Our Favorite Post-Spin Eats

Where to fuel up before or after your ride in Fenway, Southie, and Harvard Square

CASSIE SHORTSLEEVE

If 45 minutes in the saddle has a way of revving up your appetite, we have the answer: great eats, right around the corner. Fortunately, here at HB, we’re lucky to be surrounded by tons of top restaurants in Southie, Fenway, and Harvard Square, but these 13 are some of our faves — plus, they’re all within walking distance of the studios.

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Holiday “Must-Dos” Before the Season Ends

 BY: CASSIE SHORTSLEEVE

The week between Christmas and New Year’s always makes us wonder: Where did the holiday season go?! After all, between buying gifts, visiting relatives, and all of December’s parties, it’s easy to miss some of the sights, sounds, and tastes of the season. Fortunately, there’s still time to take them in (and stay in shape while doing so!). Here, how to see the best of Boston’s seasonal attractions before 2017 creeps up.

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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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Weight Loss Weigh-In… 2 weeks down

Our 3 challengers in a 6 week weight-loss battle are hard at work. With 2 weeks behind them and over 30 pounds lost between them, we thought we’d check in with their progress.

 

Jeff Black after 2 weeks of the challenge and 14 pounds lost!

Jeff Black after 2 weeks of the challenge and 14 pounds lost!

Name: Jeffery Black

Age: 24

Height: 6’2″

Starting Weight: 228

Current Weight: 214

End Weight goal: 208 lbs (20 lbs total loss)

Current rides/week: 5

Goal rides/week: 4-5

What has been the most challenging part of these past 2 weeks?

The most challenging part over the first two weeks was watching what I was eating. The adjustment to eating healthier takes a little more planning and attention but its getting easier. I haven’t had Tasty Burger in over two weeks too, soI think I’m doing alright!

What has worked for you so far?
What has worked for me is having a partner to go with and getting set in a routine. Sean and myself have been keeping each other accountable, and it gives you extra motivation to push yourself a little harder. Plus everyone, from the desk staff to all the instructors, have been super friendly and welcoming, which makes it fun to come in as often as I can.
Sean 2 weeks into the challenge and 13 pounds lost!

Sean 2 weeks into the challenge and 13 pounds lost!

Name: Sean Fracalossi

Age: 28

Height: 6’3″

Starting Weight: 263

Current Weight: 250 (13 pounds lost)

End weight goal: 243

Current rides/week: 4

Goal rides/week: 5

Tell us about your week… what has been difficult, what has worked for you?

A little over two weeks in and I am feeling pretty good! Working out has been fun, Jeff and I have been using the buddy system, which has helped in keeping us on track. I think we’ve spun like 12 times so far with some lifting thrown in there. However, I will say that the challenge isn’t so much working out as much as it is eating right. In fact, I’d say its pretty much all about eating right. These first 12 pounds dropped off with the only significant fluctuation coming the weekend of Marathon Monday. I love beers and burgers and pizza, which like to keep me company for a prolonged period of time after indulging. First let’s tackle breakfast. Like everything else, I prefer a sausage, egg, and cheese on a plain bagel to start the day. Had to throw those out, which is a total bummer. Moved to using the Magic Bullet at my office to make smoothies with apples, bananas, plain yogurt, and honey. It’s tasty, don’t get me wrong, but my 10AM my stomach is yelling and screaming. Then to lunch. Salads. Maybe if I am feeling dangerous, through some grilled chicken or turkey in there. Lots of fruits and vegetables. Dinner is usually pretty diverse, with lots of greens and lean meats. Not too bad! If you will humor me here, I’d like to describe my fantasy meal for therapeutic purposes. I am presently envisioning a double bacon cheeseburger with Gorgonzola add jalapenos from Tasty Burger. I’d supplement it with a 50/50 and potentially a Butta Burger if I was feeling frisky. Thanks for your patience, I needed that. Anyway, The next couple weeks will be more of the same, with some challenges given the great weather and the impending grill season. Wish me luck. 242, here we come!’

Shane at 2 weeks into the challenge and 6 pounds lost!

Shane at 2 weeks into the challenge and 6 pounds lost!

Name: Shane Kilgerman

Age: 28

Height: 5’10”

Starting Weight: 220

Current Weight: 213 (6 pounds lost)

End weight goal: 200 lbs

Current rides/week: 6

Goal rides/week: 5

What has been the most challenging part of these past 2 weeks?

I’ve been struggling with eating at night. I eat a nice big breakfast to push me through the morning hours, followed by a medium-sized lunch. Without fail though, come dinnertime, it’s pretty late and I end up overeating. I need to do a better job at either eating dinner a little earlier in the evening or get into the habit of having smaller portions. Having a big meal right before bed cannot be a good thing.
What has worked for you so far?
I’m crushing Handle Bar workouts. I’ve been forcing myself to get up super early and it’s starting to pay dividends. I’ve taken 13 classes in 14 days, 9 of which were at 6am or 7am. I get a great, sweaty workout in when I’m otherwise normally hours away from even getting out of bed. And the instructors possess and deploy such positive energy and vibes that there’s simply no better way to start the day. One other thing I’m proud of is my meal prep. It’s hard to make healthy meals every single day so I’ve grown accustomed to making my lunches for the entire week in one sitting. It’s advantageous on many fronts, one of which is that it makes me more aware about what I’m consuming and putting into my body.
These guys are kicking’ ass and taking names – check out this summary of their progress. Pretty amazing! Keep riding and keep sweating guys
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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!

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:)