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I’m a group exercise junkie. I love the positive atmosphere, the comradery, the competitions, and of course—the sweat! Especially when it comes to indoor cycling.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes (when I am not teaching at CYCLEBAR) I need a little extra push to get myself to SpinX® class. Knowing that my favorite instructor will ask where I was or that I left my bike buddy hanging helps to keep me motivated and committed.
Feel like you’re just spinning your wheels when it comes to cycling class? Whether you’re all about black lights and hard beats or it’s your first time clipping in, here are a few tips from my experience as a rider and instructor on how to take your indoor cycling class to the next level.
If you’re uncomfortable or something hurts that shouldn’t, nine times out of ten your bike is set up the wrong way. Come to class a bit early and ask your instructor for help—that’s what we’re here for! This will guarantee a comfortable, injury-free and more enjoyable ride.
Never come to class without your water and towel. Everyone loves to hydrate during class, but remember to stick to healthy H2O habits. You should be hydrating hours or even a whole day before class. You lose a lot of sweat during cycling. Being hydrated ensures a cramp-free workout.
Fitness is a personal experience, especially when you’re in that dark cycling room. Take advantage of the darkness. Instead of trying to beat workout Barbie in the front row, focus on pushing yourself to do better than your last class. Remember why you came into that room. Competing with people who are at different fitness levels will only leave you disappointed—which is not what those Spin® endorphins should do for you!
As instructors, we spend a lot of time on our music and riding to the beat. Gear recommendations are essential to keeping to that beat, that’s why where we guide you on where to be. Going too fast out of the saddle and not syncing to the song can be bad for your body. You actually use more energy and burn more calories when you use the right resistance and push through those gears. So listen up—and listen to us—for a safer, more efficient ride.
You are in a room of like-minded people. Find a Spin® buddy that will keep you honest and hold you accountable for that next class. Get to know your instructor. From your favorite workout jam to your birthday, we enjoy a little one-on-one chat! We’re here to give you the best class and a great workout, so come talk to us and help us do so.
If you’ve never been to an indoor cycling class, look on the MINDBODY app for a studio in your area and go try one! Don’t be intimidated; cycling is one of those things that everyone can do. You can always go slower, or use less resistance—I promise you get better quickly and you’ll be wanting that front row seat in no time.
For all things spin and fitness, follow Kateri at @thehealthybusylady!
If you’ve ever taken a hot yoga class, you know it’s always going to be one thing—outrageously hot. Not the “let’s hang by the pool and get that sun-kissed glow” kind of hot either. I’m talking that “I can't believe I have this much sweat in my body” and “I may or may not pass out” kind of hot. It’s nothing to mess around with, and after a year or so of not being able to go, it’s easy to forget just how serious that heat can be.
To get the maximum enjoyment and benefits out of your heated yoga classes, you need to prepare yourself before and take care of yourself afterward. Luckily, I’ve been taking some classes (sweating enough for the both of us) and I’ve listed my five favorite must-dos to help you readjust to your heated classes and get back to the hot yoga summer that we all want.
Heated classes are difficult in nature. The normal difficulty of regular poses is mixed in with the added challenges of sweating and dealing with the humidity and the heat (at times, I’ve seen the thermostat climb to 108 degrees—yikes!). Depending on what type of yoga class you’re taking (sculpt, Bikram, power vinyasa), the difficulty level and temperature are going to vary. It’s also important to remember that each person in the room is going to practice in a way that’s unique to them. Hours slept, hydration levels, food intake, and different lifestyles are all contributing factors that make our practices different. What you practice on your mat is your own––trust your body and only do what feels right to you. And remember, it’s okay to take breaks!
The rise in temperature mixed in with the humidity that we all know and love creates the perfect recipe for sweating—like A LOT. You go into a heated class dry and come out feeling like you just took a dip in the pool. Before heated classes, I had no idea it was physically possible to sweat that much. If you’re going to a heated class, especially after a long break, it’s easy to forget just how much you might sweat. Is it possible to lose that much water if you haven’t consumed it first? Trust me, going into your heated class super hydrated is going to make a world of difference and help you feel good throughout your practice. And don’t forget to take some sips of H2O while you’re practicing!
Heated classes are challenging, but I can’t stop going. Nothing quite compares to overcoming the challenge— and experiencing the cleanse my body feels after I’m done. It’s the perfect blend of hard and rewarding, but I couldn’t do it if my body wasn’t properly nourished. On the days I know I have a heated class booked; I like to make sure I am eating right. I make sure to take my vitamins and fuel my body with fruits, vegetables, and my favorite superfood shake. I hold off on food about an hour before my practice, so I feel comfortable. After the class, I like to replenish with a big protein shake (boosted with collagen to aid with muscle recovery and skin elasticity). There is no one-way path for properly nourishing your body but making sure you’re fueled for the challenge of a heated class is essential for getting the most out of your practice and feeling good on and off your mat.
Increasing and maintaining your water intake on the days you take a heated class is important, but sometimes you need something a little extra. If you’re sweating that much, you’re basically an athlete (at least in my book) and if you’re performing like a rockstar yogi, you need to hydrate like one as well. That means replenishing those lost electrolytes. Reward yourself and your body for the hard work and treat yourself to your favorite drink. I switch off between electrolyte-boosting drinks and coconut water depending on what I’m in the mood for that day. Adding these to my post-practice self-care routine has helped me feel more hydrated after and ready to take on the world again after especially sweaty classes.
Usually, a yoga mat is all you need for your practice––but heated classes are a different ballgame. I’ve gone with just a mat, and I’ve slipped all over the place. Let me tell you, there’s nothing worse than having sweat drip all over the place while you’re trying to hold a pose that makes you grip your mat for dear life (never again). Make sure you bring a towel to place over your mat, this will help with support and grip. Bringing a smaller towel is also a good idea. You can use the smaller towel to dry yourself off during water breaks or whenever you’re feeling just a bit too sweaty. This is a small step that makes a world of difference during those super-hot classes.
So, there you have it. Five of my favorite tips (more like lifesavers) that have helped me readjust to those heated classes I love so much. Getting back into it is a challenge for us all, so know you’re not alone. No matter where you’re at in your practice, remember to be kind and gentle to yourself––celebrating your health and your body’s ability to do what you love. We’re all just getting back out there, together.
Ready to jump back into your hot yoga routine? Browse Mindbody to find the perfect class for you.
While you’re at it, check out some Intro Offers near you that can help you get back to your cadence of hot yoga classes.