Here’s Everything You Need to Know Before Your First Spin Class

Because you never want to be that person.

indoor cycling

Photo provided

We all start our fitness journey somewhere. If you’ve thought about taking a spin class for the first time it can be a little intimidating. My first spin class was with my friend and fellow fitness instructor Sarah Gaines. I had no idea which bike I was supposed to be on, how to change the seat height, or even how to clip in—we laugh about it now. Flash forward to today and I am leading spin classes in Boston as an instructor. I help people, like yourself, be succesful and fall in love with indoor cycling so you can do it at one of the many places to ride in the city.

Before you walk into a spin studio for the first time keep these do’s and don’ts in mind so you don’t end up like poor Amy Schumer flailing on a Soul Cycle bike in the movie I Feel Pretty. 


1. Come to class 10 minutes early: If you arrive exactly when class begins your instructor can’t always help you set up your bike, which can be a safety concern. If you come early, we can teach you how to set everything up and answer any question you may have.

2. Modify if you have an injury: Especially in your first class, if you feel dizzy, nauseous, or are dealing with an aggravated injury, stay seated. Pedal with a light resistance and at a moderate speed and focus on your breathing. You can always jump back into the choreography when you’re ready.

3. Interact with the instructor: When an instructor yells, “How are we doing today?” and silence follows it can be one of the most cringe-worthy moments in a fitness class. Give us just one “Woo.” I promise, the person sitting next to you is most certainly not judging you for “Woo-ing.” If anything, they want to do it too but feel embarrassed. If you pipe up you are a true leader in the pack. Just say something, anything…please.

4. Give both positive and negative feedback: If you really liked the class, music, instructor, or vibe, please let us know. I’ve been teaching for over two years and I still appreciate every compliment I get from a rider—it really brightens my day. On the other hand, if the music was too loud or you didn’t like it, let us know that too. If you’re not comfortable giving that feedback in person, feedback forms are available at most studios.


1. Use your phone: Blue lights are distracting—especially in a dark room. Your texts, emails, Tinder notifications, and Instagram DM’s can wait. If you are expecting a call or an emergency comes up, leave the room to take the call and then come back.

2. Talk once class starts: When the lights are low and the music is up, that is your cue that you need to focus on you and your bike. Save your chit-chat for after class.

3. Be shy: Say hello to your neighbor and introduce yourself to the instructor. We are real people who want to connect with others too. If we didn’t, we would probably be working in a different industry.

4. Forget your equipment: If you have spin shoes or sneakers, bring them. It’s always better to work out in shoes that are yours, but don’t worry if you don’t have a pair, most studios have shoes available to rent. Also, don’t forget a water bottle, towel, and sweat-wicking workout gear.