I love physical activity. I love to push my body so it feels strong and healthy. As a bone cancer survivor, this has been an important lifestyle for me, but I was focused on healthy living long before cancer. I’m always open to trying new activities, especially ones that bring a varying routine to my exercise lineup. While I have to be careful with the rod in my leg, I still find ways to modify and have fun.
My latest effort is a fun spin/cycling class at the newest Cyclebar location near me. I had never tried a spin class and since I love to bike, I thought this might be a good activity to do while Michigan’s winter is keeping me from biking outdoors. Cyclebar classes offer an energetic opportunity to ride a stationary bike in a cool studio, both cool temp (which soon doesn’t feel that cool once you start the workout!) and cool vibe with colored lights and great music. During one of the songs, you use a lightweight (4- or 6-pounds) bar for some upper body toning. Some locations have big screens to show individual stats or ‘compete’ as a team during a song or two.
Classes are for any fitness level, and I’m not just saying that (because I know when people say that for some activities, then you try it and are like, “uh, no this is not for a beginner.”). If you can ride a bike, you can participate in the class. Sure, the music is high energy and you will sweat as your thighs burn (isn’t that the point of working out?!), but every instructor points out that you ride at your own pace. And you really should and can. Since I have a titanium rod in my femur and top of the tibia, I can’t power along the entire class as most people do. So I’ve learned to find my own output level that still pushes me but won’t cause stress or pain in my leg. For instance, if the instructor wants you to ride out of the seat (simulating a hill climb on the bike) for the duration of the song, I might do that for 30 seconds, sit on the seat for a few seconds, then back up, rest, etc. As long as I’m pedaling, I’m working out.
I’ve only been to a few classes but enjoyed every one. I definitely leave feeling happily tired after a great workout. While Melissa or Shawn were my instructors, there are several other instructors who I’ve heard positive feedback. My instructors have been encouraging, funny, energetic and friendly. They provide good tips and suggestions, especially for new people (which end up being good reminders for regulars). As with any activity, you need to find the instructor who you click with and who can support you in giving your best effort (I, for instance, don’t do well with trainers who yell or get in my face. Jillian Michaels and I will never train well together. But everyone reacts differently to behavior and attitude).
I don’t know that all Cyclebar locations offer these items, but the one that I attend classes at provides:
- Cycling shoes to wear during class (or you can bring your own cycling shoes to clip in)
- Water bottle (a red refillable bottle that you can take home!)
- Towel to use in class
- Apples and bananas for snacking after class (I love since I always seem to be hungry post-class!)
- Lockers (with locks)
I also discovered they have a stash of extra hair ties if you forget yours. There’s also a locker room to change, plus some small toiletries and wet clothing bags.
The staff is great….my first class was the free intro class so the staff helped us get familiar with the bike and computer (to track your RPM, power output, etc.), adjust seat and handlebars and answer any questions. I’ve since discovered that they’re always willing to help you get set up, chat, whatever you need.
As with any workout for me, the music matters. I like the high energy, popular songs that I can sing along to (I do this in Zumba too – great distraction from the achy muscles!). Melissa was helpful in pointing out the beat in many songs so as I pedaled to the beat, it didn’t seem so hard! The location near me offers fun themed classes, including special music (holiday songs, billboard hits, artist specific, etc.), brunch, happy hour and more. It makes for a new, motivating class.
I find the classes to be a great workout. It’s a fun opportunity to build up your cardio level, burn calories, sweat out tension or any other negative emotion, listen to good music, and…did I mention have fun? Find a Cyclebar near you to get started with a great workout!
Stay tuned….I’m partnering with Cyclebar in Troy, Mich. to host a fundraiser benefiting LIVESTRONG on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 11:45am. I’ll be posting more details soon but online registration is open if you want to reserve your spot now!