Trying a new fitness class can be intimidating. Not knowing the equipment, the flow of the class, and how your body will handle the workout is a lot to take in. Not to mention, being plus size can add a layer of stress. Thoughts like, “Will the equipment support my weight?” and “What if I knock the bike over completely?” can be all-consuming before you take your first spin class. We turned to Maggie Hightower, a plus-size model who you can catch at an 8am spin class almost every weekday, to give us her tips on making spin class work for you and your body.
Written by Maggie Hightower
I have been going to spin classes now for about three years. I first started just for fun and went with a friend—I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have gone to my very first class if my friend didn’t bring me along with her. I am now a regular because I slowly started to see the positive impact it was having on my body. I have a back injury I sustained from a car accident—spin keeps my muscles loose and strong, and, in turn, helps me manage my back pain. (It might help you with your aches and pains, too!)
Along the way, I’ve learned how to not only use spin class to make my body feel better, but to also make the experience a truly body-positive one. Here are 8 ways to make that happen.
Seriously. It’s going to be fine!
2. Remember that only you are in control.
Want to pedal slowly? Go for it. Want to pedal on a very low gear with very little resistance? Do it. Afraid to stand up and ride when the instructor asks the class to get up? Don’t! It’s your workout class, so you shouldn’t do anything that you don’t feel comfortable with—especially during your first few times.
3. Make your instructor work for you.
Are you concerned with setting up the bike and adjusting the height to work for your frame? Ask your instructor for help. Attending a spin class for the very first time? Tell your instructor. This is their job and you are their client! Every instructor wants you to have a positive and safe experience.
4. Ask for suggestions.
Talk to your friends who have taken spin classes. Which studios are their favorites? Who are their favorite instructors? My recommendations for those in New York City are Liz and Erika’s classes at Monster Cycle and Mindy and Jamie’s classes at Swerve.
5. Wear your favorite activewear.
In particular, wear something comfortable, practical, and cute! I always opt for capri-length active leggings, an A-line tank top, and a medium or high-impact sports bra. The right outfit makes all the difference—and wearing a particularly cute outfit can make you feel even more confident! If you’re taking spin classes or are planning to, tell your Dia Stylist so that your next Active Box can be filled with the appropriate clothing for class.
6. You are not alone!
Never feel like you’re the only person who has ever been intimidated by a new group fitness class. Every spinning pro was once intimidated when they began their journey.
7. Set your intentions.
Why are you in class? The answer can change from day to day and is extremely personal. Are you just trying the class for fun to see if it’s the right way for you to participate in joyous movement? Are you there to make your heart and body stronger? Are you there to help your mental health and take your mind off the to-do list for a while? Set your intentions and you will have the motivation to make it to class and to achieve your goal—even if your goal is just to get a good sweat in before work so you have the energy to take on the day.
8. Have fun!
To me, spin can be extremely challenging, but it’s always fun. My instructor is my DJ and the ride is choreography for the tracks they play. Nodding your head to the beat or singing along to your favorite songs allows you to push harder and get a better workout. Plus, those upbeat, motivational songs will be stuck in your head all day, keeping you in the right mindset to take on the world.
Are you ready to have a body-positive spin class experience? Be sure to snap some photos and join our conversation in the Dia&Co Wellness Community. Before you start a new fitness regimen, let your Dia Stylist know about the activities you’re planning on taking part in so you can get the best Dia Active Box for your routine.