Get motivated: You add commitment to your goals when you know people will miss you if you skip out on a class. Simulate this by getting a spinning or power cycling VHS or DVD if there are no groups in your area.
Get ready: Get to know your bike, and get your bike to know you. Read all instructions and safety advisories. Adjust the seat position so it’s just right (the pedal at its lowest point still puts a bend in your leg when you put your foot on it). Straps on your pedals keep your feet secure, and make you work out your glutes and hamstrings. And consider getting padded shorts. They can help relieve a major downer—a sore butt—from an otherwise fruitful workout.
Set the pace: Start with slow pedaling, low or no resistance. When you’re comfortable, add resistance little by little. To increase intensity, simulate an uphill ride with extra resistance, stand as you pedal, or loosen resistance and pedal quickly to “sprint.”
Stretch! before and after every workout. Your body will thank us for reminding you.