workout

Tips For Your First Spin Class

Spinning is definitely no ride in the park but all that pedaling will work the quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and core and give you a total calorie burn anywhere from 400 calories and up! Good news for anyone with joint issues, indoor cycling keeps impact on the joints to a minimum.

I’ve been totally addicted to spin class at Full Psycle recently! Once I powered myself through my first class I was absolutely hooked. Since some of you guys have been asking me questions about spin class on Instagram, I thought I would share what I’ve learned so far. I’m no expert, but I hope that these tips will make spinning seem a little less intimidating and maybe inspire you to try a class! I mean, it’s just a stationary bike… how terrible could it be?! haha.

CATHERINE’S QUICK TIPS
Reserve a bike before class:
Spin class popularity is on the rise, so make sure to call or reserve a bike online beforehand if your studio requires it.
Don’t sit in the very back row:
I know, we’re all tempted to snag a bike in the very back row our first time, but if you sit towards the front (second row) you will be able to watch the instructor and veterans. Its often helpful to watch a pro and use them as a guide.
Don’t go faster than the veterans: If your legs are going faster than the veterans or instructor, you probably don’t have enough intensity and you’re not doing yourself any favors. When your instructor says “give it your all” or “go go go” think of it as intensity, not leg speed.
Kick your heals out with some force to unclip from the pedals: I saw a girl a few days ago take her feet out of the shoes and leave them on the pedals after class! No need to do that haha, unclipping is easy!
Bring water: Seriously, I drank an entire 1 liter bottle of Smart Water my first class!
If you have a Heart Rate Monitor Watch: BRING IT! You will be so motivated and inspired by your endurance and the amount of calories you burn!


Full Psycle(source: Full Psycle)


What to expect:
Expect a vigorous workout! You will burn upward of 400 or more calories per 45 minute class. Every class is different, but you’re going to get a hardcore workout no matter what. For those of you who say “I never sweat,” you will!

Don’t be intimidated: Yes, there will probably be some seasoned pros in your class, but there will also be some newbies and people of all different ages, sizes, and level! Spinning is less intimidating than you may think. 
Don’t let the fear of the unknown stop you from trying an awesome workout! Remember that anything new is always scary. It’s just spinning!

Polar RC3 GPS 1My new PR calorie burn from Spin class at Full Psycle!

Polar RC3 GPS 2Polar sent me their new Polar RC3 GPS to review, and I am so obsessed with it. Aside from the clips I have been wearing to class, this is one of the biggest reasons I am so addicted to spin. You can watch your progress and see your exact calorie burn, minimum, average, and maximum heart rate, distance, and more! I’ve been wearing the heart rate monitor to class and it has been life changing you guys! I will be doing a full review on this watch and it’s functions in a couple of weeks!

THE ATTIRE:
Suit up: You will definitely work up a sweat, so throw on some moisture-wicking clothes to keep cool and dry.

Girls: I recommend crops and a fitted tank that’s tight so you don’t have a lot of extra fabric. Oh, and it can’t hurt your ride to put on something you feel confident in!

Guys: Shorts and a tank. A lot of guys end up without shirts by the end of class because it can get pretty hot in the studio.

Thoughts on padded bike shorts: The saddle can be an issue for some people and I’ll admit, the seats can definitely take some getting used to, but my advice would be to take the class in your normal workout gear and see what you think before buying cycling shorts. I don’t think padded cycling shorts are 100% necessary since you do spend a good amount of time out of the saddle, but it’s all about preference. If it makes you more comfortable, go for it!

Shoes matter: Make sure to call ahead or look at the FAQ online to see if your shoes are okay for class. In most cycling classes normal athletic kicks are just fine, but in others, cycling shoes are required.

My two cents on cycling shoes: I suggest finding a studio that has cycling shoes to rent, because with cycling shoes the feet are connected to the pedals much more securely. “Clips” as they’re called, can also make you more comfortable on the bike, give you more power, and allow you to get more integration of muscles in the legs for an overall better workout.

