My Pre-Spin Routine

BY CASSIE SHORTSLEEVE
In a new The Handle Bar series, instructors are opening up about how they get pumped up for class — and exactly what they’re doing before they’re on the stage in front of you. From their go-to snacks to the little-known rituals that keep them going, here’s a behind-the-scenes look at your favorite HB leaders. 
Up first: Matthew LaPierre.

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On pre-class eats …

I cannot eat enough before class. In the mornings, I will have three slices of cinnamon raisin bread, a banana, a yogurt, and oatmeal 30 minutes before class and another banana right before class. In the evenings, I eat a full meal one hour before class—usually chicken breast, potatoes or rice, and vegetables. I munch on yogurt, hummus, an energy bar or a banana right before class.

On reaching the right mindset for class …

Confidence is key. I tell myself I am amazing before every class. In a world with so much pressure to fit certain stereotypes, it is easy to lose what your version of amazing is. Know who you are. Know your worth. You’ve spent your entire life creating the person who you are today; be proud of who that amazing person is. And realize that in the bike room every class, you are working to heighten these qualities and become everything that you want to be.

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On overcoming nerves …

I used to be incredibly nervous before every class, so I started creating small personalities that I’d turn on when I would talk to the class before we began. The slightest accent or a bolder tone would put me in a performance mode where I could channel this amazing, bold, outspoken, confident character. The studio soon became a space to be whoever I wanted; an opportunity to jump outside of my comfort zone and truly raise the bar.

Soon teaching became exciting: What can I create during class today? How can I inspire? Instead of, ‘Oh my God, how am I going to get through?’

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On warming up …

Music is my warm up. It’s essential for me to feel three components: a connection with my music, the sound in the space, and my voice through the speakers before I begin. These all share an amazing relationship. I move my hips and dance about in the minutes before class to fully lock these connections in place.

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On any strange pre-class rituals …

If you listen through the walls before class, you’ll hear me singing or rapping to very loud music. My go-to is Drake — Under Ground Kings.

On any important gear/accessories …

I’ve been wearing a red and blue bracelet during class that someone close to me made to remember my nephew who just underwent heart surgery. It’s a reminder that I am working in class to become stronger for those who need my strength. When he calls me, I can be his Superman. ‘Every day, every hour turn the pain into power.’

Catch Matthew LaPierre’s classes at all 3 of our studios throughout the week.

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