Spinning Up Your Goals – Benefits of Studio Cycling

You walk into a dark room with rocking music, rows of bikes in stadium-style seating, disco lighting, a wildly entertaining and motivational instructor, and 49 other like-minded riders. You clip in, and 45-minutes later walk out exhausted, inspired, challenged, and proud, after having covered 22 miles and burning 500 calories; all while surprisingly having a bit of fun. Not your average ride, but studio classes do have their perks!

My passion (ok, obsession with) group fitness started in 2012 when I got certified to teach part-time evening classes in a big box gym while working full-time in Professional Sports doing Marketing for the Colorado Rapids Major League Soccer Club. Over the years I started to discover that there was something magical about studio classes, and I traded in my high heels and suits for leggings and cycling shoes.

So, what makes studio classes so special and what can you get out of a studio class?

Riders pose for a huge group photo after a class at Cyclebar

Get Social

  • Studio classes are a great place to meet likeminded people with similar lifestyle and goals.
  • Whether you’re headed to class with your usual workout buddy or looking to meet new friends with similar interests, headed to a studio class is a great option.
  • Added bonus – some studios (like my CycleBar studio) have Happy Hour classes with beer, wine, and mingling after class. A cold one always tastes better after a great sweat!

Get Motivated

  • You’ll push yourself harder in a group setting than you would on your own.
  • The best part? Your instructor is trained to give you the right push, especially when you need it most, to help you get the best workout possible.

Get Competitive

  • Some group classes (such as CycleBar) include in-class challenges and rankings. Performance metrics will help you stay accountable and push your limits.
  • If you’ve got the competitive spirit, working out alongside others can give you the extra push you need.

Get Endorphins

  • Studio classes provide the same rush of adrenaline and a release of happy mood-inducing neurotransmitters. When the weather gets chilly, head indoors to get your happy fix.

Get Results

  • Group classes that focus on interval training will help you get fitter faster.
  • Research shows you can achieve more progress in just 15 minutes of interval training than 60 minutes of slow, steady cardio
  • Not only do you burn more calories during a HIIT workout, but short periods of high intensity kicks your body’s repair cycle into overdrive and you burn more fat and calories in the 24 hours after a HIIT workout.
Photo by Megan Blowey

Studio classes have plenty of benefits, but can Indoor Cycling help improve your performance outdoors? You bet!

Improve VO2 Max

  • Indoor cycling can help improve your body’s maximum ability to transport and use oxygen during physical activity. This will help any road cyclist or athlete to maintain a sustained exercise for even longer. Practicing maximum physical exertion indoors gives you the ability to recreate the efforts outdoors.

Strengthen muscles

  • Indoor cycling uses the same major muscles are riding outdoors.
  • Riding in indoor cycling classes engages the hamstrings, glutes and the entire posterior chain of the leg on the up-stroke, strengthening these muscles for your outdoor ride.

Limit distractions

  • With indoor cycling, you don’t have to worry about traffic, weather, etc. and can really focus in on hitting the energy systems and muscle fibers through rpms and gear selections to maximize your efforts.

Aside from the physical benefits of studio classes, training and working toward short and long-term goals can also play a big role in our overall happiness! Renowned speaker, Tony Robbins introduced the concept of 6 Core Human Needs in 2006. It was based on the old Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (1943), but Tony revised it so that it would be more applicable to the 21st century and the current social norms and paradigms.
According to Tony, the Six Core Human Needs are:

– Certainty
– Uncertainty (Variety)
– Significance
– Love (Connection)
– Growth
– Contribution

My personal favorite of these is GROWTH! I personally believe that the key to happiness is progress, getting better, improving, and never settling. Change can be scary but also incredibly rewarding, so let’s break down some tips for setting goals.

ONE: Picture the Dream First

  • Imagine yourself in the best shape of your life. What do you look and feel like?
  • Paint the picture of the dream first, without telling yourself why it wouldn’t be possible. Don’t justify why you’re not there or make excuses, just dream!

TWO: Set Long-Term Goals

  • Now that you have a vision of your ideal physical fitness and overall health, map out the BIG goals you’ll need to achieve to get there.
  • These are not small steps or easy to accomplish, think about the big picture
    Make a plan. You wouldn’t start building a house by laying down bricks. Lay out your blueprint for long-term success.

THREE: Set Short-Term Goals

  • Any goal setting plan requires that you break your overall goals into a set of actions.
  • If your goal is to climb to the top of a staircase, your short-term action is to take just ONE step.
  • Each short-term fitness goal has clear actions that support it.
    • What resources do you require to support each of your actions?
    • Do you need new skills or resources?
    • Are there any obstacles that you may face when working on your fitness goals?
The author leading a class from her indoor trainer
Photo by Megan Blowey

Now that you’ve got a killer plan in place, stay motivated and keep on track when the going gets tough!

Remember Why You Started

  • When you are finding it hard to muster up more motivation, remember why you started.
  • Keep photos on your phone or write down your goals and put it in a place where you can see it every day.
  • By revisiting that really determined feeling you had at the beginning of your journey, you will be more motivated to hit your fitness goals.

Be Nice to Yourself

  • If you fall off track, forgive yourself!
  • If you get a flat tire, you wouldn’t slash the other three. If you break your phone screen, you wouldn’t stomp on it!
  • Use any setbacks as fuel to be more determined to hit your fitness goals more than ever.

So now that you’re ready to rock, go clip-in and kick ass!

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It’s safe to say that Christa is obsessed with fitness and enjoys spreading her love of exercise with her classes. A Denver native, she has been teaching a variety of group fitness formats since 2013, is an AFAA Certified Trainer. Christa fell in love with CycleBar the first time she tried it and the rest is history. If you’re looking for a ridiculously fun and challenging workout, grab a bike in Christa’s class.

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