Written by Kevin Choa / Photography by Paolo Pareno
Yes, I’m talking about spinning or indoor cycling. Yes, Ariana Grande’s “Side to Side” music video kind of pushed me to try this out. Yes, this big dude who doesn’t look like the guy to do it tried spinning for once; and yes, he actually loved it except for all of the after effects he experienced the next morning. Yes, having a spinning obsession is more than justified.
All jokes and borderline self-depreciating humor aside, the entire experience of getting strapped onto a stationary bike and moving practically my entire body to some music feels like leg day at the gym on steroids. It’s endlessly tiring, involves a lot of pumping from different parts of the body, and is painful for the next few days even if done correctly. As fun as the experience was for me, spinning is definitely not for the faint of heart. On that note, it’s always important to be medically cleared to spin before doing it.
Spinning may not be for everyone, but I don’t see anyone who can’t benefit from spinning.
It’s not hard to see why so many people are obsessed with spinning. There’s just something that gives you that special adrenaline rush that makes everything fun (until the pain kicks in the following day). For me, it was the constant music, ever-changing movements, and never-ending cheerleading from my instructor.
Now, I know there are so many physical trainers who will more or less give you the same support I got out of spinning. The difference here is that you know and can see that you’re doing the exact same things your instructor is doing. For reasons I can’t explain, it’s the thought that “a shared struggle is half a struggle” that separates a spinning instructor from a physical trainer.
The spinning room, where all the magic happens
The music is also something else that puts spinning apart from any other workout. If you’re any bit like me, having music in the background really helps when working out and really gives that extra boost of energy and confidence when doing anything.
Having said that, it’s not like you can play music on full blast on your earphones while under a physical trainer. Either you won’t be able to hear much or you’re just going to get scolded. It’s also not a good idea to bring a giant speaker to the gym and force everyone to listen to whatever your workout playlist is; I can only imagine how everyone would do anything to make sure you’re never setting foot there again.
The best part about spinning is you don’t have to worry about either problem. It’s not like the music’s too loud or anything, and it’s not like you can’t hear the instructor anyway. For people who say that you can’t have your cake and eat it, too; this is the workout version of having your cake and eating it. You get the music you want while not having to worry about anyone else throwing dirty looks at you for it.
I had to really balance for most of 45 minutes. Tough task, but I somehow made it to the end.
A workout is never truly a workout if you’re not really moving, which makes gives spinning one of its unique fixtures: non-stop movement. Unless it’s for short breaks, you never really stop moving and use up virtually all your muscles to get enough energy to make it to the end.
For someone who’s gone through swimming, it feels like it with all the movements and muscles you’re working all at once. It’s tough to get lazy when you’re always moving and need to be aware of what’s happening, even if you’re already tired. Things like these are what keep me on the bike and not throwing in the towel. You know there’s still something left to do and there’s always new routines that will be done. Instead of asking what the point is for doing anything, you’re eventually going to find that out sooner or later.
The beauty of spinning is you’d never know what to expect. At one point you’re up, and at another point you’re down.
As much as too much of anything isn’t a good idea, it’s clear to see why spinning has become the next big fitness trend here in Manila. There’s just that combination of so many things people look forward to in a workout: moving around, music, and coaching. Add in the fact that you’re not doing it alone, and there’s no surprise why so many studios have spinning facilities in them these days. Ariana Grande or not, it’s a workout trend that’s been destined for popularity, and nothing tells me this trend will fade anytime soon.
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