Why I love indoor cycling

I began indoor cycling when I weighed around 275 pounds. It quickly became my FAVORITE form of cardiovascular exercise. Why? It's easy on the joints, the knees, YOU (the rider) are in charge of your own resistance (and no one knows how light or how heavy you are going with your gears!!) so you can make the class as hard or as easy as YOU want. It's all about YOU!

I was contacted by Spinning International/Mad Dogg Athletics in May 2011 right when I hit my goal weight. They had heard of my weight-loss success with cycling and offered me the opportunity to fly out to San Diego with my husband to film a commercial for Spinning. I jumped on the chance and my husband and I flew out for 5 days at the end of August 2011. It was an amazing experience and furthered my love for indoor cycling. While I was in San Diego, Mad Dogg asked if I would consider becoming a certified cycling instructor. At that point I didn’t feel that I was ready, so I declined.

Fast forward one year, lots of cycling later, and some encouragement from some pretty awesome cycling instructors, I decided to go for it. I contacted Mad Dogg who was still interested in having me on their team, and they sent me to training on Sunday December 2nd.

I learned SO MUCH!! But I still don’t feel ready to just hop on a bike and get in front of a group of riders and lead them through flats, hills, sprints, mountains, etc…I want to be the best teacher I can be, so I know I need more experience.

Enter my local cycling studio, Pura Cycling Studio. I had been in regular contact with them (and most of their instructors I am proud to call friends) and they knew I was going for my certification. I met with them yesterday (Friday) and asked if they would consider letting me “intern” under their awesome team, and they said YES!!  Both the owners are also certified under Spinning (Mad Dogg) and I’m pretty sure all the other instructors are certified through Les Mills (RPM) though they don’t teach RPM at Pura, it’s all freestyle. And it’s awesome.  I’ll have all the tools I need at my disposal to effectively learn how to lead riders through a fantastic cardio experience!  And with a wide variety of instructors who all teach their programs just a little bit differently I am certainly going to learn from the best and be able to craft my own unique style Cool

I’m just a little bit excited. AND....indoor cycling also is great training for OUTDOOR cycling. I do both, and let me tell you, I am a much better road rider because I cycle indoors. I fly when I get on my road bike. I trained for my triathlon and my endurance challenge more than 60% indoors.

Do you participate in an indoor cycle program? If so, which one? What type of terrain do you like the best? I love sprints and MOUNTAINS!!

And if you live in the Tampa Bay area, please check out Pura Cycling Studio. I have free passes for your first class so you can try it out and I'd love for you all to learn to love indoor cycling as much as I do!

This is a photo of me taken by the Tampa Tribune in January in the cycle room at my former gym.

Training Tuesday!!

One of the comments that gets made to me the most frequently goes something like this "wow, you must spend like all day in the gym, huh?"

I don't. Really, I don't.

I am a busy woman. I have three young kids (they are 6, 7, and 8) one of those kids has special needs, another one has ADHD, and another one is a tween. Enough said. I have a husband, I run this blog, a household, I am a private tutor,  etc, etc, etc. I don't have time to spend all day in the gym. My workouts need to be efficient and they need to continually challenge me and move my fitness to the next level.

Once people learn that I don't spend "all day" in the gym, their next question is "well, WHAT do you do for your workouts?" My workouts are not a secret, and I'll share them with you here Smile

But before I do that, I need to share something else with you. EQUIPMENT! In my personal training opinion, there are some KEY essential pieces to a good workout, at least for the person that is looking to improve their fitness level. Do you HAVE to have this equipment? No. But this is what worked for ME!! Wink

1)a heart rate monitor (HRM.) My HRM of choice is a RS800CX made by Polar. I didn't start off using this type of HRM. I began with a MIO back in 2008, found that it really couldn't keep with what I was asking of it so I moved to a Polar FT7. Now, I think that had I chosen a different MIO product, I would have been okay, but the one I chose required me to put my fingers on the watch to establish a base heart rate, and then throughout the workout, put those fingers back on the watch (there were these 2 little silver pads) where it would adjust the heart rate and measure the calorie burn. It was just too time consuming for me to remember to do that. I wanted one with a chest strap and I had a trainer friend who was selling his Polar FT7, so I bought it. You wear the chest strap pretty much right under the bra line. I wondered if I would be bothered by the chest strap, but nope not one bit!! This HRM took my training to a whole new level! I could easily and quickly monitor my calorie burn, my HR, push harder if I needed, back down, etc., I did all the work, but my HRM made me accountable. Then I started to get really really active in a variety of sports, so I upgraded to the RS800CX. In all honesty, this watch might be "too much" for me. But I love it.

2)good shoes. I have different shoes for different activities. When I cycle I wear shoes specific for cycling. These are my cycle shoes. They are different from most cycle shoes because they tie instead of velcro. I like the tie shoes. For running I wear Brooks Glycerin 10. I have these in 3 different colors so I can match with my workout outfits. Yes, I have an issue here.  And for my cross-training I wear Mizuno Wave Rider 15. Yes, these are running shoes, but they are lighter than my Brooks so I can jump and kick higher because the weight of the shoe isn't dragging my foot down. Tongue Out

3)find your "go." Find what activity it is that makes you MOVE!! I didn't start off doing what I do know. I didn't even like working out when I started, but I knew that I HAD TO, but it hurt. It hurt a lot. So I found an activity that I could do; the recumbent exercise bike AT THE GYM! Yes, I joined a gym. Some people don't. Lots of people don't. But I did. I needed the childcare option, because again, I have 3 little kids and they were 2, 3, and 4 when I started working out and I needed that option. I worked out alone for 3 months and then I discovered group fitness and I never looked back. Group fitness is MY "go." I don't care what the class is (except Zumba, I can't stand Zumba, just not the class for ME. If you love it, GREAT!!) if it fits into my schedule then I take it!! My favorite group fitness classes are (no surprise here) by Les Mills I love love love RPM (indoor cycling) and BodyPump (weight training with cardio peaks)



I love indoor cycling so much that I am actually going to become a certified Spinning instructor THIS SUNDAY! I am going through Mad Dogg athletics and then once I get some experience under my belt, I'll go for the Les Mills training.

Okay, so a HRM, good shoes, and your "go." That's what you need.

Now my workout schedule. It used to be pretty dynamic, changing with the school year, etc., but now that I am working from home, it's becoming pretty static (which I prefer...and static does NOT mean stale!!)

Monday-CXWORX and Body Combat

Tuesday-CXWORX and Circuit Training

Wednesday-30 minute run and Body Pump

Thursday-CXWORX and Body Attack

Friday-CXWORX and Body Combat

Saturday- indoor cycling

Sunday-OFF!! Not off from working out, just off from the gym. We take this a family day and do family cycling together outside at a paved trail. About 14 miles.

Now I'm hoping that some of those Body Attack/Body Combat classes will soon be moving to RPM since my gym is in the process of adding an indoor cycling room and the bikes are supposed to be arriving TODAY!!!

That's it! Nothing too crazy. Just a bunch of sweaty Fitness Fanatics working together to achieve a common goal (fitness!!) and having a blast while we do it! If you're local, we'd love to have you join us!!

One last thing....my calorie burn. I have a minimum calorie burn that I strive for each and every workout. And it's so totally reachable! It's 300 calories. Anything over and above that is just an added bonus. Here was my burn from today Cool And that's actually LESS than what I really did burn. Why? Because in one of my hovers I hit the pause button and didn't want to break form to un-pause it Tongue Out The burn was well over 800 calories.


Take from this post what you will. This is what worked and continues to work for ME!!

For more workout inspiration, check out Denise at RunDMT and share your own fitspiration!