What's in your bag??

“What’s in Your Bag?” – A Handle Bar Exclusive

by amy frankenthaler

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Sarah C is just SHOCKED at whats in her bag!

Have you seen our new merchandise? We just got in, beautiful Herschel Supply (@herschelsupply) bags in gorgeous spring colors! Our instructors and staff could not keep their hands off them!! Four of our awesome Handle Bar instructors were asked the question “What’s in your bag?”, so we had them empty out their bags and show us! See below for their creative responses!


Sarah C (@sarahkcopp)0IGEyWxiWdOf54NhaK5cKziaraZgd10jzwPYO62NOD8prRMFhITgh22lhg8qZpSql7JHLPMfWo_staipngR5j-qi5DI=s2048

Here we go gang, behold, the contents of my bag. Some items of note:

  1. A Handle Bar sticky memo: Thanks to the lovely desk staff, I always know exactly where my new riders are sitting, all written on this HB sticky note. I got my eyes on you, newbs. :)
  2. Almay lip color: A little trick I learned from instructor Eve. Gotta look good for a room full of riders!
  3. Shure mic belt: So I can make “shure” that the mic pack stays safe and secure for class (See what I did there?).
  4. Extra sports bra and Handle Bar tank: I’m always on the go, so I have to carry extra (ahem, dry) workout gear for post class activities. (Brunch anyone?)
  5. Snacks: I’ve become that person who seriously NEVER travels without a snack. You can always count on me to have something to munch on.
  6. The Fifth Watches timepiece: My favorite everyday watch. This bad boy can’t hang in a spin class, he’s got to stay safe in my bag.
  7. Frends Layla headphones: I legit can’t go anywhere without these. They connect me to my music! And they are so fun to wear. I can’t even count how many times strangers have asked me what I’m listening to because I bop and dance around, thinking I’m in my own little world with these on.
  8. The Handle Bar Herschel bag in army green: Because I need something stylish, durable and fun to carry all my things!

Jenn Q (@jmquinlan90)

The question isn’t really what is in my bag, it is what is NOT in my bag!  I basically live out of a bag so I always have an array of essentials to get me from class to work and home with no mishaps!  I am always on the go and carrying a ton of things, so the HB backpack is the perfect way to free up my hands (so I can hold onto that coffee cup), and keep all my things in one place as I’m running out the door.  In order to get to class I need to have my car keys and wallet…cant get far without those, but in terms of spinning items, I  have the necessities, such as my shoes, my mic belt, my folder of playlists, plenty of pens for last minute choreography corrections, a pair of headphones to help me make sure I know those songs inside and out, ALWAYS a water bottle, and of course, my cell phone!  Can’t get through life or class without that. 

Given that I teach solely morning classes, there are lots of little things that I need to make sure i have to allow for a quick clean up after class before hitting the 9-5! (I know my roosters can relate touBGaj7Yp_35iTipBYkTME7aZFEGhO8YOKzPT87Dq52XLAN67ToHk1IFClX6zGQwOvgI0_U5OAvJeCOvrLtRZm4Oy3EA=s2048 that)  Facial wipes and moisturizer are essentials.  I also make sure I always have deodorant, perfume, baby powder and a hair brush to make my hair presentable, and Aquaphor.  Although a little tube, that stuff is my miracle worker.  From chap stick, to eye make up remover and a dry skin reliever that magic potion does it all, and I literally do not leave the house without it in at least one of my bags!

I keep a bag inside my bag (Yes, i have a couple of those) to put all my sweaty clothes in after class, and one that holds my outfit I will be changing into after class.  Teaching in the morning is all about trial and error, and believe me, I have learned a couple lessons the hard way. Because of that, I always keep at least 1 pair of spare socks in my bag.  Especially now that the weather is turning around and we will start wearing flip flops to the studio, I never know when myself, or a rider may need a pair of socks, and luckily I can come to the rescue when it happens.

The last couple random things I throw in that bag are a headband and hand sanitizer.  Sometimes the hair just doesn’t cooperate, and when that is the case, throwing on a headbands makes everything better.  Finally, the hand sanitizer.  Fun fact–I’m kinda a germaphobe.  My bedside table, my car, my desk at work, my purse, my gym bag…no matter where you look, you will notice I always have a little bottle of hand sanitizer.  At this point it has become more of a mental habit i think, but I always need a bottle in arms reach–and thank god for the bottle at the front desk of both HB locations, I use it every single morning before I walk out the door.

So yes, I put my entire life into that mighty HB backpack, and now that you know what is in it, if you ever forget anything, you know where to find me!


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Candice P (@CandicePeak) and pup Scooter!

I am constantly on the go, so I have many essentials that you would consistently find in my bag. The bigger the bag, the better for me! I am loving the new Herschel duffel because it has the long strap, just in case I need to have my hands free while chasing my dog Scooter around and it has the short straps as well! It’s not only an awesome gym bag, but will be great for a long weekends away too. Here is what you will find in my bag on a day to day basis:

Lots of thick headbands—My hair is ridiculously long and a but unruly when working out so the “At The Beach” headbands and the Lululemon bang buster headband perfectly tames my lion’s mane.

