By properly stretching before your get on your bike, you're ensuring a safe and enjoyable future ride. Stretching is the perfect way to get your mind and body prepared and motivated for the ride ahead.
Tell us a little bit about yourself (where you are from, etc)
My Name Shiller M Erilus. I was born in Port-Au-Prince Haiti, at General Hospital. I moved to the U.S. from Haiti in 1986 at the age of 6 years old.
How long have you been contributing to Haiti relief efforts?
Since the catastrophic earthquake that killed over 250,000 people in Haiti in 2010, I decided then I will dedicate my life to work for and with the people in Haiti. I have made trips to Haiti 5 out of the last 6 years since the earthquake to provide some sort of relief effort and aid to my fellow Haitians.
Why is this so important to you?
At the age of 10, I joined a program called S.P.E.S (Supplementary Program for Educational Skills). To be frank, the program consisted of Caucasian Men who would drive from the suburbs of Boston to the inner city every Saturday to provide mentorship, to tutor, as well as provide various athletic sports opportunities to help us better our lives. It puzzled and confused most of us in the program because they risked their lives to help us and it showed me just how important it is to give back regardless of your background.
After the earthquake destroyed most of the infrastructure in Haiti, I knew many people there were in need of the basic necessities we use in our daily lives. All though I left Haiti at a very young age, I remember the struggles my family endured there, and now many will have to live through the same struggle after such a devastating occurrence.
I am Haitian, I am one of them, we're are the same, and I could of easily been residing in Haiti during the earthquake. My family are still in Haiti. I have friends who live in Haiti and has to deal with the destruction caused by the earthquake and now they have to deal with the aftermath from Hurricane Matthew. I've lost family members and friends in both situations. So if this isn't important to me, I feel I am incapable of being a compassionate human being.
How do you think your efforts differ than say a organization like the Red Cross?
First, I do not know the inner workings of the Red Cross, nor will I pretend to. However, I would like to take this time to thank the Red Cross and the many other organizations for their continued effort to help the people of Haiti. How I differ is that I am just an individual trying to help my fellow countrymen after going through a few major disasters recently. I have lived through and know the struggles Haitians go through, because of this, I am allowed and able to navigate through certain places and cities the Red Cross may not have access to.
How can people, including our sweat shoppe community, contribute towards your efforts in helping children in Haiti?
I want to thank everyone who have prayed, donated time and or money to any aid relief or cause that they are affiliated or have beliefs in. I am truly appreciative because there are some wonderful and giving human beings out there.
My relief efforts are geared towards the patients in the hospitals (specifically General Hospital in Haiti) and the many students who yearn for knowledge but do not have access to the essentials needed to learn. My goal is to provide 100 hospital patients / and 100 Haitian residents affected most by the storm and earthquake with toiletry bags or packages containing toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, mouthwash, deodorant, lotion, and Tylenol/Aspirin. Also, I want to provide 100 students with Backpacks stocked with notebooks, pens, and pencils.
Is there anything else you wish to add?
It is my belief that we sometimes take for granted how the smallest gestures can go a long way for some that are less fortunate. Many people believe if they do not donate what is considered a sufficient amount of money and time, then the effort is not worth providing. In life, a split second can make a difference between life and death, Just as an extra $1 may provide someone the opportunity and time to feed themselves to live another day.
I want to thank everyone, who have prayed, donated time and or money to any charity or cause. You are a hero. Because of your nice gesture and generosity, you are saving lives.
Bri is an east coast transplant and self-described jack of all trades. She loves to make people laugh, she writes, she cooks, and sometimes "she pops up on TV," where she makes a living by "playing pretend."
But there's nothing pretend about Bri's commitment to fitness and working out. What motivates her is being able to wake up in the morning feeling healthy, strong, tight, and in control. Bri has been spinning at the Sweat Shoppe for almost 4 years and also does lots of strength training, HIT (High Intensity Training), circuit training—anything that helps build and tone muscles. Could working out be Bri's hobby? (She also likes to visit antique shops.)
Despite her incredible commitment and self-discipline with regard to exercise, Bri says that her favorite thing about the Sweat Shoppe is "the people , duh!"
Bri's guilty pleasures are cookie dough, mint ice cream, and massages. Really, though, aren't those natural consequences of her workouts?
Who does Bri look up to? "Everyone who manages to make it happen in this crazy, crazy world. The older I get, the more respect I have for everyone who is just making their life happen."
The next time you see Bri in the Shoppe, greet her with "Ohhhhh, Bri." And, oh, you might want to ask her about being double jointed.
You just discovered that you're pregnant. Congratulations, Sweat Gangsta Mama! Whether it's your first child or your fourth, there's really nothing quite like growing a human.
“But Coach, I've been so dedicated to the Sweat Life. Can I still ride through it all?”
The short answer: "Yes, you can." The long answer … well, I'll tell you what I've learned.
I recently fielded questions from some of our lady Sweat Gangstas about riding in The Hot Room with a bun in the oven. Having taught classes on the bike through Week 29 of my own pregnancy, it seemed fitting to publish some advice. PLEASE NOTE: I am neither a doctor nor an expert on human anatomy, but I do have experience as a pregnant athlete. Here are a few tips.
First things first: Consult your OB/GYN immediately before you continue riding. I can't stress this enough. Most doctors will tell you that if you have a regular workout regimen, the best bet is to stick to it. It will keep your body in tip-top shape and may even ease some of the plagues that come with pregnancy (morning sickness, swelling, fatigue, etc.) Regular training also can facilitate the birth process by maintaining and further strengthening your core muscles. However, if you have any underlying conditions that may put too much stress on your body, please heed your doctor's recommendation, as disappointing as that may be.
