Committing yourself to a workout plan will make it more likely that you'll show up to the gym, and definitely more likely that you'll see results. Use your spinning classes as the foundation of your exercise plan, and then build in complementary activities to increase your strength and fitness more quickly and successfully.
Why Have an Exercise Plan?
It's tempting to think that just showing up to spin class at the gym two or three times a week would be sufficient to get in shape. However, just as with other fitness activities, you'll see better, faster results if you work with a plan. Make yourself a schedule of the available spin classes, and consider -- using the recommendations below -- how you can design a customised plan that will suit your fitness goals.
Choosing Spin Classes
Find a spin instructor whom you like and find motivational. Nothing is worse than enduring a tough spin class with an instructor who is dull or provides little inspiration to students. The instructor should also provide assistance to the students in adjusting the spin bikes to fit correctly. Proper fit is important to avoid injuries and optimise your output on the bike. Your instructor should also include a variety of challenges in each class, such as long, fast rides; short sprints at full power; and a range of simulated hills. This variety of physical challenges will best increase your strength and fitness.
Making a Plan
Once you've selected the best classes, working with your instructor preferences and daily schedule, put them on your calendar and stick to the plan. Depending on your fitness level, spinning three times each week is probably sufficient and allows adequate time for cross-training with other activities. Space the classes during the week, so you have a day to recover and/or cross-train in between. Consistent class attendance, though, is the key to success. You will soon begin to see greater tone in your lower body and improved cardiovascular fitness.
Complementing Your Classes
In your exercise plan, include cross-training activities between spin classes. Running, swimming and using the elliptical trainer are natural complements to spin. Weight training is also highly recommended to improve strength and build bone density. Because cycling is a no-impact sport, you will need to participate in something with an impact -- such as running -- or weight training to ensure that your bones stay strong. Swimming also builds upper-body strength and overall fitness. Yoga is also excellent to stretch the muscles used by cycling and prevent the stiffness that can develop from focusing on only one sport.