#HBSummerShare 2015: Commit to a Summer Worth Sharing

by amy frankenthaler

1

Have you signed up for #HBSummershare yet? If Not Now? When? #HBSummerShare starts June 1st, you have only a couple more days to take advantage of this fantastic deal: $400 for 10 weeks of UNLIMITED riding. How will you #raisethebar this summer?

We were able to reach out to four of our awesome HBriders that both won #HBSummerShare last summer Alisun Kovach, Dayna Isley, Becky Anzalone and Nicole Castillo. Thanks again ladies for sharing your experiences with us, we love our #HBFam! We had them reflect on their experience last summer with HBSummerShare:

 

1)What inspired you to sign up for #HBSummerShare last summer?

Becky Anzalone: I signed up #HBSummerShare last summer as a way to hold me accountable for my workout routine. I find it hard in the summer months to keep up with a consistent routine with the lure of outdoor patio drinking.  I already found myself spinning a few nights a week so it made sense (as well as the cost-savings of being able to have an unlimited pass to spin classes).

Nicole Castillo:I was training for a half-marathon, and I wanted to step up my game. Spinning made a huge difference, because I am able to achieve a much harder cardio doing it than running. Also, the competition was just so fun! And pretty much I’ll do anything for free swag. 🙂

Alisun Kovach: I never participated in any kind of challenge before, I thought the #HBSummerShare sounded really fun, and seemed like a great way to prioritize working out during the summer. Plus the potential to win a free month of unlimited riding and a free shirt had me sold!

Dayna Isley: I ran my first half marathon in May last year. Running, as it turns out, is not my favorite. I needed a change, and #HBSummerShare seemed like a good challenge.

2)Describe your experience. What was the best part about #HBSummerShare last year?

Becky Anzalone:I am so glad I participated last year! One of my good friends also did it with me, so we could both motivate each other and use it as an excuse to see each other more often.  I also loved having the board up on display – talk about accountability! It was also a great way to see how you were stacking up versus other riders. The competitive element was really motivating! I also really enjoyed the social media aspect and tagging my instagram pics and tweets with the #HBsummershare.  It’s a great way to stay connected with other HB riders/instructors.

Nicole Castillo: It was incredible! A friend (Valerie Abeille) and I did it — she was at Fenway and I was at Southie and we could watch each others’ progress on the leaderboard. It was hard at times to stick with it because I would “fall behind” when I went on vacation. But, knowing I had a goal to reach, got me to hit spin at times when I normally would just skip it… like before I got on the airplane for a summer vacation, or early in the morning after a late night out.

Alisun Kovach: Participating in the #HBSummerShare was awesome. Since I was at the studio so much, I got to meet a lot of new people and was able to get to know the girls who work there too (love them all!). I also loved that you got points not only for going to classes, but also for posting on instagram (truth be told, I didn’t have an insta account until the challenge started, and now I can’t get enough of it). It was fun walking around and finding random things that would remind you of the HB, and therefore remind you to get your butt to class, and like I said, prioritize working out, even when all you really wanted to do was lay at the beach all day.

Dayna Isley: I had been spinning some at the Handle Bar in Southie since it opened, but #HBSummerShare really kicked things up. I learned that I could spin a lot–even in the morning!–and really love it.  By the end of summer, I could even make it through both sets of arms in Elise’s hour of power Saturday classes. I felt stronger and had fun in the process.

3) Are you signed up for #HBSummerShare this summer? If so, what are you looking forward to most?

Becky Anzalone: I signed up for my second #HBsummershare for this summer and I can’t wait until it starts.  I am excited to have an unlimited pass to ride all summer long and stay motivated by all the amazing riders at the Handle Bar  (I have a couple friends who I plan on riding with this summer as well!). I’ve tried other spin studios over the years across the city, but the sense of community at Handle Bar, is part of what keeps me coming back.  #HBSummerShare is a prime example of why I love spinning at the Handle Bar.

Nicole Castillo: I’m not… because I have the VIP membership… or I totally would! I am still going to hashtag and post. The Handlebar ladies of twitter are already in full force. I’m excited to join them. I’m at @niccastillo1017 I’m all about the social media engagement. Last year, I did a top 10 things I learned from #HBSummerShare. Let’s see what I come up with this year. 🙂

Alisun Kovach: I haven’t decided if I’m singing up yet, but I would really like to win a beach towel, so I probably will!