Be sure to alert your OB/GYN that you ride in a heated environment, between 80–84 degrees. This may scare them, but assure them this heat is not akin to lounging in a hot tub or taking a Bikram yoga class. While you may often feel like you're burning up from the inside, rest assured that your core temperature does not usually rise all that much while riding. I confirmed this for myself by taking my temperature at least once a week after class. You should be fine if your temperature stays around 99 degrees, but again, confirm with your doctor.
In terms of where to ride to stay … well … not as hot, you want to shoot for the edge of the room closest to the aisle: bikes 1, 16, 26, 36, 46, and anywhere close to a fan. You could also consider getting a small clip-on fan for your handlebars. If you have had adverse reactions to the heat in the past, be vigilant and listen to your body. You know best what you can handle. And if you can't get one of those bikes when booking, do not hesitate to ask the staff about switching with someone. More often than not, they can accommodate your request, given your condition. Also, let your instructor know (if you haven't taken their class before) that you're pregnant, so we don't try to push you to an unsafe level of intensity.
Be sure to eat something before class. Even if you ride at 6 a.m. and usually ride on an empty stomach, take time to eat something small. A banana, toast with nut butter, a small piece of fruit. You may worry that this will upset your stomach, but it will actually assist your endurance by giving your body something to burn. Avoid caffeine and other stimulants (a general rule of pregnancy) before classes because they can elevate your heart rate to an unsafe level when coupled with intense training.
Most importantly, get a heart-rate monitor with a chest strap and wear it every single time you ride. I recommend Polar brand. They are affordable, comfortable, and accurate (and the wristwatch is convenient and cute). If you have something like a Fit Bit or an Apple Watch, find a chest strap that will sync with it. When a monitor is directly over your heart, it will give you a more accurate read of your heart rate than monitoring the pulse at the wrist. Ideally, you want to keep your heart rate at or below 70% of your max. The Mayo Clinic recommends using this math: Subtract your age from 220 to get your maximum heart rate. See the full article here.
As you get further into your pregnancy, things are going to get bigger: your belly, your hips, even your feet. If you are very swollen (I can show you pictures of my ankles in the 3rd trimester), take a rest day. Your joints and ligaments will feel significantly looser than you're used to, and swelling on top of that is a formula for injury. It's okay to take days off; no one is going to fault you for it. Come on, you're doing some of the hardest work a woman can do, so cut yourself some slack.
Also, as your belly grows, it can get in the way, so check with your instructor about adjusting your bike settings accordingly. For example, raising handlebars and sliding your seat further forward can help.
Lastly, sit when you need to sit. Slow down when you need to slow down. And STAY HYDRATED. However much water you're drinking now, try to double it. You're going to have to pee all the time anyway; you might as well make those late night bathroom waddles worth the trouble. You can do this, Mom! You just have to believe it and be smart about it.
On a personal note: I found out I was pregnant with my daughter about 4 months after I completed the Teacher Training program at The Shoppe, and it was unexpected. I had worked so hard to get to that point, and the thought of having to give up riding was terrifying. I was teaching 3 classes per week at the time, and riding at least 3 other times regularly. At 20 weeks, I got to the point where I could only do the classes I was teaching. Don't be discouraged if you need to scale back your workouts or eventually stop them completely. I carried very low, so my belly was in the way by week 25. Then I started having slight pain in my upper belly at week 29. My cue to stop and get some much needed rest was a bout with preeclampsia. And that's what I did for the next 8 weeks.
That said, we have seen women ride right up until they are ready to deliver, making the necessary modifications for their bodies, so if you can stick with it, you should try to. Consider trying our Express classes — 10 minutes less could make a difference. But once your body is done, you get to look forward to an epic return. Try to give yourself 6 weeks before you come back, so your body can recover sufficiently from the delivery (and so you can truly enjoy being a mom). Then ease yourself back into the routine. Team Sweat Shoppe will be ready and waiting for you.
**All content found on www.thesweatshoppe.com website, including: text, images, audio, or other formats were created for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional you may have read on this website. This site is not designed to and does not provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services.
As the old adage goes, "you never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have."
About a year ago, The Sweat Shoppe rider Sheri Clemente battled a health challenge that tested every part of her being. A self-proclaimed health freak, Sheri always followed a strict plant-based diet, exercised several times a week and for many years had a successful career as a nutritional coach.
She knew something was very wrong and after too many years of being misdiagnosed, found herself with what is sadly mistaken as a third world country health "opportunity" in a first world country. Western medicine doctors did not have the tools to properly diagnose or treat the illness so by a very fortunate "coincidence" she was introduced to an alternative doctor who quickly diagnosed and ultimately saved her life.
"It was probably the scariest time of my life. I seemed to have no other choice than to trust that this person was going to help me get back to health while at the same time, try to maintain my mental state and a demanding career."
Desperate to feel a sense of normalcy, Sheri managed to show up for work almost every day (even if she had to lay down on her office couch much of the time) and to continue going to The Sweat Shoppe as much as possible, even when she could barely keep her head up. Most of her fellow riders had no idea what she was facing... the camaraderie of the group kept her motivated to push through during a time when it may have been easier to give up and isolate. Getting herself back to health was a full-time job in itself.
Sheri has since fully recovered and continues to train at The Sweat Shoppe. She is an advocate for heat training. "In addition to being a far superior workout, the heat also assists the body in the detoxification process which is an integral part of maintaining optimal health."
She also loves hiking at Fryman and Runyon Canyon. "I love being in nature, it literally keeps me grounded."
When Sheri isn't in The Hot Room, you can find her managing a team of music editors on one of the big studio lots. Post production can be very hectic, yet she finds the time to maintain her health and balance her life on a daily basis.
"I have always been very disciplined and it pays off in every area of my life...being around other people who have that same mindset keeps me motivated and inspired. We are all in this together and together WE can do it all!"
Amy Carlos wears quite a few hats: She's a mom to her 18-month-old daughter Emily Rae, a wife to her husband of four-and-a-half years George, a full-time operations manager for Technicolor, a spin instructor, and a lacrosse coach. She refers to herself as a workaholic, but we at The Sweat Shoppe define her as the real deal.
