Marcus Springer was our first ever rider of the month. Now, 9 months later, he’s taken over 150 Handle Bar classes, lost 40 pounds, 6 inches, looks great and feels even better. Marcus has been one of our most loyal riders, and his inspirational story is one you need to hear! Marcus finds inspiration in his family, where do you find yours?
What are some of the goals you have achieved over the past 9 months?
I joined the Handle Bar with the goal of losing weight and getting fit. After starting, upon the studios opening, I became hooked on spinning. I knew it was for me. The first few weeks were very difficult as I was so out of shape – 236 pounds with a 39 inch waist band!!! My goal was to lose 50 pounds in a year, roughly a pound a week. I am now at 196 pounds with a 33 inch waist – that’s 40 pounds GONE and 6 inches of waist band. I am obviously extremely happy about this, as is my family. I tend to spin pretty much every day with the “rooster rides” and the morning classes on the weekends when we’re in town. There are 12 weeks left to reach my goal of 50 pounds. We’ll see how it goes. I feel great, totally energized, much stronger and no longer get stressed out.
What other kinds of exercise have you been doing to complement your rides at the HB?
I complement the spin rides with a half hour of free weights four days a week, concentrating on strengthening my core in particular. I had lots of back pain before I started all this exercise and it has disappeared. I am much stronger and now can’t miss a day of exercise. I don’t diet at all, I enjoy my food and wine far too much for that. I have never eaten refined sugars or much dairy anyway and have really only done portion control, I keep to a pretty balanced diet. I am also beginning to ride on my road bike now that the snow is melting away. I signed up for the Pan Mass Challenge in August. Should be fun!
Has your music taste evolved while riding with us?
Yes definitely. There are many songs that I really like but don’t know who sings them. I will find out one of these days. I was born in the sixties, so the music that is in my bones are the likes of Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead etc. – more old school.
What have been some challenges you’ve faced over the past 9 months?
The biggest one is the weight control. At first it flew off in big chunks, but then it got harder as I became leaner. I would plateau for weeks at a certain weight and I thought I had stalled somehow, but then the weight started dropping again. I imagine it was my body adjusting as I went along. From the outset I didn’t want to do any crazy dieting, so I just kept going along and it has worked! The overall average is still about a pound a week. Losing more than that is unhealthy and unrealistic in my view. I am “Mr. Instant Gratification” so the slow and methodical weight loss has been the hardest thing, but now it is very easy to keep it off as my body has adjusted over time. I have a new mindset.
Has it been difficult to stay in the groove of exercising/cycling?
No, I love it. I’ll do it forever at this point. The benefits are very obvious and far outweigh any other issues that may preclude me doing them. I will always choose exercise/cycling as a first priority. The one thing that I noticed straight away was the disappearance of stress. The spin classes are pretty intense cardio and after each one, my mind is very clear and all my worries that I had were only trivial. You become very Zen after a while.
What has kept you so motivated?
Definitely my family, my two boys and my wife. I will be 50 in June and I want to be there for them as I get older and not incapacitated in any way. Last June, I was definitely on track to being a fat slug on the train to heart attack station. Those days are gone, never to return. Now that the weight is pretty much gone, I can concentrate more on tone and strength and then maintain with regular exercise and a balanced diet – old school – like me.
I would like send a big thank you to all of the awesome instructors that have helped me get to where I am today – Jess, Meg, Elise, Lena, Erin, Ali, Sarah and Rachel. I couldn’t have done it without your motivation and high energy in every class! I will definitely continue to “Raise the Bar”!!
Keep killin’ it Marcus!