Dayna Isley: I signed up for #HBSummerShare again because it was so motivating and fun last year. Because I like spin, I know I’ll stick with it; and if I ever feel like slacking, the challenge will keep me motivated. It’s also a great deal when you break it down. Bring on June 1!

An Instagram posted by Becky last summer for #HBSummerShare. A great example of the hashtag social media challenge in action.

An Instagram posted by Becky last summer for #HBSummerShare. A great example of the hashtag social media challenge in action.


If you still aren’t convinced, we’ve put together a list of the top reasons to participate in #HBSummerShare.

Top Five Reasons to Join #HBSummerShare 2015:

  1. Stay in Shape and Motivated all Summer long with a Steal of a Deal                       Each studio will track those participating in the riding competition. It’s officially bikini season, we have to keep that beach body we worked so hard to get! Can’t give up now, keep that beach body all summer long with #HBSummerShare. Ten weeks of unlimited riding for just $400 lets you stay in shape and save for those amazing summer adventures.
  2. #HBFam + #HBCommunity Support (Forever and Always <3)                                Join the #HBFam this summer not only in the saddle, but whereever your summer adventures take you! Simply, by tagging #HBSummerShare in a Facebook post, Instagram or tweet, your #HBFam will be right there with you. We, also, encourage you to make some new #HBSummerShare 2015 friends and meet up both on AND off the saddle. This is strongly encouraged in any and all challenges this summer..after all…“You CAN Spin With Us” 🙂
  3. Adjusted Summer Schedule- Just for YOU                                                         We know you’re busy, its summer, its warm…you want to be on the beach. We have tailored our weekend schedules to accommodate just that. Please take a look at your home studio’s schedules because weekend times have been added and changed for the summer effective this weekend. All the more reason to squeeze in a ride or two with your unlimited #HBSummerShare package.
  4. Prizes (Who doesn’t like prizes?)                                                                          We like prizes! If you participate in the riding competition and ride 45 times in 10 weeks…that’s just 4-5 times per week…you win a beautiful #HBSummerShare 2015 beach towel. Think of all those at the beach or pool envious of that gorgeous towel you EARNED. The top four rides will win FURTHER unlimited riding packages.                                                                              If you participate in the hashtag/social media competition, you have a chance to win a prize EVERY week of the competition. Each week, our favorite hashtagged post will be announced and the winner will receive a gift from 1 of our favorite local spots. The sponsor and prize will be announced at the start of each week, and to get you started  – here’s what we have for our first 4 weeks of the competition:

    Week 1 Prize: Handle Bar embroidered Backpack or duffle (of your choice)

    Week 2 Prize: A tasty gift from a tasty place! $50 to Tasty Burger

    Week 3 Prize: Feeling feisty? Post to win $50 to Loco Taqueria and Oyster Bar in Southie!

    Week 4 Prize:  A Perky Gift from our new Fenway neighbor! Pavement Coffee $50 gift card

                                     More prizes to be released next week!

  5. Competition                                                                                                                                             Challenge your friends, family, neighbors, mailman, new and old HB friends and more importantly YOURSELF to ride more, ride stronger, ride proud. Share the link to this blog with anyone you want to see sitting on that saddle next to you.                                                                                                                           This is your summer, your time to shine, to kick ass, so take charge! The summer of you is waiting…so grab a #HBSummershare package and watch yourself transform in just 10 weeks. The challenge starts June 1st, so act fast.

Click here to purchase your #HBSummerShare 2015 purchase.

Once the #HBSummerShare kicks off on June 1st, we’ll be following your progress riding AND sharing your Instagrams/tweets to keep you motivated and on track all summer long. Be sure to tag #HBSummerShare in your posts!

Tweet at us when and why you chose to sign up for #HBSummerShare to @The_Handle_Bar for twitter AND instagram!  Doing the #HBSummerShare for the second year in a row? We want to hear from you too, share your experiences just like Alisun, Dayna, Becky and Nicole. We may just share some on and before the #HBSummerShare kickoff June 1st.

As always, see you in the saddle!

The new LEADERBOOK for #HBSummerShare2015! Keep track of your progress and competition!

