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Where Have I Been? Where Have YOU Been?!

May 18th, 2015 1 Comment

Mary Rambin Cycling Studio Santa Monica

Obviously I’m kidding, but I got your attention!  I do hope you’ve been well, and I appreciate your patience while I’ve been away.

I’ve been MIA on MTM for a whopping 5 and half months now.  However, I think most of you know I haven’t been sitting on the beach drinking rose.  Ok, there’s been a little of that, but mostly I’ve been launching a new business!

RYDE4 postcard

RYDE4 cycling studio information

 

Two of my favorite things things in life – starting a business and teaching spin –  are now under one roof…and under the sun!

RYDEoutside

RYDE4 is an indoor and outdoor cycling studio with dynamic classes for all levels. The workout is challenging based around 4 levels of intensity so you know how much gear you should have on the bike at any time. We use RPM monitors to help RYDERS keep the beat, and we inform them WHY they are doing certain movements.  The studio is small, holding 24 bikes; sometimes it’s dark, sometimes it’s bright.  Because of that, our music is not quite so intense and easy to sing along to.  It’s a good time and a kick ass workout and a means to RYDE 4 what you want out of life!  I have 5 instructors who teach a distinctly A-MAZING RYDE.

I know you’re dying ask, “What about SoulCycle?” I have the upmost respect for SoulCycle.  In fact, I still ride with my friends from time to time. SoulCycle is a brand lead by people I consider my mentors.  They’ve changed countless lives, including mine.  Their philosophy INSPIRED my heart, pushed me to my limits at so many times in my life, and solidified that I wanted to take their philosophy to a different demographic.  In this vain, I designed RYDE4 to be more approachable, in terms of the exercise, the mindset, and the results.

FullSizeRender

Mary Rambin Yelp! Review

Mary Rambin RYDEoutside

Here’s a look inside the studio.

RYDE4 Santa Monica

And our crew, unfortunately Michael is’t in this shot :(

RYDE4 instructors

Needless to say, I’m having a blast!

Mary Rambin spinning collage

So, now you’re filled in.  I hope if you’re in LA, you’ll come RYDE with me soon.  Your first RYDE is free! Follow me/us on Instagram @RYDE4 where you’ll get great nutrition tips, local hot spots, and gorgeous pics of the California Coast.  Otherwise, I’m BACK on MTM! Come see me hear weekly for all of my favorite new things.  I’m been cashing them in the back of my brain until all the dust has settled. That’s now. I’m excited, I hope you are too!!!

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This week’s challenge: Sweat x2

October 14th, 2013 No Comments

SOULCYCLE INSTAGRAM PHOTO

 

Yesterday, 57 minutes through a 90 minute power yoga class, totally worked over already, I laid down in a pool of my own sweat that covered my mat from end to end.  Not exaggerating.

It felt AWESOME.

I’ve been on a yoga kick for the last two weeks so I welcomed the challenge to deepen my practice. What ended up happening was the stretching of my patience to stay not just focused, but in the room. I made it through, and stumbled out of there with a great senses of satisfaction!

When I teach at SoulCycle, I sweat a lot.  In fact, I find it fun to watch it fling around as I ride or move the weights.  But my body is so accustomed to the work that the exercise isn’t mentally challenging for me.  On the other hand, the ride is absolutely provocative and spiritual when I put my issues on the wheel and grind them out.

This week I’m challenging you to do a workout to the point you are TOTALLY drenched.  Push your mind to the limit.  So I’m not talking pit sweat or a little circle on the middle of your t-shirt.  Drenched as in I-can’t-leave-the building-with-these-wet-clothes-on situation.

What workouts are going to get to that point?  Mostly cardio and high intensity interval training.

  • Spinning
  • Kickboxing
  • Running
  • Stairmaster
  • Rowing
  • Step (do gyms still offer this?!)
  • Crossfit
  • Circuit training (BLAST900 in Atlanta, Level10 in Manhattan beach are my faves)
  • Yoga (Hot8 in Santa Monica, Equinox in WeHo, Joy Yoga in Houston, Atlanta Hot Yoga)

And I want you to do it twice.  In one week.  See if you can distinguish a change in the first and second time.  How do you feel about the workout and effort you put forth?  Take the time to sit with your accomplishment and feel the power it can have over your body and mind.

