my assumptions of a cycle class. So when a friend asked me at the beginning of this term if I wanted to start taking a Group X Cycle class with her every Friday, my immediate thought was, “Are you crazy?” My subconscious inner-couch potato devilishly laughed at the idea. Somehow though my mouth uttered the opposite when I remarked, “That sounds like fun!” I was sure I had just committed to making a total fool of myself—confident I would last maybe five minutes on the bike before embarrassingly wobbling off.
Yep, this would be the beginning of the end of ever showing my face again at the Rec Center. I could envision my picture in a display case on the fourth floor with text underneath reading, “Girl Who Couldn’t Finish a Cycle Class.” Three months later though, after taking classes on and off all term, I can say (and proudly so) that there isn’t any other form of exercise I prefer more than the Group X Cycle classes here at Campus Rec. Here are three reasons why:
You can go at your own pace
- The incredibly accommodating Group X instructors let you know right off the bat that it’s okay to pedal at whatever speed you’re comfortable with. So if you’re feeling a little less energetic that day and want to cycle at a relaxed pace, that’s okay. Or if you’re training for an upcoming Ironman and want a challenge, go for it. Plus the instructors are well aware of who is new and who is more experienced. They’ll never push you outside your comfort zone unless you want to go there.
You get fit rather quickly
- I’ve tried it all: running, rock climbing, yoga, Pilates, swimming, Bikram Yoga, the Bar Method. You name it; I’ve taken classes in it. With most of them I didn’t see the results I wanted. (And if I did, it took serious time and commitment.) Group X Cycle classes on the other hand are just 45-minutes long, can easily fit in your schedule (thanks to several different time slots offered), and will yield some serious toning rather quickly. Into my second week I could see my body was beginning to produce some satisfactory changes. I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say that my legs don’t give out when walking up to the fourth floor of Cramer anymore. (And we all know how painful that can be.)
It’s fun! Really!
- Granted I’ve only taken classes from Group X instructors Caitlin A. and Sarah, but let me just say that these gals have spot-on music tastes that make each pedal stroke seem as though the song was created just for that portion of the class. I’ll never listen to Cee Lo Green’s “Bright Lights Bigger City” again without wanting to find the nearest bike and hop on it. There’s just something about the instructor’s encouraging words that make you want to come back each week. And based on everyone’s smiles by the end of class, I think my sentiments are not alone.
I know, I know, it seems a bit preachy—but I’m serious. I’ve never been in better shape and never had more fun actually participating in something that is good for my body. I don’t think I’ll be heading back to my old workout routine anytime soon. Even after I graduate I’ll be on the hunt for the nearest cycle class I can join. And who knows? Maybe I’ll eventually get to that Lance Armstrong level… oh never mind.
Natalie Caceres is a self-proclaimed “cycle class newbie” and is loving every minute! (Can you tell?) When she’s not working out in a Group X class you can find her working hard as an Office Assistant in the Campus Rec main office. She’s totally stoked about this blog and can’t wait to post more over the next few months before she graduates in June.