What to expect from your first indoor cycling class at Abbeycroft Leisure - Abbeycroft Leisure

What to expect from your first indoor cycling class at Abbeycroft Leisure

By Nicki Mayhew

Feeling intimidated by the thought of indoor cycling? Brush those fears aside – everyone’s been a first-timer once.

Indoor cycling is a hugely rewarding activity. It’s an easy win for a toned torso and overall health. At Abbeycroft, we want to do all we can to help you settle into indoor cycling straight away! So read on for an overview and some helpful tips.

What is indoor cycling?

If you’re considering indoor cycling, then chances are you already know the answer to this one. But for the uninitiated, indoor cycling is a high-energy, vigorous group exercise class.

The workout itself is akin to cycling, but conducted on a stationary bike. Our instructors will set the pace and keep everyone motivated with pumping tunes and exhilarating disco lighting!

What to bring/wear

The most important thing to consider is your hydration levels. You are going to sweat. A lot. Be sure to drink plenty before the class and stay topped up throughout. It’s also a good idea to eat a light snack about an hour and a half before your workout.

To reiterate the sweating point – it’s worth bringing a towel. There’s no feeling worse than not being able to mop your brow, particularly when it reaches your eyes.

It’s best to wear comfortable, breathable clothes that aren’t likely to weigh you down. There’s no need to don your typical cycling garb – padded shorts, jerseys and cycling shoes aren’t necessary. Your normal trainers will do just fine.

Setting the bike

We would suggest arriving 15 minutes early so our fitness instructors can help you. But if you’re running a bit behind, here’s best practise for setting up your bike:

  1. Adjust the seat height so that it sits at hip level. This will allow you to sit comfortably with a slight bend in your knees.
  2. The handlebars can be positioned in a place that feels most comfortable to you. Just ensure that they allow for the bend in your knees and aren’t so far forward that it puts strain on your back.
  3. Double-check that everything’s locked and secure. It would be a gigantic pain to get so far through and have to re-adjust everything.
  4. Make sure that you’re the positioning of your feet is correct. The ball of your foot should sit over the centre of the pedal.

You’re ready to roll! Here are just some handy tips to help you throughout the class.

  1. Go at your pace

    You are in control of the resistance of your bike. The instructor is there to guide you through, but don’t feel that you need to be going ten-to-the-dozen like the person next to you. You know your limits.

  2. Running out the saddle

    This is a jog or sprint in a standing position. It can be quite challenging for beginners, so if you find yourself struggling, it’s absolutely fine to sit down or slow down.

  3. Don’t be afraid to follow people around you

    Indoor cycling comes with its own language (take point 2 as an example). You’ll pick it up pretty quickly, but until that point, it’s okay to have a look and follow what others are doing.

  4. Your handlebars are there for balance

    Not to hold you up. Your abdominals need to hold you in place when you’re in standing position.

  5. Take a break 

    The tempo of the class will alternate. If you get to the end of a sprint and find you need a while longer to catch your breath then that’s fine.

  6. Enjoy it!

    You’re going to have a great time – promise!