Many of our instructors have adorned themselves with their very own wearable art. For all of you wondering what the stories are behind these bodily masterpieces, we give you Tattoo Tuesday.

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Kelly Whittaker‘s anchor is a tribute to one of her best friends who passed away too soon.

“We always used to say “just keep swimming”, which is why I picked an anchor. It’s a daily reminder to me that no matter what happens, just keep swimming – things will get better!”

Back on the Bike after Baby

As many of you know, our very own Katie Andrews brought the first Recyclistiny into the world this spring. We wanted to share this Recycle Mama’s journey back to the saddle and encourage all of those new moms out there to reclaim their rides!

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While there are many aspects of being a new parent that you can prepare for by reading books, joining groups, or listening to friends, the actual experience of both giving birth (and what happens after) is really a mystery until you experience it. As any new mother will tell you, there is a lot of anxiety leading up to the day that your child is born, and little you can do to ready yourself for what is a monumental change.

But once that amazing birth-day arrives, the anxiety unfortunately doesn’t end. Are you going to co-sleep? Are you breastfeeding? Will your baby use organic diapers? Cloth? There are so many decisions to make, and it can easily feel overwhelming. So overwhelming in fact, that you focus all your energy on making everything perfect for the baby, and forget that caring for yourself is also a priority. (If you didn’t think it was, now is the time to MAKE it a priority). You can’t be a good parent to your child if you aren’t taking a moment for yourself – to recharge, refresh, and most importantly, take back your body that for the past 10 months has been rented out to a tiny but demanding little human.

Yes, what I’m telling you is, it’s time to get back in the saddle. Because I had a c-section (little guy was all tied up!), I was told that I couldn’t get back to my regular exercise until 8 weeks after my son, Benjamin, was born. To be honest, I was a bit relieved that a date was set for me – exactly 2 months after he was born, I signed up for my first spin class. Surely I could have started with something a bit less challenging, like couch aerobics, but I knew that the only way to begin to take back my body was to jump in, clips first.

But let me back it up a second and tell you how I got to that first ride…After having Ben, I could hardly walk, let alone consider exercise. A c-section is full abdominal surgery, and giving birth will leave your body equally changed, exhausted, aching, and unable to consider sitting on a spin bike. As much as I yearned to get back in the saddle, I knew I’d have to start slow.

Step 1: Walk around the block. No matter how fit you were during your pregnancy, your first step should always be walking around the block. See how it feels. Are you winded? Tired? Sore? I made it 2 blocks the first time before I had to turn around. Baby steps.

Step 2: Extend the walk and push the stroller. Strollers are no joke. Pushing that thing, with Ben inside, for 10 minutes outside would cause me to need an extra afternoon nap. Don’t go too far from home before you turn around – if after a couple blocks you still feel good, go for another spin. But you don’t want to walk out too far then need to take a cab back (yes, I considered it once).

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Step 3: Start doing some household activities that you probably asked your husband/friend/mother to do over the first week or two. 
My first days home I couldn’t reach high enough to put a plate away in a cabinet, lift the laundry basket, walk the dog or take out the trash. (Note: I wasn’t exactly complaining about missing these tasks and I was very lucky to have many helping hands.) However, resuming these day-to-day activities was a good barometer for how I was healing – the day I could reach a wine glass on my own was a real success :) Remember that every time you lift, bend, reach, and squat, you are working your body’s muscles and beginning to retrain them for exercise.

Step 4: Put your baby to work. I was most paranoid about walking into my first Recycle class and making it about 30 seconds into the arm sequence before I dropped my weights. What I didn’t realize is: babies are heavy. When you lift them up from a chair, the crib, the changing table 382 times a day, you are working your arms, chest and back. Have you ever carried a car set with a baby in it? It’s no joke. Now take it in one arm and add a swinging motion so the infant inside stops screaming bloody murder and terrifying everyone in the elevator. Yeah – that’s like doing one-armed kettle bell swings with a 25 lb weight. Your baby is making you work every single day (as if you didn’t already know that!)

Step 5: Pull off the bandaid, sign up for a class, and reclaim your ride. I swear I couldn’t sleep the night before my first ride back in the saddle because I was paranoid about humiliating myself. What if I couldn’t follow the choreography? What if I couldn’t hit a double time? Or even get out of the saddle? What if jumps went over my head or a climb was out of the question? Mostly I feared – what if my boobs start leaking during class????! I wore two sports bras, fed Ben right before I left, brought a swimming pool worth of water, and went to the studio. When I sat down to put my shoes on, they fit so much more comfortably than the last time I had worn them, almost 3 months before. I realized – the last time I had done this, I was 36 weeks pregnant (with swollen feet). Since then I have given birth, learned to breastfeed, stayed up nights crying in frustration, and spent mornings giggling into a crib at my newborn son. I have made decisions for him that I would never know were right or wrong, but were my responsibility to make. I have become a mother. And there was nothing in that studio, on that bike, in that class that that would hold a candle to the challenge I was already living. I strapped on those shoes and I ROCKED that ride. And I came home to my baby and told him….She’s baaaack!!!

