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Peddling Through the Calories


For me, 7 a.m. feels early any day of the week, but especially on a Saturday. Normally, I’m not up until 9 or 10 a.m. on the weekend, and I’ve come to cherish that time. However, a few weeks ago, I traded my sleepin tradition for a fitness class … and it was worth it.

I stopped by the CaroMont Health and Fitness Center in Gastonia to try their Cycle workout. I’d heard rave reviews from my friend Emma and my sister,
Jessica, about cycling or “spin” classes they’d gone to in their hometowns, and I wondered if it was something I could like too. This was an intermediate, 50-minute class taught by Huston Sheppard, personal trainer at CaroMont Health and Fitness Center. There are also 30- and 45-minute classes held throughout the week.

Upon arriving, Sheppard adjusted my stationary bike and gave me some simple instructions for the class. I was joined by 14 other exercisers at the corner of the room, and Sheppard faced the group on a bike at the front.

We biked to fun, fast-paced songs such as “Good Feeling” by Flo Rida and Avicii and “We Found Love” by Rihanna. Sheppard told us when to pedal faster and turn the dial on the bike for more or less resistance. A few times, I had the resistance turned up so high that my legs seemed to be moving in slow motion. He also had us stand up while peddling or alternate quickly from sitting to standing on the bike. Sheppard related the workout to an actual bike ride through the city, referencing specific areas and landmarks and climbing and descending certain hills. He was very encouraging and fun as he shouted instructions, joked and cheered everyone on.

I downed two bottles of water and made good use of the free towel that I was given. I certainly felt my legs burning as I peddled through the class, but I had a good time doing it and 50 minutes breezed by. Before I knew it, I had my workout completed for the day.

It was very easy to pick up on how to do this exercise, and I liked that I could adjust the speed and resistance to my own level and push myself or back off as needed. It was a really great workout, but at the same time, it wasn’t so hard that I felt intimidated or unable to do it.

I think cycling is a class that people of all ages and fitness levels could tackle and enjoy. But be warned, your bottom will be sore from that tiny seat the next day.