30-Day Summer Shape Up Day 14: Ruth Zukerman On Indoor Cycling

Ruth Zukerman knows her stuff. The co-founder of a chain of indoor cycling studios called Flywheel has been leading fitness classes for 30 years.

As you can imagine, in that time, she's tried a number of different ways to break a sweat, but they pale in comparison to cycling. "It really takes you to a whole other place; it's an escape from your day," she tells The Huffington Post.

Want to get in on the action? We asked Zukerman who should try indoor cycling and what to expect at your first class.

What are the benefits of indoor cycling compared to other workouts?

It's a really intensive cardio workout, and it's typically performed in 45 minutes. Because it's so intense, it's efficient. At Flywheel, we have an upper body series we include with a weighted bar -- it's a high-repetition, low-weight routine -- so you're sure to get a full-body workout in a very short period of time.

Can someone without any biking or cycling experience try it?

Absolutely! It's a stationary bike, so you don't really have to be coordinated and it's about pacing yourself. I always talk to a new rider before class and explain about the bike and the movements and really emphasize not overdoing it in the beginning. At Flywheel, there are computer screens on every bike that show you where your resistance should be and what your RPMs [revolutions per minute] should be. I always tell a new rider these are goal numbers, take it easy in the beginning.

What are the most important things to know before going to your first class?

Hydrate a lot during the class because you do sweat a lot, so it's really important to drink water at any opportunity. And to pace yourself!

The other thing we tell all new riders at Flywheel is the three-ride rule. Get three rides under your belt; at first, you're adjusting to the position of the bike, and it's challenging in the first two classes, but once you get three classes under your belt I like to tell riders you're ready to fly and to take the workout to a new level and get into the zone.

Do you need to wear special shoes?

We provide the shoes in the price of a class, they are actual bike shoes which clip into the pedal. By doing that as opposed to in gyms where you're fitting your sneaker into the basket on the pedal, it's a much more efficient way to use your muscles. We show riders how to clip in and how to clip out. People think they're locked in for life! [Laughs] But after every class the instructor will [demonstrate how to] unclip so people don't feel they're going to be stuck.

How did you get involved with indoor cycling?

I used to be a dancer, and after I left the dance field I wanted to continue doing something physical. I got into the fitness industry, and taught all kinds of classes for the past 30 years. I found indoor cycling about 15 years ago and just got hooked. I was actually a rider at a class in a gym, and I loved it because not only is it an amazing, efficient workout, it also does something to your mind, it's a release. At the end of every class you feel like you can handle whatever comes your way.

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