This all took me 8 full weeks, but your timeline could be different. The most important thing to remember is that your body WILL come back. It will feel changed, different, and new but also STRONGER, FIERCER, and more POWERFUL than you realized possible. You made a tiny human – and that is the most amazing thing of all. If your body can do THAT, it can certainly push those pedals around, and return you back to the person you knew a year ago. With just one adorable difference.

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REFUEL: Eat like a Recyclista!

With all of the calories they torch on the bike, our instructors and staff have some serious appetites! You have probably seen them on multiple occasions munching at Sweetgreen or Pinkberry after a sweat sesh, but these girls cannot live on greens and froyo alone. We had our Recyclista’s weigh in about their other favorite eateries in the Boston area and the healthy dishes that keep them fueled up and ready to ride. Try one of these delicious meals after steaming up the studio with us this weekend!

Breakfast

Anni – “The absolute BEST post-workout meal in the morning is Flour Bakery’s steel cut oats. The oatmeal is a creamy blend of grains with a hint of vanilla and cinnamon topped with their seasonal fruit compote and nuts. Right now its a delicious mixed-berry compote topped with pecans. Finish it off with a sliced banana for a little extra potassi-YUM.”

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Lindsay – “For a delicious, filling breakfast, I love Sound Bites in Somerville. Sometimes I go for an egg-white omelet with cheddar and peppers and an english muffin on the side. My other favorite is their egg and cheese sandwich on a bagel – the best!”

Katie A – “Pavement Coffeehouse is one of the top 5 things I miss about Boston! I love to refuel after a ride with their Chia sandwich (veggie cream cheese, avocado, sprouts, and tomato) on a whole wheat everything bagel and a refreshing hibiscus iced tea.”

Stephanie – “Thinking Cup Cafe… now our neighbor on Newbury! In the morning I get the Greek Yogurt Parfait. It has a gorgeous mix of blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries and comes with granola on the side. It is delicious and a great way to fit in some protein first thing in the morning.”

Lunch

Aly – “Pret a Manger! It’s grab and go and everything is made fresh. For lunch, I love the Moroccan lentil soup (lentils, caramelized onions, carrots, garlic, celery, turnips, balsamic, olive oil and Moroccan spices) or their market salad (quinoa, edamame, peas, parsley, garbanzo beans, avocado, beets, grape tomatoes, carrots, mixed greens, onions and lemon with balsamic vinaigrette). The serve yourself coffee and community style table makes me feel right at home. “

Brianna – “My new favorite place to grab something delicious is Snap Top Market on Columbus Ave in the South End. They just redid the inside and they now have AMAZING collard green wraps, acai bowls, and raw pastas (made from zucchinis, etc). My current go-to is a collard green wrap with chicken breast, vegan chipotle sauce, quinoa, veggies, and avocado!”

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Cate – “The Asian Soup Bar at Blue Glass Cafe in the John Hancock building has an amazing variety of flavors that allow you to make your perfect soup. I go with veggie broth, ALL of the veggies, add tofu, spicy sauce and snag a dark chocolate sea salt Kind bar by the register for dessert! Perfect lunch on the go!!”

Denva – “The Angora Cafe on Comm Ave is an old favorite of mine. To feel like you are eating something super indulgent, order the Feta Portobello Flatbread Pizza. It is amazingly light and delicious and won’t weigh you down like most pizzas do!”

Elyse – “My favorite healthy lunch is the Macrobowl from Root in Allston. It’s packed with organic quinoa and topped with pickled carrot, kale, chickpeas, and avocado and a citrus miso vinaigrette. Gluten-free, colorful, and fresh!”

Kelly – “When I am grabbing lunch near my office in the Financial District, I love to hit up Freshii for one of their Buddha’s satay rice bowls. Rice noodles are topped with fresh veggies and peanut sauce. For a refreshing, sweet treat, I grab a Powerhouse smoothie made with mint, pineapple, coconut milk, and non-fat frozen yogurt.”