The new LEADERBOOK for #HBSummerShare 2015! Keep track of your progress and competition!

Who raised the bar in September?

Christina Kelleher!

A.K.A. Chris Holmes

Chris is one of our most committed riders here at The Handle Bar. So much so, in fact, that she even decided to do a group ride the morning of her big day. That’s right—Christina, now a newlywed, came in with her sister and best friend for a pre-wedding workout. She feels that exercise is the best way to center yourself, so taking one of our classes the morning of was a great way for her to beat the butterflies. Congrats, Christina! You sure have a lot to celebrate.

Chris Kelleher Raised The Bar this month!

Chris Kelleher Raised The Bar this month!

Chris, tell us a little bit about yourself!

I live in Southie with my new husband (eek!) and two cats – Portobello & Cheddar. I’m a social media strategist at a digital agency in the South End and conveniently walk by The Handle Bar on my way home. Fitness is such a big part of my life and I love doing whatever I can to be active.

Everyone has their own unique fitness journey. What has your experience/journey been like with spinning?

I started spinning a few years ago. My first experience was not a positive one – my bike wasn’t adjusted properly and I had no sense of resistance. I didn’t want to go back but was told to try again, and I’m so glad I did! I’m completely addicted.

How do you fit fitness into your everyday life?

I believe everyone should sweat every day, whether it’s from spinning, running, yoga, Pilates, strength training….whatever works and whatever you like is what you should do. I love working out and make it a priority, and because of that, it’s easy for me to make time for it. I also love workout dates with my girlfriends where we’ll work out then grab coffee or a drink and catch up.

What goals has The Handle Bar helped you achieve?

Before my wedding it helped me feel fit and relieve stress. Now that I’m married it’s still doing the same thing – fitness isn’t just for upcoming events, we should be getting healthy for life. 😉

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

I like to retox with margaritas. 🙂 I’m talking about real margaritas, not ones made from a mix. I highly recommend Masa in the South End for a margarita fix.

Do you have a favorite class at The Handle Bar?

I love so many! I’ve been spinning with Elise for a long time, so her classes are some of my favorites.

What is your favorite music to spin to?

I love a really fast-paced top 40 remix with a strong beat. Anything that gets you really pulped up to make you work harder.

What are your thoughts on using bike shoes? Had you ever used them prior to riding with us at The Handle Bar?

I love bike shoes! I bought my own a few months before The Handle Bar opened and I don’t ever want to spin without them. Most embarrassing moment with spin shoes: when my shoes were fairly new they got stuck clipped into a bike at another gym. It was a Thursday and the maintenance person who could take them off wasn’t going to be in to take my shoes off until the next week. My bike sat unusable, front and center of the room for almost a week.

What motivates you?

I’m motivated by positive people and a drive to always be stronger and healthier.

What words do you live by?

Sweat every day!

Why did you decide to make The HB a part for your big day? Can you tell me more about the experience?

Exercise is such a stress reliever for me and makes me so happy. I knew I would have butterflies on my wedding day and spin seemed like a great way to calm my nerves and make me feel centered. My wedding wasn’t until 4pm so I knew I had time during the day and knew I wouldn’t be sleeping in, so why not?? One of my best friends and my sister got up early and came with me. It was awesome, I’m so glad I did it!!

Chris and two of her bridesmaids the morning of the BIG DAY!

Chris and two of her bridesmaids the morning of the BIG DAY!