There are so many benefits to sweating and getting your heart rate up.

  1. Ignites endorphins 
  2. Revs up your metabolism
  3. Detoxes your organs quickly
  4. Controls your body’s chemical balance
  5. Burns more calories
  6. Allows fat to become water soluble and leave body
  7. Opens pores and helps get rid of acne
  8. Prevents kidney stones
  9. Strengthens your heart

In doing research for this post (also see this article), I ran across this familiar face on FitnessMagazine.com:

Charlee in Fitness Magazine

 

That’s my girl Charlee (SAMO, BWOOD, BVHL studios).  She’s a killer instructor and obviously stunning.

(High On Sweet via SoulCycle Instagram)

 

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New Workout Playlists

June 10th, 2013 No Comments

Mary Rambin on SoundCloud

In training, we’ve been making playlists like mad men, now we’re finally putting them to the test. I’ve taught two classes and they both went well!

The problem is that some most of the remixes aren’t available in iTunes or on Rdio. Some came from Soul peeps, most came from HOURS of searching on SoundCloud. The best thing to do is GO HERE to see what I “like” and download from SoundCloud -most of the tracks you can download for free. As for the awesome Taylor Swift remix, that’s from YouTube and converted to MP3 by the MediaHuman app.

In other words, getting this stuff ain’t easy. So, if you see something you want and can’t find, just email me and I’ll shoot it your way.

If you’re on Rdio, I drop a lot of music I consider in this playlist you can follow. Subscribe to it and you’ll have a growing workout mix!

Alright, rock out and get those bodies bikini ready (you know the thought has crossed your mind more than once! Time to make it happen.)

 

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Picture Proof: spinning does not make your legs big and bulky

April 29th, 2013 3 Comments

Mary Rambin Legs 2013

I’ve been spinning NON-STOP for three weeks now in SoulCycle bootcamp, do my legs look big and bulky? Not so much. What I want to drill into you is that spinning is an exercise with this fundamental principle:

Repetition = Definition

Need more proof because I was “born with lean legs?” Here are some of the other girls in my SoulCycle training group.

SoulCycle spinning legs

 

Good lookin’ wheels, right?!

The resistance of the wheel is not as “heavy” as you perceive it to be. If it was, you wouldn’t be able to spin the wheel a million times over. You’d get about 20 revolutions and hop off. The key to not bulking up your legs while spinning actually has less to do with the resistance on the wheel and more to do with the height of your seat. When setting up your bike, raise the saddle up to a little above your pelvic bone. Then hop on and see how much your knee bends. You need to make sure your leg is only slightly bent, not creating any less than 170 degree angle when fully extended. I find it helpful when someone can tell you what your leg looks like because it’s hard to tell from sitting in the saddle. Do you know if you can tell the difference? I’ve demonstrated here so you can see the set up.

Mary Rambin SoulCycle spinning wrong legs

Here, the seat is too low so I’m riding what I call “stubby.” The leg is not even close to extended. If you ride this way, your quads will get bigger because you’re relying too much on them to push.

Mary Rambin SoulCycle spinning legs

 

This is how I usually set up my beginning riders. A little lower saddle allows them to feel balanced. However, it’s not ideal for advanced riders.

 

Mary Rambin SoulCycle spinning legs

Now my leg is almost fully extended at the bottom of the revolution. I can use all of the muscles in my legs, not just my quads. Instead of focusing on just pushing down, I can use my core to think about pulling up as well as pushing down to make a full circle.  When I raise up and down out of the saddle, I’ll only do so a couple of inches.

Finally notice how my elbows are slightly bent (I’m not reaching for the handle bars), my back is flat instead of rounded, and my chest is high (because my core is engaged).  Most people would pull the saddle back even further, but I choose to ride a little closer to the handle bars to support my lower back.

