16 Apr The Power of Cross-Training
Barre and Bikes? Is that similar to putting oil and water together or more like pairing spaghetti and meatballs? We say the latter! Although both of these exercise types may seem on the opposite ends of the fitness spectrum, we have found that combining the two is like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow or spotting that elusive unicorn with a rainbow mane. The combination of heart-pounding, low-impact cardio on our bikes at Zoom coupled with the small but mighty moves at Pure Barre… fitness genius. Barre classes focus on lots of core work and on smaller intrinsic muscles, both of which support larger muscle groups like the quadriceps and hamstrings, which are the major players during one of our rhythmic rides.
Barre is one of the best core workouts. By going “up an inch, down an inch,” you can improve your posture, increase your flexibility, and fatigue all those little muscles you never knew you had. Rather than larger, compound movements (e.g., squats and shoulder presses), you’ll perform tiny, one-inch increments called isometric movements. You’re getting a killer workout because the one-inch increments are enough to fire up the muscle and make it more elastic, but not too big to tear the muscle. In fact, these tiny movements can help you get stronger. The isometric contractions that make up the bulk of a barre class occur when the muscle tenses without changing length. Think of these movements as the opposite of typical strength training moves (or concentric and eccentric contractions), which occur when a muscle stretches then shortens (as in a bicep curl). Isometric exercise is a great way to maintain muscle strength. You’ll target multiple muscle groups at once. It’s a highly efficient workout since you’re doing two to four movements – holding, pulsing, stretching. Movements can mainly target your quads, but at the same time you’re also challenging the calves, hamstrings, glutes, abs, and upper-back muscles. You’ll improve your mind-body connection. The smaller movements in a barre class can bring a new level of awareness to the body that you don’t typically get in regular strength workouts. Barre can improve muscular activation for frequently underused muscles by strengthening the neuro-muscular (mind-body) connection.
So you’ve got the great core workout checked off. How do we challenge your heart and how do we get you that “afterburn?” Our Zoom cycling classes will increase muscular endurance, give you major calorie burn, and give your heart all the challenge it needs. In our classes, you increase your muscular endurance by continually and repeatedly exerting force over an extended period of time on your major muscle groups. The pedaling against resistance helps you increase muscular strength in your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and even calves. This increase in strength helps you perform your daily activities with greater ease, walking a quarter mile to your car with shopping bags while talking on your cell phone will be a cake walk! If your fitness goals include weight and/or fat loss, Zoom cycling is the ticket. You can burn anywhere between 400-600 calories in our classes. More importantly, you will get that “afterburn,” or that EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption)- meaning you will burn calories even hours after our class because we elevated your heart rate to threshold levels and beyond. Our well-directed rhythmic classes will steadily keep your heart rate well within a vigorous range for 45 minutes. Over time, continuous cardiovascular activity (including interval training) can help lower your risk of coronary artery disease, can help lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol, and can help lower your overall resting heart rate.
So why both? So why Pure Barre and Zoom? Would you ever eat cereal without milk? Would you not pair a succulent cut of steak with a fine red wine? Combining both of these low-impact, fun, and energetic workouts will give you results like you’ve never seen before. You will never plateau. You will never get bored. You will want to come back for more!
Written by: Jason Sabio, Zoom Instructor and Fitness Fanatic