The only thing better than taking a spin class, according to Dr Kristie Mientka of Potts Point Veterinary Hospital in NSW, is leading one as an instructor.
“A spin class is high-intensity cardio training on a stationary bike led by an instructor who choreographs the exercise to music. It’s a great way to burn a lot of calories and have fun at the same time. During the classes I instruct, I like everyone to use hand weights so they get more of a full body work-out. It’s also really good for stress relief.
“I’m from Boston originally and I took a number of spin classes when I was living there. Around the time I graduated as a veterinarian, my partner was considering a work transfer to Sydney. I was totally on board with that and we moved here about a year ago.
“Once we settled in Sydney, I found a little boutique spin studio in Rushcutters Bay called Youtopia. I really fell in love with the place, particularly the people and the culture there.
When I started as an instructor at Youtopia, I immediately noticed the wide variety of people who attend classes. I not only teach spin but I also spin body where everyone spends some time on the bike and then hops off and does a circuit. It’s a much more intense work-out than a regular spin class.
“Each class is about 45 minutes and I teach four or five classes per week. Two classes each week begin at 6.30am before I go to work. It’s an invigorating start to the day.
“I spend a lot of time putting together musical playlists for my classes. I need a mix of songs that are good for climbing, which have a slower tempo, and songs that are good for sprinting, which are really fast and high tempo. I now have a library of tracks that are great for spin classes but I’m constantly on the lookout for new music. I’m a big fan of Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding, but I also like electric dance music, old-school Madonna, the Red Hot Chili Peppers—I really try to mix it up.
“It’s pretty full-on working as a vet and teaching spin classes but I love it. If I wasn’t an instructor, I would be doing the spin classes anyway. I’ll even seek out spin classes when I’m on holidays. I was in Thailand recently where it was very hot and humid but I still took a class. I love checking out new studios in different places.”