Spin your life around with UMass Recreation Spin classes

Rec Spin with Ana Prados is challenging but worth it

By Konah Brownell, Collegian Contributor

I took a spin class with Ana Prados at the University of Massachusetts Recreation Center on a recent Saturday at noon and I will definitely be going back. I usually spend my Saturday mornings lounged on my bed. I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who would go for a morning jog, or go to the gym, but I would feel my bed pull me down, adamant to keep me close, luring me with its warmth. However, I finally decided to take a spin class and I am glad I did. I left feeling sore and inspired to keep pushing myself, both physically and in my day-to-day life. Rec Spin with Prados is uplifting and her random bursts of motivational words in Spanish will make your day – it made mine.

Prados is a sophomore nutrition major who has been teaching spin classes since Sept. 2019. She leads spin classes every Wednesday and Saturday at the Rec Center 12:30 pm in room 121. The classes on Saturdays are on a first-come, first-serve basis, so I advise going to the class at least 15 minutes early because it fills up quickly. By coming early, you also get to choose what bike you’d like to use, and you’ll have more time to settle in and adjust your bike seat to your appropriate setting. Also, if it is your first time taking a spin class, do not be afraid to ask for help! I observed that people who know what to do are willing to help, and you might even end up making a friend.

Prados began the class by going over a few spin terms and information, so you could do prior research if you want, but it’s not necessary. The music was fun and upbeat, and the moves progressively became more challenging. The most challenging aspect of the class, for me, was staying on beat and keeping up with the pace of the music but I liked when we got to do our own movements. Prados integrates choreographs that may be intimidating to new riders, but she encourages all fitness levels to come and try it out. She has noticed that beginners who come to take her class would always come again. “It makes them want to push harder…It motivates them to keep going and catch that beat all through the semester”, she says. She repeats the choreography often, so if you did not get the move the first time, you’re going to get it the second time or keep trying until you do.

When asked why she leads spin classes, Prados, who comes from Puerto Rico, explains that when she came to UMass, she got homesick and felt culture shock and used spin as a form of stress relief. She goes on to explain that we put so much stress on ourselves in college and don’t really do much for ourselves. Prados uses her spin class to help motivate people who might be feeling like her. She also added that UMass needs a little bit more flavor and she would put on Spanish music in order to bring more diversity to the Rec classes. She noticed that while UMass is diverse, students segregate into racial and cultural groups, but the Rec classes, including spin, is a great way to bring everyone together.

Additionally, “motivational”, “exciting”, “awesome”, “challenging” were all words used to describe Prados’ Rec Spin class by people who had taken it for the first time that day. Sophomores Tarim Ojuka, Ngozi Okeke and Freshman Gil Kim all said that they would take Prados’ class again. Both Ojuka and Okeke agreed that while it was challenging, it was worth the hard work.

When asked what she would tell people who might want to take a spin class but were intimidated, Kim said, “you’re not going to lose anything by going”. She goes on to explain that while the class was challenging, the bikes were modifiable enough that everyone had the ability to set it to their own level. Overall Rec Spin with Prados was an incredible experience, and everyone should try it at least once. When you do decide to try it, don’t forget to stay hydrated, grab a towel, ask for help and most importantly, have fun!

Konah Brownell is a Collegian contributor and can be reached at [email protected]