A new spin on spinning

Published 4:01 pm Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Justin Kimbro has a love-hate relationship with his students.

He loves them. He wants them to hate him.

Kimbro, the spin instructor at the Greenville YMCA, doesn’t feel like he’s doing his job unless his students leave the class hating him.

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“A good spin instructor should make you walk out hating their guts for pushing you so hard,” Kimbro said. “I love them, and I want to help them achieve their goals, but I want them to hate me.”

Kimbro, who describes himself as a “high-energy guy,” also wants his students to have a good time. That’s one reason he’s implementing a “Genre Night” with his spin classes.

“We’re going to change the music up weekly,” Kimbro said. “Maybe one week we play disco music one night, and the next week I may have 80s pop or Billboard (Top 40) hits. We’ll have an array of good, upbeat music, and hopefully it will make the class really fun. I don’t want people to be in here just working out, I want them to have fun.”

Kimbro also wants his students to be comfortable in the class.

After noticing a number of his students were self-conscious, Kimbro came up with a solution.

“We’re going to change the lighting in the room,” he said.

Kimbro plans to black out the lone window in the room, replace the fluorescent bulbs with black lights and string Christmas lights along the wall.

“We’re going to darken it up a little, and I hope that will help make people a little less timid,” Kimbro said.

Kimbro hopes the changes will help the class, which is already at capacity, grow even more.

“I’d love to see more people come and get involved,” he said.

Greenville YMCA Executive Director Amanda Phillips said she has been impressed with how the class has taken off. In fact, the class is so popular that the YMCA has added an extra night. The class is now offered Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 5:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.

“The class starts at 5:15 p.m., but everyone is learning that if you don’t get here at 5 p.m. you won’t have a bike,” she said. “Some nights it’s standing room only and there are people waiting on others to give out and give up a bike so they can participate.”

Phillips said the YMCA, which currently has nine bikes, hopes to add more bikes, but at $2,500 a bike it isn’t likely to happen overnight.

Kimbro, who gave up his instructor’s bike in order to add another spot in the class, hopes the changes to the class will catch the attention of the Montgomery YMCA, which oversees the Greenville YMCA.