I have always enjoyed working out. I feel my best after a good sweat and when my body is slightly sore. After canceling my gym membership, I was on a mission to find other creative ways to exercise. I found Youtube workout videos that have everything from barre to HIIT, and have tried them all. While I love workout out virtually (convenience!), sometimes it just feels good to exercise in a group. I love going to a gym or studio and feeling the energy of the other people there. I also find that I work out harder when I am around other people who are going hard. The energy is contagious. For the past few weeks my sister has been attending Cyclebar, premium indoor cycling classes. Cycling is a great workout because it has benefits that include:
- Increased cardiovascular fitness
- Increased muscle strength and flexibility
- Improved joint mobility
- Improved posture and coordination
After witnessing my sister’s weight loss results, I decided that I would join her for a class. While I love bike riding, I have never been a fan of the stationary bike. It’s enjoyable at first but then I find myself feeling bored and having a sore butt! Despite my hesitation, after continuous begging from my sister I decided to give it a try.
One thing to note about Cyclebar is that the music matters. Classes are reserved based on instructor and music genre, and let me tell you, it matters. The last thing you want is feel unmotivated throughout the class because you are peddling to pop music when you are more of a rap lover. My sister signed me up for a “Travis Scott vs Tyga” class (hello, Kylie Jenner!) because rap music pumps me up the most when I’m working out.
When I arrived at Cyclebar I instantly felt cool. I know that sounds weird, but walking in and seeing my classmates looking focused and dressed to toe trendy athletic gear, made me feel that maybe, just maybe, I am also #fitnessgoals (lol). I walked up to the front desk and told the receptionist my name. I had prepaid the $10 charge before the class so I didn’t have to pay there. Cyclebar is $10 for first-timers and $25 for a drop in, and they have various packages. As the receptionist was checking me in I noticed the container of hair ties that have at the counter. I grabbed one since I forgot my own (rookie mistake) and felt grateful for the complimentary touch. Nothing is worse than getting to a gym and realizing that you forgot either your hair tie or headphones. Once she finished with the check in process she walked me over to a bike and showed me basic moves I would need to know for the class. I appreciated the instructions because it made me feel a bit more confident when walking into the class.
Once it was time to walk in, I instantly felt the intensity of the class. Music was blasting in the room and it was dark with red accent lights. The room was filled with about 20 bikes, all assigned and in 3 rows. I searched through to find my bike, #17, and was happy to see that I was in center bike in row 3. I wanted to be in the back so I could observe without feeling any pressure of eyes on me. The instructor handed me bike shoes to borrow (they have them on hand) and clipped my shoes onto the bike, as they have clips to ensure stability and control.
Throughout the class music blasted and the instructor advised us when to speed up, sit up, sit back, and add and take off resistance. Before class started the instructor told me to keep up as much as possible but to go at my own pace so I can understand the format of the class without getting overwhelmed. I was grateful for that advice but I honestly did feel a bit overwhelmed at first. Because it was my first time participating, it was a little difficult to keep up with the pace of the class. At random times throughout the class the instructor turned on the display screens that showed the class stats. I found myself in 13th place for most of the class. I enjoyed this feature because it pushed me to peddle faster so I could see my ranking rise.
Despite feeling overwhelmed in the beginning, halfway through I started to get a bit more into a groove. I have been to some exercise glasses where the instructors and my classmates seem to be more consumed with what fellow classmates are doing. I hate the energy of that and much rather prefer to be in a group and feel independent, without any attention on me. Because the room is so dark, you don’t feel like other people are watching and judging you. If you are someone who feels self conscious when exercising, I think you would enjoy the dimly lit aspect of the class. Overall, I think it was a great class and very motivating. I would recommend this class to anyone looking for a more engaging and exciting form of cardio. I appreciated my instructor’s high energy and encouraging words throughout the class and I will definitely be back.
Let’s grow together.
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