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My Experience With CycleBar

CycleBar is a cycling studio chain with locations in many U.S. states. I first joined CycleBar when I got a voucher for one free class. I figured I would try it because I was looking for a comfortable place to workout after the height of the pandemic. However, I went into it with no intentions of continuing until I realized how much I loved it after just one class.

My entire life, I have always struggled with gym anxiety. I have gotten much more comfortable at gyms now, but right after the pandemic, I was terrified all over again. CycleBar entered at the right time to save me from never going to a gym again.

I went to my first free class with a friend and we had a blast. I quite literally have never felt more empowered and confident after a workout. CycleBar instructors have a unique way of teaching their classes. They teach them based on the music they choose for the duration of the ride.

The goal of every cycling class in these studios is to ride to the music. The speed at which you pedal and the difficulty of the gears all depend on the song. Songs with fast-paced beats cause riders to pedal as fast as they can for spikes in cardio. Other songs with a slower beat act as “mountains” to climb up. These songs challenge you to turn up the gear and stop listening to your brain saying, “You can’t.”

I have never been a fan of running, and I have literally never experienced a “runner’s high.” But, I sure have experienced what I like to call a “CycleBar high.” Every CycleBar class I have attended has left me on a high. I am always beaming while feeling amazing and extra confident. It is my enjoyable version of running.

CycleBar also offers multiple kinds of rides. Their classic rides are the most common and include the usual focus on gear number and average pedal revolutions per minute or RPMs. These classes kick my butt, but not as much as their Empower or Connect rides.

Empower rides do precisely that, empower you. Instructors of this ride encourage you to increase your speed or gear to push yourself. These rides usually focus less on face-paced cycling and more on heavy, high-gear cycling. Your body can do a lot more than your brain thinks it can. You don’t always have to listen to your brain if it says you can’t do something anymore because most of the time, you can keep pushing for an even superior workout.

The Connect rides are my personal favorite. This class has a range of speed and gear difficulty, just like the classic rides, but they are much more of a musical experience. In these classes, riders are told to cover their monitors with their sweat towels and just connect with the music. Numbers are not considered as it is all based on how you connect with the music.

The CycleBar instructors at my studio are the absolute best, too. They are all so kind and approachable. Every instructor is incredibly talented in instructing and ensuring everyone feels included in the ride.

Overall, I don’t know what I would do without CycleBar. It has become one of my favorite things and I couldn’t imagine cardio without it. I feel so comfortable and welcomed walking into my local studio, and I know there will always be a smiling face at the front desk or on the instructor’s bike to greet me.

I highly encourage anyone with a CycleBar in their area to try a class and fall in love with cycling as I did.

Marlena is a fourth-year in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State where she is majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Psychology and Digital Media Trends & Analytics. She is so grateful to be at Penn State and loves learning more about communications, her peers, and herself every day. She hopes to use this knowledge and her own positive outlook to help others in any way she can.
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