The Five Types of People You See In Spin Class

I have recently gotten really into spin class. I hated my first one with the fiery passion of a thousand burning suns. I was so bored and the inhumanely hard seat made me count the minutes until it was over. But for some reason I kept forcing myself to go. Learning that there was a family history of heart disease pushed me to give cardio a real chance and after about seven classes of misery, I started to really like it. And now? It’s a very healthy addiction. While the playlists and instructors change, one thing that doesn’t is the archetypes that seem to always be in every class. Below are the five types of people that seem to have perfect attendance.

The Girl Who Chugged Ten Pixie Sticks Before Walking In

This girl is not only sitting in the front row as close to the instructor as possible, she also happens to be the first one in every single class. While the rest of us are getting set up she is already peddling away, running her own class for herself to make sure she gets EVERY SINGLE MINUTE on the bike that she can. When the instructor asks how the class is doing she is the only one to yell out “woo hoo!” and when the beat drops she releases one hand to fist bump to the music. You go you super perky girl, you! (And I’m sorry for the mean faces I made at you when you looked like you were enjoying this. I’m trying really hard not to die over here.)

The Super Fit Old Lady

Without a doubt, this woman is always in my class. This woman is definitely over 65, but she is easily the most fit person in the room. With her super chiseled Michelle Obama arms you are left feeling like an absolute loser next to her, wondering if she can tell that you had a Poptart for breakfast instead of something with complex fiber. For some reason she also always seems to be wearing short shorts, despite the fact that we’re on bikes and leggings are more comfortable. She leaves you half intimidated, half wanting to ask her how she manages it so you, too, can make 30 year-olds feel inadequate when you’re a grandma. You keep on putting us all to shame, Grandma!

The Boyfriend That Doesn’t Want to be Here

There is one of these in every fitness class. There is always some poor girl who keeps saying things like “it’s not so bad right?” and the guy grumbling next to her. I have been this girl before. (James lovingly comes to Barre with me exactly once a year. Once.) There is always some poor guy on the bike pedaling, looking annoyed, continuously checking his Apple Watch for how much longer before he can go home. Hang in there, fella. It’s only an hour of your life!

The Girl That Knows Better Than the Instructor

You know this girl. She goes to your yoga class and your boot camp too. She’s in every fitness class under the sun. The girl that knows better than the instructor can manifest in two ways. The first is that she is just so motivated that when the instructor tells us we can have a seat she doesn’t. When we all follow the cue to turn down the resistance she turns hers up. When we are all slowing down our legs for the cool down she stays at max speed because why would she slow down when she can speed up? Alternatively, there is the girl that knows better than the instructor because the instructor is asking too much. Speed up? No thank you. Turn my resistance up? Nah, I’m good here. She takes a look at all of us panting as we follow the instructors directions and she realizes that we look miserable, so she’s going to pass. You go, you rebel, you!

The Guys Obviously There to Meet Women

There are always these men in every class. One of their friends that is a girl brought them one time and they realized that it might be a “great place to meet women.” They are always super motivated and laughing through the beginning of class. With great bravado they participate, laughing at one another’s lack of coordination. Similar to the girl with the pixie sticks. they participate in the “woo hoos” because they want to show how fun they are, how willing to try new things! All of this is for the pretty girls in yoga pants that they, ironically, never seem to actually talk to. Thanks for the memories, fellas.


While I enjoy playfully mocking these static characters in the storybook of my fitness journey, I actually do really appreciate them all. In their own way, they all motivate me. Some put me to shame (Nana, here’s lookin at you), some make me want to demonstrate how seriously I take this, and some just give me energy to keep on keepin on. The next time you’re in a group fitness class, look around to see if you see my friends “Pixie Stick Gal” and “Here for the Girls” man. Give them a high five for me if you see them, and then show them how it’s done.

6 thoughts on “The Five Types of People You See In Spin Class”

  1. Haha…I wish I loved fitness classes as much as I love graduate classes. I wouldn’t need a private coach to keep me motivated, and could save a lot of $$$. Alas! As I read through this, it occurred to me that these (or similar) archetypes are in all types of classes. Something to think about when our minds wander.


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