Indoor Cycling: 8 tips & tricks for the Newbies

First thing you need to know is that everyone you see in the saddle has been in your shoes–everyone starts out as a beginner, even the crazy instructors! [I remember my first class, I thought I was going to die…. but SPOILER ALERT: I didn’t, and I LOVE it so much that it’s now my job.] It’s totally normal to feel intimidated and overwhelmed by the thought of an indoor cycling class, but that’s what this post is for, to help you conquer your fears and give you some more information to make that step into the saddle room a confident one. So keep on reading…

  1. Get to class EARLY!! This is extremely important. This is a great time to let the instructor know that you’re new to indoor cycling, have them help you set up your bike (the good ones will be all about helping you with set up!), and let them know of any injuries you have. Getting to class early and having this initial conversation with your instructor will help make sure you get the most out of your class experience.
  2. What do I wear? I recommend compression type bottoms (whether you prefer longer shorts, capris, or leggings is totally up to you) as the compression will help you avoid some extra soreness after class. Choice of top is up to you—but I recommend that you layer! Maybe a t-shirt over a tank top, etc. You’ll want layers you can potentially shed as you’re bound to get super sweaty. In regards to shoes, I urge you to wear/bring hard-soled shoes (something like a hiking shoe is perfect). If you don’t have hard-soled shoes, firmer-soled sneakers will work fine. Also, bring a towel, plenty of water, & a heart rate monitor (optional, if you’re looking into purchasing one, ask me about my Mio Fuse & Alpha2!).
  3. MAINTAIN FORM If you’re going to be joining me in the saddle, you’ll find out that I’m a ‘form freak’. I do this for YOU! If you follow my cues about proper form and how to maintain that form while we move around the different positions, then you will be less likely to injure yourself during your ride. For a sneak peak into proper form, see below for a link to my ‘Spinning Glossary’.
  4. Do YOU! Class is what YOU make it. You have total control over your resistance knob, & this fact alone helps customize each class to every level of rider allowing each to get their best workout as well as leaving room for improvement over time.
  5. TRY! My request as an instructor is that you give indoor cycling 2 tries before you decide how you feel about it & whether you’re going to keep with it or not. It’s a very challenging workout!!! Very efficient in calorie burn (per class calorie burn ranges from 500-800+ depending on how much resistance you put on and how much effort you put in), and more often than not people have a love-hate relationship with it. They hate it during, but love the results later. I guarantee you, if you compete with yourself and focus on getting even just 1% better each time you’re in the saddle, you’re going to love it!
  6. Have FUN!! I can’t stress this enough! Like I said before, class is what YOU make it. If the beat strikes you, have some fun, sing along, hoot & holler! The most fun classes for riders and even instructors are the ones when everyone gets into it and enjoys themselves.
  7. Respect Respect others during class and leave all your devices tucked away and your distractions at the door. The instructor has put in a lot of time outside of class to build an awesome challenging ride set to killer tunes, and your fellow riders are there to get a great workout in.
  8. REHYDRATE & REFUEL It is recommended that you rehydrate 40oz for every 40 minutes of high intensity training. Typically, class will be from 45-60 minutes so keep that rehydration rule in mind. You will get drenched with sweat, and when you sweat, it’s VERY important to replenish your body of the fluid it has just put out. Also, make sure to refuel efficiently after class. I recommend a serving of sweet potato or white rice as big as your fist & some protein as a post-class snack. For more snack/refueling tips & tricks, visit my foodie page: Paleoptimistic (on Facebook, or visit the other tabs on my  blog here!).

I hope to see you in the saddle! If you have any questions or concerns that you’d like to chat with me about prior to class, feel free to reach out at your convenience! I look forward to sharing my passion with you.

In the meantime, check out my Mio Global blog post about the terms I use while teaching, here.

Here’s where and when you can catch me:

spin where and when



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