Amy's dedication to her riders, both on and off the bike, is electric. Her energy in The Hot Room is contagious, and she owns her nickname 'Coach' very proudly. The moniker was created from Shoppe owner, Mimi Benz, during the first round of teacher training in 2013. It has stuck ever since.
"The term 'Coach' to me has always been a term of endearment, a term of respect to some of the people who have had a huge impact on my life."
Whether you're a regular in her class or trying it out for the first time, you'll see quickly that she truly is a coach in every sense.
"I draw a lot of energy from the people in the room, and when I see them succeeding and pushing and working hard—even when I see a rider completely broken down and I get to build them back up—that's where I draw my inspiration from."
Amy treats her classes like a team, and that sense of camaraderie has been a part of her life since growing up in New Hampshire with her two brothers, mom, and dad.
"Sports were a source of confidence for me (growing up). No matter how awkward or dorky I was, sports kept my self-esteem high because I knew I could work hard and play well."
Amy and her brothers were always encouraged by their parents to be active, goal-oriented, and to work hard to get what they wanted. This work ethic began at a young age for Amy. She started playing baseball at 5, competing in gymnastics at 6, and skiing competitively at 7. She played every sport she could, but when she found lacrosse at 12-years-old, it was love at first sight. Her older brother was invited by one of his school friends to play on a lacrosse team, and after Amy saw that the sport wasn't looking for a specific body-type in their participants, she decided she wanted to give it a try as well.
"We were not exceptional athletes. We just worked harder than anyone else and then we found a sport that fit."
Amy joined a local lacrosse team, and her fearless attitude catapulted her to goalie. Amy said her parents were shocked when they arrived at her game and she was nowhere to be found. After asking around, someone told them, "Oh, she's in the goal."
"My mother said, 'Excuse me?!' And then she had another nine years of being a goalie's mom."
From there it was history. Amy went on to receive a full-ride scholarship for lacrosse at Sacred Heart University, and after graduating she began to coach.
Amy is not only an athlete but is equally a sports fan. Watching sports with her brothers has become a bonding experience. Growing up in New Hampshire, she inevitably became a New England sports fan. Amy said fans take their teams very seriously, through the good times and the bad. She is a diehard Patriots fan and said she loves Tom Brady "in a very visceral way."
Through and through, she lives up to her Coach nickname, and her non-stop schedule is something only a true coach could handle. She's a mom, a wife, works full-time, teaches spin, and coaches lacrosse.
Amy first began spinning in February 2012. She had been doing a lot of Bikram yoga and liked the concept of a heated spin room.
"At first, I was such a spaz on the bike. I had never felt so uncoordinated in my life," she said about her first experience in The Hot Room.
Determined that she could do it, Amy made a goal for herself: She decided to become an instructor—and she did.
"It was something that I had to do to prove to myself that I could do—and be a part of a team again."
Now, Amy has incorporated spin into her life four mornings a week, teaching the 6 a.m. class Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and the 6:45 a.m. class on Saturday. Her busy schedule is enough to exhaust anyone, yet she still finds a way to incorporate her workout into her daily schedule.
"Fitness in my life now. It's my sanity. It's my balance. It's that thing I get to do for myself. It's the example that I want to set for my daughter—that if you put your mind to something, your body will succeed. If you want it. you have to work for it."
As a 6 a.m. student turned 6 a.m. trainer, Amy is a Sweat Gangsta early morning riser through and through. Waking up early is not an excuse to slack off in the saddle. Students taking her class should be prepared to do one thing: work.
So, when you go to Amy's class expect to be pushed hard and sweat a ton, and, most importantly, expect to be inspired.
Congratulations to all of our Sweat Gangstas who have accepted the challenge and signed up for our 3rd Annual Summer Challenge! We are excited to countdown to summer with you.
Check back here to track the status of the ride count for all participants. We also have a Summer Challenge Board at the studio.
Summer Challenge Participants:
Number of Rides as of 6/21/16
Amy Greenberg - 13
Amy Nelson- 12
Bayley Wilson - 50
Carlos Perez - 52
Caroline Fife - 40
Cindy Okereke -12
Crystal Sarando - 25
Dana Bowling - 20
Darlene Flores-Goldberg - 1
Diana Lopez - 6
Donny Harrell - 8
Elizabeth Smith - 30
Felicia Livingston - 31
Gabriella Gonzalez - 55
Garth Kemp - 11
Giselle Ortiz - 49
Ingrid Sosa - 19
Janice Lee - 32
Janice Marlinga - 28
Jaquim Velazquez - 28
Jeanine Ullman -9
Jenner Jose - 19
John Haegele - 20
Juan Fernandez - 21
Kadeem Harrison - 2
Kelly Court - 16
Kirby Gillon - 24
Kristi O'Donovan - 38
Lara Kadehijian - 4
Latosha Lovell - 82
Lilit Ojakhyan - 7
Lindsey Frew - 16
Lis Rowinski - 29
Lyn Jose - 22
Maddy Patel - 126
Mandy Novak - 30
Mark Rolph - 22
Matt Luftig - 22
Matthew Haas - 20
Matthew Nolan - 16
Milton Sanchez - 37
Mireya Ingham - 24
Nancy Bruno - 12
Natalee Consulo - 31
Natalie Stowell - 15
Nick Lee - 47
Nicole Hill - 11
Patricia Franco - 36
Rebecca Birotte - 22
Rita Issa - 20
Rochelle Lewis - 34
Sara Howard - 20
Sarah Lopez - 12
Shana Epps - 25
Shana Farrell - 28
Sil Weir - 34
Sim Walia - 9
Staci Valento - 18
Sumit Mahendru - 8
Teresa Lopez - 26
Thomas Benjamin - 68
Tony Riccio - 6
Trish Suhr - 8
Windsor Gaspar -26
Xochi Blymyer - 30
Makeup artist, wife, mother, teacher, trainer, TV personality, and sustainable dining advocate. Can you keep up? To us, Naomi Priestley is a friend, leader, and motivator. We are proud to have her as a trainer at The Sweat Shoppe.
