Achieving Complete Fitness at Yen Yoga & Fitness

by Wes Sovis

In 2017, I’m training for a series of spring bicycle races and looking to get back to my old form of being pretty darn competitive at a high level of competition. This year, I’m doing my training exclusively at Yen. My rationale? By adopting a holistic, well-rounded training program of cardio, strength, and recovery, I’ll be fitter, faster, and more prepared for spring races than ever before. In my mind, the days of grinding out endless hours on a bicycle trainer in the basement have come and gone. To make the most of my time and energy, I’m using specific riding profiles at Yen, coupled with intense circuit training and yoga classes to train and take care of my body. Plus! They have free Dove chocolates at the front desk, which is really cool.

In the old days, training to race bicycles at a high level was pretty straight forward. You rode your bike as much as you could and you ate as little as possible. Cyclists avoided lifting weights, should the excess muscle weigh them down on the long climbs found in races. The results of these training techniques? Cyclists could ride bikes fast, but could do little else. And I mean nothing else. They couldn’t touch their toes or lift their 20lbs. bicycle over their heads. I mean, after all, could you really consider these cyclists “fit” if they couldn’t do a push-up? I certainly don’t think so.

I started taking Arms, Abs, and ASSets last fall before the Iceman Cometh, which is a massive mountain bike race in November. My thinking at the time was I’d get a bit more arm strength to better prepare myself for the rough downhills at the race. However, I quickly noticed that having these things called abs really, really helped my stability on the bike. My legs also benefited from all the squats, lunges, and other torture routines that Katie comes up with, giving me more power and better stamina on the long, steep climbs commonly found in mountain bike races. Despite taking AAA two or three times per week, I didn’t gain any weight from extra upper body muscles. In fact, I lost weight because AAA kicked up my metabolism to a whole new level. So, I went into Iceman lighter, stronger, and fitter than I ever had and placed 218th overall, out of 4,000 people.

Indoor cycling at Yen also has some benefits that you can’t get elsewhere, including riding outside. Indoors, you control everything – intensity, workout duration, types of intervals, everything. There’s no coasting, no tailwinds, and no cars. That means when you train for an hour indoors, you get an honest 60 minutes of training in. That’s not the case outdoors, where stopping at lights and downhills can ruin interval efforts. Plus, when you’re indoors, you can control how long of climbs you have, even if you live in flat areas. Measuring your heart rate is also super easy indoors at Yen and you don’t have to buy an expensive bike computer like you would have to if you’re training outdoors. As far as ROI on training time goes, training indoors is time better spent, especially in the spring. I mean, who wants to train outside when it’s 20 degrees, anyway?

After a week of riding indoors for 8-10 hours, plus two or three AAA classes, having classes like Yin and Restorative is crucial to recovery. I’ve really come to understand that it’s important to take care of your body after running it into the ground by training hard everyday. Yin, in particular, has become an essential part of my routine. I usually leave a Yin class standing taller and with less tightness and soreness in my muscles. What does that mean? It means I can get back into the cycling room or into AAA sooner and get more out of my next workout because my body is stretched out and ready to rock.

Even though I’m training for something very specific, mountain bike racing, there are so many classes at Yen that allow you to cross-train to be fitter, faster, and stronger, all while training in climate controlled conditions. If I’ve learned anything over the last year, it’s that fit is fit – by using cardio, strength, and yoga classes, athletes can get their entire training program sorted at Yen. One membership to rule them all, as it were.

If you’re a runner, cyclist, kayaker, tiger trainer, or any other type of athlete, cross-training at Yen will help you be more competitive at your chosen sport, but also allow you to obtain a more complete, well-rounded level of fitness and a higher quality of life. And again, they have Dove chocolates that they just give away to anyone. You can have as many as you want, man.

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Wes Sovis is a CAT 1 mountain biker for Kolo Tc. He teaches Indoor Cycling at Yen on Wednesdays and Fridays at 5:30. At his day job, he’s the Director of Marketing at Swell Development and Everpresent Marketing. You can also check out his website, achubbycyclist.com.