Pain

Urghhhh.

This post better write itself because for the past 15 minutes I’ve been trying to find a comfortable position to sit down and pound out all about my agony. I write about my agony whilst in agony. Oh goody, a Caitlyn-whines-about-exercise post that I have never, ever written before!

I thought I had a moderately high pain tolerance. Not Superwoman levels, but a wee bit higher than average. I walked around Busch Gardens with puddles of blood forming in my sneakers because I didn’t want to slow the class trip down and have to – gasp – be the center of attention. But this. That Busch Gardens field trip was a piece of cake compared to this.

Yesterday I woke up at my normal time and went to an early morning spin class with the instructor I’d heard awesome things about. I went to two spin classes last year at college, and each time left me soaked in sweat and instantly sore. I hated spin while pedaling away, but afterward, I loved it because I loved the feel of a good workout that totally kicked my butt.

The instructor (who is awesome and so, so nice) helped me set up my bike and I was ready. I was ready for a great workout and to be a little sore. I’d been working out a lot more than I had been when I went to spin classes last year, so I was eager to see how I’d fare.

Three minutes into the class beginning, I was reminded why I hated the actual class so much. Ow. The uncomfortable seats that I never get used to or find a “sweet spot” during the whole hour. Then there’s the standing up part of the  class. Holy cow, people.

I was in hell. The standing up part was a struggle like no other. I don’t remember being so terrible at the standing up portion. A few times, I had to sit down 10-15 seconds before the instructor said to because I could not do it. I tried. Oh, I tried. I felt ashamed that I was one of the youngest in the class and couldn’t do the full part. I told myself it was all mental and that I.COULD.DO.THIS. The instructor constantly let us know how many more seconds we had left, so that was helpful.

The next few times we did the standing up part, I didn’t up the resistance like the instructor told us to. Didn’t that make it harder?! I was already dying. Dying is not even an exaggeration. There was no way I would be able to stand up and pedal with more resistance. I could barely do it now. That’s the great thing about spin. The room was dim, and nobody can tell how much you are (or aren’t) increasing the resistance.

I didn’t mind sitting down and pedaling. I gladly upped the resistance while sitting. It was standing that was a nightmare.

After the class, when I got off the bike to do the cool down stretching, I didn’t have my land legs yet and had to grab back onto the bike to steady myself. Leaving the studio, I was instantly in pain. My legs, my thighs, my butt. Going down the stairs to get back to the locker room hurt.  All day, I stiffly walked. Ow. That was pain I remembered from last year.

Then I woke up this morning and oh.my.God. My thighs are ON FIRE. Moving them – at all – is excruciating. I can’t go up or down stairs, I can’t bend down, I can’t do anything. I’ve never been in pain like this. I was most definitely not in pain like this after my big two spin classes last year.

Google tells me it’s probably Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).  I’ve been taking my ibuprofen and icing and have taken two hot baths (getting in and out was a carnival, for sure).

Browsing a few forums with the search term HOW THE HELL DOES ANYBODY DO THE STANDING UP PART OF SPIN CLASSES WITHOUT DYING tells me that I was a total and complete idiot for not upping the resistance (like the instructor said to, oh god Caitlyn why)  because that could be why I was struggling so much and might be why I’m in a boatload of pain.

DOMS Googling tells me its just a normal response to more exertion and a more intense workout. For some reason, I want to keep going at spinning and see if I ever get better at standing up.

Any advice, Sultans of Spin? 

Is this a one-time thing because I didn’t up my resistance like a good spin student? Is it a one-time thing because I haven’t done an intense workout like this in a while? Why didn’t I feel pain and soreness like this last year? I wasn’t in as good of shape last year.

So many questions. So much pain.

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23 thoughts on “Pain

  1. A few months ago I tried to do insanity… And I don’t know if you are familiar with it but before you even start you do a fitness test where he just shows you some moves and you count how many times you can do them in a certain amount of time, and I was so sore I had to hold on to the tub and wall to sit down to pee! For 4 days! I never touched that freakin dvd again! hahaha but now if I had the chance I think I’d have tried torturing myself a few more times before giving up.

    • hahahaha, oh my gosh. i don’t blame you. that would scare me off too! i’ll probably try spin at least two or three times more but if each time is going to be like this..i am done! ha.

  2. Lol, I find the standing up part a million times easier than sitting down – because it gives my inner thighs (and well… lady parts) a break from the uncomfortable seats!

