Not knowing what I was really getting into I settled in and did an intensity I thought was comfortable. I cannot tell you exactly the intensities as it went up and down quite a bit. What I can say is that I kept up with what I thought I could do for about 75% of the workout and the other 25% was more of a learning curve and not using the muscles necessary. The ride started nice and mellow trying to keep a consistent RPM of 100. It soon went up to 125 for a stint and then back down. Next it went from sitting to riding elevated. Unbeknownst to me, I was sort of doing it wrong, mainly because I was not used to how bikes ride without flat handle bars and with clips. My body not knowing did a little jerk move and unclipped. My sister quickly corrected my form for me and I was off again. The trick I learned here is that you want to be just above the seat and not leaning forward in to it too much, also before you try stopping with clips … SLOW DOWN! Learning experience aside I was feeling ok for the first half. Then we stepped up the pace and the intensity for longer. This was a bit more difficult, especially while standing on the bike and pushing your hips back all the while trying to focus your core and keeping your back straight. Again, being a runner and riding bike for cross fitness I knew this would be tough but I had no real idea it would be this tough!
After the sprints here and there and starting to get my groove in for the feel of intensity, granted I always did the upper intensity being me, I was not necessarily tired but I could feel my quads and my calf’s being worked. The quad burn was very comparable to summiting Mt. Morrison, but it seems you got more of a work out because you were still moving. After these sprints and intensity spikes, Marie took us to the next level challenge. We added in different movements to work the core, arms, and I am sure more muscles then I can feel right now. The arm movements I was suffering on, I have known my shoulders were my weak point since my 100 mile run and I have done very little to improve on that. Having to pause about every 4-6 reps for a rep or two, I was still satisfied as that was me and me at this point in time. No one else could do it that way but me.
The arm lifting went on for what felt like forever. I know that the pain is always worth the effort, always. I pushed it as hard as I could and I was whooped. Or at least I thought I was whooped and my ass at this point was starting to burn too (was my ass getting worked or what?!). Apparently after the arm bars Marie decided we should go back into some hill climbing sprints. These were extremely hard and I hate to admit it but I dogged parts of it. I tried but burn was real and as much as I love the burn it ended up being a bit much for me. I mixed in sitting with the standing parts to help although because my ass was burning it really didn’t help and felt better to stand.
Finally we come to the end of the workout. My shirt is soaked, which is always a good sign that it is either too freaking hot or you got a good work out in. Marie was a great motivator and I kept my eyes shut for most of the last 5-10 minutes really meditating on myself and my life. That is one thing that I did love about the CycleBar workout is that at some point you really can just close your eyes and reflect. Running you sort of can do that on a treadmill but it is still tough to not trip. The meditation this 5 minutes, while putting forth the effort, was a great stress relief that I feel I have been missing since I started running. If I took anything away from CycleBar tonight, besides how much of a workout it is, that sometimes meditation and redirection of focus is necessary. I would like to say I will try and meditate for 5 minutes a day from now on but knowing me it might keep up for a week then fade to black.
All in all I would rate my CycleBar experience 5/5. It is noisy enough for white noise, motivation is there with a score board mixed in at different points, and the sweat is real. For me the really awesome experience was meditating for a few minutes during the workout, while keeping up the intensity. The pain, which it really wasn’t pain more of your muscles screaming at you, was real. The people next to you were real and the instructor was awesome. I do see myself coming back now and again when I need a break from running and a great workout. Thanks to CycleBar for having the Men’s free night to support Movember! Whether you are a runner, biker, or just someone who wants a better workout, I highly suggest trying a class at CycleBar.
Hit me up if you are interested and I will put you in touch with my sister. Also thanks to John at the Boulder Running Company in Littleton for chatting it up with me and giving out some schwag / samples! Also thanks to Rocker Whiskey for supporting Movember with samples!