Full Psycle 3
WHAT TO BRING
Towel: Bring a towel if your studio doesn’t provide them and keep it draped over the handlebars for easy access.

Water Bottle: You are definitely going to want a big bottle of water nearby! Swigging water is encouraged mid-ride to stay hydrated, although the spin n’ sip may take some coordination haha. Sport cap bottles are suggested.

Full Psycle 1

BEFORE YOU ARRIVE
Eats: It’s important to feel like Goldilocks before class. You know… not to be too full and not too hungry.

Hydration: Stay well hydrated before, during and after class! You know you are properly hydrated if you are not feeling thirsty. Probably a good idea to use the restroom before class too!

Arrive 15 minutes before class begins, especially if it’s your first time. You will probably have to sing a waiver and it takes a few minutes to get properly situated on your bike.

Full Psycle 2
IN CLASS

Bike setup is key to a great ride: Don’t be afraid to ask your instructor for help setting you up on the bike. It’s the best way to prevent unnecessary discomfort and injuries!

Resistance: There are no real gears to change, but there is a resistance knob (or computer screen in some cases). There should always be some resistance on the pedals. It takes a few classes to get familiar with the right amount of resistance for you, but you’ll get the hang of it.

Don’t give up: If you start to feel exhausted or overwhelmed, just sit down in the saddle, take the tension down, and continue to peddle through the end of the class if you can. You’ll be prouder of yourself for enduring the class than walking out! Give yourself permission to build into this activity and you’ll find that you enjoy it more each time.


AFTER CLASS

Stretch: Take full advantage of stretching those legs to keep tightness and injuries to a minimum.

Eat: It may seem a little counterintuitive, but immediately after your workout is the best time of day to eat. Try to eat a high protein meal right away, because your body’s ability to refill muscle energy stores decreases by 50 percent if you wait to eat just 2 hours after your workout! Everyone loves an incentive to eat, right?!

Hydrate: Drink plenty of water and stay well hydrated following your workout.


Indoor cycling puts things in full gear with its awesome tunes, control over resistance and speed, and overall intensity. Hop on to the nearest bike and give this class a go!

Do you have any additional tips for first time spinners or a story about your first class? I would love to hear about it!

Second Attempt at Spin

Happy Monday bunnies!

Congratulations to William, you are the winner of my Chobani #WTFlavor Giveaway!
Be sure to check your email!

Motivation Monday: “It doesn’t get easier, you just get stronger.”

A little over one year ago I took my first spin class. I struggled the entire way through, unable to keep up with the instructor. It was so hard for me, that I was actually really really proud of myself for pedaling the entire time! A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to my friend Katelin and she was telling me how much she loves spin. Her pitch to get me to go with her was pretty convincing. “45 minutes and you’re done. That’s it and your workout for the day is done!” “Full Psycle has clips and towels!” “Your first class is free!” How could I say no to that? A couple of days later we met up at Full Psycle for our class and away we went! I have to admit I felt pretty bad@$$ when I “clipped in” with the cycling shoes. It got me seriously pumped for some reason. Like, I just felt so cool, and I’m not even joking, I think that made all the difference from my first spin class.

Spin

My very first class at Pedal Spin, I wore my Nike Frees and the instructor attached “baskets” to the pedals since I was wearing regular shoes. I quickly realized that spin class is 10 times better when you wear Clips. They make it much easier to keep your foot in place. This way you aren’t worrying if your foot is sliding or going to pop out, and you can focus on your power and speed. If you’re interested in trying a spin class, I highly suggest finding a studio that has rental clips like Full Psycle or Soul Cycle, borrow them from a friend, or buy a cheap pair from a bike shop or online. It made such a huge difference for me. After my first class I had no interest in going back, but thankfully my friend convinced me to give it another try at an excellent studio and now I’m in love!

