Culture 15 October 2018
People want to feel good and be inspired. All of us look for ways to create a release for our daily struggles and believe me that is what indoor cycling is all about. Backtrack to 1996, I was living a relatively active lifestyle in L.A., but honestly dreaded going to the gym. A friend of mine convinced me to try an indoor cycling class that she was teaching at a local gym. In order to persuade me to attend, she promised to make me a playlist that I would enjoy. Despite all my preconceptions of what a cycling class would be like, I dragged myself to this initial class and was hooked. It became sort of an active meditation for me. I was able to close my eyes, ride to the beat of a song and escape everyday worries for 45 minutes.
Time passed, and I realized that I wasn’t the only one who was hooked. People become addicted to things that make them feel good and indoor cycling made them feel great. The demographics of the participants in the classes expanded to more high-end clients like celebrities because they truly felt productive and inspired participating in the class. But at the time, there weren’t any studios for this kind of workout - just carpeted, non-air-conditioned side rooms of gyms. There was a void to fill, and I knew I could fill it.
At CycleBar I took my experience in the industry and developed a three-class approach to include the athletic riders, soul type riders and a mix of the two. I wrote the training manual, crafted the four-day training content and branded 12-song ride.
In 1998 my friend and I opened Body and Soul, the first ever boutique indoor cycling studio of its kind. We put a focus on luxury and were able to give riders a Four Seasons experience at a studio exclusively for indoor cycling. It was all about the feeling you had when you entered the studio, when you got on a bike, and when you left the class. We were able to offer a premium product in a premium facility.
People become addicted to things that make them feel good and indoor cycling made them feel great.
What hooked me and many others was the musicality and release of the riding experience. You are able to walk into the studio with whatever negative feelings you had throughout the day and after 45 minutes, leave with a completely different mindset. Add the elements of upbeat music, motivation, and a boutique feel, and we were able to create a lasting experience. This formula worked, and it spread. A regular client of mine moved to NYC and was lost without the studio indoor cycling experience. She and a friend decided to open a studio like ours and call it SoulCycle. Concepts like SoulCycle, FlyWheel, and CycleBar began to open up across the nation. The wheels of the indoor cycling scene were spinning at a faster pace than ever. Creators and innovators were finding what worked and what didn’t and mastered the perfect experience for indoor cyclists everywhere. I was able to operate Body and Soul until it was bought out by a bigger company in 2010. Throughout the following years, I hopped through several different indoor cycling concepts and consulted with some of the best instructors in the world.
I came to CycleBar in 2015 to lead their class content and education department and was able to include what I liked from all the concepts I had worked with. After working with the best indoor cyclists out there, and through trial and error from everything I have seen and done over the past 20 years, I was able to shape what CycleBar is today.
There are so many different elements shapes a class; this is what makes concepts unique. I wanted to make sure that I mixed passion and metrics in a CycleBar class. I didn’t want the experience to be solely based on numbers. If you wanted to shut your eyes and simply ride to the beat, that’s okay! If you want to choose a different class to focus on performance and numbers, that’s okay too! It is all about your specific journey and goals.
At CycleBar I took my experience in the industry and developed a three-class approach to include the athletic riders, soul type riders and a mix of the two. I wrote the training manual, crafted the four-day training content and branded the 12-song ride. I created a CycleStar forum where instructors can post content weekly for continued learning and inspiration.
The one thing that has stuck with me since my introduction to the concept was the music during class. It is truly all about the music because people are able to uniquely connect to it. A cool thing about indoor cycling is that we can ride to the rhythm of the music, pedal to the literal beat of a song. At CycleBar, we stress music to the masses. No matter the age of the rider, our playlist will affect them. Instructors are trained to make sure to include a great combination of remixes, decades and genres so that an 18-year-old can enjoy the experience just as much as a 43-year-old. A rider only needs to hear one song to be hooked. That, in addition to the lights in our CycleTheater, can create a certain ambiance that transports our riders.