    But my mom is just like you, she sits the whole time and peddels away, we are the exact same size but she always ends up burning way more calories than me and she never stands.

    Spin isn’t my favorite though, when it comes to group exercise I am all about Les Mills Classes! Especially BodyPump and BodyCombat. If your gym offers anything from Les Mills you really should check it out!

    I hope you feel better soon, try taking a relaxing bath or something. I was dying after my first spin class too because my body was so used to running that the different type of workout shocked me. It is a natural response to changing your training stimulus and soon you will be a lot more comfortable on the bike and will be able to move with the rest of your class!

    • yes the seats are the worst! i hope someday the standing up part is easy ha. i tried les mills body pump at a fitness expo last year, where they did 20 minute “sample classes”. i loved body pump! i tried the body step too and oh.my.god it kicked my butt. i’ve never done or heard of body combat, i’ll have to look into it!

  3. Oh man. You sound like you in for some serious soreness over the next few days. I have never done a spin class, but it sounds intense. One thing I like to do to prevent massive soreness is to lay with my legs up along a wall. It helps drain the lactic acid that has built up and find I am way less sore the next day. Maybe that would help after your next class?

    • oh yes, today is better but still..ouch. good god. next time i attempt a spin class, i think i definitely need to do some more cool down and stretching afterward. i just went straight to the locker room, changed and left.

  4. yikes! spin is something you have to do a few time to get used to. your muscles WILL burrrrn the first few times but then it gets better! and upping the resistance while standing is much easier to manage 😉 feel better!!

  5. Seriously? OUCH!!! I haven’t taken a spin class before (but I plan to before 2013 is done!) Now I’m a little more nervous than I was……I hope it passes quickly! When I’m sore from running I try to stretch more and go for walks to loosen up my legs. But you might want to wait a few more days before doing that!

    • ah you’re going to be sore just because its a new intense workout, but probably not anything like my current state. spin is good to try! i want to keep going, now i just know i need to stretch more after the class is done and listen to the darn instructor and up the resistance like she says to. ha. thanks 🙂

  6. Um I am sore just reading this. When i first started lifting weights i would get horribly sore a day or two after weights but eventually the soreness lessened as my body became more accustomed to the change in workouts.

    • that’s what i keep telling myself “this is good that it hurts! this is good! next time won’t be like this!” haha. spin is such a good workout and definitely good to try!

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  8. Uh, so I’ve always wanted to do spin class. Like for the last few years.

    You have now completely and thoroughly changed my mind. Ow! Hope you’re feeling somewhat better now.

  9. So I am one of those sultans of spin you mentioned haha I am an instructor :-). I have been taking classes on my own for a few years now and I will say it does get better just like anything takes consistency and practice. After a while you won’t even feel it and will be standing with resistance like a pro!! Stay after it!

      • It is smart to have resistance when coming out of the saddle to protect your knees and joints yes. But in general just go at your pace and build up the intensity. You will get there for sure! For my newbies I always give them a gel seat too and that helps them stay comfy in the saddle.

  10. OMG- when I read this I thought to myself…”Oh noooo, this is all my fault!! What did I do wrong!!” I feel terrible for causing you so much pain! But, I am SO SO SO proud of you for coming to class and even prouder that you want to come back (at least a few more times!). I have been spinning for so long that I forget what it is like for beginners but it is true you really do need to stick with it. And, it would be extremely beneficial if you tried to hop on a bike (even just the stationary bikes in the gym for 15 minutes) at least a few other times during the week- in between spin classes. Sometimes new students just take one class a week- or even skip weeks and b/c of the inconsistency they experience the same pain each time. The trick is finding a regular spin routine where you attend classes on a consistent basis so you can teach your muscles what you asking them to do. Also, getting on a bike 2-3 times a week at first will help you get used to that uncomfortable saddle. Once your “lady parts” are used to it- you don’t even notice how terrible they are! Definitely don’t be afraid of resistance and also don’t feel like you need to stand every time the instructor tells you too. Stick with it girl, you will see improvements and it won’t always be so painful (believe me- if it was I would certainly not be teaching 8 spin classes a week!) 🙂

    And PS, I take Body Combat every Tuesday morning at 5:45 at the Fort Ave. Merritt then I do BootCamp right after- let me know if you ever want to join me!

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