You need to be COMFORTABLE in your set up. Over the course of 10 years of spinning, I’ve changed my set up several times. Keep tweaking the position of your saddle and see what feels best.

Need more guidance?

CLICK HERE TO WATCH MY VIDEO TUTORIAL ON HOW TO SET UP YOUR SPIN BIKE.

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The Truth About SoulCycle

August 6th, 2012 1 Comment

I’m writing a piece for The Huffington Post about visiting spin studios when you travel. It’s a fun thing to add to your itinerary and helps you stay in shape while you’re on the go.  SoulCycle, the wildly popular NYC spin studio where I taught from 2007-2009, seems to be the source of the resurgence of private spin studios.

It’s hard to articulate the SoulCycle experience – dark room, loud music with a heavy beat, Swinn bikes lined up close together, inspirational instructor, dynamic ride that you can only do on an indoor bike – all of that sounds predictable.  But the SoulCycle ride accesses some part of you that is screaming to get out and play!  In the darkness, you can open yourself up to a personal journey and catharsis I’ve never felt in any other group fitness class.  (Read one rider’s experience here).  With this final piece and flawless branding, they’ve created a cultish following that packs their studios every hour and generates tons of press to the point that SoulCycle seems perfect.

As and instructor there for 3 years and a person who knows that nothing in life is perfect, I thought I’d give you the honest-to-goodness truth about Soul Cycle.  

1.  The ride is in fact the most exciting, uplifting, and fun fitness experience I’ve ever known.  Period.  It’s not THE HARDEST;  it ‘s the one that keeps you mentally in shape to keep up your fitness routine.  In other words, worth every penny.


2.  If you allow yourself to let go of your to-do list in your head and get lost in the ride, you will change as a person.

3.  Riding as a “posse” and not doing your own thing, you will ride harder and get stronger.  Follow their instructions and learn how to ride their way.

4.  Spinning does not make your legs “bulk up.”  Think about it, it’s thousands of repetitions with light resistance that tones your legs, not make them huge.

5.  Their many movements to make the class more dynamic and fun helps to isolate muscle groups, strengthen your core, and pull in your waistline.

6.  All instructors are not created equal, but they’re pretty darn close.  I like: Stacey, Laurie, Kym, Lori A, Janet, Melanie, and Sue.

7.  You can’t rely on the class to be your only source of fitness.  Even though the class includes an “arm segment” where you use weights to tone your muscles, it’s a cardio workout and you need to lift weights on other days.

8.  You don’t burn as many calories in a spin class as you think you do.  According to my heart rate monitor, I only burned around 420 per class (45 minutes), which is what I usually burn when I lift weights for 1.5 hours.  In an hour BLAST900 class, I burn 600 calories.

9.  FlyWheel was started by one of the founders of SoulCycle, Ruth Zuckerman, who I love and admire as a woman. I used to take her class often because that woman has serious soul.  Ruth had to change the game to make her Flywheel different.  By adding a computer to the bike, your ride focuses on RPMs and the power you are actually exerting.  There is a big screen overhead so you can see how you compare to others in the room. The ride itself is in no way as introspective or as fun, in my opinion, but it’s challenging.  If you don’t know SoulCycle, FlyWheel is a solid ride I bet will be a 100 times more exciting and productive than whatever your gym offers.

10.  The SoulCycle family is not as inviting as you might want it to be.  All of the staff works hard and efficiently.  If you want in on a more personal level to join the inner circle party, you’ll have to make the effort to get to know the instructors and the other riders.  When you do, you’ll appreciate the connection.

When I write the HuffPo piece you’ll have more perspective on what other studios offer in different cities.  Unfortunately there’s not a lot out there that’s why you should make an effort to spin when you travel to the big cities. If you’re in NYC or LA, you now know where to go :)

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Find new group fitness classes around you in one click.

May 14th, 2012 2 Comments

I am a HUGE fan of group fitness classes these days because I just can’t motivate myself to go to the gym.  I never thought I would feel that way, but here I am, looking for excuses every day.  So, to combat this and get in a solid 1 hour workout, I carve out the time in my schedule for my trainer or a class.

