<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=424649934352787&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

NIFS Healthy Living Blog

Cycling at NIFS: The Low-Impact, Calorie-burning Group Fitness Workout

Cycle-2Cycling is becoming one of the most popular trends in group fitness. Not only is it a great class to take for the cardio benefits and calorie burn, cycling is a great resistance-based workout that can also increase strength. Many cycling classes are tracked in two ways, by RPM or BPM. RPM stands for “repetitions per minute,” and BPM stands for “beats per Minute.” Each form is usually cued by an instructor to ride to a particular beat. Both are great options; which one to choose just depends on personal preference. If you like music, you might enjoy a beat-driven class more. If you enjoy competition, you might enjoy an RPM-style class more.

Not only can a cycling class burn up to 600 or 700 calories a session, cycling classes are also fun to participate in due to the motivation to push and work hard from the instructor and the fun music played in class. With each person being on their own bike, participants control their own resistance with guided cues from the instructor on approximately how much resistance to add. This makes the class a great option for all levels, since each individual is in control of their own resistance. Resistance is recommended based on the kind of track an instructor is teaching. For example, if the instructor is cuing sprints, they might also cue for lighter resistance so you can move as quickly as possible. If you are simulating a hill, you might be cued to add a lot of resistance to make you have to use more strength and power to “get up the hill.”

Benefits of Group Fitness Cycling Classes

Among the benefits of this group fitness class are the following:

  1. Low-impact cardio option
  2. Stress release
  3. Cardiovascular
  4. Muscular endurance

What to Know Before Your First Class

If you have not been to a cycling class before, have no fear! If you are on your way to a class, try to get there 10–15 minutes early. This gives you time to meet your instructor and learn how to set up your bike appropriately for your height. Usually a studio will have shoe rentals or bike cages to be worn with normal shoes. If you would like to purchase cycling shoes, you can find many different options online.

Cycling at NIFS

Cycling is offered daily at NIFS at a variety of times. Check out the Group Fitness Schedule to find a class that works with your schedule!

Like what you've just read? Click here to subscribe to our blog!

This blog was written by Brittany Ignas, BS in Kinesiology, 200 Hour Yoga Alliance Certified, Stott Pilates Certified, and Fitness Coordinator. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

Topics: NIFS cardio group fitness cycling calories endurance indoor cycling low-impact strength workout

Ready to Try Cycle? Here's What You Need to Know

Cycle is NIFS class of the month! This high-energy cardiovascular workout uses various performance levels and speeds to get you cycle fit. Music is a big motivator and will help you get through the hills, flats and intervals!

If you have never tried a cycle class there are things you might want to know that will make the class experience more enjoyable. In this video I will show you how to setup your bike properly including:

  • Adjusting your seat position and height
  • Adjusting your handlebars
  • How to adjust tension
  • What to do the first time you come to class

Screen Shot 2017-03-30 at 12.01.38 PM.png

I hope these tips help you get more comfortable before you jump into your first cycle class! Let's get started! Check out NIFS group fitness schedule for the next cycle or RPM™ class.

 Like what you've just read? Click here to subscribe to our blog!

This blog was written by Rebecca Heck, Group Fitness Coordinator and NIFS Trainer. To find out more about our bloggers, click here.
Topics: cardio group fitness group training cycling cardiovascular indoor cycling Group Fitness Class of the Month

How to Get the Most Out of Indoor Cycling (Spin)

cycling.jpgIt’s that time of year again…the time when you wake up and there is a nip in the air and it's cool in the late evenings. One of the greatest indoor group training classes that is offered is indoor cycling, or spin! While the benefits of spinning can be a whole additional blog, I’ll just say that it’s a great cardiovascular exercise as well as a tool to build strength in the legs and butt.

Adjusting the Bike

We’ve all been there one time or another: your toes go numb, your neck or lower back starts to hurt, or you begin to feel tingling in your fingertips. All these can be a result of not having the bike adjusted properly for your body. Don’t make the mistake of jumping onto a bike that someone else has just been riding on and think it’s the right fit.

Whether it’s a spin class, RPM, or another type of cycle class, making sure that you are set up on the bike properly is of utmost importance. Let’s take a closer, step-by-step look at how to get set up:

  1. Set the saddle (seat). Begin by standing next to the bike. Raise one of your knees to a 90-degree angle and locate where your hip bone is on that same leg. Once you have done so, you can put both feet back on the ground and raise or lower the seat to the spot on your hip that you have indicated. You can get onto the bike to feel for comfort. Another good indicator is that when your leg is fully extended on the pedal, there should be a 5- to 10-degree bend.
  2. Position your feet on the pedals. Get on the bike and place your feet so that the ball of your foot is on the axle or back part of the pedal. While pedaling, the pressure should go through the ball of your foot and not the arch. If you are wearing tennis shoes and have a cage, you will want to tighten the straps to help secure your foot.
  3. Position your knee. You need to be sure that your knee does not overshoot your toes. If you were to draw a straight line from the front of your kneecap down toward your foot, it should line up behind your toes. Do a few revolutions and make sure that you feel comfortable. If you are still not sure about your positioning, this is a good time for someone to easily help you. Have someone stand behind you while you are pedaling and watch your hips. There should be no movement or dropping of the hips as you extend through the pedal.
  4. Adjust the handlebar height. Much of this is personal preference, but there are a few tips for people who don’t bike all the time to get adjusted correctly: comfort, comfort, comfort! Start with the handlebars at the same height as the seat (look at the seat and see what your adjustment is; it may be indicated by a number or letter). As you begin to ride, you will want to be sure that you feel comfortable. Watch for neck or lower-back pain and shortness in the hamstrings. If you often ride a road bike, lower handlebars may be more comfortable. This is okay as long as you don’t begin to pull on the hamstrings.
  5. Adjust the distance of the handlebars. This is also heavily weighted on personal preference and comfort. You want your shoulders to be as much over your hands as possible and have a slight bend in the elbows. Remember, be comfortable! If you begin to feel tingly hands or numbness in the arms or neck, you need to adjust your handlebars.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

If you are ever uncertain, you can always ask the class instructor to assist you. I would always advise you to get to class a few minutes early to get adjusted and ready. Enjoy, and cycle on!

Want to try a cycling or group fitness class for free?

Request a FREE Class Pass

This blog was written by Amanda Bireline, Fitness Center Manager. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

Topics: NIFS exercise fitness cardio fitness center group fitness group training cycling biking spin indoor cycling RPM