"I'm not fit enough for a Spinning® class" is like saying "My teeth are too dirty to brush," or "I'm too hungry to eat."
"I'm not fit enough for a Spinning® class." My guess is that you would not have to reach too far back into your memory to find the last time you heard someone use this as their excuse for not coming to Spinning® with you. I wonder if you have ever said it yourself. I have to admit...I once said it.
I'm not sure of the origins of the reputation, (I suspect Hollywood and over-zealous "knock-off" indoor cycling classes have something to do with it) but it sticks ad naseum, despite every instructor's insistence that Spinning® is only as rigrous as you make it. True, that for some completely deconditioned and medically challenged people, sustaining even the lowst level of activity for 40+ minutes would be a challenge, and everyone remembers their first experience in the saddle, not to mention the following day. (Oh, how I so remember that next day after my first Spinnin® class.) I contend, however, that barring any real reason why you should not do it, most everyone can do Spinning®.
Challenge: Take 'em along for the ride. invite Escort two new people to Spinning® this month.
In your social circles, do you know of people who might benefit from taking regular Spinning® classes, but they're just too reluctant to try? Have you invited someone along, but he just can't seem to make it? Like many things, Spinning® just shouldn't be forced on anyone, but having some ready responses to those excuses might help you entice someone.
* "I'm not fit enough." To this person, you can say, "How do you know, unless you try? It is really important to share with people who think that they somehow don't deserve a place in the studio that you, too, once wondered if you could make it. Keep it real ("yeah, it can be tough!") but also keep it ~real~ ("look...you're on a stationary bike, in an air conditioned, dim studio with music. You determine how hard you work, and if you can walk around a mall for two hours, you can do a 40 minute Spinning® class. Sure it can be hard - but remember the old saying, 'if it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you.'")
* "I'm too busy." After too many years of saying it, I no longer flaunt the notion that illness makes you un-busy. I think it is enough to remind people that they priortize what they feel is important. Also, for the unconvinced, it is unstable ground from which to argue, but studies do show that people are more productive with less time available, so carving out an hour from the day for exercise might feel impossible, but the fact is that once that hour is locked in, everything else still gets done.
* "I don't do group fitness." (...and all the other excuses along this line like "I don't want someone shouting at me," and "I just like to do my own thing.") For this person, they have simply not found the right match. Traditionally men have not flocked to group fitness like women have when group fitness was all choreography and coordination. Now, though, with the likes of Spinning® and CrossFit(tm) men are going in droves. When group fitness offers individual pursuit it is a perfect combination of setting and exercise - that many might not yet be aware of.
* "I don't want bulky thighs." This is an easy one. Help this person understand that muscle bulk is made when reps are low and resistance is high. In the highest of gear - if a person could maintain 40 minutes of spinning at 55rpm (40 x 55) we're talking 2,200 repetitions for each leg over the course of a Spinning® class. This is not the stuff of bulk....honestly.
* I don't want to take on a whole new sports kit." While it is true that padded shorts and stiff soled shoes are helpful, they are not necessary for the beginner. Regular gym clothes and shoes are adeuate. Help this person know that some people come in their cycling gear because it is convenient to them. They have learned that cotton t-shirts just get soggy and that running shoes are not all that supportive on the bike - clothing though is just a matter of preference. for the newbie...anything will do (within reason - flappy clothes are not great and open toed shoes won't do.)
I wonder what excuses you hear? Take it as a personal challenge to help your friend, colleague or spouse overcome these excuses and just try it. Hold your time hostage - you won't meet them for coffee until they meet you for Spinning® - that kind of thing. I often tell people to just come and experience my class for at least 8 times before they start having any expectations. You have to get used to how long the class is, the feel of the seat, the adjustments to the gears to master "standing" in a climb. Be empathetic by tapping into your memory of your first class. Be selfish about inviting others to come in - Spinning® is a dish best served to a full table...the energy from a full studio feeds the energy of participants in wonderful ways.
This month: invite two people to come with you to Spinning® and escort them there...tell your instructor that you're working on convincing a new partiicpant. I'm grateful that someone did that for me, anyway. You?
Share this on your Facebook page to start the conversation...I'll bet someone takes you up on the chance to get to a first time Spinning® class with you - write back and tell us how it went.