By now, you probably don’t have to be convinced that hopping on a bike and rocking out at spin class is one of the best ways to stay healthy, especially when the summer heat has you wanting to stay indoors as often as possible. But once you’re signed up for your first ride, it can be a little intimidating to jump in the saddle and start tapping it back. Have no fear — we talked with Jake Maulin, CycleStar at CycleBar, to shed some light on everything you need to know to look like a pro at your first spin class.

Before Class

1. Do your homework. First things first: You’ll need to do some research on the class you’re taking, because every studio is different and every instructor has their own style. Maulin suggests familiarizing yourself with the language of a cycling class and having basic knowledge of what is expected of you before walking in the door.

2. Wear proper workout clothes. This means “form-fitting clothes without pull strings or loose ends for safety purposes. If you are uncomfortable in spandex, other clothing options include fitted sweatpants, shorts, and tank tops,” says Maulin.

3. Bring the necessities. Depending on the amenities offered at your studio of choice, you may need to bring a towel, water bottle, or clip-in cycling shoes. Maulin notes that many studios offer shoes free of charge or for a small fee, but if you need to bring your own, know what style of clip you need (an SPD or three-bolt system, known as SPD-SL).

4.Hydrate. Like with any workout, be sure to drink plenty of water or sports drinks before you step into the studio. Maulin notes that you’ll also need to eat something small. “Simple carbs, like fruit, are a great choice. Premium indoor cycling classes are demanding, so you will need the pre-workout carbs,” he says.

During Class

5.Arrive early. Early bird gets the worm! Getting there a few minutes before class starts allows you to get acclimated to the studio and staff — and snag your bike of choice.

6.Let them know you’re new. “Tell someone in the class you are new to the studio. Not only will they help you get properly set up on the bike, but your experience will be even more enhanced with friendly faces in the class.”

7. Ditch the phone. It can be tough to step away from emails or Instagram for an hour, but Maulin says you should leave your phone in a locker. “A lot of first-timers bring these devices into the studio, but they will only distract you and others,” he notes.

8. Know you’re in control. Understand that you are in control of your workout, says Maulin, and there’s no need to push yourself further than your skill level. “Even if the instructor doesn’t tell you, do what you feel comfortable doing. Premium indoor cycling is a skill; the more classes you attend, the more you will improve.”

After Class

9.Cool down. A great way to come back to Earth and connect with the class is to spend a few minutes cooling down. Also, Maulin says you should be sure to thank the instructor. “The end of class is a great moment to ask more detailed questions you might have about class execution and attendance.”

10.Book your next class. Time to keep a good thing going! Maulin advises, “The most important thing new riders can do after their first class is to book the next class before you leave. No matter if the class experience was good or bad, book again. I always say it takes at least six classes to really know if you like the workout or not. If you didn’t care for the class, try a different class type or instructor next time.”

Are you a spinning pro? Tweet us tips for first-timers @BritandCo!

(Photo via Getty)