Putting a Positive “Spin” on Marathon Training

Running a marathon has been a goal of mine ever since I can remember. Year after year, I would set my mind on this 26.2 mile venture and then quickly talk myself out of it for one reason or another. I’m talking serious stuff like, if I ran the marathon I would miss the Sox game on Patriots day or pumpkin beer and late night tater-tots sound much more appealing than weekend long runs. Then, April 15, 2013 happened. Being a born and bred Boston native, I felt like I needed to do something to help those affected by the Boston Marathon attacks. Running a marathon and raising money for the One Fund seemed like a perfect way to show how Boston Strong I was. Before I could talk myself out of it, which let’s face it- I thought I inevitably would, several colleagues jumped on board with me and together we formed a team and registered for the Philadelphia Marathon in November. I had motivation, I had a team, I had paid the $135 registration fee- what could stop me? 
That is a completely rhetorical question, because the truth of the matter is that any number of things were bound to stop me. The particular hurdle I faced next was a hip injury that I incurred when training. I could barely walk, forget run, without severe pain. I was pretty sure my marathon aspirations would again be sidelined. How could I continue to train? What I didn’t know was that answer was right in front of me every time I donned my Handle Bar tank top and went to work in Southie.
photo
After sharing my injury news with a friend, he directed me to an article that discussed how cardiovascular performance on the bike can translate to cardiovascular performance when running. In addition, cycling is a low impact sport, which would protect my hip. Even being as spin-obsessed as I am, I hadn’t thought of this. I became diligent about taking 3 classes per week at THB. The music, lights and energy that are HB staples, would help me put the injury aside, let the music and beat guide me through the ride, and visualize myself completing my first marathon.  
After my three week hiatus from running, my PT encouraged me to get back at it. To say I was anxious that my three weeks without running would inevitably crush my chances of completing this training program would be a huge understatement. Moreover, unlike my previous “attempts” at 26.2, this time everyone in my life knew I had set out on this journey, I would have to face all of them. I laced up my sneakers, put on a new running top that I splurged for at LuluLemon for “motivational purposes”, and hit the pavement with my favorite HB playlist pushing me along. My first day out I was able to complete 6 miles at my goal pace! I was shocked about how amazing I felt. My cardiovascular endurance hadn’t wavered at all. You would never know I hadn’t run for three weeks, I was able to pick up right where I left off. In all the years I spent running, I never had such a comeback after my training ceased.
I have always loved indoor cycling and it has always been part of my fitness routine. The roll it now plays in my training has only fueled my passion for this intense workout. As I delve further into marathon training, I have replaced one of my weekly runs with a class at THB. Spending time on the bike riding to the beat has allowed me to increase my endurance, pick up my cadence, cross train, and continue training for my first 26.2 mile run!
By Susan Haley

What’s in your bag?

Have you ever wondered what the staff and instructors of The Handle Bar keep in their gym bags to help them Raise the Bar, on and off the bike? We took a peek inside Erin, Lena, and Rosemary’s bags to check what they pack for a sweat sesh when they hit the Bar!
 

Our resident Nutritionist, Lena carries all the essentials to catch the beat before, during, and after class. 

lenasbag

Shimano spin shoes – Clipping into the bike and getting after a great work out, Lena always has her spin shoes on her for whenever she’s back on a bike.

EOS

Eos lip balm in mint “We can’t stop”…using this amazing lip balm. Eos will leave you with a kiss of freshness post-class and beyond.

Scientific calculator Mental workouts count too! Lena keeps her calculator handy for when she’s breaking a mental sweat

Bastille Dry Shampoo Great for a quick freshen up after a tough class, Lena keeps dry shampoo at the ready when she’s in a rush .

Macbook Lena is ready to start a bumping new playlist or get down to business with schoolwork with her Macbook that’s tucked in her tote.

Erin keeps her bagged stocked with plenty of must-haves to chase the beat in every class. 

erins bag2 Pairs of Lululemon crops- A great pair of workout pants helps Erin keep calm, cool and collected while climbing a steep hill or hitting a sprint.

Moroccan Argan Body Cream Erin keeps her skin fresh and moisturized in-between classes with this luxurious lotion that leaves her skin radiant!

A Handle Bar tank top Erin rocks her Handle Bar colors while raving the Bar in all of her classes- stop in to experience her high-energy class for yourself!

Rose is often found behind the desk at The HB, but the contents of her bag says a lot about her!

rose bag

Kombucha Drink Rose refuels and hydrates with this delicious natural tea, a great way to refresh before or after a yoga class.. (you’ll  find this chick at South Boston Yoga almost daily).

Screen Shot 2013-09-12 at 4.41.39 PMStethoscopeWhile studying to become an RN, Rose knows that the best way to maintain heart health is through exercise—what better way than catching a beat at The Handle Bar?

Maybe next time we’ll take a peak at some of our riders’ gear.. 

What’s in  your bag?

