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How to get the most out of your spin class, according to a SoulCycle instructor


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Some days, your body just itches for a heart-pumping, sweat-drenched workout that goes from zero to 60 in no time flat. And that’s when you put aside your foam roller (sorry, old friend) and book a spin class.

To find out how to get the most intense workout possible during your 45-minute spinning sesh (when you’re shelling out $34 for each visit, it feels more “worth it” when you leave sopping wet with Jell-O legs, right?) I tapped—and tapped it back with—SoulCycle instructor Jera Foster-Fell. “At no point should your ride feel easy,” she says. “You can always make it harder.”

“At no point should your ride feel easy.”

Here, she shares three ways to do exactly that. Follow ’em, and you’ll have a better understanding of why the brand plasters skulls on so much of its activewear.

Ready to take your ride to the next level? Keep reading for three ways to get the most out of your spin class.

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1. If your ride ever feels easy, add more resistance

If Foster-Fell hears someone bragging about how easy her class was on the way out (excuse me, but who are these people?!), she says she has one question for them: What was the resistance? To make it harder, she says, “You can always add more.”

She also points out that every class is taught for all levels. This means some riders will reach their personal limit below the instructor’s recommended resistance level, while others will need to spin the knob a few more rotations to the right to really feel the burn. “You just don’t want to add so much resistance that you’re unable to keep up with the speed,” she says. “That’s when you know you’ve added too much.”

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2. Vary your speed and weight

Foster-Fell says another key to ramping up your ride is varying between speed and resistance. “It’s a beautiful mix,” she says. “Both will get your heart rate up, but you don’t want a class that’s just speed or just resistance. When that’s the case, you might get a surface sweat going, but you won’t be activating your muscles as much.” 

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Photo: SoulCycle

3. Work your core

One mistake Foster-Fell says many riders make is focusing too much on their legs and not enough on their center. “Your core should always be engaged, and a lot of people forget that,” she says. And yes, that goes for every spinning position—even when you slow things down to life hand weights.

So on those days you really want to leave everything you have in that spin room, try cranking up your resistance, varying your speed, and focusing on your core. That post-class recovery protein shake will never taste better.

If you’re just getting into spinning, here are some tips so no one will be able to tell you’re a newbie. Plus, check out these most luxe studios all over the world.

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