Naomi found a love for heated indoor cycling upon the urging of friend and fellow Shoppe rider Harvey Good. An athlete all her life, she found cycling at The Shoppe to be second nature. Shortly after her first class, she enrolled in The Sweat Shoppe teacher training program. Wanting to make sure her students were safe, Naomi took her training seriously and became a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) certified personal trainer and received her spinning® certification through Mad Dogg Athletics®.
For those who have trained with Naomi, they know what "pace, pace, pace" means—or at least, they should. In case you're wondering, pace, pace, pace in Naomi’s class means you had better hurry up. She said she uses her popular tagline when class begins to get tough during a run, when it gets brutal.
If you pay close attention to the music in Naomi’s class, you can see that it’s structured to ensure that she hits all the key elements of an impactful Sweat Cycle.
It’s a numbers game for Naomi. She pays close attention to every song’s beats per minute and matches them seamlessly with a jog, climb, sprint, and in transitions to up-and-down movements. She pays close attention to the energy and flow of her classes and takes time to find the right music match for her choreography.
“I hear how many minutes people spend on their playlists. The longest it has taken me to complete a playlist is one whole day.”
With an insatiable appetite for living her best life, she invites and inspires others to do the same. Whether it's through social media posts supporting her friends, pre-class chats, or a workout date, Naomi always finds time and ways to support her friends and family. When Naomi isn’t in the hot room, she has a full and productive schedule that complements her enthusiasm and joy for life.
“Being productive fulfills me. The more I do, the happier I am. I'm a full-time mom, and I work full time. I really enjoy life.”
When it comes to her children Ava and Dashiell, she uses the same discipline and structure she practices on a daily basis. To combat their tendencies to be easily swayed by their peers, she enrolled them in swimming, diving, and gymnastics. Through these sports, they have built a love for fitness and habits of productivity and taking care of their bodies.
“They can’t give up. The rule is: They cannot quit until they are 16.”
She said that she has always regretted bullying her mom into letting her quit piano lessons. Little did she know that this life experience would be the catalyst to teaching her children not give up on trying something new. Her philosophy (on raising children) is simple: She lives by setting intentions for her children and leading by example. She said that over time a pattern begins to present itself, and she finds herself regressing to her own childhood for direction on parenting.
“You can only do what's best for you in your lifetime. I don’t do everything perfect, but I do what I can. I am very involved with my kiddies.”
By keeping them active, she hopes to teach them the importance of commitment, hard work, and dedication. Her wish for them is that they grow to love fitness, stay involved, not succumb to boredom, and take care of their bodies.
A graduate of The University of Nottingham, England, with a degree in Fine Arts and Paints, Naomi has always had a creative mindset. One way she is tapping into her creativity is through her career as a producer. Being proactive with the development of her two shows, “Meat vs. Vegan” and a green-screen travel show pilot, “Two Girls One Mic,” has allowed her to cultivate her competitive edge and her love for entertaining, cooking, and dining. With a grin that we all love and know very well, Naomi shared details of her projects in the works.
“In Meat vs. Vegan, we make the vegetarian or vegan version of meals—chicken tacos, stew, and shepherd's pie—and ask people to guess which is vegan and which is not.”
Naomi said the mission of this project is to build awareness for food, people, and animals. All of the food featured on the show is available within a 100-mile radius.
“We can all cut down on animal intake one meal at a time and find healthy alternatives.”
With excitement, Naomi said they plan to save the world one meal at a time. By the sound of it, we believe they will! She and her team are doing their part to encourage farm-to-table living and to teach society another way of buying and consuming food.
Naomi's green screen pilot is a play on local news to the tune of Tosh.0’s humor. A comedy set in New Orleans that includes facts and figures reflecting the trials and tribulations of dating. A statistician dissects the findings of what it's really like to date as a reporter quizzes people on the streets to get the scoop.
Naomi admits that with her packed schedule she does have moments when she feels depleted and overwhelmed. When she isn’t training in The Hot Room with us, you can find her spending quality time with her family.
“My big refill is being at home, quiet with my children. Junk food, movies: We won’t even talk. They are little leeches. They dib, dab, and nay nay.”
When it comes to love and balancing her and her husband’s busy schedules, she said, “We steal weekends. We do what we do.”
Naomi finds inspiration in life and in The Hot Room in different ways. “Different people inspire you every day in an organic way. It can be a mom cleaning puke or beautiful people with their kindness and the things they do for other people.”
Her advice to someone trying a Sweat Cycle for the first time is simple: “Suck it up. Have fun. Take it at your own pace.”
Heart pumping, body rocking, calorie burning, sweat dripping, “happy hour” cycle. These are a few things The Sweat Shoppe trainer Scott Brickner promises riders when they take one of his sweat cycles.
For years, Scott wanted a “fitness body.” When he started his journey to a better physique, something incredible happened: He experienced a transformation of his internal self.
With sweat dripping and a smile on his face (a common look for our Sweat Gangstas), Scott sat down with us after teaching his class and gave us a glimpse of his road to fitness.
Like most, Scott struggled with balance, teetering between having a good time partying and getting in shape. He said he was simply not happy when he looked at himself in the mirror. Finally making the commitment to get in shape, Scott looked online for a personal trainer and found Frank, who eventually became his trainer, life coach, and good friend.
“Frank taught me how to be motivated. He taught me that through the struggle and pain, I will become something more. I took myself away from the things that would set me back from my goals.”
In the four and a half years since Scott started his fitness journey, his life has changed in a number of ways.