Spin

After trying a free class at Full Psycle, I wanted to give spin a chance and see what other studios had to offer. Later last week I met up with my friend Amanda at YAS. I am totally addicted to spin right now! I used to be a die hard Bar Method-er until a few months ago. I got really burnt out and to be honest extremely lazy. I got into a complete fitness rut and nothing could motivate me until I was convinced to give spin a second chance. I’m so happy that I did because once again I have found something that I actually look forward to doing for exercise! I’m not saying spin is easy, it’s definitely challenging for me, but I have already seen progress with my strength and endurance in a few short weeks! Yay for second chances!

The classes: I tried them, so you don’t have to!

Pedal Spin – My very first classMonthly Unlimited: $119 ($49 for first month, new students)
First class free
Towels are provided
No rental clips
Instructor was very… passionate, and raised his voice a lot
He would run around and actually up our resistance for us. Ugh not fun!
Britney Spears Soundtrack played the entire class haha. But that was probably specific the instructor.
What I thought: My first experience was not so great. I hear great things about the studio, maybe I had a mediocre instructor?

Full Psycle – Second attempt at spin
Monthly Unlimited: $150
First class free
They provide rental clips
Towels are provided
Instructors remember everyones names
The instructors often come around the room and motivate you
Full body workout – you do weights while on the bike
HDTV screens in front of the class display your real-time performance statistics (Power, RPMs and Energy), allowing you to compete against your neighbors, your instructor and, most importantly, yourself.
Your personal online account tracks your progress and PRs.
What I thought: Obsessed. I love the displays that show you your speed, power, energy, etc. It keeps my mind occupied and makes me want to try harder to keep up with the group. I really hope that they open more locations!

YAS – Third spin class
Monthly Unlimited: $225
First class free
No towelsNo rental shoes
Good music and good instructors
What I thought: The company has great branding that really draws you in, but I didn’t find anything special about it. Why would I pay almost twice the price as another studio that has more amenities?

This morning my friend Kayleigh from Okay Fitness convinced me to go to spin at 5:45am. Yaaaa, never thought this night owl would take an a.m. class when it’s still dark out! We had a ton of fun and it was totally worth it! Metromint sent me a case of their waters, so I decided to take my Metromint Spearmint water to class with me today along with another bottle of plain water. The mint water gave my body a cooling sensation that was super refreshing during class. You know that feeling after you chew mint gum and then drink water? How it feels extra cold? Thats what this water does, every time! I have to admit that I’m not crazy about most of the other flavors, but spearmint and peppermint are awesome! I love that Metromint is made with refreshing real mint with zero chemicals, and zero calories! It’s a tasty way to up your water intake!
Spin
Spin
After spin I got a ginormous green juice from Nekter!
photo 4
How many of my bunnies take spin?! Or who has tried it and what did you think?
Your challenge this week:
 Go to a “first class free” fitness class! Spin, barre, yoga, anything! Just try it! You never know, it might be your new favorite!

Eat More Rabbit Food Shirts Are Back!

I’m excited to announce that my “EAT MORE RABBIT FOOD” shirts are back!
Head on over to the RFFMBT store to check out all of the new colors and styles as well as some other goodies! Get them while they’re hot!

Huge thank you to my gorgeous model Brett!
She’s the ultimate bunny babe!

Eat More Rabbit Food Shirt

Health & Happiness xo
Catherine

Physique 57 + Giveaway

Two weeks ago, I was invited by Physique 57 to join them in a special blogger/journalist class and meet & greet with CO-founder Jennifer Maanavi to celebrate their Beverly Hills location’s 2nd birthday! Being obsessed with Barre workouts, I RSVP-ed faster than you can say kale.


Physique 57 celebrity clients include: Demi Moore, Parker Posey, Lisa Rinna, Denise Richards, Lydia Hearst, and Kelly Ripa.

“Physique 57 is an innovative workout program that combines isometric exercises and orthopedic stretches to systematically lengthen and sculpt your muscles and create a beautiful, lean body. Their process is similar to interval training, but they’ve taken that concept to the next level to make it even more effective.

