Cycling Challenge Week 4: Big Wheel Keeps On Turning

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weight loss cycling, spinning class for beginners

Yes, the class kicked my butt — literally and figuratively!

I don’t know if I was preparing for Thanksgiving dinner, but I went all out during my spinning class today. For my first few classes, I went at my pace as I knew I couldn’t keep up with everyone else. Well today I wanted to do everything the instructor threw at me.

Resistance Is Everything
Cycling is pretty easy to understand. Increase your resistance, the tougher it is to peddle, making you work harder. Easy peasy.

My first week, I bounced between resistance levels 1 and 2 (the lowest). Since then, I’ve increased my resistance each week to challenge myself.

Last week 6 was my top-level of resistance. Today I wanted to really push myself, so I upped my max resistance to 8.  Clearly I didn’t want to just sweat. Nope, I wanted to wring every ounce of water out of my body.

Climbing Hills and Screaming Calves
If there is one thing in my spin class I absolutely hate, it’s the hill climbs. While I love getting my butt off that saddle, this is without a doubt the toughest part of the class for me. My hamstrings and calves scream at me. And sure enough, when I hit the half way point of the climb, I always sit down.

Not today!

I don’t know what happened, but for seven solid minutes, at level 8 resistance, I tackled that blasted hill.  My legs turned to jello while I huffed and puffed.  But I never sat down for a rest. I did each position the instructor called out with a fierce determination.

When it came time to sit back in the saddle I was drenched in sweat, exhausted and wanted to crawl up into a ball…just in time for sprints! Oh joy.

Normally I love sprints, but today it was much harder than usual. I thought I pushed myself too hard on the hill climb. I still hit 90 RPM. It wasn’t until the end of the sprint before I realized I increased my resistance to level 9 instead of dropping down to 6.


I was so excited when the instructor yelled, “Time for cool down!”

At the end of the workout, my bike’s monitor indicated I burned more than 800 calories.

I should be excited, but I just want a nap.

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