“A lot of bad things were in there.”
Scott said his lifestyle now is dramatically different from the path he was on. He said he grew into fitness and had to reevaluate the people in his life who made him feel guilty—as if he was neglecting their relationship.
“When I was at my darkest point, my trainer read me the Riot Act. That made me take a look at all my relationships. Sometimes losing people is a personal gain, because you know you are doing what is right for you. You can only count on you. You can’t hold someone else back.”
Scott kicked up his training and worked out with his best friend. He also continued to train with Frank and then began to realize the true meaning of a trainer.
“Like a good trainer does, you outgrow them. I found my own balance. Frank changed me. Eventually I was able to take boot-camp classes and spin workouts on my own, and now I'm able to give back.”
As Scott further developed his fitness routine—and with the help of his friend Sim—he found indoor cycling. At first, he thought it was something he couldn’t handle. He couldn't keep pace or form, but he liked the complement of cardio to his weight training. He stuck with it.
Scott remained committed to his goals and now gives back as one of the Shoppe’s trainers. One of the things he loves most about heated indoor cycling is the low impact on his joints and the endurance he has gained from being in the saddle.
“I actually lost friends and a relationship because I was prioritizing working out. It takes only one friend to lead you in. Sim and Frank inspired me to worout. If I can change even one person’s life, it’s worth it.”
Every year on his journey, Scott has experienced personal growth, and that has given him a newfound confidence. He said that making the decision to embark on his fitness path changed him from a “little boy” into a guy.
One of the most important lessons in confidence Scott has learned was how to be alone. “I didn’t know how to be alone. Now I can watch Netflix and binge watch something on TV. Why? I made the commitment to love the person in the mirror. I can sit with myself. I'm also comfortable at a bar or a restaurant by myself.”
A big hurdle for Scott was going to new gyms for the first time. Once he became confident in himself, all his worries melted away. A telling moment and testimony to his hard work was walking into Barry’s Bootcamp in Miami. He said he felt like the training wheels had come off. He was secure.
Other aspects of Scott’s life have benefited from his growth and journey. He takes pride in his career. He has been a Cardio Thoracic ICU Nurse at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles for 8 1/2 years.
“My interactions with patients are so much better because I am so in charge of me. I am comfortable and confident.”
Reaping the benefits and rewards of his continued time, effort, and discipline, Scott knows one thing takes precedent: consistency. Without fail—regardless of his schedule—Scott makes it a point to train at Barry’s Bootcamp at 5 a.m. every morning.
“Whether I'm on or off, 5 a.m. boot camp is happening. Anything else—a hike, cycling, yoga, Pilates—is icing on the cake. You can always add, but you can’t subtract. If you're not consistent, you will lose it.”
If you spend time with Scott inside or outside of The Hot Room, it will be easy to see his commitment to fitness extends beyond him to his students. He motivates students to do better, be better, and most importantly have some fun.
“By making an excuse not to workout, you can easily throw away three days—and then you wonder why you didn’t reach your fitness goals.”
Scott’s secret to success is being as organized as possible. It has served him well and helps him maintain his professional and fitness goals.
“I take the same class. I have the same colleagues. It all helps me stay organized. I can’t live recklessly—I hold myself accountable—and I do not see it as sacrificing having fun. I go to bed at a reasonable hour. If you don’t structure yourself, you can’t do meet your personal goals.” You don’t have to worry or anticipate what to do next. Have a plan. If you can make an appointment at 5:30 p.m., you should always show up to class, sign up early, and get on the list.”
Looking back, Scott said that four and a half years ago he never would have thought about making the choice to go to the gym on a Friday night.
“Now, going out is a treat—a glass of wine and a movie and call it a night. Nailed it, perfect. Done.”
Scott’s advice for anyone looking to build their routine is simple and inspirational.
“Commit to working out for more than 45 minutes. You will want to quit, you will want to cry. But do it, and then do it again. It has to be that way. There's a little S&M in everyone’s struggle. There is pleasure in the pain.”
Busy event planner, workout enthusiast, and avid indoor cyclist, Amy Greenberg knows that taking care of herself is a non-negotiable priority. Through her desire to do better and be better, she has made strides in maintaining the healthy lifestyle she always dreamed of.
Amy's fitness journey has been one of growth, passion, and dedication. Amy sat down with us and shared her story to wellness success.
Growing up, Amy was not fitness savvy and tried to get out of P.E. (physical education) class whenever she could. Fitness was not a priority in her family, and through the years Amy struggled with her weight. But then, with her family's help, she was able to envision her weight-loss goals and take control of her routine.
On her 18th birthday, Amy partnered up with her cousin and joined Weight Watchers. She said it was tough, but she also knew it was time to make a change. "I just didn't want to be that way anymore."
Over the course of three years, Amy lost about 80 pounds. At her uncle's urging, she added exercise to her life and then got the fitness results she wanted.
Originally from England, Amy was a student at University of Birmingham when she decided to study abroad (American Studies) at University of California, Berkeley. Amy was blown away by the gravitas of group fitness classes on campus, and they quickly became the perfect complement to her daily routine. At Berkeley, she cultivated her love for step class and stepography. She was enamored by the beautiful gyms and loved that classes were available throughout the day. When her program at UC Berkeley ended, she moved back to England. And she took her enthusiasm for step class back with her.
It wasn't long until Amy found her way back to California, where she currently resides, but the healthy lifestyle she once maintained soon became a fleeting memory.
She had no clear-cut goals and was going through a stressful time due to an illness in her family. The result: a toll on her life balance and health. Emotional eating didn't help, the weight stayed on, and Amy became frustrated. Then, two and a half years ago, she decided to make a change. She took matters into her own hands and set herself up for success. Amy signed up for boot camp and has been a dedicated student ever since. When she's not at the Shoppe getting her cycle on you can find her bright-and-early cross-training in Boot Camp. Consistent and persistent, Amy is an inspirational rider.
