Through blogging, and one of my riders at Benefitness, I connected with Elise over at eat.sweat.balance, who is a fellow Boston spin instructor and blogger. I had to check out one of her classes, and I wanted to share how impressed I was with her, since I am bored on the bus and since she deserves a rave review!
Now that I am an instructor, I am very conscious of other instructors during class while I am the participant. Let’s be real; we have all walked out of probably too many classes where we leave feeling like the class flat out sucked, or that the instructor was too loud/too intense/too soft/didn’t explain things/played horrible music/didn’t seem interested at all in being there to teach the class. You leave with a deep sense of “that sucked” and “making sure to avoid his/her classes from now on.”
I’d take Elise’s class again anyday for a few reasons that resonated highly with me:
1. I was there during her 15 minute intro to ride class where she explained to new riders about setup, resistance, what to expect, etc. She made sure to talk personally with each new rider to check their bike setup, and then got on her bike to explain the world of spinning. She was saying all the right things, explaining why we do certain things in spin class, and she gave clear instructions on her “scale” that she works on in class.
2. I can’t say enough that I appreciated the explanation of the scale of exertion that she would be using all class, and how each scale is different for everyone because of their own level of fitness and because sometimes bike tightness is calibrated differently from bike to bike. (I can’t stand when I’m in a spin class and the instructions on where you should be, resistance/exertion-wise. “Give it a full turn” over and over again throughout a spin class is not helpful at all, and leaves you wondering where you should really be. Heavy hill? Medium hill? Help a sister out!) Elise used a scale of 1-10 for exertion/resistance, and for pace, would say, “okay find 70% of your sprint pace,” etc. Very helpful.
3. Elise was just very clear on instructions for each song. I never felt like “wait, what?” or “I have no idea where my resistance should be at.” I think clear instructions during class makes the riders feel less bogged down with ambiguity and more engaged into the ride. More on this on reason #5 why I loved Elise.
4. Tunes! A+. Her ride was a hip hop v. dance playlist, and it was super fun and upbeat. She used Flux Pavillions “I can’t stop” during bike setup, which I secretly wanted to high five her for.
5. Along with the tunes, you could tell how much effort she put into planning each song out for drills. She would give us the rundown of what was to come for each song, which I love because it gives you a sense of what to expect and how hard to work. I hate feeling in the dark about not knowing how long I am supposed to sprint for or climb and sometimes that leads to exhaustion or the complete opposite where you regret not working harder, but you just didn’t know!
6. Words of encouragement and inspiration, but not too much. Sometimes instructors get way too cheesey with inspirational quotes or mantras and you’re like “dude, shut it, I just wanna rip bicep curls to techno beats in peace and not imagine myself conquering Mt. Everest.” She makes sure to have a theme for each ride, and today’s theme was “Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same,” which aka in spin class means no cheating, no bull, turn that resistance to the right or go home.
A word about the club, too, since I’ve got a few more hours on this bus – its beautiful. Definitely a luxurious feel to the club, with a yummy cafe (food is always a way to win me over, folks), and a very nice locker room. The bikes in the studio were great, and I was in front of a big fan that honestly took away most of my sweat during the class. The studio just felt breezy. I wore my heart rate monitor since I don’t get to ride for just myself very often anymore, and Elise kicked my ass and took my name, but I was not dripping sweat and steaming like a plate of fajitas like I have after walking out of some classes. It’s probably nice for those outdoor riders, too, where they are used to outdoor air with some wind.
Overall, 5 stars for Elise, and feeling so refreshed to come across another instructor who’s class I can’t wait to take again. She posts her playlists and ride schedule along with her reviews of other fitness classes around Boston, as well as restaurant reviews (fitness and food??? eat.sweat.balance You had me at “eat”, Elise!)