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Spin class gets St. Paul moving
A handful of times throughout the week, sometimes at different times of the day, groups made up of mostly women gather at Peak Physique, hop on some stationary bikes, and peddle their hearts out to some upbeat music.
The exercise classes are commonly known as spin classes and have become rather popular in St. Paul since Peak Physique opened its doors this spring. Right now, there are three local ladies who are certified to teach spin class. Each of the ladies have claimed specific times and days of the week to offer the classes, allowing for more people to take part, depending on individual schedules.
Also known as indoor cycling, the class is a non-impact aerobic workout that can be tailored to an individual’s physical fitness level. Throughout the class, participants will increase and decrease the tension of their bike as they go through different drills, such as sprinting and hill climbs.
Brenda Hamm, one of the local instructors, admits that she felt nervous when she took part in her first spin class, but fell in love with the workout. She decided to become AFLCA certified, along with Breana Malcolmson, another local instructor, so she could help others get in shape, while getting in shape herself and promoting “health and wellness.”
One day, while taking part in a Zumba class in St. Paul, Hamm met up with Denise Gagne, and learned that she and her husband were planning on opening a gym in St. Paul. Hamm took the opportunity and has been teaching spin class at the gym since this spring.
“So far, I love it,” says Hamm, who also works full-time with the Lakeland MS Society. One day, Hamm hopes to see adapted fitness classes offered in St. Paul for people with chronic illness.
Hamm says that one of the best parts about teaching spin class is seeing the progress made by the participants. She admits that many people have progressed beyond her expectations in just a matter of months.
“They are doing a fantastic job,” says Hamm, adding, people get out what they put into the class.
“It feels good to me that I’m helping others,” says Hamm.
Before coming to St. Paul two years ago, Alyssa Ramsay worked at a busy gym in Edmonton. Although she worked in management, she was also involved in many of the classes that were offered at the centre.
Primarily a runner, Ramsay says that an injury led her to look at other fitness options and spin class was the only thing that she felt was “intense enough.” Coming to St. Paul, there wasn’t much opportunity to take part in exercise classes, but through word-of-mouth, she got involved teaching at Peak Physique.
One thing Ramsay notices about St. Paul spin classes is that they are mostly made up of women, whereas in Edmonton, there were many more men taking part. But overall, the demand for the class has been very high.
“It totally blew my mind,” says Ramsay of her July class being filled the day registration opened.
Ramsay recommends spin class to the majority of people looking to improve their fitness level.
“The thing about spin, is that you can do all levels in one class,” she explains, adding, the instructor is more of a guide, but everyone can go at their own level and there can be a range of people with different athletic abilities taking part in one class.
In the end, if you push yourself, “it’s a hard workout,” says Ramsay.
Although she took the summer off from teaching classes, Malcolmson became involved in spin when she lived in Airdrie. She says she had already decided to get her certification to teach spin, when coincidently she heard Peak Physique would be opening in St. Paul.
“I think it’s just a really great way to work on cardio,” says Malcolmson, who had problems with her knee. Spin class is much easier on a person’s joints, she says.
Hamm and Ramsay are both offering classes during the month of July, but a new schedule will be released in August from Peak Physique with times for classes. A current schedule is available at www.peakphysiquegym.ca.
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