How to Get Through a Tough Cycle Class

Most cycling classes are 60 minutes. Sometimes that hour flies by and other times it feels like eternity.  Even after years of regularly going to cycling classes, it can be hard at times to mentally get through.  Sometimes it’s because of the music or other times because my body is just having a hard time warming up.

The worst part about when you feel like it’s going to be a ‘long’ workout is you usually notice the feeling in the first few minutes of class. I know we’ve all contemplated walking out but decided to stick with it.  So how can you get through and come out feeling like a champion anyways?

As surprising as this may sound, counting down the minutes might actually help you get back in the zone. During a recent class, I started out with this daunting feeling and began looking at the clock. At first it was to see how many minutes we’re left until the class was over. After a few glances I noticed twenty minutes had passed and I was starting to feel more in the groove.

Breaking down the time into smaller amounts can help to get you through the mental block of the full hour.

JustKeep Pedaling

The First 20

On a tough day, it’s okay to have a 15-20 minute warm up. Specific to cycling, adjust your speed and resistance based on how your feeling during this timeframe.

The Second 20

If you’ve started to warm up but still struggling a bit, now’s the time to channel your inner badass and talk yourself into getting down and dirty – meaning even if you’re struggling, try and find focus. Tune out the music, focus on how the movements feel. In a cycling class, try to sync up and notice which muscles are being used at which point in the revolution. This creates a level of competition with yourself which helps to further counteract the ‘struggle’ feelings.

The Third 20

Ride it out! At this point, you’re more than half way done from a time perspective, and more times than not your body is fully warm – possibly even experiencing a ‘high’ from the momentum you’ve gained from toughing through the struggle.  The last 20-25 minutes will FLY by.


Breaking down the time is an effective way to help conquer the workout while also giving you an extremely rewarding feeling as you break through the mental hurdles of a tough class.

What are your tricks to get through a tough workout?

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Amanda D.

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