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a typical tara spin class

I’ve been meaning to write this post for absolutely ages, so here it finally is. People often tell me that they’re scared to come to spin class. They’re scared that the instructor will scream at them, that the class will be too difficult or that they won’t be able to walk for a few days afterwards. Then there are the people who say that spin class is boring, that when they’ve been there has been no structure, the music wasn’t good or the instructor lacked a bit of sparkle.

Well, all of this is subjective. I’ve been teaching spin for over 6 years now and I’d like to share with you what I’ve learned through years of teaching, getting as much feedback as possible and taking other people’s classes. I’ve built my style of teaching on what I believe to be the most effective way to torch a hell of a lot of calories on the bike (which we covered a bit in my last post about spin class) whilst keeping each class full of energy and fun. Here’s how…

What I consider to be the most important thing in a spin class is the journey. If we know where we’re going, how many obstacles we need to tackle, when we should be pushing to our absolute max and when we’ve got time to rest, we’re focused. At the beginning of every one of my classes you’ll get an outline of what’s to come in the next 40 minutes.

We climb hills, we push through speedy flat roads, we get short intervals without much time to rest between, we get longer ones with a chance to let our legs cool down. Wherever we are, whatever we’re doing, you’ll know exactly how long you’re doing it for and how many you need to push through. No surprises, just information, focus and motivation.

My music matches my structure; intervals are set to changes in each track and leg speed set to the beat of the music. My two favourite genres are trance and drum & base, you’ll be hearing a lot of that when you spin with me. I love my music just as much as I love my fitness, I spend hour upon hour carefully curating my playlists which will change every couple of weeks along with the structure of the course of the ride.

I guess the best way to picture it is to think of a gorgeous hillside somewhere, and imagine that the gradient of the road that runs across it changes with every track that you put on. I know it sounds a little crazy, but I’m pretty confident that if you came to class (or if you’ve already been!) you’ll know exactly what I mean.

As for resistance, we don’t deal in ‘quarter turns’ or ‘half turns’, we work with increases. As long as we’re all moving at a similar speed, each of us is in control of our own resistance so that we’re all working to our own limits. The beauty of a spin class taught properly is that only you know how hard you’re working. It’s not the instructor’s job to tell you how much resistance you should have on or come round and adjust it for you, it’s up to the instructor to coach you well enough so that you know how hard you should be pushing. So effectively, a good spin class is as hard as you make it.

We don’t do push-ups on the bike, if you want to train your upper body you can do it some place you’re actually meant to… like on the floor. We don’t ‘tap back’, jump up and down or wave weights around because we’re too busy focusing on testing our cardiovascular limits to an absolutely bangin’ soundtrack. A spin class doesn’t need choreography to make it interesting or fun.

I invite you all to come see for yourself, especially if you made it all the way down to the end of this post! Drop me a message any time at marguliestara@gmail.com or on Instagram and I’ll let you know when I’m teaching and you can come along.

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