Dinner

Anna-ruth – “I love Life Alive in Central Square for their incredible, filling bowls and smoothies. It’s my go-to the night before a race or when I need energy in general. I order The Adventurer bowl (corn, beets, broccoli, dark greens, cheddar, almonds, sesame ginger nama sauce all over quinoa and short grain brown rice). I get legumes instead of tofu, and always add squash + avocado. I usually get the Elvis Alive smoothie for dessert because I love the combo of chocolate, PB & bananas!”

Emily – “When I go out for dinner I love the Back Bay Micro Chopped Salad at Met Bar! This mega salad is jammed with broccoli, beets, avocado, corn, hard boiled egg, cheese, bacon, greens and topped with your favorite protein. I subtract the corn and cheese, but add extra avocado and salmon. With a side of sweet potato fries. Please and thank you :)”

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Julie - When I get a pizza craving, it’s straight to Veggie Planet, located in Harvard Square. It’s Vegetarian and Vegan, which I am neither of, but I love the abundance of veggies creative ways to top your pizza there. My fave pizza is the Portobello Readhead: roasted portobello mushrooms, caramelized onions, rosemary and sage, smothered in roasted red pepper and almond sauce and topped with feta. DELISH!”

Katie B – “I get undeniable cravings for the Miso Glazed Salmon Salad at Stephi’s on Tremont! The portion is big enough to leave me feeling full, even after a hard workout. They top the bowl of fresh greens and Atlantic salmon with seaweed salad and fried ginger to give this salad a unique crunch. Not to mention I could probably drink the honey vinaigrette straight…”

Lydia – “My favorite dinner is the Chickpea burger at Veggie Galaxy (sister restaurant to Veggie Planet) in Cambridge. This restaurant is “Lydia approved” because unlike most restaurants you’re encouraged to make your own creation! My favorite toppings typically consist of their tarragon basil pesto, goat cheese, brussels and caramelized onions. They also have gluten-free bread, which is a plus for me!”

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Q&A w/ Julie Hochfelder Webman

Meet Julie Hochfelder Webman, the other newest addition to the Recycle team. This former New Yorker got hooked on classes at Recycle two years ago and never looked back. Not only will Julie have you feeling fierce while riding to the beat, she can even help you look good doing it. As our in-house Recyclista Fashionista, Julie can give you advice on the latest fitness fashion trends! Check her out on Friday nights at the South End studio for a $10 Community Cash Class.

julie2If I’m not in the studio, you’ll find me… At Reebok World Headquarters staying on top of the biggest fitness trends in apparel and accessories. I love getting to combine my two passions, fitness & fashion. If I’m not there or at Recycle, then I’m either home in Cambridge cooking (and subsequently taking instagram photos of what I cook) or dining out with friends, family or my hubby.

If I had to choose a single artist for a playlist it would be… I’m going to have to choose an all-star collaboration for this one. I love a track with Justin Timberlake and Timberland together. I think, in JT’s words, I could “rock your body” with that playlist.

If I had to pick a favorite move on the bike… BOOTY TAP duh…and at all different levels of resistance. I love quick booty taps to a fast beat, but I also love them on super heavy resistance. Those make me feel empowered.

My favorite drink on a night out… Since it’s practically summer, I’ll say Rose. Actually, in the winter, it’s Rose as well. No matter what season it is, a cold glass of Rose reminds me of summer, which is very helpful during these long, cold Boston winters!

My favorite pre-workout snack… Gin Gins…kidding…those, are for after :) After searching high and low for the perfectly balanced protein bar, I was turned onto Think Thin by my fellow Recyclistas. I’m not even GF, but I like that they feel light and the peanut butter is really creamy. For an early morning class, I like to do half of a bar before and half after (of course followed by a bigger protein packed breakfast later on.)

My goal for my rides… Is to emerge feeling recycled. Sounds obvious, right? However, the feeling is indescribable, until you’ve felt it. Sense of accomplishment and strength are embedded in this of course, but on the immediate surface it feels like bliss. What is better than knowing you just got a killer workout alongside others with similar goals AND you had fun doing it? I want to share that feeling with everyone.

My goal for myself… Is to keep challenging myself to reach new goals. Going on two years of taking classes at Recycle, like many others, you catch on to all of the moves, which is such a great feeling and accomplishment. The choreography becomes second nature and you know when to gear up. As every instructor reminds you though, it’s up to you to challenge yourself and take it to the next level. As I take the stage and encourage riders to push themselves, I want to be sure I keep pushing myself as well.

Quote I live by… “Wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.” — Toni Morrison

Best advice I’ve ever been given… Be yourself…because who else would you be?