By: MK Hennelly 

A city, a studio, a community

By Falon Sweeney

There are two things in this world I enjoy more than anything else: traveling and fitness. However, the ease with which the two go together is pretty variable from place to place. Some places (mostly in the US), it’s super easy to fit in your daily sweat; and others, it can be a bit more difficult—like when I tried to go running in Ecuador and got chased by a few vicious dogs. That made me sweat. But no matter what, I try my best to stay active and explore how others incorporate fitness or just general activity into their daily lives.

In the past year I’ve had the chance to explore the fitness scepicstitchnes in Boston, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C. I can say with confidence—no matter how fit Forbes ranks us—that Boston is the most “fit” for fitness. The charisma of this city makes it so easy to be active whether you love it or you hate it. We can walk almost everywhere and have some of the most scenic running and cycling routes. We are the home of the most popular marathon in the country. But most of all, we have the best sense of community I’ve yet to come across. We are #BostonStrong and we have been for much longer than a mere four months.

Outside of New England, Bostonians have a reputation of being abrasive and unwelcoming—something about our harsh accents and great driving skills. But just like one can’t actually park his car in Harvard yard, one can’t condemn our sense of community, either. We’ve got each other’s back no matter in time of tragedy or just daily life.

Boston’s group exercise scene is a growing community within a community. It’s an awesome mix of inspiration, support, and sweat. At The Handle Bar we are constantly building our community and welcoming riders old and new to come join our party. Bring a friend, or two, or five and see what we’re all about. Whether you come for one of our Glo-cycle class (August 29!) or a casual ride during your lunch break, we can guarantee you’ll have a blast—and manage to get a great workout in.

See you in the saddle–we’ve got your back!

Who raised the bar in July?

Beatrice Rossa!

image (1)

We are so excited to recognize Beatrice’s hard work and commitment to her body, herself, and her fitness goals. When The Handle Bar opened in her building, Beatrice saw a chance to make the changes in her lifestyle she had been wanting to make for years. An on-again, off-again group fitness participant, Beatrice knew that The Handle Bar could be all that she needed to finally get motivated–and stay motivated. Since her first class at The Handle Bar, Beatrice has lost over 10 pounds, but most importantly has regained the self-confidence and energy she had as a 20-something. Congrats, Beatrice! You–and all of our riders who are achieving their fitness goals–are what keep our wheels spinning.

So, Beatrice…

Everyone has their own unique fitness journey. What has your experience/journey been like with spinning?

Before the Handle Bar I was at my wit’s end with my increasing weight and lack of motivation to do anything about it. I had experience taking classes in the past and knew that they really helped me get fit and motivated. When I heard that the Handle Bar was opening in my neighborhood I was so excited because I knew it was exactly what I needed.

How do you fit fitness into your everyday life?

Before the Handle Bar, work took over my life and I had time for little else. But I knew that had to change if I was going to commit to getting healthy. In the beginning I tried to take the 6am classes to make it fit with my work schedule. But I am not a morning person at all and after the 3rd day in a row I realized I couldn’t keep it up. I was relieved to see that the Handle Bar has 7pm classes, which is perfect for me. I plan out my week in advance, register for classes online, and commit to leaving work in time to make it. It took about a month of figuring out what schedule works best for me, but I am proud to say that I am at the Handle bar 4-6 days a week. So glad I bought the 40 class package, totally worth it!!!

What goals has The Handle Bar helped you achieve?

I feel more energized, fitter, self-confident, and I lost 10 pounds!

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

I have a weakness for chocolate, so I indulge once or twice a week now, rather than everyday like I used to. Good thing I know I can still give in a little and work it off at the Handle Bar 🙂

Do you have a favorite class at The Handle Bar?

My preference is the 1 hour classes on the weekends. I know that I will burn off the most calories and can still have time to enjoy my weekends.

What is your favorite music to spin to?

One of my favorite things about The Handle Bar is the awesome music and moving to the beat. I kinda feel like I’m in a club with the dim blue lights and the occasional DJ JI love to move to anything by Ke$ha or Britney.

What are your thoughts on using bike shoes? Had you ever used them prior to riding with us at The Handle Bar?

At first I thought it was a weird idea, kinda like bowling shoes. But once I tried it at the Handle Bar, I totally got it. The ride was smoother and my sense of security while standing on the pedals was so much better.  I went online and ordered myself a pair pronto.

What motivates you?

