fueling your ride
We get a lot of questions from people about what they should eat before or after class, how many times they should ride a week and what is the best compliment for indoor cycling. There are so many different answers for these questions, and everyone is different, however, our instructors gave a little peek into their lives to let you know what they do.
The debate on what to eat before and after a workout is ongoing. There are so many different directions you can go and lots of professionals will suggest different things. DISCLAIMER: None of us are registered nutritionists or dieticians and all of these are just personal preference and what we have found works for us. Always consult a professional if you need more information or have concerns (check out "Nutrition in Montion", located just a few minutes from our studio www.nimhn.com).
Before her early bird rides, Catilin always drinks a pre-workout drink. She drinks Cellucor® C4® before every class and loves the energy it gives her. She does not like to eat anything before she teaches because it is her fasted cardio which is said to provide a leaner figure and increased athletic performance. But, since it is so early, she tries to find a way to wake up, which the pre-workout has helped with. She says it is the perfect wake me up fuel and enhancer for her ride. However, Caitlin recommends you discuss a pre-workout drink with associates at the stores or with professionals because a pre-workout might not be for everyone, especially at 5:30am! (By the way, she is all about the fruit punch flavor...doesn't sound half bad!)
After class you can catch Catilin with another shaker bottle in her hand, this time it's a protein shake to help those muscles restore. She prefers GNC Pro Performance® AMP Amplified Wheybolic Extreme 60™ (in chocolate!) because of the protein and amino acids it has aiding her recovery. She will continue her morning with lots of water, a banana, and some cottage cheese with blueberries...delish!
Katie, our resident night owl (haven't taken her class yet?? Thursdays 7pm, be there) can't say enough about the effects of water on the body. She can't get enough water, and she starts hydrating early in the day. You will never catch this lady without a water bottle in her hand. While she does suggest cutting back just a little bit before class time (no one wants a stomach cramp while they're crunching!) she says it is so important to keep that body consistenly hydrated. She also will eat a banana before class for the sugar and potassium to provide energy and anti-cramping benefits without being too heavy in her stomach. After class, like Caitlin, she is all about the protein to promote the lean and healthy muscle recovery. She usually reaches for some nuts, greek yogurt, or a whey protein shake. She takes it one step further by also adding some anti-inflammatory snacks like pineapple and sunflower seeds.
She recommends staying away from dairy before a class or anything too heavy to avoid feeling weighed down and lethargic on the bike. She also stays away from any sort of carbinated or sports drink, can you guess what she recommends instead? Water!
Jenn is on the water train as well. She, like Katie, always has a water bottle in her hand ready when she is. She loves banana and peanut butter as both a pre or post workout snack (or anytime of day, just a personal favorite!), but she also will have a whey protein shake after a class to keep those muscles safe. She usually starts her day with oatmeal after the early morning classes which fuels her through the 9:30am or 12pm, and sets her on the right track for the rest of the day. Dinner always involves a protein, a veggie, and a starch.
Jenn thinks life is all about the balance. With work must come play, with activity must come rest, and healthy eating must come a little treat. You will never see this girl say no to a bread basket, pasta, pizza, scoops of peanut butter out of the jar, or dessert..major sweet tooth! Everything in moderation..including moderation! She recommends you don't make any food 'forbidden' because then naturally you are going to want it even more! She learned this the hard way in college when she went on her first and only 'diet' and cheated before lunch the next day. Treat yourself every once in a while, you earn it in the saddle.
Kelly- avid rider and Saturday desk pro says eat real food! The less packaging the better. When she doesn't have time for meal prep, or needs something quick, she reaches for things like Lara Bars, Quest Bars or Cliff Bars for a little treat- the fewer ingredients the better! Keep it simple, keep it healthy and don't fall into the traps certain bars and snacks put out there.
Paying attention to what you eat is a great way to boost your performance on the bike, but sometimes its nice for a change, just to spice things up physically! Our instructors, although avid and passionate indoor cyclist, like to take their fitness beyond the bike room. We do everything from recreational soccer, running, personal training (our rockstar Erin), bootcamp style classes, yoga, and barre (Hi Pure Barre North Andover!) While all classes at WheelHouse are no doubt a total body workout, mixing it up is a great way to keep you on your toes and prevent plateuing.
Yoga is a great compliment to spinning because it can really stretch out those muscles that get tight on the bike. It is great for opening up the hamstrings and the calves, but also works to strengthen the core which, as you know, is surprisingly essential in indoor cycling. It's also great for the mind, so find your inner zen every now and then!
Strength training also works well with indoor cycling, and helps with that killer arm song! It further strengthens your muscles which helps you push further and dig deeper while in class. You may notice after incorporating strength training that your sprints are a little faster or your hills a little stronger...who wouldn't want that!
It is important to remember that you do not have to spend your whole day in a gym. It is why our classes are 45 minutes, fast, effective, and leaves you plenty of time for the rest of your day. You don't need to spend hours working out, its quality, not quantity. Everybody has different fitness levels, different fitness goals, and different schedules. It is hard to set a universal number for how many times you should be in class a week. Fitting in 3-4 classes a week is amazing! But, if you don't do that many it does not mean you are at any sort of disadvantage or slacking by any means. Keeping a routine is the best way to continue to progress and avoid falling off the wagon. Even if you know you are only going to ride once a week, commit to that one class, don't take too much time off because it can be a challenge to re-commit and a shame to erase all your progress.
We will push you while you are in class and we will get you to go where you weren't sure you could, but you need to give your body time to rest. You need to listen to it and trust your instinct. If something feels funky, take the day off. We are open 7 days a week, catch us the next day! While we would love to see you every single day, we know it is not practical, so visit us when you can, don't get down on yourself if you miss a day, but remember, our classes are YOU TIME, and everyone needs that, so go ahead, be selfish, and give yourself the time you deserve.
As mentioned above, none of us are professionals. These are little tips and tricks we have found work for us, but health and fitness is not black and white. It is such a personal journey that you may need to learn what is best for you through trial and error. We are always here to provide any advice we can, and will do our best to help guide you down the right path, but you know you best.
Keep up the amazing work, your progress over the past month is absolutely incredible, and we can't wait to see you continue to strengthen!