We recently sent one of our manliest-of-men writers, Mark Arana, to try a RealRyder cycling class in L.A. Below are his thoughts on how tough the workout was and if it’s a good fit for all of the Fit Bottomed Dudes in the house! —Jenn
There’s only one way to sum up a RealRyder cycling class: It’s the real deal! What’s REAL about this class is that the bike moves side to side. Like a real bike!
Now, although I teach a cycling class at my gym, I am by no means a cyclist. To be honest, I was a little intimidated before taking the class. I heard that real cyclists who ride on the road would be participating in the class. However, once I got there and saw that it was just a small and welcoming group, it made me feel more at ease. And ready to get my pedal on.
The RealRyder bikes are just like the ones you see at your local gym. When you get on it though, it’s a whole different story. Because the bike moves from side to side, you really have to engage your core to balance. Erin, our instructor, was great with me and FBG Tish, who joined me for the ride. She challenged us to push ourselves the entire time. Being a cycle instructor, I thought Real Ryding would come naturally. Boy, was I wrong. I was exhausted after the first 15 minutes of the class. I watched the women and an older gentlemen kick my butt as they pedaled and swayed way past the point of my body’s beginning Real Ryder threshold.
The bike moves just like it would on the road. The handlebars sway side to side as you get started. The challenge begins when you realize you have to keep the handlebars steady. Erin made it seem like the easiest request in the world, keeping those bars straight. But, iorder to keep the bike steady, you have to engage your core and really concentrate. It was pretty easy for others to see when I was having a difficult time. My bars would sway out of control.
The side-to-side movement was great though, as Erin would have us lean to the right for a few seconds then lean to the left. The standing climbs were difficult though. I definitely used my triceps, core, and legs to help me balance while standing. Tish’s experience in the class echoed my own, saying that the class worked every inch of her body—not something you would expect from a cycling class.
The class was about 50 minutes long—and could have qualified as torture in some countries! I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to get off that bike, but I stayed on. And, despite it feeling nearly impossible to complete the class, by the end I didn’t just like it, I LOVED it. I’ve never experienced anything in a stationary class like that, and I’ve never worked so hard on a bike. The next day I was sore in places that I haven’t been in a long, long time. Teaching my stationary bike class will be sad now, knowing there’s a beast out there capable of so much more.
You feel the need for speed…and some killer core work? I highly recommend this class! —Mark
Mark Arana currently holds a certification with the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the American College of Sports Medicine. Mark lives in Los Angeles, working for a corporate fitness center and Sony Studios Athletic Club. Mark specializes in bootcamp training, sports-specific training, cardio-weight training and functional training. If you are interested in taking any of his classes or would like to work one-on-one with him, please contact [email protected].