Indoor group cycling classes have been popular in gyms across the country since the late 1990s. Today these classes continue to attract loyal enthusiasts who can’t seem to get enough. Sue Pasche has been teaching group cycling for 15 years and encourages anyone who has not yet tried it to come and see what the fuss is all about. “You have to come check it out. You have to come see what an incredible workout it is. It’s so intense, so focused and so fun,” says Sue.
Sue teaches the 11:45am lunchtime cycling class on Wednesdays at the downtown Findlay YMCA, which I attend. Before we get started Sue spends a few minutes helping beginners set up their bikes. Each bike has a resistance knob that the rider can increase or decrease throughout the class, allowing each person to make the workout as difficult as they choose. Sue prompts the class to adjust our perceived rate of exertion on a scale of 1-10. Riding at level one requires no effort while a 10 means working as hard as you can.
There are five other participants in the class and we start with a nice, easy ride to get warmed up. Following the brief warm up, Sue leads the class through a workout of sprints, hills and jumps on the bike, all set to music. One song consists of thirty-second sprints followed by a brief recovery period. Another song involves climbing up a hill where we gradually add more resistance to our bikes. Sue uses visual imagery to encourage the group, cheering “imagine passing all of the other bikes on the course!” The upbeat music, the encouragement of the instructor and the energy of the class make me work harder than I ever would on my own.
Sweaty and satisfying
Fortunately, the room is air-conditioned and has several fans blowing because, friends, indoor cycling is NO JOKE. Be prepared to push yourself and find that you are drenched in sweat when class time is up. But it is a satisfying feeling that oddly makes me want to come back for more…and I do!
Cycling is low-impact, appropriate for all fitness levels and a darn good workout. The YMCA offers several group cycling classes throughout the week at both the Downtown and East Branches.
For more information about the YMCA’s Group Fitness classes go to findlayymca.org or call 419-422-4424.