Building her boot-camp routine was not easy.
"I called and asked questions and signed up for three classes. I didn't go to the first or the second, but I went to the third and loved it." After a few weeks, Amy had successfully built her routine and has been hooked ever since.
Nowadays Amy has a better relationship with her diet and uses food as fuel.
"I know I can still enjoy my food while putting the right things in my body." Amy now takes pride in being able to identify the right food to meet her weight goals and sustain her energy. She is strict with her meal preparation (carb cycling meal prep) and currently is doing a modified version.
One of our favorite takeaways from Amy's fitness journey is that it led her to meet The Sweat Shoppe trainer Scott Brickner.
Some days we would take double floor classes. We both love leg day. We started coordinating our classes and schedules, and then I found out he was a spin instructor."
At the time, Amy was going through a transitional phase and changing careers from middle-school teacher to event planner (Amy Greenberg Events).
"The flexibility of my schedule made me more dependent on fitness and boot camp. It filled a void. At first I hated spin." After putting off class again and again, Amy finally decided to make it her "Thursday thing"—and that eventually meant taking every class Scott that teaches.
Laughing, and with a grin from ear to ear, Amy said she loves the connection she has with her instructors, regardless of which fitness class she is taking.
One-on-one with Amy Greenberg
Life as an event planner
My days are packed. I'm constantly researching venues, trends, parties, various corporate spheres, networking at events, and coordinating events.
Hobbies & Free Time
Working out is my hobby. I also love baking and visiting friends with their babies. I bake for my husband's law firm once a month. There was a "National Nutella Day" blurb in his office e-mail in tandem with the baked goods I made.
I am so much more confident. I'm not even at my thinnest, and I like who I am. I'm more confident than ever. Fitness helped me de-stress and work out my anxieties.
Nobody stops being able to keep pace. Run hard, lift heavy. It takes time, but everyone is in your corner. Nobody is judging you. It's liberating to realize that. It's wonderful to meet people who want you to help you achieve your goals. If you miss a class, go to the next one. Tell someone you're scared and make a friend.
“You need to walk the walk to get to your truth and live your word. It's everything you are.”
Janice Marlinga walks the walk. With a cool, calm, and collected demeanor, Janice sits in The Sweat Shoppe lobby. Her persona oozes sexy, strong, balanced, kind, and stunning. Janice can stop most anyone in their tracks. On meeting her, it is clear why we're intrigued. Naturally, we had to reach out for a rider highlight.
Mother, avid indoor cyclist, sponsor to 3 young women in recovery, fiancée—Janice has taken on many roles in her life. One that she has reclaimed—earned—is master of her destiny. Things always worked out for Janice, but it wasn’t until she decided to get sober that everything seemed to change for the better. In life, it's easy for us to assume that we control where we are going, even if we are not entirely happy with where we are. Rarely do we stop to look around and evaluate our path. Now 9-years sober, Janice says that deciding to make positive changes has made her the best version of herself.
“Know your worth, nothing is beyond reach. Ask for what you want, and notice what you get.”
For years Janice battled addictions to alcohol, nicotine (smoking), and other substances. Her recovery was gradual. She now looks at life through a different lens and is basking in the benefits. For 7 years, she said, she hurt a lot of people through her partying lifestyle. She describes herself as selfish. It was a sickness. Janice checked herself into rehab for 2 months and still has a close relationship with her sponsor.
(Sponsor) “She came from a peaceful, calm, loving place that was not the place I came from. I didn’t know what to do.”
Now, Janice gives back as a sponsor to 3 young women. With a smile on her face, she said she has learned that in order to keep the peace, she has to give it away.
“In active recovery, you learn grief service. You can’t keep it if you don’t give it away. The energy you put out there has a ripple effect. Somebody gave it to me, and it saved my life. I shared the darkest corners of my mind. We all go through it. I was motivated by past experiences, who I was as a person. I used to be motivated by fear.”
Janice takes pride in giving back and said she simply is helping others navigate their own lives. She attributes her health and wellness to her daughter and best friend Devin.
“That pressure—when you realize your children are watching you—that's a big deal. It was my catalyst for sobriety.”
When Janice reached her 5-year sober mark, she still found herself struggling with fitness. Continually finding herself exhausted, she decided to quit smoking and step up her routine. The results were staggering. Once she stopped smoking, she made small changes to her diet, including calorie restrictions, and even incorporating the blood-type diet into her lifestyle. Janice learned to listen to her body and pay attention to how it responded to what she was eating. She stayed consistent, held herself accountable, and everything changed.
“Your body finds its place regarding healthy living and weight loss. If you can change your mind, you can create your world. Go in there and say, 'This is gonna be a really good day.' We create our own reality.”
Since she began riding at the Shoppe in September, Janice has lost 13 pounds.
When she first took a class at the Shoppe, she said it was so challenging that she didn't think she could make it. She thought, “God help me.” Now, the Shoppe has become a part of her daily routine.
Janice has come a long way. When asked about her aspirations when she was younger, she said she lived life without goals. She simply thought she would live fast and die young. She didn’t feel like she would live past 30. It wasn’t until she turned 40 that she began to think differently.
“I knew that if I didn’t take care of myself, I wouldn’t be able to do it all. I want to enjoy life. I have a full-time high-stress job. If I’m not at my best, I can’t do my job.”
Janice is a commercial real-estate financial officer, but she manages to prioritize fitness. Her office knows how important fitness is to, and for, her and works around her schedule so she can work out.
To this day, Janice has no idea who recommended her for this dream job. She said that every day is exciting. She is learning so much, and doesn’t want to stop learning. Upon passing the required tests and accepting her current position, Janice posted a thank-you message on Facebook.
When Janice isn’t at the Shoppe, you can find her with her girlfriends or catching a weekend concert. She loves animals and is such a self-proclaimed freak for dogs and jokes that sometimes her fiancé comes second.