Believe it or not, it’s actually being an inspiration to others. I love telling people about how excited I am about the Handle Bar and how committed I’ve been about sticking to a schedule. There is nothing better than seeing that you can help motivate others with your actions to change their lives.

What words do you live by?

Life’s too short, so make the best of it!

Who raised the bar in June?

Marcus Springer!

At The Handle Bar, we hope to provide our riders with a place to achieve their fitness goals and constantly improve by raising the bar higher. For some, raising the bar might mean just showing up to class two times in the same week, and for others it could mean reaching weight loss or other fitness goals. No matter how high you set the bar for yourself, we hope that each ride makes you stronger, both physically and mentally. To honor our riders’ commitment to improvement, we choose one rider every month who has made some serious progress towards achieving whatever goals he or she has been working towards, whether goal setting was a conscious choice or it just “happened”.
Image
This month, (for the first time ever!) we are proud to announce that rider Marcus Springer has really raised the bar! Marcus is totally new to spinning and has hit the ground running. In just about a month, he has lost ten pounds and is well on his way to achieving his ultimate fitness and weight loss goals. Did we mention that Marcus has two young boys–one of whom, a newborn–and runs two companies. Talk about staying focused on fitness while making time for family and other responsibilities. We are so excited for Marcus and are happy to be a part of his fitness journey. Congrats, Marcus!

So, Marcus…

How did your journey with indoor cycling begin?

I started spinning when The Handle Bar opened. I had never done it before and was curious.  I found it pretty hard at first but after the fifth time I was able to keep up with the resistance etc. Now I love it. I am addicted and getting noticeably stronger.

How have you been able to juggle accomplishing your fitness goals and spending time with family (including the new baby!)?
I only go first thing in the morning.  I take the 6 and 6:15am classes during the week and the 8:30 class on Saturday and the take Sunday off.  That schedule works well for all concerned…The newborn is basically up every three hours so I just have to roll with it. :). I try to go six times a week. I have missed a couple of times but am able to keep to that schedule pretty well.

[How] has The Handle Bar helped you in accomplishing your goals?

I was rapidly becoming an overweight slug so I was looking for an activity that I could do in the morning that was a group activity in order to get fit and lose weight.  The gym doesn’t really work that way and spinning is ideal.  Since I started I have lost 10 pounds of my goal to get a 1 in front of my weight for the first time in 15 years…20 more to go… Goal is to get to 195 lbs by Thanksgiving.

Do you have a favorite/hardest class at The Handle Bar?
So far I like all the classes. Elise, Tim and Meg are all really good. Those are the ones that stand out in my mind.
What is your favorite music to Spin to? 
I don’t really have a favorite. Whatever they play I kind of ride in to the music.  It is really a lot of fun. The 45 minutes passes by pretty quickly now.
What are your thoughts on using bike shoes?
Bike shoes are critical to spinning in my mind as you have to pull the pedal up as well as push it down which you wouldn’t be able to do without bike shoes.
 
“I think The Handle Bar is a great addition to the Macallen building complex.  It makes it so easy for me to achieve my goals of getting fit and weight loss.  I generally go to the gym after spinning to do free weights for a half hour. After all that I can be back in my apartment by 7:30 to make breakfast for the boys and get the day going.  I have two companies of my own that I run in addition to the two boys. In order to do that you absolutely have to be fit or you’re screwed.  The Handle Bar is definitely the answer for me!”
See you in the saddle, Marcus!

Friends who sweat together stay fit together, longer

So you’ve decided to workout on a regular basis. And you mean it this time. No excuses, no postponing until tomorrow. Your journey starts today. That’s great news. However, as many of us have experienced, it is so much easier said than done. For some, a week of working out consistently can snowball into months of regular exercise and healthy eating habits. But for others—a.k.a., most of us—one week of consistency equals three more weeks of sporadic exercise, one too many “cheat” meals, and the inevitable fall from the bandwagon. This cycle continues, leaving us wondering how some people manage to hang on and make it past the proverbial hump, incorporating exercise and proper nutrition as part of their lifestyle—for life. It’s a puzzling sequence, but if you can find a motivational tool (aside from your unbending willpower, of course) from the start, you’ll be twice as likely to stick with it for the long run—even through those bitter Boston winters.

