Stephanie Chapel, general manager of Laguna’s POPcycle 2.0, shares insider knowledge about the indoor cycling movement.
Section by Kirsti Correa
Nearly everyone who is faced with a task that hasn’t been attempted in a while has heard the adage, “It’s just like riding a bike.” It implies that said activity, like riding a bike, is a skill that never leaves you once it’s been learned. Well, that same skill you probably learned at 5 years old has come full circle, wheeling its way into an everyday workout regimen. The indoor cycling, or spin, trend utilizes stationary bikes, sparing participants the dangers of riding on a crowded street. Riders are going nowhere fast, but spin classes simulate an adventurous trek across town or a strenuous uphill climb, toning and sculpting bodies into shape in 55- or 30-minute-long sessions. Stephanie Chapel is at the forefront of this spin frenzy as general manager and director of instructor certification at the new POPcycle 2.0 in north Laguna. “It’s all about the experience,” Stephanie says. “Not only do you come for a good workout, but you have fun and meet like-minded people that help each other reach their goals. Our overall goal is for you to leave feeling better than how you did when you first walked in.” Here, Stephanie discusses the rise of the spin movement among fitness junkies of all levels.
Stephanie Chapel: After college, I tried working out on my own, but I was stuck. My husband gave me a pass for free spin classes, and I fell in love. It fulfilled my competitiveness while also meeting criteria to stay in shape. The instructors said I was a natural so they trained me to become an instructor … and here I am.
LBM: There’s a fresh citrus aroma in the studio. Is there a reason for this?
SC: We are in the process of becoming the first WELL-certified fitness studio in the world actually. The certification is awarded to businesses with wellness in mind in every aspect. For example, we have posture supportive floors, a reverse osmosis water system and a filtered air system—that’s where the lemon scent comes from. We also have the WELL Shield. It’s a microbial coating that covers every single spot in the studio to detect bacteria and kill it.
LBM: What is a typical spin class like?
SC: It’s like you’re in a Miami nightclub. The lights go down, the music is loud and the instructor is the entertainer. First, we stretch and calibrate the gears, and then we get into specific drills and intervals.
LBM: Nutrition wise, how should clients prepare for a spin class?
SC: Drink half your body weight in fluid ounces to hydrate—and bring plenty of water to class because you’ll sweat a lot. Eat at least an hour before, but don’t eat anything heavy. A smoothie is a good option.
SC: Come with the mindset [of being] ready to learn and experience something new. Be prepared to feel very awkward at first. … Just go at your own pace and pay attention. And know that you’re going to be a little sore afterward.
LBM: What are the benefits of spin?
SC: It transforms people’s bodies. If your goal is fat loss and muscle gain, then spin will get you there. We use high-intensity training to boost the metabolism and build cardiovascular strength. Just figure out the goal you have, and I’m nearly positive we can help you get there.
GETTING IN GEAR
Stephanie Chapel of POPcycle 2.0 reveals her picks for the best gear to get you in motion.
Helmets and kneepads—or even a two-wheeler—aren’t required for this type of cycling. Besides motivation to keep pedaling for an entire session, all that’s needed for a spin class at POPcycle 2.0 are the right accessories and apparel to keep you cool and comfortable.
Drifter capri, available in petite, regular and tall sizes, $59, at Athleta, Fashion Island, Newport Beach (949-717-6650; athleta.com)
Halo II headband, featuring Dryline fabric to absorb sweat and wick moisture, $12.99, at Sports Chalet, Laguna Niguel (949-362-0342; sportchalet.com)
Rese Eliza tank with upper back mesh panels for added ventilation, $70, at POPcycle 2.0, Laguna Beach (949-494-0044; popcycle2k.com)
Lifefactory 16-ounce glass water bottle with straw cap and silicone sleeve, $24.99, at Whole Foods Market, Laguna Beach (949-376-7888; wholefoodsmarket.com)
Sidi Genius 5 bike shoes, $199.99, at Laguna Beach Cyclery, Laguna Beach (949-494-1522; lagunabeachcyclery.com)