Before her class began at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Emily Patti spent a few minutes adjusting her seat pedals and fixing her microphone. She greeted students individually as they walked in the door and warmly welcomed new members. Then, she dimmed the lights, got on her bike, and blasted the stereo.

This is Spin, the world of indoor cycling, which first found its way to Lipscomb University in 2009. Since then, group fitness has had a sharp increase in participation with Spin being the most attended class on campus.

The concept of Spin is simple: a 45-minute fitness session where students ride stationary bikes at various levels of resistance while led by an instructor. This, combined with bass pumping music and a dark room, makes for an immersive yet entertaining workout.

In recent years, spin classes have become extremely popular, with celebrities like Beyonce and former President Barack Obama loving the fast-paced and high-intensity workouts that make them break a sweat. But it’s more than just the challenging workout that keeps students coming back week after week. Some students rely on the class environment with an upbeat instructor to keep them involved in this fitness fad.

 “I love the fun group vibe here and the music,” said Lipscomb student, Abigail Hardage. “Yes, it’s a challenging workout, but Emily motivates me to be the absolute best. I honestly don’t think I’d be able to do on my own what she pushes me to do each week.”

Emily Patti is the instructor for the twice-weekly class, she began teaching after a soccer injury left her unable to exercise with the team. She says it’s her love of finding new ways to work out that motivates her to keep teaching others.

“I know how much it’s benefitted me physically and mentally since I’ve started Spin. It’s important to have a community in fitness because it’s almost like fellowship. I just want to keep having a group of girls to come together and get a killer workout.”

In the end, spinning does more than just make your muscles burn. Participants are pedaling themselves to a closer community. But, even though the group is cycling together with the instructor, Emily makes it clear that everyone should go at their own pace.

“At Spin class, you’re not only getting a full-body workout but a group activity. I get new faces every day and, although I don’t always know their names, I feel so much closer to them at the end of each class. We went through something hard together and we all came out stronger in the end,” Patti said.

Spin group fitness classes are free for current Lipscomb students and employees. Emily’s classes are offered on Mondays at 6:30 pm and Wednesdays at 4:30 pm at the spinning studio upstairs in the Student Activities Center. For more information, contact the SAC.

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