Physique 57’s interval sets use your body’s own weight as resistance, and through dynamic exercises, your muscles are targeted and overloaded to the point of fatigue, then stretched for relief. They call this groundbreaking process Interval Overload which includes muscle-defining arm exercises, intense thigh and seat sequences, waist-chiseling ab moves and fluid stretches.” – Physique57.com

The benefits of the Physique 57 technique include:

  • A sculpted physique
  • Strong core muscles
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Long and lean muscles
  • Lifted seat
  • Strength and endurance
  • Flexibility
  • Improved body alignment
  • Increased bone density

I was so excited for my class that I had my outfit picked out the night before. I decided on my black Lululemon Wunder Unders, signature “EAT MORE RABBIT FOOD” DIY tank, black American Apparel leg warmers, and black socks. I was quite proud of this little getup!


I arrived early to the adorable brick corner location in Beverly Hills just steps from Rodeo Drive. The studio has a private parking lot with free validated parking  for students (a rarity in LA), which gave me an ear-to-ear smile! I walked up to the front door thinking that the cute corner building would consist of one cozy studio, but boy was I wrong! Don’t judge a book by its cover, or should I say, don’t just a barre studio by it’s front door. I opened the door to a gorgeous naturally lit, exposed brick sanctuary filled with trendy chic workout clothes and Physique 57 décor.







I walked down the staircase and was greeted by a super smiley and very friendly staff member named Janet. She helped me and the other girls sign in and gave us an adorable pair of Physique 57 grippy socks and a huge water bottle. After everyone arrived, we threw on our cute new socks and headed down a long hallway to our studio. The floor to ceiling mirror-lined room was filled with mats, mini exercise balls, weights, and resistance bands. We were introduced to our instructor Sarah who is a professional dancer, certified Vinyasa Flow Yoga teacher, 2 time Marathon finisher, and holistic health coach. What does she not do?! Sarah asked each of us if we had any injuries or complications and gave modifications for a few people in the class that had knee and wrist issues. The personal awareness to students was a change from most group exercise classes where there is no individual attention.



The 57 minute workout started in the center of the room with leg lifts to get our bodies warmed up and then moved right into arms. We burned out our triceps and shoulders with 5lb weights and a couple sets of pushups before heading to the ballet barre. Once we got to the bar we did some extra intense standing thigh work. I felt THE BURN! Even though I take barre classes all the time, my legs would not stop shaking! The moves are simple, pulling away from the barre in a seated position while pulsing up and down, but oh my gosh does it hurt so good! I could literally feel the fat melting off of my thighs with every pulse. Sarah kept coming around to each of us and telling us “only 10 more seconds! Don’t forget to breathe!” Once we finished our last 5 seconds, I was pumped. I had survived the thigh segment! WOO! Or so I thought… Next, we all went to the middle of the room for some “Thigh Dancing” where you sit on your knees and lower your hiney down towards the floor, but don’t fully sit down. Sarah guided us through some intense thigh burning, hip swinging, arm raising, moves along with the music and I couldn’t decide if I wanted laugh or cry. As my legs started to reach full exhaustion, I started laughing and thinking in my head “omg please don’t give out legs, don’t sit down Catherine!” I looked around the class everyone was cracking up, but doing a great job staying in the position! I love that after each segment, you give the muscle a nice deep stretch to lengthen it, to avoid bulking up. We went into another set of pushups where I took the girly knee position.  Since I modified to an easier version of pushups for this round, I made sure I went all the way to the floor for each rep, and it felt great.