Dry Shampoo-After I teach a double on Tuesday mornings, I have about 30 min to make the switch into my corporate attire and doing a full wash of my hair usually isn’t an option. I swear by Dove dry shampoo and would recommend it to anyone who needs to skip a wash a few times a week.

Eos lip balm/ Burts Bees tinted lip balm— I’m a lip balm addict. Eos is great for before a run or before I teach and I love the Burts Bees tinted lip balm for work.

iPad mini-I make all my playlists on my trusty iPad and its tiny so I can pop into any purse. I also use it for checking email quickly and for catching up on my reading with the Kindle app.

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Running sneakers-I’m currently training for my 8th half marathon in May and I will be running the NYC Marathon for the second time in November. New Balance 1400s sneakers are my favorite and the pair pictured here are also glow in the dark!

Hand wraps—I love going to Box FIIT classes at The Club in Fort Point. Sometimes it’s nice to relieve some stress by throwing on some boxing gloves and hitting a bag as hard as you can. (Watch out!!)

Sunglasses-I feel incomplete if I accidentally leave my sunglasses at home… They are in my bag year-round and they double as a great headband indoors! I have about three pairs scattered about in different bags.

Water/Kind Bar—I constantly have water with me. With how active I am, it’s important for me to stay hydrated throughout the day. Kind Bars are an absolute lifeline for me. I’m known to get a little hangry so I usually have one on hand in case of emergency.


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Sarah M (@sar_maguire) and baby Liam!

We’ll start with the baby stuff. As everyone knows we welcomed our first baby into the world at the very end of 2014. I have quickly learned to never leave home without the following: 1. extra diapers 2. wipes 3. pacifier 4. burp cloth 5. hand sanitizer. No one likes a screaming baby with a dirty diaper!

My normal everyday essentials include my wallet, keys to my car, my Ray-Bans and my glasses because I am blind but have a fear of contacts. I also can’t live without good ol’ regular chap stick and Tums.

As for my work essentials…I am a real estate broker and I am always on the go. I have back to back showings throughout the city all day and my iPad serves as a virtual listinHVh4m2UxbF5r5ziTMMpshnjzgLDVcFLqXI6a03sXla49J5A8CYMlyNInj8aoc4EiLpEButa9ZVjiLr2AailnO6v9QwU=s2048g sheet and allows me to take notes for my clients. I can also look up other homes for sale in the area on the fly. Even though I rely heavily on my phone and iPad for business, I would not be able to function without my actual weekly planner. I do not use the calendar features on my phone or iPad, instead I write everything down in my planner and I always carry a stack of business cards. I almost always have a folder full of listing sheets, comps, client info, notes and you may even find a Handle Bar class plan in there as well!

My water bottle, spin shoes and head band come everywhere with me. You never know when you’re going to be able to pop in and take a class. Also, if I don’t always keep those things on me I am more likely to forget them when it’s time to teach!


What do you have in your bag? Tweet us at @The_Handle_Bar and tell us! Carry something in common with an instructor, tweet at them!

When posting don’t forget the hashtags: #whatsinmybag #inmybag #HBexclusive!

Raising the Bar: Boston Marathon Edition

by: amy frankenthaler

HB All-Star Erica Mellone out for a training run in Kenmore with her dog

HB All-Star Erica Mellone out for a training run in Kenmore with her dog

With the Boston Marathon on Monday, we thought it would be a fantastic idea to shine a spotlight on one of our many regular riders that just completed a charity ride to fundraise for the Boston Marathon! Introducing Erica Mellone! Erica is a passionate rider at our Fenway location and a real inspiration to us. I had the privilege of speaking to her about her training experience and how the Handle Bar helped her reach her goal! Join me below for a look into Erica’s marathon training. She really is #handlebarstrong #bostonstrong.

What inspired you to run the Boston Marathon?

I ran XC in high school and college, and always had the goal of running a marathon. My Grandfather and I used to watch the Boston Marathon on tv together, and once I moved to Boston, I always went to see it.  Boston became my dream to run.  The whole city comes together to show the world what a great place Boston is, and we do it with a marathon!

Tell me a little bit about the charity you are running for. How did your charity ride go?

I’m running for the Alzheimer’s Association – I’ve been on their RunTriRide team for four years now.  The mission at the Alzheimer’s Association is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

The best part about the charity ride was that I was able to tell and show many friends The Handle Bar.  It was really cool to see Sarah C get so excited about my charity ride.  One thing I’ve always noticed about HB instructors and staff is how enthusiastic everyone is about our success with spinning and fitness.

How did you incorporate HB cycling into your training? How has the HandleBar helped you with your Marathon training journey?

