Is Indoor Cycling Harder Than You Thought? – Cathe Shares Her Story

cyclefit600px-2238I was answering questions on the forums last week when I came across a question that stood out to me because I could completely relate to it. It dealt with a fitness enthusiast who was new to indoor cycling and purchased an indoor bike to do my Cycle Max DVD. In just minutes of starting she was feeling completely exhausted, defeated and so discouraged that she wondered if this workout was something she could ever work herself up to completing? After reading that question I had instant memories of my first experience on an indoor bike while participating in my very first indoor cycling workout. I felt the same way she did and immediately wanted to share my story with her to put her at ease. The feedback I received from her and others was very positive and it got me thinking that perhaps there are others out there that would benefit from reading my story. After all, I know we have quite a few Cathletes who enthusiastically purchased a bike in anticipation of doing my Cycle Max workout.

If Cycle Max has you wondering whether you’re fit enough to do indoor cycling workouts please read on:

I got certified for indoor cycling about 16 or so years ago. It was when indoor cycling certifications were just getting underway and Cycle Reebok was conducting a weekend certification in Virginia. At that time indoor cycling was really huge in California already but I was just getting into it.

Ok, so I am at my weekend certification only to find out 85% of the instructors in my certifying class were already very experienced in cycling but they didn’t have their official certification yet. Hence why they were there. I, on the other hand, never sat on an indoor cycle bike before in my life. I needed help with everything from soup to nuts.

So the certifying instructor sets my bike up and he takes the class through a 20-minute demo workout. I was clueless how to pace myself and had no idea how much resistance to apply per song so I would just watch my neighbor turn the knob and I would do the same

OMG…, can I just tell you, I nearly died in just 3 to 5 minutes. I kept looking around the room, praying someone would look half as out of breath as I was. I literally felt my heart beating out of my chest and my legs were on fire and super tight. Everyone around me was all happy whooping and cheering and I just kept thinking to myself “I have to be doing something wrong. I know I am not this out of shape”….”geeze, when is this going to end”….”I have no idea what all the hoopla is about indoor cycling but this is so not fun”. The demo class finally ended and I hopped off my bike faster than anyone in there. Little did I know that we would mount that bike 3 more times that night.

The certification was Friday night 4 hours, Saturday 8 hours and Sunday 6 hours.

So now Saturday morning I’m back at it, and thinking a good nights sleep was all I needed. It’s time for another demo workout and as I got on the bike tears literally came to my eyes, and I am not kidding ….nobody had warned me of the crotch soreness (or saddle soreness) I would experience. This is not sore butt muscles, this is major pain that doesn’t even involve the butt. It felt like bruised crotch bones, and to sit on the saddle was tear-jerking. The girl next to me said, “I felt the same way when I first started but if you keep riding it eventually goes away”. In the meantime, I learned of padded shorts and a gel seat and whipped my credit card out for those necessities. Turns out the padded shorts felt like I was riding with a full diaper and the gel seat never stayed on the seat properly while I would ride so I gave up. The instructor told me that I could ride standing instead of sitting to help take some of the pressure off the sore bones. But what I didn’t know is that you need to build up your “indoor cycle legs” to hold your body weight up there that long so soon enough I plopped down in that saddle again.

By Sunday, I was beyond sore and so convinced that nobody at my gym would enjoy indoor cycling since I myself was thinking “you couldn’t pay me to take this class”. Well, the good news is I passed my certification and learned a heck of a lot about cycling, the bike, and teaching but the crotch pain was still so raw that I wasn’t sure I wanted to bring indoor cycling to my gym. However, too late on that since we already ordered the bikes and promoted that we were bringing indoor cycling to our gym.

Fast forward one-week later….our Cycle Reebok bikes arrived at the gym and our indoor cycle program was launching two days later. I was the one who was scheduled to do all twelve “intro to cycle” classes that week.

Happy Ending…Believe it or not, that girl next to me at the certification was right, my crotch got used to the hard seat, the bruising no longer was an issue, my legs got stronger and I was able to do the 20-minute workouts pretty easily by the end of that week.

Some Advice:

Take the workout in small steps. Only add 30 seconds to 2 minutes on per workout in the beginning weeks. Eventually, you’ll be able to add on 5 to 7 more minutes in the following weeks. Finally, you will get through the workout…. never easily…. but that’s a good thing. You always want a challenge. Oh and one final thing, don’t go more than 2 weeks without indoor cycling at least once. If you wait too long, you will have to start all over again with your crotch soreness.

So go mount that saddle and give it your best shot….whether it’s a long or short ride, give it what you’ve got!

Good Luck!


Related Articles By Cathe:

Indoor Cycling for Fitness: 5 Reasons to Try a Cycle Workout

Exercise Bikes vs. Spin and Indoor Cycle Bikes: Choosing the Right One for Your Home Gym

Cycling Workouts


Related Cathe Friedrich Workout DVDs:

Indoor Cycle Workout DVDs

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Hi, I'm Cathe

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