GoRecess.com is a new site that instantly locateds the kind of workout you’re looking for near you.  You put in the type of exercise – yoga, cardio, bootcamp, spinning, etc – your location, and the radius you are willing to drive (or even better jog or bike!).  GoRecess then creates a detailed list like you see above.  Such a great concept because I’m always looking for a way to change up my workout.

Also, most studios will offer their first class for free, so if you’re on a tight budget, you can jump around for a while while you save up some cash and settle on your favorite.

If you’re in one of the cities I frequent, I reccommend these studios and gyms:

New York:

Los Angeles:

  • Soul Cycle – just opened in WeHo!
  • Equinox – group classes are totally worth the membership
  • UpDog Fitness – for spinning and yoga.  Take classes from Colin and Reilly.  Meredith for yoga.
  • Fitness Factory – “garage” style hideout where celebs train. Sam Upton is the best!

Houston:

Atlanta:

Austin:

I know I’m missing some; I can’t hit them all!  Please share your favorites in the comments below.  If you use GoRecess.com, let us know if you were pleased with the class you attend.

(P.S. Sorry for the blurry picture.  PC’s just don’t have the same quality of screen grab as a Mac.  I’ll replace it tomorrow!)

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How to set up your spin bike

January 9th, 2012 No Comments

Anyone decide to take up spinning for the new year??

Whether or not your a beginner or a seasoned rider, you should know how to set up your indoor spinning bike so that you can utilize it safely and efficiently.

In this video I give you the basics on how to maximize an INDOOR bike.  You’ll notice I don’t set Becky up to train for an outdoor ride.  My philosophy is that you can maneuver on an indoor bike in so many ways to strengthen your muscles and condition your body that you cannot on an outdoor bike.  TAKE ADVANTAGE.  Use a full range of motion to stand tall to isolate your quads, ride long and low to turn on your guts and hamstrings, and keep your chest high to keep your core engaged.  Video on this to come.  For now, just set yourself up comfortably!

Beginners read more here on how to get started.

Once you realize how much you enjoy riding, please invest the $100 in pair of cycling shoes. It makes a world of difference in the ride, your efficiency and strength, and most importantly on your body mechanics.

As you may or may not know, I’ve been teaching “spinning” (indoor cycling is more appropriate as I don’t teach Jonny G) for 5 years and riding for 10.  My style is that of Soul Cycle in NYC, where I taught for 3 as a means to earn much needed cash while living on the little island.  The problem is when I left New York and LA, I was left without a group of riders who have the same energy and enthusiasm (and rhythm) so I continue to teach in Houston to carry on my coastal style.

I’m not going to lie, finding a good teaching is probably the hardest part about spinning.  Hopefully you’ll find someone you click with and gives you more than just a means to burn calories. The catharsis in the exercise is so much more rewarding.

If you’re in NYC or LA, try to ride with one of these instructors.  Worth every penny for the physical and mental challenge!

  • Stacy, Laurie, Melanie at Soul Cycle in NYC (multiple locations)
  • Colin Kim teaches at both Equinox Weho and Updog Fitness
  • Reilly (above with a huge smile after kicking my butt) is at both locations as well
  • Keith Irace and Eileen O’Connell only teach at Equinox Weho

** Equinox classes require advance sign up online

*** I am LOVING the super soft sweat pants I bought at Updog last time I was there.

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First Spin Mix on Rdio

September 11th, 2011 No Comments

I’ve been using Rdio for a while now (did you catch it on The MTM Top 10 for August?) and loving the unlimited music!  And I haven’t even really explored the “radio station” and social aspects fully yet.

It’s taken me a while to get comfortable enough with the interface to make mixes quickly. Tonight, I spent a couple of hours.  Needless to say, I love the fact I can find new music, download it without cost, and incorporate it seamlessly.

As for my selection of music, I try to make my Sunday classes more mellow and upbeat – not so pop and hip-hop heavy.  Especially with today being 9/11, I want people to leave feeling like they were able to grab onto the things they love about life, not the crap they deal with every day.  Whatever is weighing them down, they always know they have the opportunity to purge it in my class.

 

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