Do you want to know how you can train for a marathon with three feet of snow on the ground without getting sick or falling on ice?  You substitute 1-2 training runs a week with long (or double) spin classes.  There was once day I was supposed to run 15 miles and it was snowing hard.  So I did three miles on the treadmill (torture!) and sprinted to the Handlebar for back to back classes to get a similar cardio affect.

Time on the bike helped me build up my cardio endurance without the impact on my knees.  And every time the weather was bad or the roads were slippery, I had a place to go get a great cardio workout without getting injured.f

What are some favorite songs on your running playlist right now? Any song planned for Heartbreak Hill?

I have a lot of techno music on my playlist, and a few guilty pleasures.  It’s good to have a good beat to listen to, but also be able to listen to the crowds and everyone that encourages you along.  Classes with Cara reminded me that JT has some good running music!

What kept you running this winter with the record breaking snowfall? How did you stay inspired and stay on goal?

I’ve run marathons before, so I know that this isn’t something you can cram for.  You have to build up endurance for months or you will get seriously hurt or not finished.  So  I know that you have to keep training.  I’m lucky that I have a dog who expects a short run everyday and is ready to go as soon as the sun is up.  It’s the longer runs that are hard to do when it is cold – that’s when the support of friends checking in or recent donations are what push you along.  I ran in 2013 and 2014, so there is a lot to reflect on that becomes motivation to get out the door.

What it was like for you to run the 2013 marathon? It must have been and still be emotional for you. How close were you to the finish line?

Fortunately I was not close to the finish line. I started in the last corral of the last wave, which going into the marathon I was bummed about, but it means that when the bombs went off I had just gotten to the top of heartbreak hill, and was stopped shortly after.  It was pretty emotional, in many different ways, and things of course remind me of it, but what I chose to remember and focus on is the incredible amount of support that came after the marathon, and as I started training for 2014 – often when I wasn’t expecting it.  Someone tried to terrorize us, and while failing, let us see how incredibly strong and unified as a city we actually were.

As a city on April 15th, 2013, our lives changed forever. As the people of Boston thrive, so will the Handle Bar community…we have each other! As we go into the weekend before the Boston Marathon, take this time to reflect, but also celebrate how strong we are.

Are you running the marathon on Monday? How has spinning helped you with your training journey? We want to hear from you! Tweet us your story! Tweet or Instagram us @The_Handle_Bar a picture of you embodying #hbstrong #bostonstrong. We as a city are strong. Boston Strong.

#Transform – 3 HB guys take on a spin-fueled weight loss challenge!

Sun’s out guns out. Spring is in the air and Summer is around the corner. For many of us, the cold weather stunts our fitness goals and makes it difficult to stay motivated. A few 65 degree days and a looming Memorial Day Weekend are some surefire fuel to get that butt into shape.

Three Handle Bar regulars have decided to take their goals to the next level and begin a 6-week Transformation Challenge, with a focus on weight loss and replacing fat with muscle. And what better way to spark some motivation than publicizing their challenge on our blog for thousands to see?! Sounds like a recipe for some great beach bods..

Jeff, Sean, and Shane take on a 6 week HB driven, weight-loss challenge!

Jeff, Sean, and Shane take on a 6 week HB driven, weight-loss challenge!

They’re beginning their challenge THIS week and it will wrap up on Memorial Day with a final weigh-in and celebration! I’ll be keeping you posted on their progress throughout their challenge. We’ll post their progress in pounds, in pics, and in their triumphs and struggles as the weeks wear on.

Meet the team:

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Name: Jeffery Black

Age: 24

Height: 6’2″

Current Weight: 228

Weight loss goal: 20 lbs

Current rides/week: 2

Goal rides/week: 4-5

Jeff is entering this challenge to not only lose weight, but take on a more active and healthy lifestyle. This type of commitment is what will make his weight-loss permanent, and won’t lead to a quick gain when the challenge is complete. His goal is to lose 20 pounds, but more importantly to get back in the habit of 4-5 workouts per week and a regular diet of nutritious foods.

What is your fitness background?  I played sports throughout high school and most of my time in college, so my routine has been weight training oriented. Since graduating and now working full-time I’ve begun running a bit more, and have taken up cycling at The HB. I also try and get to the YMCA to do some lifting or use the pool when I have the time. 

How do you plan to reach your goals? I hope to accomplish this by packing in as much physical activity as I can into my day, and to start eating healthier. Anybody who knows me knows that I love ordering out food and am the munchie king so that will something I’ll be cutting back on. I think that getting into the Handle Bar as much as possible and being more conscious about what and how much I am eating will do the trick!

What is your plan for Week 1? Getting to the Handlebar as much as possible! I plan on trying to get to as many morning classes as I can this week and leave the evening for other (hopefully outdoor) activities as this weather starts getting better. 

