THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

 

Whether it’s your first time or you are a seasoned veteran, here are answers to some of the most common questions you may have about riding at The Handlebar.

 

I WANT TO TRY INDOOR CYCLING, BUT DO I HAVE TO BE SUPER FIT?

Heck no. Indoor cycling is a low-impact cardio workout adaptable to all levels of fitness. You are in command of your ride and you go at your own pace by controlling the resistance on your bike. You will be encouraged to push yourself, but are always in control of your own workout.

 

For first-timers, arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled class, inform your instructor that it is your first class to ensure you are properly fitted on your bike and the mechanics of the bike are explained. Also, please let the instructor know of any ailments/injuries (or if you are pregnant) before getting on the bike. Once class begins, work within your comfort zone and adjust the gears accordingly. During the ride, carefully listen to the instructor and your body! Remember…it’s your first class, go at your own pace!

 

Indoor cycling classes at The Handlebar are a great way to get and stay fit, and challenge yourself.

 

HOW DO I SIGN UP FOR A CLASS?

Sign up is easy! Go to the MY ACCOUNT link at the top right or the orange button in the center of the homepage, review the SCHEDULE, click on the desired class and follow the prompts. You can sign up for individual classes or buy a class series package. When reserving your bike on the bike map, please select "adjustable bike" as opposed to "standard bike" if you are under 4'11" or over 6'8". If you are between 4'11" and 6'8" you can select either bike. Remember, 1st class is free! You can reserve a bike up to 7 days in advance.

 

WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?

Do wear comfortable exercise clothing that you would normally exercise in. Do not wear loose, baggy clothing including sweat pants — they could get caught in the bike. Padded bikes shorts are strongly encouraged.

 

DO I NEED SPECIAL SHOES?

The Schwinn A.C. Performance Plus bikes at The Handlebar have a dual-sided pedal that has a cage on one side (for your gym shoes) and a SPD-compatible clip on the other if you’re wearing cycling shoes. Although cycling shoes are not mandatory for classes at The Handlebar, we highly recommend them as they make a tremendous difference in your efficiency on the bike! You will see an increase of up to 30% in your power output once you are clipped in and able to properly pull up on that pedal. It’s well worth the investment if indoor cycling is a regular part of your fitness routine.

 

WHAT SHOULD I BRING?

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Do bring your water bottle – if you forget, no worries, we have water bottles available for purchase. We have plenty of filtered water to keep you hydrated. Everybody gets a sweat towel for class — you’re gonna need it!

 


img_SchwinnsWHAT BIKES DO YOU USE?

We have Schwinn A.C. Performance Plus bikes. We love the way they look, sound and feel. Most importantly, the Schwinn A.C. Performance Plus bikes are completely adjustable, allowing you to set them up in a way which is just right for your body size. Optimum fit is key for a comfortable and effective ride. The Handlebar is committed to making sure everyone can ride properly and safely. We have upgraded 7 of our 21 bikes to fit riders that are shorter than 4’11” or taller than 6’8”. If you fall within this range, select a bike that says "adjustable bike" when you are choosing your bike for class on the RESERVE A BIKE link. If that’s not enough, our bikes include the Mpower V2 Console with Mpower Upgrade. What is that? Well, it’s the newest console that uses watts to offer you all the measurements you need to track, train and improve your performance. Plug a USB device into these consoles and capture workout data so you can track all your workouts on your own computer. You can track everything from calories burned to watts earned. Watch your fitness sore by tracking your measurements every ride!


WHY MY STATS?


SHOULD I USE A HEART RATE STRAP?

Totally up to you. If you want to see your heart rate on our Mpower V2 Console with Mpower Upgrade found on each bike, you are going to need to provide your own ANT+ heart rate strap. Polar heart rate straps are compatible with our bikes. Some people like to train according to their heart rate, others train off perceived exertion and some just want to get on their bike and ride. We provide you with all the necessary tools to monitor and track your workout including power (watts), cadence, speed, calories and heart rate. How you choose to use them or ignore them is up to you.

 

HOW MANY CALORIES WILL I BURN?

Every person is different. Depending on the intensity, your weight, how hard you push yourself, and your fitness level — you can burn anywhere between 400 to 800 calories during a 50-minute class. However...the magic happens AFTER your ride. We call it the afterburn. Your body can continue to burn calories from your workout 1 hour, 2 hours and even 10 hours after your workout. How’s that for a post workout benefit!!

 

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF INDOOR CYCLING? AND WHAT’S ALL THE HYPE?

So I hear indoor cycling is addicting. What’s all the hype about? A few of the top benefits of indoor cycling include:

  • High calorie burn (in a typical class, you can burn between 400-800 calories or more!)
  • Decreased body fat
  • Increased cardiovascular strength
  • Increased muscle tone (especially your quadriceps, hamstrings, back and hips). And no, indoor cycling WILL NOT bulk up your quads and butt. You will tone up but not bulk up.
  • Decreased stress levels
  • Increased strength
  • A cycling “high” from the endorphins released during the workout. Beware - this is addicting!
  • All ages and fitness levels will find a good ride challenging and rewarding.
  • You control your own ride. You are always in control of the tension in the flywheel and the cadence of the cycle.
  • Indoor cycling is a non-impact activity so it causes less stress on the knees, hips, and ankles.
  • Indoor cycling is ideal for those recovering from injury or just looking for an alternative to running.

But all in all, we warn our riders that it is the most fun they are going to have exercising. It’s a musical party on wheels and it’s highly addictive.

 

DO YOU HAVE STORAGE FOR MY STUFF?

Yes, we do provide cubbies for you to store your belongings. It is located in the actual cycling studio where you and your stuff will be.

 

DO YOU HAVE SHOWERS?

Yes, we have a shower for you to use in case you need to head in to the office or out on the town. In addition to one shower we have two bathrooms and two changing rooms that are stocked with all the amenities you will need.

 

What are the best foods to eat before AND after a spin class?

Just like a car, your body needs fuel to perform, but, what kind of fuel and when should you eat? If your goal is to burn calories and get stronger, you need to work out as hard as you can. To accomplish that, your body needs to be fueled and ready.

 

Pre-workout: For those riders who do the early morning class, it’s challenging to eat properly when you’ve just dragged yourself out of bed. If you have less than an hour before your ride, eat something easily digested and high in carbs, a banana can do the trick. And of course, make sure you’re hydrated. Another idea is to split breakfast in half. Eat half of a piece of whole grain toast and peanut butter before the class, and the other half after the class. As to timing, the optimal time is to eat 30 to 40 minutes beforehand and 30 to 40 minutes post workout. A full meal--with the right portions of carbs, protein and fat--is the best for fueling your body before any physical activity. If you can, try to eat a full meal at least two hours before your workout.

 

Post-workout: Your muscles are in repair mode after a workout. To help that process, it’s important to feed your body protein, as well as carbohydrates. If you can do it, a well balanced meal within 30-60 minutes after exercising is the best. If that’s not possible, have a snack containing some carbs and some protein. And of course hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

 

Can I bring my child to the studio?

We don’t offer childcare, but we’d love for you to share the joy of indoor cycling with your loved ones (if they’re of a certain age). For little ones between 13-17 years old, you (the parent) will need to complete a special registration process. After that, they are welcome to sign up for classes online and ride to their little heart’s content. We have 7 upgraded bikes to accommodate riders under 4’11” and over 6’8”. Whatever the size, we have them covered!

 

Please consult with your doctor or physician before you begin any new exercise program.