The next time you prepare to clip in for class you just might want to layer and stack your jewelry. Suzanne Wilson Designs has a workout friendly collection at The Sweat Shoppe that will make your eyes wide, your heart pump and your neck and wrist bling.
Lockstep with the trend of layering and stacking, the SWD collection at the Shoppe marries fashion with the zen lifestyle and vibe of our heated indoor cycling culture.
All pieces are handmade and designed to layer and stack.
Fashion does not have to stop while you are on the bike, feel your best when you are in The Hot Room. The versatile pieces range from leather cord, beaded chains, images of peace and tranquility.
SWD designer Suzanne Wilson collaborated with Shoppe owner Mimi Benz to tell a story through jewelry. An avid rider at the Shoppe, Suzanne created pieces with The Sweat Shoppe rider in mind, the accomplished, strong, confident, hot.
“I curated a collection based on feeling you get after you ride and captured what she (Mimi) has brought to the Shoppe.”
Suzanne who wears jewelry while she trains in The Hot Room challenges riders to rid themselves of the taboo that jewelry doesn’t have a place in their workout. Remember, the next time you clip in, #PeaceLoveBling.
This year we are teaming up with the Kling Street Kids to raise funds for Children's Hospital. The Kling Street Kids was created by, our very own, Callie Stark's awesome family. They have been contributing to the community and giving back to the Children's Hospital for over 13 years now. In this video, Callie explains what Kling Street Kids is and what it does.
At the Shoppe, we believe the keys to maintaining a healthy lifestyle are balance and moderation. We recently checked in with Latosha Lovell, fellow Shoppe rider and 2015 summer challenger, who despite a busy career, makes healthy living a priority and manageable.
It's easy to see by her graceful walk and warm smile that Latosha values peace and calm. Minutes after a Sweat Cycle, Latosha sat down with us. She had a smile from ear to ear, a cool, collected vibe, and a quiet confidence that oozed balance.
As you may remember from our first sit-down interview with her, Latosha has her own product and interior design business. She said that for a long time she had no balance and realized she had to slow down and have other things going on besides work.
"As a business owner, I learned that talent speaks for itself. I needed to slow down and trust the process."
Originally from Kansas City, Kansas, Latosha had wanted to be a journalist. She attended Clark Atlanta University and wrote for a few Atlanta newspapers, but she didn't pursue a career in journalism because it wasn't really something she was passionate about.
"One day my dad asked me, 'What would you do if you could do it for free?' I told him, 'I want to be a designer and practice in a major market.' I packed my bags and moved to Los Angeles."
With no experience, Latosha interned for a designer. Two and a half years later, she started her own business. That was 13 years ago.
"The designer whom I interned for taught me everything—the business aspect—and I learned as I went. Anything is possible if you are willing to put in the work and be committed."
In May, Latosha was one of the 41 riders who accepted the Shoppe's summer challenge and pushed themselves to their limit. For one month, the Shoppe was the headquarters for friendly competition and camaraderie among our "Sweat Gangstas." Riders old and new found a safe haven for a common goal: to awaken and liberate their inner athlete.
For Latosha, committing to the Shoppe's summer challenge was easy. Even though she was new to the Shoppe (only 3–4 weeks), she was on a mission. Wanting to finally reach her goal weight, she made heat training part of her routine.
Taking classes at The Sweat Shoppe: "It's not the same type of sweat. I have been working out forever and never got the same results. I feel like I am healing my body."
We are happy to report that Latosha not only reached her goal but—she happily shared with us—is maintaining and reaping the benefits of her hard work. She said that her current workout routine is serving her well, but even so she is stepping up her game to get stronger and more toned.
An unexpected advantage of heat training she experienced was the alleviation of her allergy symptoms. She had been frustrated that conventional medicines were not working against her environmental allergies. She felt defeated.
"Heat training expels toxins. I now have only minor allergy symptoms. It is an 80 percent clear difference." She also said that sweat cycles help her combat sinus headaches.
As part of her regimen, Latosha tries to take 3–5 classes a week. The 14-mile commute from Pasadena isn't always ideal, but she loves the amenities the Shoppe has to offer.
"The aesthetic, design, and style [of The Sweat Shoppe]: I love it. Since I drive so far, the showers are nice. After class, I can shower before my next meeting." A self-proclaimed "massage junkie," she is excited that the Shoppe offers massages and can't wait to treat herself.
Latosha's career often takes her on the road to trade shows to learn about new trends and remain well versed on the best products to offer clients. One of her current projects is a new product line slated for 2016.
With a schedule like hers, maintaining a level of productive flow is essential. We asked her how she sets herself up for success.
LATOSHA'S TIPS FOR SUCCESS
Always be very organized.
Always be prepared for a last-minute dinner party.
Manage your time wisely.
Carve out "me" time.
Meditate every morning —without fail.
Reduce clutter—purge twice a year. Everything (other than formal wear) that hasn't been used for 6 months
goes away. ("I'm big on traveling light when I'm at home.")
Create a place for yourself at home. Your home is a safe haven. It should represent you. You have no choice out in the
world, but at home you do. "When I was growing up, home always felt so safe." You should be happy to get home.
We asked Latosha to finish this sentence. "I feel prettiest when... I am taking care of myself, when I am treating myself well. As women nurturers, we tend to put ourselves second, but all of us are nicer, more patient, and kinder when we're balanced and making better life choices. When we're not balanced, we function out of survival mode and are just reacting."
Melissa Marroquin has been a crucial member of The Sweat Shoppe team. She has helped our riders get their workouts in, and in turn she has been inspired to attain her own fitness goals.
Melissa said her journey to a healthy lifestyle has not been easy, but she continues to be patient with herself. The key to her success is simply listening to her body.