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Name: Sean Fracalossi

Age: 28

Height: 6’3″

Current Weight: 262

Weight loss goal: 15-20 lbs

Current rides/week: 2

Goal rides/week: 5

Sean is entering this challenge to not only lose weight, but to get motivated to make a lifestyle change. He feels that kickstarting his weight loss will have a great impact on his lifestyle choices across the board. Starting the day with a workout will lead to healthier choices throughout the day, and he hopes that starting the summer with a weight-loss challenge will lead to a year of healthy choices. 

What is your fitness background?  I played sports competitively throughout high school and college. I love to be outdoors, riding bikes, playing with my dog, snowboarding, whatever. Staying fit has been tough! I spin a few times a week with some light lifting thrown in there. 

How do you plan to reach your goals? So I realize for myself that when I am most active, I eat the healthiest. That being said, I feel my key is to be in the studio at least 4x per week while being outside as much as possible.

What is your plan for Week 1? Ride Monday night with my friend and fellow weigh-loss challenge participant Jeff Black! From there simply do my best to enjoy this beautiful weather with my dog, Brett.

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Name: Shane Kilgerman 

Age: 28

Height: 5’10”

Current Weight: 219

Weight loss goal: 15-20 lbs

Current rides/week: 1-2

Goal rides/week: 5

This winter Shane got off track on nutrition and has been a self described ‘caloric monster’ throughout most of it. Because of the recently added weight he feels a little more lethargic than usual, and is looking to kick-start his metabolism and have more energy! He also want to trim down so he’s not putting as much pressure on his knees when running.

What is your fitness background? I’ve always been active and played soccer growing up and throughout high school but since then I’ve taken up running, ranging from 5K’s to half marathons. I go to the gym a few days a week as well to get more of a core workout. Pickup basketball is a must, too. Watch for the 3-ball!

How do you plan to reach your goals? My diet and workout regimen has gotten so off course that I think I’ll see results fairly quickly. The Handle Bar classes are great ways to jumpstart the day and what’s great is it’s not hard on the knees so I can still pound the pavement too!

What is your plan for Week 1? Hopefully this recent stretch of beautiful weather is a harbinger for what’s to come and I’ve started off on the right foot by shooting some hoops and going for a quick run. I’m dedicated to take more Handle Bar classes which is going to be a great compliment to my new workout routine.

Stay tuned as these guys shed their excess weight and kick start a summer of healthy living! What are your goals this spring? How will The Handle Bar help you reach them?

Ride Inspired – a collection of inspirations from our team to you

By: Amy Frankenthaler

We hope you were all able to add a class over the class week and SWEAT. Now that it’s April, we must continue our SWEATY adventures, but also think INSPIRATION. This flows beautifully into the next step of our mantra journey of “Sweat, INSPIRE, Transform, Raise the Bar!” So yes, we’ve been incredibly SWEATY this week, but why?…why do I SWEAT? What and who INSPIRE me? We did a little research with Handle Bar instructors and staff to get to the bottom of what inspires them and how they inspire others. It is officially April and we are here to INSPIRE you!

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What inspires you to get on the bike and ride?

JESS: In my original business plan I included the following sentences: “The Handle Bar will be more than a gym. It will be an environment infused with energy and positivity.  When a person enters the Handle Bar they are joining a community where self betterment and positivity are just as important as physical gains. From the moment you walk in the door, you’ll be greeted with enthusiasm, you’ll be inspired to work hard, and you’ll leave feeling accomplished and ready to take on the world.” At the start of this journey, my inspiration came from that notion. It came from my desire to create this world where feeling good is #1. Now, my inspiration comes from the riders and the staff that have made this idea a reality. The Handle Bar in itself is my source of inspiration and fuel.

EVE: For me it’s music and the choreography. I love music and I love dancing so when I hear a good song and I’m at work it inspires me to want to get on the bike and ride to it! Also concerts and music videos, I love watching music videos and concert footage and in a way when I am riding I feel like I am in a music video or at a concert in my head!

NICOLA: I have always been really intense about going for my run or getting to the gym – but it was a routine and not necessarily something I got really excited about. Once I started going to the HB last summer, I noticed a difference in my approach to my workouts – I got the same adrenaline rush I would get going to frat party or something in college. I was so excited to see everyone at the studio, hear some new music, and dance my butt off on the bike for an awesome 45 minutes. I have to force myself not to go every single day, I swear I’d be doing back-to-back classes all of the time otherwise.

MAURA: Motivational instructors, good music, killer workout, high energy and being challenged every single time.

ELISE: I think that health is multi-faceted.  Mental, physical, and emotional health are all intertwined, existing within each other.  When I clip in for a ride, whether I’m riding as an instructor, or a student, I am riding for myself as a whole.  If you are truly working hard on the bike, that is the only thing that you can focus on for those 45 minutes.  It’s good for the body and the soul.

