Around the second week of January I decided that I needed to get in shape. This is probably a decision I should have made, oh, two or three years ago, but nonetheless, since then I have been going to the gym for about 45 minutes each day for five days a week. I been changing up what I've been doing a variety of cardio activities, primarily focusing on the elliptical machine and the ergometer (rowing machine).
Last week I decided to try out the spin classes that they offer at the campus rec center. I had never done one before, but knew they were supposed to be hard. I asked a classmate of mine, a former Green Beret, about what to expect since I knew that he had done them. He told me to prepare to leave my dignity at the door. In spite of this dire warning, I went anyways.
He certainly wasn't bluffing. Spin class does a great job of combining the experience of riding a bike with all the charm of 45 minutes of pure masochism. It kicked my ass that first time, and has kicked it the other four times that I've been since then. There are two girls who teach the classes here at Clemson, both of whom have their individual styles. One girl makes it much more like an aerobics class in that she plays technoed-out versions of Top 40 songs and many of the exercises center around keeping to the beat of the music. While the music itself is pretty miserable and while this isn't really my favorite style, the workout does seem to have more structure and certainly gets the job done. The other girl plays much better music (including two Metallica songs, though I will knock off points for playing a Creed song and a Nickelback song), and the workouts seem more oriented towards the music itself (go hard during the upbeat chorus, back off when back to the verse). I'm not sure which girl I hate more (I actually like both of them, though 20 minutes in I begin to resent them when I start to feel like I'm going to keel over).
A great benefit of spin class is how I am usually only one of two or three guys in there. The downside of this is 1. In the middle of the workout, I couldn't care less who was in the class since I am simply attempting to not die, and 2. When I finish I am such a sweaty beast that I'm not sure that any girl in there would even consider talking to me.
Not actually me, but not too far off from the truth...
In spite of what it may sound like, I have been enjoying spin class and really feel like I get a great workout every time I go. I suggest giving it a try if it is offered at your local gym.
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