The 'Cycle' of Life and Exercise

I always thought loving one sport and being so passionate about it would be really cool and beneficial. You would know exactly what to practice and prioritize. Going to a small school I had the privilege to participate in four sports all year round for four years. Thanks mom and dad for the allowance as the only jobs I held were detasseling and babysitting for the summer. I had a love for all-the-things and if you look at my life now I still have the same love. Looking back I realize it was all connected and one sport helped me excel in the next. In the bigger picture, sports taught me a lot of life lessons. There was a lot of overlapping, but between basketball, track, softball, and volleyball they all benefited one another.

I see this with workouts and life now. Running is the easiest thing to get up off the couch and do on my own time. Weightlifting is what I am most comfortable with since I started in the 8th Grade. Yoga I picked up after college and after my first time I wish I had been doing through high school. Recently, I have been introduced to Crossfit, pilates, rowing, agility training, boxing, and of course, spin.

At CampusCycle, we recognize the benefits of what other workouts can provide. Yes, while we specifically offer spin classes, in 45 minutes we incorporate what we find most beneficial to provide a full body workout. It’s pretty amazing what you can accomplish on a bike. So, just how do we make each class more than cardio based cycling?

Stretching - we take the best advice from our yogi friends. Taking the time to slow it down pre- and post- workout to stretch out our upper and lower body. Stretching isn’t only important to do before and after each workout but even on our rest days. Coaches give extra attention to the neck, shoulder, and chest areas working through stretches that often tense up through spin class. We are often so focused on our lower body we forget what our upper body is doing. Post class stretch we shift our focus to the lower body of calves, hamstrings, and hips. The stretches we move through at CampusCycle are recommended for the muscles we use most during class so feel free to move through any movements that best suit you and your needs. Slowing it down and stretching is also great practice for our minds. Move through each stretch with steady breathing while focusing on where the tension may be within your body.

IMG_2467.jpg




Weight/Core Training - ‘Grab a pair of dumbells and pick your bike.’ Excuse me, but what does a pair of dumbells have to do with indoor cycling? With one or two songs we will work through a series of upper body movements using two, three, or four pound dumbbells. Notice that our riders/coaches are nothing shy of having upper body strength. While these simple movements will burn the arm muscles what we want your focus on during this time is your core. Your core strength determines the weight of dumbbells you should work with. Start light as there is always another ride to bump up on weight.

ash-dumbbell.jpg




Cardio - The more obvious of the bunch, but how does spin class cardio differ from other workouts like it such as running? Spinning is low impact. If you’ve experienced any joint soreness or past knee/hip injuries and surgeries this where you might want to give CampusCycle a try. Your feet move in a constant circular push/pull motion. No ‘pounding the pavement’ here. With cycling being a low impact workout taking class everyday is not unheard of. A sore butt...most likely but that goes away...most riders attend class 2-3 times a week, and daily attendance is not unheard of.

If you are a runner or outdoor cyclists (HELLO RAGBRAI) the Iowa weather can sometimes (most often) be a difficult teammate to work with. An indoor cycling class can help you stay on track with consistency and endurance, or if you are just needing to spice it up a little with a fun playlist/community. Several of our coaches and riders are cross training. For example, our Coach Jacob Nolte in Ames is an experienced outdoor cyclists if you ever get the chance to chat with him about his training and how spin can help.

In conclusion, it’s not leg day every day at CampusCycle. Incorporating spin into your workout routine will benefit your other health and fitness passions mostly by increasing your cardio endurance and improving your heart health. Take note...a boost in confidence and positivity may develop as well. If you figure out that you have a single passion for spin and want to come everyday, know that you are not being shorted on fun or a full body workout.

The cycle of life and exercise is more connected than you may realize. Let's Ride.

  • Cassidy, CampusCycle Coach and lululemon Ambassador