Cycling classes have become a hip way to burn calories and rev up your cardio workouts. With chic studios promising you’ll burn hundreds of calories in a single 45-minute session — and a price tag of $20-$35 per class — you may be wondering how to make the most out of your cycling sweat sesh.
Flywheel instructor and ACE-certified personal trainer Emily Fayette, who has gained a loyal following in her classes in New York City and on Flywheel’s at-home bike and streaming service Fly Anywhere, has surprisingly simple advice for optimizing your cycling classes and maximizing calorie burn.
“Be present and listen to your body,” she told POPSUGAR. “Go harder when you have the energy, and recover but keep moving when you need to gain energy.”
When it comes to your speed and resistance, or torq, as it’s known at Flywheel, Emily said her motto is: strong, stronger, strongest, and she encourages her riders to test their limits. “Test your boundaries, but listen to your body,” she said. “Find your breaking point and push through it — that is where you will find strength.”
To have the most efficient ride possible, it’s also key that your form is correct. This includes engaging your core to make sure you don’t overwork your back. Emily suggests listening to the instructor as he or she details what your form should look like and making sure your bike is set up properly — she reminds people not to be afraid to ask for help in setting up their bike at the beginning of class.
Also, to enhance performance in your cycling class, Emily suggests also incorporating strength and toning into your weekly workout. She recommends FlyBarre, the barre class offered at some Flywheel studios. You can also do other leg and butt workouts to strengthen your lower body and propel you during your ride.
Ultimately, Emily said being present and in the moment is the best way to get the most out of your class.
“You showed up — make the most of the time you set aside for self-care,” she said. “I also like to tell my riders to think of each song as a new opportunity. It allows their mind to reset and gain strength to push through another song.”