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Q&A w/ Kelly Whittaker

You’ve surely seen this fit chick riding next to you in class or signing riders in at the front desk. Meet one of our newest graduates of the RS Mentorship Program, Kelly Whittaker. Not only is Kelly a badass on the bike, this girl also crushed this year’s Boston Marathon! Catch her on Sundays at noon at RS Boston Common for a $10 Community Cash Class.

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If I’m not in the studio, you’ll find me… running through the city somewhere! I am a marathon/half marathon runner, and usually training for an upcoming race. When the weather is nice out, some of my favorite spots to run are along the Esplanade and by the water in Southie, where I live. Running is one of my favorite ways to explore the city! If I’m not working out, I’m usually trying out a new restaurant or bar… All of that working out makes a girl hungry!

If I had to choose a single artist for a playlist, it would be… Beyonce! There’s not a single song by Bey that doesn’t make me want to dance on the bike… and her fierceness is contagious.

If I had to pick a favorite move on the bike, it would be… isolations in third. I love cranking the resistance and using my legs to power through hills. The burn is a good thing – it means I’m getting stronger!

My favorite drink on a night out… A Sam Summer! I’m a beer girl, and Sam just reminds me of everything I love about summer – baseball games, the beach, etc. So refreshing!

My favorite pre-workout snack… I usually workout early in the morning, so at 5:30 or 6 in the morning I keep it simple – coffee and a banana! For later workouts, I love protein-packed yogurt and granola for  that boost of energy I need to power through climbs and sprints. Post-workout, I have an full-on addiction to The Ripe Stuff Firefly cashew milk… so good!

My goal for my rides… to leave it all on the bike and have an awesome time doing it! I love using powerful songs and beats to push it on hills and sprints, and there’s nothing like the feeling of the whole room riding to the same beat together. I want to inspire all my riders to push themselves out of their comfort zone!

My goal for myself… to become a stronger rider and motivator with each ride I lead, and to inspire others to be the best athletes they can be.

Quote I live by… “Fortune favors the bold.” If we don’t break out of our comfort zone, we will never know how great we can be!

Best advice I’ve ever been given… to enjoy the journey, not just the destination. It is so easy to focus on end results, we forget the best part can sometimes be the work it takes to get there.

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Cast Your Vote: Summer Fridays!

We truly are a community at Recycle and the opinions of our riders mean everything to us. As the warm weather approaches, we want to make sure you get a chance to ride before getting out of town for those weekend beach trips! So tell us…

 

STUDIO SACK CONFESSIONS

Ever wonder what your favorite instructor is toting around in her studio sack? We caught up with spunky instructor, Lydia Quinn, who let us take a peek into her Pi Phi tote and shared all of her essentials for her busy day as a Recyclista on the go.

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The goods:

  • The old Pi Phi tote gives this Recyclista character. It even helped to spark early conversations with one of her closest spin sisters, mentee Julie Webman. It may be time to upgrade to a Recycle Studio Sack, though…
  • Lydia always has one of her collectable RS long sleeves on hand to warm her up pre and post sweat-sesh.
  • Multiple bondi bands are a MUST. They ensure that her microphone stays in place while she moves quickly around the bike throughout class.
  • Quest Nutrition bars energize this instructor before a ride and refuel her body after a sweaty, kickass workout. They come in yummy flavors like cookies and cream and cookie dough!
  • As a music enthusiast, her iPhone and earbuds are always on her. Lydia is constantly searching for new tunes and listening to recent playlists so that her choreography and cues are on point!
  • Face wipes, deodorant and aquaphor chapstick are the minimalistic beauty essentials to ensure a clean(ish) and comfortable Recyclista.
  • And who can resist… a few gin gins for the road! Admit it, we’re all guilty of taking a handful of these spicy little chews after a tough class.

Have you tried Reflex Yoga yet?

