When winter temperatures drop, it may become necessary to take your cycling training indoors. But did you know that, besides the issues of staying safe and warm, there are many other benefits to making use of Vancouver's indoor cycling and training studios a few months out of the year?
First and foremost, cross-training for cycling can result in many significant improvements on the road in terms of speed, endurance and, best of all, injury prevention. Working your body through different planes of movement and strengthening different muscles can prevent muscle imbalances (these can occur when cycling is your only form of exercise). Think of it this way: if you sit at a desk all day, then in your car on the way home and, finally, on your bike in the evening, all of these activities put you in a very similar seated position. Cross-training once in a while will keep your body strong in other positions, prevent boredom and staleness, keep workouts unique and restore motivation for serious endurance cyclists putting long hours of training in on the road.
Luckily, the Lower Mainland offers many options for cross-training during the winter months or simply switching up your regular long road rides. An avid cyclist could seek cycling-specific workouts at a spin studio, or strength/flexibility-focused workouts at a training studio with either a personal trainer or through a group class. Whether you are looking for a cycling-training-specific spin class or a fun “club-like” upbeat class to switch up your routine, Vancouver has a studio for you.
Method Indoor Cycling studio in Kitsilano is run by Jamie Armstrong, whose philosophy is “deeper than pumping loud tunes and smashing the pedals, beginners, active cyclists, weekend warriors, elite athletes/triathletes and pro cyclists will enjoy each ride at Method.” Two different classes are offered: a classic 60-minute “Method Ride” and, for those looking for an eight-week progressive intensity build-up to prepare for summer, a more challenging 90-minute “Enduro Ride”.
Website: www.methodindoorcycling.comInstagram: @the_method_man, @methodcycling
Facebook: www.facebook.com/methodindoorcycling Twitter: @METHODcycling
Tag Cycling studio is geared specifically toward any member of the general public looking to get into cycling, as well as competitive cyclists wishing to improve their outdoor performance through indoor training. Owner and Canadian mountain bike Olympian Lesley Tomlinson and the other instructors at Tag have extensive resumes and experience to help riders reach their goals. Tomlison was quoted in the North Shore News as saying, “My vision is that everybody coaching is at least a national team cyclist or has been a national team cyclist or better.”
Vancouver indoor cycling studio Wholey Fit, run by owner Heather Lind, offers spin classes, personal training and massage therapy. Lind runs a spin class that's just over an hour long and includes cycling fitness as well as strength training and flexibility off the bikes. She outlines on her website what it means to be Wholey fit: “You’ve found the balance that your body and mind need! You exercise because you enjoy it. You practise proper nutrition because it feels good. You have a positive outlook on life because you’ve learned how to live a healthy lifestyle that fits your lifestyle. When you’re Wholey Fit everything else is better!”
If you're looking for something different with which to challenge yourself, why not skip the cycling in favour of functional strength training? Jan Cartwright is the owner of Better Bodies Club, which has a team of trainers that specialize in strength training, elite training for professional athletes, metabolic training and conditioning, as well as nutrition. The studio offers personal training and group classes. Jan's online bio states that she is “obsessed with cycling can also guide you through riding-specific strength-training exercises that will help you become a stronger and more efficient rider. Not only will you learn to activate your glutes, the power generators on the bike, you will learn to stabilize your hips and strengthen the muscles in your abs, sides and back, the foundation for a healthier and stronger pedal stroke."
Core Conditioning is a personal training and group fitness studio located in Surrey that specializes in functional training for both athletes and the “everyday athlete”. Owner Michelle Roots built her studio on the idea that anyone can train as hard as they want, with the Core Conditioning motto being, “Train for life and be ready for anything”. Says Roots, “I believe that taking care of the body through proper training, nutrition and finding a healthy balance results in a better quality of life.”
Core Conditioning offers personal training, small group training, nutrition coaching, rehabilitation and a variety of larger group classes created by Roots to really challenge clients and allow them to reach their full potential or become stronger in their sport.
Instagram: @corecondition, @coreconditioningcloverdale
Twist Performance and Wellness has many locations all over Canada, as well as a few in the U.S. and one in Bangkok. Founder and owner Peter Twist has built a chain of fitness centres that specializes in fitness training, sport-specific training, holistic nutrition and wellness, and injury rehabilitation. He has built Twist Performance around a mantra that states, “Taking care of yourself, being accountable to your own health, wellness and fitness, and setting yourself up for success is infectious. Others recognize it, people respect it, and everyone is affected by it. Being a leader of one sets the tone for others and soon they will follow your example. This is how a movement begins.”
Peter Twist, founder and owner of Twist Performance and Wellness
Infofit provides another great fitness option, different from other Vancouver indoor cycling studios, that helps with your cross-training needs. Owner and founder Andre Noel Potvin has created a company that offers personal training and nutrition coaching, as well as many options for testing and assessment (resting metabolic rate, Sub-Max (VO2), postural or functional assessments, etc.) to make sure you are getting a workout program specific to your goals.Website: www.infofit.ca
Twitter: @Infofit, @andrenoelpotvinIf you are a competitive cyclist looking to improve your road game or to start cycling more seriously and have not yet looked into cross training, it might be to your benefit to seek some professional help to train off the road. As you read above there are many different options from Vancouver indoor cycling studios to fitness studios, so try out a few and see what you enjoy and feel will help your cycling most. By Michelle Roots BA KIN, CSCS, PN1, @COREcondition,@CORECondition