In PDX // Fitness Fun at BurnCycle

Since moving to Portland, I’ve definitely struggled a little bit with being consistent with my workouts – all the good restaurants here don’t leave much time for the gym! However, I do love staying active and so I’m always on the lookout for new things to motivate me when it comes to fitness. 
Although I used to run cross-country in high school and ran sporadically throughout college/my early twenties, I don’t necessarily love running like some people do. I personally find that I get a lot more benefit out of group fitness class because a) having a class that starts at a specific time forces me to actually show up and get the workout done vs. putting it off and b) I find I push myself harder when I have a good instructor and get a much better workout compared to being by myself.
So back in January (during that typical New Year’s resolution phase), I was looking for a new workout to try here in Portland to help get me back on track with my fitness goals. I happened to hear about BurnCycle, a new(ish) spin studio that opened up in the Pearl District last fall. Since it wasn’t too far from our apartment, I decided to check it out and see what all the fuss was about. They were offering a free class in January and after one time, I was hooked! 
The classes are only 45 minutes long, but you get a really intense yet fun workout in that time and it goes by super quick. I love that the room is dark during class because it really allows me to just zone out and focus on me vs. looking around the class and comparing myself to other people. (Plus there is no clock in the room which I love!) One of my other big complaints with spin classes I’ve tried in the past is that I didn’t always care for the instructor’s music choices, which made it really tough to enjoy the class. At BurnCycle, the music has been awesome every time I’ve gone to class; it’s typically a good mix of pop and house music that’s always super upbeat without being annoying. I also really love that there are no gauges/screens on your bike telling you how many RPM you’re doing; whenever I’ve taken classes with bikes like that in the past, I felt like I would get really fixated on going the right speed and it would take away from my workout. At BurnCycle, the whole idea is just to ride with the beat of the music, with the goal being that everyone in class is riding in sync, as a pack.
My favorite thing about BurnCycle is that you spend 90% of the class out of the saddle! Normally in a traditional spin classes, you’re sitting down for most of it and my butt tends to get really sore (TMI)  so I like this much better. Plus when you’re standing, I feel like you’re getting a more active workout and I love how the instructors incorporate a lot of upper body moves as well. During class you do things like pushups, dips, presses, crunches and all sorts of other movements that make you feel like you’re really getting a full body workout. Near the end of class, you do one song where you ride seated and do strength exercises for your upper body with hand weights. The weights are really light, but that’s deceiving! You do a ton of small movements that really target a variety of muscles in your arms and it’s hard…but good. And then after that you, there are just two more songs and class is over!
After taking that first class in the beginning of January, I bought a month pass and participated in the BurnChallenge, which was basically a competition to see how many classes you could go to in a month. I ended up going to 17 classes, woo! It’s honestly such a quick yet effective workout that’s truly fun, so I never dreaded going and instead it was something I looked forward to! I like it so much that I’ve brought multiple friends with me to check it out, and everyone always ends up loving it. 
Unfortunately, after doing the BurnChallenge, I’ve only been able to go to classes very sporadically. Mainly due to things like this and this…it’s been a little busy, plus it’s not quite as close to my new house. But I did have a chance to attend a fun blogger event back in April where BurnCycle rounded up a bunch of fitness-lovin’ bloggers here in Portland and gave us a free class followed by mimosas! (Even though at the time, I already knew I was pregnant so no mimosas for me…ha) 
Nice action shot of me doing my hair…ha!
The lovely Niki of Niki Rhodes Photo captured the event and the photos turned out really great! (All the photos used in this post were taken by her, and you can see even more on her blog!) I have actually been wanting to blog about BurnCycle for awhile, but since I don’t usually take photos while I’m in class (cuz that would be super weird) I never got around to doing it…so luckily the blogger event solved that problem! I actually went to a class this past weekend for the first time in awhile and had a blast, so it’s definitely something where anyone can really modify it to fit their current fitness level.
If you’re interested in taking a class (which you totally should!), be sure to sign up online in advance to reserve a spot as many of the classes fill up early, especially on the weekends. I’d definitely suggest getting there a few minutes early so you have time to find parking and get situated before class. You do have to wear spin shoes and clip into the spin bikes, which sounds intimidating if you’ve never done it, but I promise it’s not! Everyone at BurnCycle is super nice, they have spin shoes for rent for $2, and they are really helpful with showing you how to clip in and get your bike set up. It’s definitely worth trying and once you do it once, chances are you’ll fall in love with it too!
{Just FYI: I was given a complimentary class at BurnCycle, however, all thoughts/opinions in this post are 100% my own. All the other classes I’ve taken are ones I’ve paid for with my own money and I wanted to post about it because I genuinely love it and think it’s a great workout!}