You’re in a dark, loud room so loud that you can’t think straight. Your heart is racing faster the speed of light. Sweat is dripping down all over your body from your head down to your toes. You are running out of breath and starting to see twinkles of white light, but adrenaline kicks in telling your body to keep pushing forward.
No, you’re not having a near-death experience. On the contrary, some will say you’re experiencing a spiritual catharsis called indoor cycling. Indoor cycling is a low impact and high-intensity workout that focuses on endurance, strength, and intervals using a stationary bike. Today, indoor cycling is bigger than ever, growing in popularity amongst both the fitness fanatics and fitness beginners. With more and more premium spin studios opening all over, there’s no sign of this fitness craze slowing down.
“What makes cycling so addictive is the energy, sweat and endorphins that happens in the room. Mainly it’s the endorphins. Cardio is historically not the most exciting thing to do for 30 or 20 minutes. But with cycling, forty-five minutes goes so fast” Kari Nicolle, Cyclebar’s Master Instructor.
Fellow Cyclebar Master Instructor, Jules Down adds, “It’s the connection to the music because you could be struggling in the middle of a class, and your favorite jam comes on, and you are going to find the energy within yourself to keep on moving. And you’re just not just riding. You’re doing choreography and a little bit of weight training along with the cardio. ”
Here in the United States, Cyclebar fuses technology and cycling. It’s “CycleTheater” holds the most advanced stationary bikes, personalized data monitors, and state of the art of audio, lighting, and video technology that creates a multi-sensory experience. But what’s more impressive is Cyclebar’s passion to make indoor cycling accessible to people of all ages and fitness levels.
How do you de-mystify cycling’s infamous “gym-timidation” reputation? It begins and ends with the instructors. Not only do you want instructors who are technically trained, you want instructors who are truly passionate and believe in what they do, and why they do it. Having taken their classes for the past six months, I can personally say Jules and Kari are epitomes of true believers. They walk the talk, not only instructing classes but also always looking for opportunities to push the boundaries and challenge not only the people in their classes but themselves, physically and mentally for positive results for body and mind alike. It’s clear from the moment you meet them that they love what they do, and that they want to share the benefits of indoor cycling with everyone.
“What inspired to me teach indoor cycling was when I took my first class, because I had never felt that good or confident in myself. Even though it was difficult, I wanted to go back and get better. I wanted to give people that same feeling and excitement about getting out of bed and getting ready to work out. Nothing has ever affected me before [cycling],” says Downs.
Nicolle says, “The community and energy of cycling is what got me addicted to cycling, and is the reason why I chose to teach.”
For me, attending their class became my weekly ritual. Not only did they help me lose 30 pounds, they taught me to never give up on myself and to face adversity head on. Most importantly, they have helped me instill self-confidence. Feeling good about myself is the reason why I as well as many others keep coming back week after week ready to rock my ride. I am forever grateful of how Kari and Jules have positively impacted my mind, body, and spirit within the past couple of months of knowing them
Nicolle says, “As important to the physical benefits are the emotional benefits. Yes, you’re losing weight. But it’s mental clarity. Knowing that you did something good for your body and that you did with other people is the key to why indoor cycling is not a craze waiting to fade away.”
“As long as there are people and good music, indoor cycling is here to stay,” says Down.
Ready to give it a try?
Here are few tips from Kari and Jules to consider before taking your first cycling class:
- Safety First! The number one reason why people hurt themselves while cycling is having an incorrect bike set up. Reach out to your instructors to double check your form and bike set up are correct.
- Squats, planks, and wall sits are several exercises that you can do at home to strengthen your quads, improving your cycling skills.
- Recovery is just as important as the workout itself. Remember to stretch and foam roll your legs (here are some key foam roller moves to maximise your recovery)
- Find the right studio and instructors who will motivate and inspire you to work out.
- Have Fun!
So, the next time you see a cycling studio popping up in your neighborhood, sign up for class, and discover this phenomenon for yourself!
And, if you’re ever in Los Angeles, be sure to attend Kari and Jules’ classes at Cyclebar Culver City and Cyclebar West Hollywood smile
Pumped to give it a try for yourself? Of course you are! You can find your local Cyclebar Studio here.
Photo credits: Teresita Lozano from @teresitasphotography