 There are endless ways to get motivated without even flexing your willpower muscles. Honestly, a few of my favorite motivators come from late-night Pintrest browsing. You could create a “fit-spiration” bulletin board, invest in some new kicks to show off at the gym (or maybe a pair of bike shoes?!), or buy a pack of spin classes or a gym membership with an expiration date so that you’ll be sure not to waste your money. But just like money can’t buy happiness, it can’t always buy motivation, either.

The best motivation I’ve yet to find comes from friends—a few of whom I barely knew before becoming a fitness fanatic, and others who have been by my side for years. Whether you introduce yourself to a fellow rider during class or drag your couch-potato roommate to sweat with you, I can almost guarantee it will be harder for either of you to lose your motivation when you don’t go it alone, for a few reasons:

Accountability—It’s rude to cancel last minute, but we always seem to cancel on ourselves. When you have a date to sweat with yourself and someone else, you’ll be way less likely to cancel, especially when that fit image you’ve been chasing is on the line. 

You’ll have more fun—If you’re making fitness an integral part of your lifestyle, you have to make it fun, or else you’ll eventually get bored. #Workhard with a friend and you can #playhard later!

 Spend time with the friend who’s always M.I.A.—We all have those friends whom we never see because they are just too busy. But chances are, if they’re into fitness, they won’t skip a workout. So sweat together a few times a week and your long lost friend could soon be your new bestie.

Celebrate your successes and sweat away your failures—With a few setbacks, you’ve kicked those stubborn ten pounds! Congrats! Now go celebrate with your fitness buddy—after you have a kickass workout together, of course : )

 

At The Handle Bar, we never sweat alone. That’s why we have an ongoing promotion that allows you to bring a “date” that has never ridden with us for free!

See you—and your friends—in the saddle!

I’m Hooked: My Transition to Bike Shoes

By: Falon Sweeney

One of the things that sets The Handle Bar apart from other spin classes and studios is our strong encouragement of “clipping in,” or the use of bike shoes during your ride. Initially, I was a little apprehensive about using bike shoes. At other spin classes, I didn’t understand why people wore them, but one thing was for sure, it was usually the experienced riders that had their own pair. I often thought, “Nah, I’m not THAT into spinning, where I’d drop $50-$100 on a pair of shoes that looked a little silly and could only be used for one type of exercise”. I never had the chance to rent them and I had always thought that they were more for road cycling. Only the really intense riders wore them, right? Wrong.

I clipped in for the first time on Monday at The Handle Bar. By the end of the warm up, I finally understood why so many riders wear bike shoes. From the moment I started pedaling, I felt more connected to the bike and my ride as a whole than I ever had before. I was able to concentrate my energy through my leg muscles, rather than my joints to get a much more efficient, not to mention, safe workout. I could focus on the energy I was expending and direct it exactly how I wanted it, with minimal energy wasted. I’m now realizing that the spin workouts I used to do in regular running sneakers were not challenging my leg muscles nearly enough. I found that I was using my feet and knees to do the work, rather than the muscles throughout my entire leg. After just a few days of clipping in, my legs are more sore than they have ever been from a spin workout. I can’t help but feel like I’ve been missing out all this time, but all I know is that I can’t wait to see the long-term results of using bike shoes.

photo

If you’re having trouble believing that clipping in could make all the difference, think about it like this: If you’ve done yoga, you know that it would be pretty difficult to practice with socks on. You’d find it hard ground yourself and really connect with your mat. It’s the same thing with spinning. Regular sneakers act as a barrier between our body and our bike. But bike shoes help to bridge that gap and help connect us to our ride, making the workout all the more enjoyable and rewarding. I find myself better able to just let go and let the music carry me through the ride.

If you’re a beginner, you’re in luck. You don’t have to waste years spinning in regular sneakers to finally figure out that bike shoes will transform your ride. From the start you will experience the additional power, safety, efficiency, and muscle balance that clipping in provides.

At The Handle Bar, we give riders the option to rent shoes for two dollars, but we encourage you to buy your own pair. They’re a great investment and pay for themselves in just a few months. If you need advice on which shoes are the best for you, feel free to reach out to any of our instructors.

Don’t forget to come out this weekend for our grand opening! There will be prizes, giveaways, and freebees from our sponsors. If you weren’t able to reserve a spot, still stop in to check out the studio and take advantage of our Grand Opening 25% off special!