In case you haven’t noticed, we are now giving you 5 chances a week to stretch and flow with our in-house yogi, Aly Raymer. We wanted to give you a little more information about Aly’s journey and why Reflex is a perfect addition to your Recycle routine.
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Q. How did you first fall in love with yoga?
A. I first fell in love with yoga when I was facing sleeping issues my junior year in college. I sort of fell off of the practice until I moved home and started training at YAS in Orange County. I fell in love with the concept that yoga is truly for everyone. I loved the simplicity of power yoga and how it not only challenged me physically, but built up my mental strength.
Q. Why did you decide to get your teaching certification?
A. I decided to get my certification because I knew that this was a passion that was worth sharing and investing in. In order to fully offer my students the benefits of yoga, I needed to prepare and learn as much as possible.
Q. What do you want your students to get out of your classes?
A. I want my students to feel better mentally and physically. We are hard on our bodies and yoga really does a body good. From stretching in all the right places to mentally calming the senses, we can totally change our day and body through the practice of yoga.
Q. What makes yoga at RS different than anywhere else?
A. Our students will walk out feeling the same way they do when they get off the bike: recycled, renewed and better about themselves. I sequence my classes to cater to an athletes body (we are all athletes when we sweat!). I know what it feels like to push the body’s physical limits, so I can truly give the students what they need on the mat. Strengthening, core work and a good deep stretch are always on the agenda. We heat the room, turn up the music and light the candles. It truly is Recycle Yoga.

Introducing: Reboot Buff Ride!

REBOOT BUFF RIDE

You have questions about the NEW Reboot Buff Ride?  We have answers!
We sat down with Katie B to chat about the Reboot Buff Ride which is making its debut this Tuesday at 7pm.  Katie is going to be the first RS instructor to teach this style so we were excited to hear her take on it.
Q: What exactly is a Reboot Buff Ride?
A:  Reboot Buff Ride is a 60 minute Reboot Ride that includes 3 tracks with arm weights. It’s designed for those looking to add some extra toning into their routines.
Q: What was the inspiration behind the Reboot Buff Ride?
A: At Recycle, we are always looking for new ways to challenge riders and help them reach the next level of fitness. We wanted to introduce a ride with an even more intense arm burn, prepping that upper body so that riders are ready to show off in their sleeveless shirts come Memorial Day…and wedding season!
Q: What’s your favorite arm move to do on the bike?
A: Double time arm pumps! There is something about pumping the handlebars to a quick beat that gets my entire body fired up.
Q: We always see you rocking 4lb weights: What advice do you have for Recyclists who are stuck in the 2lb safe haven?
A: Just grab them! Start with the 4 lb weights, but keep the 2 lb weights nearby so you can switch if your arms get too tired. Challenge yourself in each class, but remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Q: Favorite arm move off the bike?
A: I’ve got to go with the classic push-up. People often think of this move as cruel and unusual punishment, but the truth is, push-ups work almost every muscle in your body. Chest, back, abs and arms are all involved in this tried and true exercise. Start from your knees and work your way up. Soon enough you will be able to drop and give me 20!
See you in the saddle Tuesdays at 7pm at RSBC for some serious burn!

Q&A w/ Recyclista Rockstar: Brianna!

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1) How would you describe your music?

My EP “Illusions” consists of four experimental alternative- indie songs that are vocally driven. My music consists of a lot of layering, ethereal and ambience sounds and visual lyrics. The four songs, ‘See Right Through’, ‘Overboard’, ‘Plastic Words’, and ‘Illusions’ each have their own story to them, but the overall theme and message I was trying to portray with my record played into my title ‘Illusions’: that everything is not what it seems unless we become completely aware and honest with ourselves and our surroundings.

2) Who are your biggest influences?

My all time favorites are Beck, Radiohead, The Beatles, Crosby Stills and Nash, Fleet Foxes, Grizzly Bear, and Patrick Watson. While my favorites are changing every week, I’m currently very into Daughter, Phantogram, Melody’s Echo Chamber, Tame Impala, and Other Lives.

3) Favorite outfit to rock on stage

I love anything that involves lace, sequins, and kimonos but most of the time you will see me in some printed dress/skirts with some wedges or heels. I also almost always wear a couple pieces from my sister’s jewelry line- Lux Divine Jewelry as well!

4) Any pre show/pre recording rituals? 

I like to keep the days of my shows free because usually the day becomes such a blur with warming up or sound checks, but one weird ritual I always do before a show is drink a bottle of Kombucha. I’ve been doing it for so long that it’s become more of a mental ritual than anything else.

5) How does your music/stage presence influence your rides?

Weirdly enough, performing on stage and teaching at Recycle are very similar. While both are different kinds of performances, they both allow me to bring some impact on my audience and the rush I get after both are incredible. At Recycle, I’m given this amazing opportunity to mentally and physically challenge people through music, beats, and vocal cue-ing. Because the foundations of my instincts are in music, I will never play a song in my class that I do not enjoy and always put thought and consideration into all of my playlists. Just like a performance on stage, everything needs to be natural and genuine!

Brianna will be releasing her first EP “Illusions” tonight on Bandcamp- link coming soon! Be sure to check out her Soundcloud page and also stop by her performance Thursday night at Cafe 939.

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