LAUREN T: When I am at The Handle Bar, I am there to sweat, but to do so as part of an incredibly energetic community.  From the instructors to the bar staff to my fellow riders, I feel part of a community that all shares a common goal, to leave the studio better in some way than when we walked in.  I also highly appreciate the inspirational aspect of The Handle Bar, particularly the mantras and quotes shared during my ride, as well as the success and achievements shared by the studio of my fellow riders.  I know that when I spend forty-five to sixty minutes in class, I am constantly inspired to do my best and to become my best self.

JESSI: I am inspired to ride at The Handle Bar for a few reasons. I started spinning after suffering multiple knee injuries and surgeries due to college field hockey. I started to feel whole again with my new cardio on the bike. Running is too hard on my joints, and I never feel the same high like I do when I am spinning at the HB. The sense of community, energetic instructors, awesome music, and constant encouragement to ride to the beat keeps me going every time! I’m forever hooked!

How do you inspire others (in life or at the HB)?

HALLEY: I have always been a happy person. There were times when I was younger and people would ask my parents why I smiled so much, yes that happened. I just realized early on that going through life miserable brings down not only yourself but everyone around you. Its amazing what a smile can do to a person’s attitude. If I can brighten one person’s day every day thats enough for me.

ALLYSON: I try to keep it simple and realistic. Everyone has their own stresses and problems and it’s much easier to spot a doable solution when you’re coming in as an outside opinion. When it’s at HB I make sure any rider knows it’s just 45 minutes and to enjoy themselves when they are on the bike. Push yourself, but love the class & make sure to have fun!

RACHEL: If I do inspire others, it’s only because I’m paying it forward! I take a ton of inspiration from music and try to bring that to riders through my playlists. I also get a bit preachy on the bike from time to time – I am really passionate about people finding out and celebrating how badass they already are, so I talk about that a lot. You will never ever hear me say anything about how we’re going to look better in our bikinis or anything strictly appearance-related like that, because we’re so much more than what we look like.

JESS: Through example! I offer the energy that I hope to receive in return. I work hard, I have fun, I don’t take life too seriously, and I value people above all else. In doing so, I have been able to create an environment teaming with these characteristics. Not only can I inspire people with my personal actions, but now I can use The HB to spread this sentiment even further.

How do you inspire your riders? What do you think keeps them coming back to your specific class?

EVE: For me I think its not only the music but my reactions to the music. I only use songs that I REALLY love and that reads across my face and body language. I really let myself get loose and sing and dance and I think that inspires the riders to do the same, if I am up there making a fool out of myself and doing crazy Beyonce moves and facial expressions the riders will be inspired to loosen up and have much more fun in the class!

ELISE: I don’t see the people in my classes as riders.  I see them as individual human beings, on a journey of self-betterment.  Every single person that clips into my of my classes at HB has a reason for being there.  It’s my job as the instructor to tune into each person’s journey, motivating them to raise the bar for themselves both in and outside the studio walls.

CARA: We all inspire each other at the Handle Bar.  When you sweat, dance, breath, wooo, sing, sprint, climb, cleanse, burn, bounce, and recover with a group of people… there is a serious connection of energy and emotion going on between complete strangers… we are proud of each other, find something better within ourselves, and carry that with us outside of the studio as well.

RACHEL: I am probably an acquired taste – haha. I have a big personality and a very specific musical viewpoint so I think those that continue to ride with me probably dig my music, and like to laugh (with or at me!).

SARAH C: To the first question: I think it’s in those moments I least expect it. When I hear them laugh, or see them correct their form before I even say the words I’m thinking – I know I’m connecting with them, and it’s the coolest feeling. I think there are certain people you just naturally have a strong connection with in class, and they’ll come back because of it. I know for me, once I find an instructor who just GETS me musically, then we’re a match made in heaven. Music is a huge part of the connection – I only choose songs that make my heart sing, and if my riders feel the same, then we’ve got a bond you can’t break!

There you have it! I hope you ride with an extra spring in your step and INSPIRATION in your heart! Ride INSPIRED! What INSPIRES you to ride? Who INSPIRES you to ride? Let’s talk! Dont forget to tag us @the_handle_bar! Did you know The Handle Bar is now on Snapchat?? Come follow @handlebarsnap for some INSPIRING surprises this week!

Summer prep starts now… this week #SWEATtheHB

by: Amy Frankenthaler

Happy Spring HBers! During the long winter months, we have a tendency to put our good workout habits on hold. Its finally time to break that cabin fever and come tunneling out of our snow forts with a healthy vengeance. Before you start freaking out about bikini season, you have to remember one very important thing: You must walk before you run. We’re going to use the HB mantra to offer stepwise advice on getting and staying fit… ‘Sweat, Inspire, Transform, Raise the Bar!’

This week let’s SWEAT. We at the Handle Bar are here to help especially when it comes to helping you kick some booty! It’s amazing how far a good SWEAT will take you.. its simple but impactful. Don’t be afraid to get drenched in your next class, we promise you’ll feel powerful.

