Tuesday, November 27, 2012


I haven't been on a bike in 18 months, but I know I might need to again at some point, since I'm planning to sign up for a sprint triathlon next summer with Mik. And so I guess that's why I was susceptible to being talked into trying a cycling class this morning, even though I could have predicted that I was going to hate it.

Now that it's over, I'm not sure I can adequately express how much I did hate it.

It was too dark and too loud, which I was expecting. The instructor barked at us a lot, which I was expecting. The music was not really to my taste, which I was expecting.

But I was unnerved by the unrelenting "go hard or go home" vibe. Examples:

  • "I want to see sweat pouring down your face right now!"
  • "If you're thinking about anything other than your legs, that's a sign that you need to pick it up and get focused!"

Naturally, I got a bit rebellious. I started turning the resistance down instead of up whenever I felt like it and daydreaming (in direct violation of edict #2) about what I'd like to say to the instructor. About how a sweat-pouring-down-your-face workout might not be appropriate or safe for everyone. About how, actually, studies show that subjecting ourselves to this kind of relentless cardio for an hour straight is counterproductive. But that was before these doozies:

  • "You might not like this kind of workout, but who cares? You're not here to be entertained; you're here to work!"
  • "However hard you're going right now, it's not enough. It's never enough, just like in life.

Okay, first of all, I actually was there to be entertained. (Maybe that's just me.) But…It's never enough, just like in life? We must strive and struggle and suffer in a quest for perfection until the day we die?

Chamber of horrors. Seriously. And yet people must buy into it, because the class was completely full.


  1. Grotesque! I do find myself very picky about spin classes - some instructors are truly intolerable, and even a good motivational one who is MUCH TOO LOUD AND WITH LOUD MUSIC will cause me to shut down and feel grumpy. Julie, do you know the book that has great workouts for indoor cycling? Do you have a trainer for your bike, or a spin bike at the gym? They're much better, do one with friend and HR monitor:


    1. Thanks. The trainer I was using before was borrowed, and I've returned it. I do still have some hope that I might be able to find a mellower spin class. Barring that, I will just ride outside in the spring. I guess there's no great hurry to train for the sprint!

  2. That is awful! My basic feeling about exercise (even when I was competing) is if it's not fun — what's the point.

    Hope you do find a spin class you like, if you feel you really need it.

    1. Yeah, either the workout itself needs to be fun or the end result I'm training for needs to be fun (Ironman!), but spinning my butt off for the sake of becoming a better gym rat is just stupid.

  3. Didn't you borrow a trainer from us? I thought so, but I don't recall it being returned (which, if you did, shows how much we are apparently using it). Anyhow, this guy sounds like a major jerk.

    1. Nope, I used Ivan's. And not that it makes a difference, but the instructor was a woman. I put it less in the "jerk" category and more in the "damaged and deranged outlook on life" category.