I don’t foresee indoor cycling going anywhere because you will never get the same euphoric experience at a big box gym. Boutique studios, no matter what kind of fitness, create a sense of community to which nothing else can compare. All the added bells and whistles have been tested, but people continue to go back to the basics because it works. With all that is going on in the world people really just want to feel good! Exercise is an amazing thing, and when you can get your body to love it, the effects are remarkable.
Indoor cycling can be an intimidating concept. I know, I’ve been there. But it is successful for a reason. Find a studio that works for you, try it, and see how you feel. Find your release through the music and group experience, and Rock Your Ride!
It is one thing to read and another thing to understand what you are reading. Not only do you want to understand, but also remember what you've read. Otherwise, we can safely say that if we're not gaining anything from what we read, then it's a big waste of time.
Whatever you read, there are ways to do so in a more effective manner to help you understand better. Whether you are reading by choice, for an upcoming test, or work-related material, here are a few ways to help you improve your reading skills and retain that information.
Read with a Purpose
Never has there been a shortage of great books. So, someone recommended a great cookbook for you. You start going through it, but your mind is wandering. This doesn't mean the cookbook was an awful recommendation, but it does mean it doesn't suit nor fulfill your current needs or curiosity.
Maybe your purpose is more about launching a business. Maybe you're a busy mom and can't keep office hours, but there's something you can do from home to help bring in more money, so you want information about that. At that point, you won't benefit from a cookbook, but you could gain a lot of insight and find details here on how-to books about working from home. During this unprecedented year, millions have had to make the transition to work from home, and millions more are deciding to do that. Either way, it's not a transition that comes automatically or easily, but reading about it will inform you about what working from home entails.
When you pre-read it primes your brain when it's time to go over the full text. We pre-read by going over the subheadings, for instance, the table of contents, and skimming through some pages. This is especially useful when you have formal types of academic books. Pre-reading is a sort of warm-up exercise for your brain. It prepares your brain for the rest of the information that will come about and allows your brain to be better able to pick the most essential pieces of information you need from your chosen text.
Highlighting essential sentences or paragraphs is extremely helpful for retaining information. The problem, however, with highlighting is that we wind up highlighting way too much. This happens because we tend to highlight before we begin to understand. Before your pages become a neon of colored highlights, make sure that you only highlight what is essential to improve your understanding and not highlight the whole page.
You might think there have been no new ways to read, but even the ancient skill of reading comes up with innovative ways; enter speed reading. The standard slow process shouldn't affect your understanding, but it does kill your enthusiasm. The average adult goes through around 200 to 250 words per minute. A college student can read around 450 words, while a professor averages about 650 words per minute, to mention a few examples. The average speed reader can manage 1,500 words; quite a difference! Of course, the argument arises between quality and quantity. For avid readers, they want both quantity and quality, which leads us to the next point.
Life is too short to expect to gain knowledge from just one type of genre. Some basic outcomes of reading are to expand your mind, perceive situations and events differently, expose yourself to other viewpoints, and more. If you only stick to one author and one type of material, you are missing out on a great opportunity to learn new things.
Having said that, if there's a book you are simply not enjoying, remember that life is also too short to continue reading it. Simply, close it, put it away and maybe give it another go later on, or give it away. There is no shame or guilt in not liking a book; even if it's from a favorite author. It's pretty much clear that you won't gain anything from a book that you don't even enjoy, let alone expect to learn something from it.
If you're able to summarize what you have read, then you have understood. When you summarize, you are bringing up all the major points that enhance your understanding. You can easily do so chapter by chapter.
Take a good look at your life and what's going on in it. Accordingly, you'll choose the material that is much more suitable for your situation and circumstances. When you read a piece of information that you find beneficial, look for a way to apply it to your life. Knowledge for the sake of knowledge isn't all that beneficial. But the application of knowledge from a helpful book is what will help you and make your life more interesting and more meaningful.