We moved back to the bar for some “Standing Seat,” which was my favorite. I have absolutely no behind, so any chance to work my back end is fabulous for me. I love “Standing Seat” because not only are you working your gluteus maximus, but your standing leg and lower back as well. It’s like a 3 for 1 deal and the results are lean muscles! Sarah was fabulous and made adjustments to my form and posture to make sure that I was getting the most of the exercise, which I really appreciated. Throughout the class she also gave beginner and advanced options to modify each exercise to everyone’s individual exercise level i.e. rising onto the ball of your feet for more of a challenge or bending your legs for more stability. After giving my derrière a nice lifting workout, it was onto the abs. The first ab exercise was really interesting and super effective! Out of all of the bar classes I’ve tried, I have never done this exercise. We laid down with our backs on the floor, a resistance band laced over the bar, and our legs up, using the resistance bands to stabilize our arms parallel to the floor while we did curls (sit-ups). With every movement I could actually feel my transversus abdominis contracting. We topped off our ab segment with tons of curls on the mats with the addition of the mini exercise balls. I couldn’t wait to do a nice long cobra stretch after that haha. The 57 minute workout concluded with an extra long plank and some deep stretching on the mats, which felt amazing. We celebrated the end of class with a round of applause. I could not believe how challenging the class was!


I love barre classes and am surprised after every class as to how many muscles are engaged without any machines or equipment besides arm weights! Even though I take Bar Method classes all the time, I felt like Physique 57 was a much more challenging workout. It’s a much faster paced class, making it an excellent cardio workout with tons of firming and sculpting benefits. With a new found confidence upon completing the class, I walked over to the meet and greet area feeling muscle fatigue in areas that I had never felt before! It felt as if every inch of my body got a workout that day. We snacked on kale chips and champagne (so classy and cute), while we had a chance to speak with Jennifer Maanavi, one of the CO-founders of Physique 57.


One of the first questions was “Where did the name come from?” Jennifer explained that the first studio was located on 57th street in New York and that they made the class 57 minutes long to fit with the name. Obviously the word physique was a given, because you end up with a smokin’ hot physique after taking this class! A few of the girls that attended the class were big time runners who wanted to know if Physique 57 should be accompanied by another cardio such as running. Jennifer informed us that she had a baby a few months prior to our meeting and took only Physique 57 classes to get back to her pre-baby body. My jaw dropped and I said, “You just had a baby?!” You would have no idea she just gave birth a few months ago by looking at her lean, svelte figure! Her body is stunning! After that answer I was sold and I said bring on the Physique 57! Of course there are always women who are thin and use this class to tone up, but it’s amazing and so inspiring to hear from someone like Jennifer who actually lost weight with this exercise class. She even told us that she took the class a couple times a week up until she gave birth to her new baby! Jennifer talked so passionately about the class and all of her instructors who absolutely adore her back.

I had so much fun at the class and really enjoyed the change of pace from my usual barre class. I was pleasantly surprised how challenging it was and how quickly the 57 minutes went by! Some of my favorite things about physique 57 include:

  • Long lean muscles, lifted seat, and better posture with visible results after 2 weeks.
  • Personal attention by the instructor to perfect form.
  • Small class sizes that are not overwhelming or claustrophobic.
  • Modifications for beginners and more advanced students for each exercise.
  • No footwear required, all you need is a pair of socks.
  • No need to bring any exercise equipment. Mats, exercise balls, weights, and resistance bands are provided.
  • Restrooms and showers at the location.
  • Excellent cardio and full body toning workout.
  • Focuses on problem areas for women.
  • Professional teachers with strong dance and/or fitness training backgrounds.
  • Fun upbeat music.
  • Free validated parking at the Beverly Hills location.

When I was leaving Physique 57, I was given an adorable swag bag with some super fun Physique 57 goodies. The ladies at Physique 57 gifted me with a 2 week challenge of Physique 57 classes, The Physique 57 Solution book, measuring tape, water, grippy socks and BH class schedule! The grippy socks are too cute and extra helpful in class. The little sticky dots along the bottom prevent sliding, while the padded ankle area protects your ankles from rubbing or hurting while on the bar. Grippy socks are recommended for classes, but not 100% necessary. I alternate between my ordinary athletic socks and grippies.




