Monday 13 February 2017

Anatomy of a Spin Class

Tonight, I span.

More specifically, it transpired that tonight was to be my one spinning class of the year. Why one you ask? I'll explain.

I dislike spinning, therefore it takes a lamentable alignment of several factors to lead me to spin. These are:

1. I'm injured and can't play squash.
2. I'm reached critical mass with turbo trainer tolerance.
3. I've been for a run, in fact usually two, and remembered running is painful.

At this point I turn to spinning, and the unwavering motivation of group exercise...allegedly. Needless to say, it was a sweaty waste of time - I won't go into the details, but refer to my previous post on spinning, multiplied by a tiny 'spin studio' filled with 30 bodies, no air con, and a sizable average BMI.

However, my despair inspired me to devise this (partial...) satire - Anatomy of a Spin Class.

The Instructor
The instructor is almost always female, and ALWAYS called Alison, or Claire. Alison/Claire see's herself as a local celebrity, befriending every spinner this side of the Thames. 'See you Thursday!' she exclaims as the class leave. Half the class, her legion of disciples, reply with an equally joyful refrain, whilst the other half, irked by her immutable zeal, grumble into their sweaty towels. 

I always wonder if the instructor has ever ridden a bike. I suspect not, as spinning at 120 RPM for a whole 75 watts may find herself going backwards. At least upwards. Alison/Claire devotes her life to the enhancement of people's fitness, whilst simultaneously managing to know absolutely nothing about the enhancement of people's fitness.

Then again, at £8.55 x 30 people for an hour, why should she care?

Mr Spin
'Mr Spin' is the most enthusiastic spin participant you will ever meet...until next class. He can be found dressed in full lycra, usually worn to the point of testicular emergence, talking to everyone he knows (which is everyone) about his third spin class of the day. He's also usually from Yorkshire, no matter where you are. Again, don't ask me why, Oh, and he's also usually called John. 

John will sit at the front, best friends with Alison/Claire and prides himself on spinning the quickest, whether suppose to be spinning quickly or slowly; to John it matters not. He always rides with perfect form, well, what he sees as perfect form. Perfect form on a spin bike is like arguing on the internet: even if you win, you lose. I always wait for him to receive the pat on the head and dog biscuit from Alison he so desperately desires. John leaves spin class to venture to another spin class. Or polish his car.

The Sizable Slacker
Harsh, but to anyone familiar with spinning, fair. There's always several specimens on the expansive side who probably burn more calories sitting on their groove worn sofa. They start off well, spinning voraciously for about 90s, until their underlying medical conditions kick in; shortness of breath, hot flush, raised heart rate, sweating. Dangerous symptoms, especially during exercise...

Credit where credit is due, slacker doesn't quit. They carry on trundling along at 20rpm...any exercise is good exercise right?! Well, yes, but not when you're calories per minute of energy drink exceeds that expanded by your piffling pedaling. Slacker then goes home, fresh with bravado from their friends, and celebrates with a well earned kebab, whilst pondering why they never lose weight.

Must be that metabolism, damn genetics...

The Well Meaning Weight Watcher
This person should not be confused with the sizable slacker above. That is if it's February or beyond...otherwise there is a 87% chance they're one of the 'New Year, New Me!' symphony. The well meaning weight watcher makes a concerted effort to exercise and lose weight, spin class, aerobics class, followed by some lifting weights in the gym. Not too heavy though, don't want to get too muscly! 

The well meaning weight weather's achievements are admirable, however, they like to celebrate with a glass of wine when they get home...or two, and some cocktails at the weekend with the girls. Cocktails are healthy right?! they've got fruit in as well as sugar! The well meaning weight watcher perseveres with spinning, losing weight slowly but surely, until an all inclusive trip to 'Marbs' puts an end to that, and the beginning of a winter of regret.

Still, it's nearly January...New Year, New Me!

Angry Cyclist
Coincidentally, the angry cyclist is present in every spin class I partake in. He's usually quite fit, and knowledgeable about cycling...maybe even keeps a blog about it. He begins a spin class full of hope, hope of a decent training session to replace the eternal monotony of the turbo trainer, or a gym based alternative to running. He maintains optimism for the first interval, and into the first rest period...but the rest period never comes. With every effort, followed by effort, his morale declines, reaching a trough as Alison/Claire calls for on bike press ups! There is no return from here. Angry cyclist feels temperature rising, as exponentially as enthusiasm wanes. 

He starts to notice the other spinners, and their variety of quirks.  'Maybe I'll write a blog post about this!' he thinks....