Part of my new quest for a life that doesn’t include constant stress headaches, random all over full body tension pains, coupled with a need to feel better about myself, and to quell an insatiable appetite for wine (well, anything that contained alcohol really, I wasn’t fussed. Even the out of date Saki I found in the back of the cupboard would do, after a bad day,) was to step up my gym routine.

Thus far, my gym routine consisted of a bit of cross training, a bit of uphill walking, a bit of running if I had any energy left, then a few weights. I’d only do the weights section if it was free of large, sweaty, beefy, scary looking men whose muscles looked ready to explode in a steroid induced eruption, leaving muscle fragment and steroid residue splattering the gym equipment.

I wasn’t sure this routine was actually doing anything for me, I was doing it purely based on equipment that was free, and stuff I liked-there had been no consulting anyone. So I consulted someone. The general consensus for someone lacking in time, wanting to maximise calorie burning, was to do spin classes. I sought a second opinion. The second, toned, tanned gym beauty sadly, agreed with the first-with the results I wanted + the time I had + exercise recommended for my medical issues = spin was coming up trumps.

Even in the pre children days where I went to the gym a lot, I gave spinning a wide birth. It seemed to be an hour of no fun, and 100% torture. The people who did it seemed very serious. I’d always thought it wasn’t for me. But, as I’d asked, and it had been recommended, I decided to give it a go. So, for anyone wanting to give spin class a go, here is a definitive guide of how not to do it!


(NOT what I looked like doing it…)

  1. Do not spend the time you should be getting ready for spin class, dicking around on Instagram.
  2. Do not forget that because you dropped your children off at nursery what seemed like hours ago, that when you leave for spin class ‘in plenty of time,’ it will still actually be rush hour traffic.
  3. Do not run into the gym, and ninja roll to the place you think the class will be, only to waste more time galloping back to reception to ask where it actually is, because it wasn’t where you thought it’d be.
  4. With due diligence to not dick around on Instagram, and think that there will be less traffic at 9.30am, you won’t be two minutes late. If you are, the spin instructor will not ‘wait for five minutes for everyone to arrive,’ like you had anticipated.
  5. Don’t expect the very serious spinners in the class to not look at you like you’re an intruder, and have ruined their spin experience by being late-they will.
  6. In your haste to get dressed for spin because of the pregnant women frolicking in the sea, sleeping newborns in baskets, and Blake Lively stalking that you got caught up in, don’t choose a pair of workout bottoms that have a couple of holes in the bum area, thinking that if you wear knickers in the same colour underneath, it won’t notice. Just f***ing don’t.
  7. Don’t expect that the vest you choose, to go over the top, will hide the camel toe you thought you noticed on your way out of the house. It won’t.
  8. Do invest in some serious sports bras, not some you bought in Giles Sports in 2002, when your boobs were 10 times smaller, and stood up by themselves.
  9. Don’t assume that the serious spinners will all want to be at the front of the class, and you’ll be able to slip quietly into the back. It seems that even geek spinners like to be cool at the back of the class. Expect the only seat to be near the tanned, impossibly toned instructor, who will be cross with you because you are late.
  10. Don’t assume that even though you aren’t as fit as you once were, you won’t struggle to keep up with the torture being inflicted on your legs and arse-the struggle will begin in the first five minutes, and you’ll be faced with the dilemma of walking out and being shamed in front of the class, or staying until the end, thus risking probable death.
  11. Don’t expect that the whole class will be done sat down-most of it is done standing up on the bike. Therefore, your arse, wobbling enough to cause a minor earthquake, will be wobbling in the faces of everyone else in the class. This will make you go red and want to bring the imminent death brought about by exercising at a level way above what your heart rate can take, forward, to ease your embarrassment. At least your face will already be puce from the exertion, and nobody will know which one it’s red about.
  12. Don’t pick up your water bottle if your hand is sweaty. You might want to pretend you need a drink, just so you can sit down and slow down for a moment, but when your hand is sweaty, and you haven’t secured the top of your bottle properly, you will drop it, and the contents will go all over the floor.
  13. Don’t pray that the instructor won’t notice that you are pretending to move up a gear when she is screaming ‘if you’re lower than gear 18, and not feeling the burn, THE ONLY PERSON YOU’RE CHEATING IS YOURSELF!!!!!!’ whilst looking straight at you-she has definitely noticed. So has the person next to you, side eyeing your failure.
  14. Don’t mutter ‘thank f**k for that’ when the instructor is turning the music off. Everyone will hear.
  15. Don’t think that you will walk out of the class with any dignity intact. Your leg muscles, in protest at the unnatural process you have just forced them to endure, will liquidate. They will render your dignified and graceful dismount from the bike useless, when they fail to take your full weight, and you collapse in a heap on the floor.

*There you have it, a definitive how NOT to guide!

**Sorry to anyone behind me in spin class that day, I’m sorry that your eyes won’t be able to unsee my gym bottoms splitting and revealing my granny pants-I truly apologise for any nightmares this has caused.