The book was absolutely fabulous. It’s filled with different variations of moves taken from the class, and adapted to do in the comfort of your own home. The book does a great job of describing each move, exercise, and stretch clearly and simply with bullet points and step by step photos, which are extremely helpful for visual learners like myself. I was able to do many of the Physique 57 exercises at home with the use of a chair (as my barre) and dumbbells! The book also contains a 2-week meal plan filled with energy boosting healthy snacks, and clean breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert recipes. There are some fabulous fresh salad dressings that I cannot wait to make this summer. The recipes in the book follow a similar philosophy that of RFFMBT. Most of them include fresh whole foods that are easy to prepare. I really love that Physique 57 is not just a workout, but a lifestyle. Most workouts consist of only that… the workout, but Physique 57 has the idea of a sculpted, beautiful body down to a science with their combination of interval training and suggested healthy recipes to reveal those long lean muscles you work so hard for in class.

If you are a fan of Cardio Barre, The Bar Method, or any other barre workout, Physique 57 will give it a run for it’s money, it is quite challenging and so much fun!

Physique 57’s is giving one lucky RFFMBT reader one complimentary Physique 57 class, at any of their locations!

Do you live near a Physique 57 location? Find out here:
Los Angeles or New York.

For your chance to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post “Physique 57 + Giveaway” telling me why you would like to try a Physique 57 class.
  • You can earn a second entry by tweeting: “I want to win a complimentary class at @Physique 57 from @EatRabbitFood http://bit.ly/LTs7v5 .”
  • Complete your second entry by leaving a second comment on this post with a copy of your tweet.
  • All entries must use a valid email address.
  • Open to U.S. residents who are able to attend a class at one of the Los Angeles or NY Locations only.
  • All comments must be posted by Tuesday, July 10th at 11:59pm (PST).
  • 1 winner will be randomly selected and announced on Wednesday, July 11th.

Stay in the loop with all things Physique 57 by following them on Twitter and Facebook!
Happy 2nd Birthday Physique 57, Beverly Hills! xo

* The giveaway has ended, and the winner will be announced on Wednesday, July 11.
** Congratulations to the winner: Sam B. from CA.

Peanut Butter & Banana Toast

Happy Toast Tuesday to all of my little bunnies!

Sam and I  are on the last leg of our road trip making our way from Tucson to LA! Yesterday we drove  15.5 hours, so we are really excited for the shorter drive today. In the past couple of days I have been smothered by a countless number of incredible emails and a plethera of new readers, pinners, Facebook fans, and Twitter followers. I love reading your stories and seeing your DIY photos! Thank you soooo much for continuing to read my blog everyday. Your support means the world to me. Because I have been attempting to blog via my iPhone (appologies for any awkward autocorrections and spelling errors!) in the middle of the dessert on my road trip, I haven’t been able to respond to emails as promptly as usual. I love chit chatting with readers and really appreciate the time and courage that goes into so many of your emails and I like to do the same for you! I’ll be emailing everyone as soon as I can, you are so important to me! I love you little bunnies!

Now onto the toast! Not only is this toast a classic, but it’s the perfect post workout snack with a purpose.

It may seem counterintuitive to eat after you have just exercised, but this is the best and most important time to eat. Your body needs protein and carbohydrates to repair muscle tissues and replenish glycogen stores, which are depleted after a strenuous workout. You can avoid cancelling out the calories that you just burned by eating the correct combination of foods to meet your body’s fuel needs.

After a sweat session, you want an ample protein (nut butter) combined with a high-glycemic carbohydrate (banana). By adding a complex carb like whole-grain toast, you are getting extra fiber without empty calories to make a more substantial post-workout meal. Eaten together within 45 minutes after a workout, this combination will go a long way to help your body repair and restore.


Peanut Butter & Banana (PB&B) Toast
Serves 1

1 slice whole-grain bread
1 Tbsp unsalted peanut butter
½ banana

Toast the bread and slice up half of a banana. Spread the toast with peanut butter, and top with banana slices.