First things first, plan your week ahead. Do you know what your schedule is like for the upcoming week? Why not schedule in some HB classes, gym time, extra walking and/or running time? So let’s treat your well-being like your job and make it a priority. Schedule your SWEAT sessions like you would your work meetings and stick to your plan. You are the priority!

Here’s a question for you: During your ride are you truly challenging yourself? This week let’s challenge ourselves to dial the resistance a little further, and find that sweet spot where the rhythm meets the road and you’re barely hanging on! This is where the magic happens. Every Handle Bar instructor crafts the songs to challenge you and make you SWEAT. A big part of the experience is letting go and enjoying the ride. Let the instructor take the wheel as you close your eyes and feel the BEAT. Don’t fight the challenge, embrace it and let it drive you. Don’t just find the rhythm and stay there.. battle with every pedal stroke to better yourself. More resistance means more results.

Having trouble? Challenge a friend! Challenge us! When you know someone else is holding you accountable, you are more likely to show up, push yourself, and SWEAT more!! We challenge you to come to one additional HB class this week, go for that longer walk/run, do that extra crunch or burpee…whatever it might be, do more, SWEAT more, and be the best you… We are in this together, so let’s SWEAT together!

Have an inspiring SWEATY selfie at The Handle Bar this week? Don’t forget to tag us in it @the_handle_bar, #SWEATtheHB. Best pic wins a 5 class pack!

Sweaty Selfie

The HB Team weighs in on live music and what it means to them

Our riders know just how important music is to us, and to our ride. The entire ride hinges on the tunes that we play. We know we can rely on certain artists for that crazy sprint, or another artist for that deep silent climb. And of course…the beat is everything.

A ride at the HB is an adrenaline fueled cardio party. We move, we sweat, we listen, we laugh and we become inspired. We work hard to play hard and it just so happens that our play time feels a lot like an HB class. One way we let loose is to rock out at live shows. A few members of the HB team have weighed in on their live music experiences, favorite shows, and what keeps them going back for more.

Tell us about the last show you attended

sarah m: Lena and I went to go see my favorite DJ – the EC Twins at Julep. I have been following them for years, and turned some of our other instructors on to them as well. Every time I have seen them, the crowd is SO into and so amped.

lena: Odesza in Portland, ME at Portland City Music Hall. Electronic sound, heavy live percussion, and beautiful light shows! I went with some of the HB crew, Cara, Maura, and Danelle! I was riding a bike in my mind the whole time HA! It was amazing.

lisa: The last concert I attended was Zac Brown Band at Fenway last summer.  It was amazing.  ZBB is such a fun concert to go to and I love the vibes that country shows give off.  My fiance and I had field seats, but we actually moved up to some seats in the stadium and spent the concert hanging out and enjoying our drinks.  it was a perfect summer night.  We are actually going again this summer when ZBB comes back Aug. 8.
Julie: Betty Who in New York City – she is a friend of mine from when she was living in Boston when she attended Berklee College of Music. To see her growth from when I first met her to now is amazing. She deserves all her success! When “Somebody Loves You” first played in an HB class, it was pretty cool.
Julie and friend/artist Betty Who

Julie and friend/artist Betty Who

In your opinion how does music bring people together?

lena: Music is universal. A sheet of music can be distributed to musicians around the world and be understood. Music is meant to be shared to bring people together culturally, artistically, emotionally. My experiences singing in a cappella groups over the past 6 years have brought me together with amazing people I probably would not have met without music. Basically, music is EVERYTHING.

sarah m: It’s kind of cool to think that you’re in this large venue with hundreds or even thousands of strangers, but you all at least have one thing in common – the love for whoever is performing.

jess: music is the language of the soul! It is understood and enjoyed without discrimination to all who listen. There is something so unique about listening to a song that you love and sharing that love with those around you, including total strangers!

What was your fondest memory at a concert or festival?

lena: My best friends from college (go UCSB GAUCHOS!) and I attended Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, CA for 4 years. It was some of the best memories of my life. We camped outside in the desert, stayed up all night dancing under the palm trees and stars, and enjoyed amazing bands from electronic, to rock, hip hop, indie electronic, folk, bluegrass, rap, pop, and more. Every year I left with a passion for a new artist, lasting memories, strengthened friendships, and in need of a long hot shower!
sarah m: The Krewella concert at The House of Blues back in the fall of 2013 when all the HB instructors went together. Lena and I somehow pushed our way to the front near the stage for the last song. The next thing I know, we are both up on some random guys’ shoulders holding hands and screaming and signing at the top of our lungs. It was hilarious and the Red Sox won the world series that same night. I hate to use the word epic, but it really was!
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Jess, Lena, and Sarah M at Krewella – Halloween ’13

jess: Seeing the Red Hot Chili Peppers at Lollapalooza in 2012. It was the last show of the day, an enormous crowd, a sunset over Chicago, and a group of friends I’ll never forget. They played all of their hits and the joy in the air was so full you could feel it!

