With spring just on the horizon here in Toronto, panic has started to set in for me. Like many of my fellow Canadians I may have indulged in a little more Hygge than HIIT this winter, and so I've resolved to get back in the saddle and get fit for spring (well, by summer at the very latest).
(Photo: Purestock via Getty Images)
As a fair-weather cyclist, I know I love to be on the bike but I just can't manage it when the weather is awful, so I decided to try spinning. Spinning, I've learned, has a culture of its own and, like every culture, it has its own special rules of etiquette. So, before you head into the spinning studio, here are my top five "spiniquette" tips:
1. No tech
Spinning is HARD WORK! I apologize for the shouty caps, but if you're new to the world of spinning it's important for this message to be clear. That means you cannot multi-task and check a few messages or Snapchat a picture of yourself during your ride. It's disruptive to other riders and totally disrespectful to your instructor. Do everyone a favour, leave your phone in the locker or, if it must be in-studio, turn it right off. This is your time on the bike -- commit to it!
2. Be on time
Nothing messes more with the vibe of a class then people rushing in late and trying to catch up. Some studios actually close the door to the class, much like the theatre, and don't allow entry after the first few minutes of class. Be respectful of the commitment that everyone has made to be on the bike.
As with so many things in life, you'll get back what you put in!
3. Don't talk
If you're talking during the class, you aren't working hard enough! The one thing that is even worse than your lack of effort is that you are interrupting the instructor. Keep your comments to yourself until after class is 100 per cent done. That includes the cool down, unless your instructor asks you how you're feeling or to sing along, like mine did in class today!
4. Dress appropriately
Spinning gear is tight fitting so that it doesn't get caught in your equipment, which is moving very quickly. People also tend to wear less because it can get quite hot in the studio, but a word of caution: there can be a lot of friction in spinning so I've found that longer tights or at least capris and a tank that soak up sweat are a good combo. Also, given the amount of sweat involved a good deodorant or antiperspirant is highly recommended (and a small courtesy to fellow riders).
5. Follow the pack
I was recently introduced to this pack concept -- and oh my gosh is it fun. It means that you have to ride with your group, and this is going to sound a little cliché, but I mean both literally and figuratively. You need to connect with both the movement and the attitude of the pack. So check your bad day at the door and bring it, as with so many things in life, you'll get back what you put in!
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“This is probably one of the biggest mistakes I see that prevents goal development,” Williams said. “Oftentimes, people do the same exercises each time they workout, but in order to see results the exercises must go through some type of change. For example, if your goal is to get strong, then you must continually apply change to your variables—sets, reps and weight—to avoid a plateau and injury, but allow for resistance development.” Todd Nief, owner and director of training at South Loop Strength & Conditioning, says he sees this mistake all of the time, too. “The vast majority of people never follow a program that progresses them from where they are to where they want to be,” he said. “Many folks have a program and do the same thing every time—three sets of 10 reps on the bench, three sets of 10 on the leg press, do some sit-ups, run on the treadmill and then go home. Or, they have fitness ADD and do yoga and spin and boot camp.” To avoid this, Nief said, you’ll need to balance a variety of competing demands. “In basic terms, the goal is to make the routine slightly more challenging every week,” he explained. “Either by adding more weight, doing more reps or reducing rest times. This should be done in small increments so that progression can be made, because if the jumps are too big, then progress can stall here as well.” Photo Credit: Shutterstock Click Here to See Biggest Mistakes Trainers See in the Gym
“While some exercise programs are designed to be done fast, like power workouts for example, not everyone should be doing them,” Williams explained. “Too many people perform their exercises faster than their body is prepared for. Exercises such as crunches, push-ups and overhead should presses should not be performed fast unless your body has been properly progressed to handle that stress. Most people exercising are not prepared for fast exercises and end up being injured.” Make sure to perform your strength training exercises at a pace that allows for full range of motion and that feels comfortable but slightly challenging. Photo Credit: Shutterstock
“People ‘cheat’ for several reasons,” says James Mosley, Jr., a small group fitness trainer and sports nutrition consultant. “Usually, either the weight is too heavy or they’re in a hurry to finish the workout.” He said. You should be working with weights that allow you to move through a full range of motion. “This will result in better stimulation of the muscle,” he added. Photo Credit: Shutterstock Click Here to See Biggest Mistakes Trainers See in the Gym
Angela R. Horjus, fitness center director and wellness specialist at Cascade Hills Country Club says she frequently sees poor posture in the gym, which is why it’s one of the most important things she focuses on with clients. “The first core lesson I teach my clients is how to hold their frame so the muscles we work can memorize a properly aligned kinetic chain,” she said. “We begin by facing the mirror and cue from the floor up—knees and toes aligned; keep a soft bend in your knees; a slight pelvic tilt, as if your pelvis is a fishbowl and you're leveling the water; draw your abs in and up; open your chest as you draw your shoulders back and down away from your ears; and finally, slightly retract your chin so your neck is in alignment with your spine.” Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Horjus said she also sees many gym members walking on the treadmill with a large incline while hanging on to the top of the machine, which is an extremely ineffective way to work out. Instead of holding onto the machine, she suggests creating stability with your body by engaging your core and leaning slightly into the “hill.” People who hang on to the top of the treadmill on a super high incline just to go through the motions are most likely causing unnecessary torque to their spine,” Horjus said. “The moving tread literally moves their legs. The only effort on their part is to put one foot in front of the other so they don't fall off.” Instead, try reducing the incline so that you can safely walk on an uphill grade without having to hold on. Click Here to See Biggest Mistakes Trainers See in the Gym Photo Credit: Shutterstock
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