It’s hot outside. Moving our workouts indoors is not only tempting, it’s nearly a necessity. Ben Sonderman of Zengo Cycle answers some of the most common questions when it comes to indoor cycling.
Do I Need to Stretch?
Stretching BEFORE an indoor cycling class isn’t a necessity. You can go in completely cold and use the first song as a warm-up. It’s smarter to stretch AFTER a ride, as it can help prevent soreness and provide a chance to bring your heart rate back to normal levels.
Should I keep anything special in my gym bag?
No need to pack anything too different from what you would bring for other physical activities! It’s always good to have a water bottle, and extra towel or two, maybe a change of clothes. Cycling classes are challenging, and you’ll most likely work up a killer sweat (next to a cutie), so having some antiperspirant/deodorant on hand is never a bad idea.
If I’m new – what should I consider?
I think it’s important to allow yourself to have fun. A lot of guys get so concerned with how they’re perceived when they’re working out. What’s cool about indoor cycling is that your workout is so personal, and it’s that way for everyone. Where I teach at Zengo, the studio is dark, there’s no scoreboard. It’s just you and the bike. You can choose how hard to work and you hold yourself accountable for your effort. If you can let some of those inhibitions go a little bit and commit to the workout, you’re in for a great time.
What should I wear for comfort?
Okay, so everyone has their own preferences of course, but I’d stay away from cotton tee shirts. They absorb sweat like crazy and won’t allow a good deal of evaporation. It’s safer to go with polyester or a poly-blend. And as far as your shorts go, I prefer something with an inseam a good inch or two above the knee. They don’t have to be short-short, but basketball length shorts can get in the way quite a bit and not allow you to attack the bike like you want.
What should I eat and when?
Carbs are my go-to in preparation for a ride. If I can plan it out the night before a ride (which doesn’t always happen), I’ll try to do a meal based around some complex carbs. Whole grain pasta or brown rice along with some green vegetables like broccoli or asparagus are staples. The morning of the ride oatmeal is a great go-to meal as the energy it provides burns slowly. About an hour before the ride itself I’ll have some fruit or something else light and simple just for a quick boost. After the ride I’ll normally do some simple carbs to recover. Steak, chicken, eggs, smoothies, shakes, whatever I’m in the mood for as long as it’s substantial.
Ben teaches at a variety of studios. You can find his schedule for Zengo at zengocycle.com where he most commonly teaches at Mosaic and Cathedral Commons. Follow him on Instagram at @bensonderman.