Jess at Lollapalooza in 2012

Jess at Lollapalooza in 2012

In your opinion what qualities make for a great show?

lisa: It doesn’t matter if I know every song the band is playing or not, the best experiences come from spending time with my friends.
lena I am ALL about vocal quality. If the artist can sing and make my heart beat to the sound of their voice it takes it to another level for me. Also, the artists energy. I love when you can tell that an artist is so in love with their own music and craft. If they are into it and connecting their music with the audience, it is something very special.
sarah m: Definitely when the crowd is into it. I love when there is good energy and everyone is singing along and dancing together.
The crows at Krewella - House of Blues 2013

The crows at Krewella – House of Blues 2013

Concert vs an HB class… to you, how are they alike?

julie: I love how at a concert and at a HB class you can “feel” the music. When Lena tells you to close your eyes on a heavy hill and just listen to the music, it’s awesome. I feel like that same feeling when you don’t focus on anything but the music happens at a concert, too. I love that!
amy: When an instructor puts together a perfect “set” and the crowd of riders as swaying as one, to me that is like a concert in the spin studio. The rhythm and beat are infectious. That is the HB experience. The HB community thrives off the energy and positivity of not only the instructors, staff, but each other.
cara: being in the moment and enjoying the awesome sounds, good people, and overall positive vibe of people around the world coming together to enjoy the same passion. When I think about it, these elements are really similar to what I try to create in a handle bar class– pretty cool!!
How do you enjoy music outside of the HB bike room? We’d love to hear your stories!

Get out there, dance hard, live it up, you deserve it.

Congratulations Anthony! Our Rider of the Month

A Fenway Ride-Or-Die staple, Anthony has been a Handle Bar regular since we opened. His fun-loving nature makes our mornings brighter and our evenings lighter. An incredibly strong rider, we recently asked Anthony to audition for our instructor training program! But alas, he is taking is infectious energy to New York City at the end of the month.. and he WILL be missed. Congrats Anthony, and keep riding!

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Tell us a little about you – where are you from? What do you do in your free time? What is your fitness background/music background, what in your path drew you to the Handle bar?
Originally, I’m from Sleepy Hollow (yes, that Sleepy Hollow), New York. I moved up to Boston to work in consulting,

where I’ve mostly concentrated on healthcare litigation. When I’m not working, exercising, or sleeping, I am often singing and playing the guitar. I’m also an amateur bartender/mixologist, so I like to try out drinks for my friends over the weekends!
I’ve done group exercise classes ever since High School, where cycling and weight-lifting helped me get in shape. I also ran track occasionally, but was never very good at it. I got into lifting and fitness programs more seriously during college, and found theHandle Bar after moving to Boston and wanting to try a new fitness experience.
Musically, I have been singing, playing guitar, and playing cello for as long as I can remember. I used to be in a few a Cappella groups and choirs in college, and definitely miss singing in groups. That music-driven group energy is probably one of the things that drew me to the Handle Bar!

What other communities are you a part of? Social groups, volunteering, athletics, hobbies?

I helped found my company’s Outing Club, and I’ve planned hiking and kayaking trips. I have also joined my company’s recreational soccer league. Besides those, mainly just hanging out with friends.

What inspires you? In fitness and in life?

I think my biggest inspiration is that we can constantly improve. In fitness, and in all aspects of our lives, we can reject that we are at a “plateau,” and push ourselves to do more, better.

What’s your favorite way to retox after a long week?

When I’m not making cocktails for my friends, I love to go out for drinks on the weekends. Whether it’s a casual night of conversation or a night of dancing, I love to get out of the apartment.

Do you have a favorite class at The Handle Bar?

Oh, don’t make me choose! I love so many of the instructors, that choosing a single class is impossible. I totally love all of the Bar Fights I’ve been to…especially the RL Grime/ODESZA one that was on my birthday! But Throwback Thursdays are also so good!

What is your favorite music to spin to?

Dubstep, trap, and anything electronic is awesome. But more than that, I love songs with strong beats that the whole room can get into!

What is your favorite music to party to?

It depends. If I’m throwing a party, I love to put as many throwbacks as possible on the list, but when I’m going out, I love to dance to house, trance, or anything else with with a beat.

To chill to?

Anything that doesn’t have words…classical music or Explosions in the Sky.

What motivates you?

I like to compete, be it with my friends in sports, or myself while working out or solving a problem. I like to try new things and find new experiences.

Anything exciting happening to you this week?

I just found out that I got a job in NYC! It’s very exciting but very sad. I don’t want to leave the Handle Bar community, but it’s a very hard opportunity to pass up.

Anything else to add?

To everyone who hasn’t yet taken a class at the Handle Bar: what are you waiting for?! To all those who have: go up and talk to theinstructors after class, and all of the staff! They’re nice, funny, and totally awesome. Plus, shout-out to Cara for dealing with my seemingly endless list of song requests!

Post Pregnancy Fitness: a Q & A with Sarah Maguire

Handle Bar instructor Sarah Maguire had a beautiful baby boy on December 28th of last year!  8 weeks later and she’s ready to get back on the schedule.

They say that integrating fitness all the way through a pregnancy is the best way to bounce back fast… Let’s hear how this wonder woman is doing and just how she’s been adding The HB back into her schedule!

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Sarah and Liam

 

 How long up until your delivery did you workout?

I taught my last class on December 23rd and gave birth December 28th!

How frequently and at what intensity were your workouts?

By the end I was barely teaching on the bike, it was impossible to instruct and ride at the same time, I was completely out of breath. Besides, tapping it back at 9 months pregnant looked absolutely ridiculous! I was still able to enjoy other instructor’s classes though, and I was doing a lot of walking towards the end as well.

When you had Liam, how long did it take you to even THINK about spinning again?

I think I started to get the itch to workout again about 3 weeks after I had him, not so much teaching, but I definitely missed the studio and the atmosphere.

Were you ready mentally before you were physically? Describe your energy level post pregnancy.

I think I was mentally ready before physically. I just wanted to get out of the house and escape, the snow didn’t make things any easier, the cabin fever was real. Even though I was mentally ready, I was absolutely exhausted. Nothing can prepare you for the lack of sleep. I was a zombie, I truly don’t really remember those first few weeks, it’s all a blur.

 What kind of changes took place in your body the weeks following labor? (spare the TMI facts!)

Haha, well since we have to keep this PG, I would say the biggest change I have noticed is my lack of core strengthnow. It’s slowly coming back, but at first I had trouble pulling myself up to a sitting position.

What did the doctor recommend as far as getting back into fitness?

My doctor spins too! So she knew how important it was for me to get back into the swing of things. She supported me throughout my entire pregnancy and urged me to workout as soon as she gave me the OK and as soon as I felt ready.

What did you miss more, teaching or riding?

I think I really just missed being at the studio in general and seeing all of my regular riders, fellow instructors and the HB staff. I have been lucky enough to take a lot of other instructor’s classes these last few weeks and it has really made me remember what I love so much about spinning in general. It’s so nice to be able to get a really workout out and enjoy a class with the best teachers in the city. With that being said, I am definitely getting ready to start teaching again, I have been “stealing” ideas from my teammates!

What was your first class back like?

Haha, well I knew I wanted to get back in the saddle, I knew I was ready. Elise texted me and was basically like, “You. Me. Lena’s 4:30 class today“. Long story short, my ass was handed to me and it felt amazing.

How has the arm series been?

Honestly, that has been the most challenging part! I took about a month off and I feel like I lost all my upper body strength! Sarah C’s arm portion was especially brutal the other night, still feeling that one.

How do you manage to get away from home long enough to fit in a class?!

Daddy day care! I give my husband 24 hour notice that I want to spin. I’m like, “I am spinning at 5:30 tomorrow so clear your schedule and make sure you’re home”. I am lucky, he has been really supportive of me getting back in shape.

Do you think your class style will change at all after this big life addition?

Do you mean, will I start to be more conscious of my potty mouth and playing less house music? Nope, probably not! If anything, I see myself being more present in those 45 minutes, teaching at the Handle Bar is a privilege. Not to mention those 45 minutes may be the only time I get to myself that day!

Sarah wants to lose 8 more pounds to return to her pre-pregnancy for a total of 33 lost. We’re both confident she’ll melt those last few inches in our bike room in no time at all:)

Congrats to our HBingo winners!

Over two of the snowiest weeks Boston has ever seen, us folks at The Handle Bar hosted a challenge – HBingo!

Riders had 14 days to complete a row of the HBingo card (it wasn’t easy) to win 1 week of unlimited riding. SIX dedicated (and fearless of the snow) riders completed the challenge by finishing at least 1 row or column on the bingo board. Congratulations to:

Kym Murray

Erica Mellone

Corinne Nagle

Jenna Swymeler

Emily Lawless

And we’re in awe of our HBingo winner who completed a bingo and much more. With 14 finished squares our HBingo winner wins 1 month of free riding!

Erin Horgan

Check out her finished card below! Great work everyone, and happy riding.

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Turn it up Tuesday with Sarah C!

Sarah updates our Turn it Up Tuesday playlist on Spotify EVERY week! New, fresh, unique songs are getting added to the playlist and we want you to tune in!

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By: Sarah Coppinger

There are a couple things I depend on to keep me toasty during days like this – a killer spin class, coffee and super steamy tunes. Lucky for me (and YOU), the 50 Shades of Grey soundtrack just came out. The sizzle is real, guys.
With my 50 Shades themed class coming up on Friday (shameless plug cough cough sign up for my class! Or Cara’s if you’re in Fenway!) I’ve been listening to these songs on repeat. Annie Lennox, The Weeknd, Ellie Goulding…fiery hot, my friends.
Here are some of my favorite tunes keeping me warm this week. Follow the playlist to hear more every Tuesday!