“I just woke up one morning and started to make changes. Slow—really slow —changes. I started cutting down my portions, and then eventually I cut things out.”
Melissa doesn’t deprive herself—she still enjoys her cup of coffee with sugar—but knows that moderation with sugar and most things is essential.
“I can fit into my Mom’s clothes now,” she said with a smile. “I even started wearing junior sizes.”
Growing up, Melissa led an active lifestyle and was involved in track & field and dance.
“I started to gain a lot of weight in high school. I knew if I stayed active I wouldn’t gain a lot of weight, but I never lost as much as I wanted.”
Eventually Melissa was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Her hormones were unbalanced, and she gained weight. To combat the side effects of PCOS, she turned to heated indoor cycling and a healthy diet.
Another factor that contributed to her lifestyle change was her family’s health history. “My Dad’s side has diabetes, and my Mom’s side has high blood pressure. I knew I had to do something. I had to make a change. It was time, and even I knew my weight was getting out of control.”
Melissa said the big wake-up call for her was when she jumped from a size 18 to 22.
“I didn’t feel comfortable in any of my clothes anymore. I looked big and I felt big, and I thought, "This isn’t what I want.”"
She said some of her weight problems came from a lack of imbalance in her personal life.
“My parents got divorced and I started at a new school. My Mom worked nights, so I had to step up to provide for myself and my brothers. I took on more responsibility, mostly taking care of my brothers, and that meant I didn’t take care of myself. I put my family’s welfare before mine, so my weight just grew and grew.”
When it comes to inspiration, she holds her mother in high regard.
“The person who inspires me is my Mom. She is always supporting me and telling me I can do it if I set my mind to it. She is also losing weight with me, so we support each other.” Melissa doesn’t have a specific target weight and said that as long as she is healthy, she is happy.
When asked what her favorite thing about the Shoppe is, she said it's the people she has met. “You never know what kind of person you will meet here. They are all so kind and fun, and they tell very interesting stories either from work or vacation. It’s really cool.”
Melissa’s advice for people who are new to The Sweat Shoppe: It will be hard the first time, and it will get hard the second and third, but it is important to remember why you are here and why you are doing this. It could be something as small as keeping your weight in check or something big like trying to fit into a dress for a wedding or event. Having goals—no matter how big or small—can have the greatest impact.
You’ve seen her image, and you’ve probably seen her getting her sweat on at the Shoppe, but have you ever wondered who the face—or shall we say body—of The Sweat Shoppe is?
If you haven’t already made the connection, it's Dianne Quirante, one of our very own Shoppe riders!
A Frankfort, Illinois, native, Dianne moved to Los Angeles five years ago to pursue a career in dance and modeling.
We asked Dianne how she likes LA, and she said she is loving it. Even with her busy schedule, Dianne manages to find balance and to make time for the outdoors and exploring California.
“It’s different, it’s more adventurous, a different vibe. I had a window (of time to move to LA), and I took it.”
Back home, Dianne worked as a production assistant on t“The Jerry Springer Show” and “The Steve Wilkos Show.”
“The shows were moving to Connecticut, and I didn’t want to move, so I took off three months from work. My Mom pushed me to find a job, so I started working retail at Gilly Hicks (Abercrombie & Fitch lingerie brand). After working there for a year, I asked for a transfer to LA.”
Dianne said that moving to LA was always something she had talked about. Having always been involved in dance workshops and conventions, her ties to the dance community were strong. When she moved out here and become an Angeleno, she had a nice starting-off point when she was booked on TV and dance gigs. Nowadays, Dianne is a publicist.
“My work life is fun.”
Dianne loves what she does, and that is evident in her energy.
“I wake up and pack for work if I have a meeting or an event. After work, I either go to the gym, yoga, spin, or dance class. I like to check out different studios and workouts. Somewhere in between, I try to eat,” she said with a smile on her face.
When she is out and about for business, she is usually on the west side. Dianne tells us that even though she loves checking out new hot spots and restaurants, she also likes taking a break from the Hollywood scene and enjoys offbeat adventures.
“I went to the Strawberry Festival the other weekend,” she laughed.
Athleticism and being in shape have always been priorities for her. Dianne was a competitive figure skater until the age of 22. Though she no longer skates competitively, training is still a big part of who she is. A self-proclaimed foodie, she practices moderation and has learned from her life of training that nutrition and performance go hand in hand. Dianne said her Mom (who is a nurse) also served as her personal nutritionist.
“When I was figure skating, my coaches and trainers taught me how to eat better.”
Her advice for anyone looking to build a fitness routine is simple: “Get up and go! Try one thing a day, whether it's 10, 20, 30 minutes. Try something different, and if that doesn’t work, try something else. Don’t focus on your weight—just go out and do something you like. Be yourself, have fun. Develop skill and proper form, and take things slow—one step at a time.”
One on One with Dianne Quirante
TSS: When do you sleep?
DQ: I'm in bed mostly by midnight. I catch up on my shows.
TSS: What are your favorite shows?
DQ: “Quantico,” “Empire,” “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” “The Blacklist,” “Madmen,” “Breaking Bad,” “House of Cards,” “Narcos”—to name a few. (She also makes it a point to catch up on the news.)
It’s evident that Dianne knows how to unwind. Then we asked her a few of our favorite questions:
TSS: What is your "Why"? Why do you workout?
DQ: I like to feel like I can breathe, to de-stress. I like to feel active and know I can still hold my game like I could when I was 5–10 years old. I want to maintain my stamina and flexibility. I don’t want to feel inadequate. I want to feel young and active.
TSS: What are your guilty pleasures?
DQ: Sweets! Desserts! Ice cream! I love ice cream but have to be careful and treat myself only once in a while, because I’m lactose sensitive. I love pastries, cookies, and brownies, but I watch what I eat and make sure to eat smart ingredients.
TSS: Finish this sentence: I feel prettiest when ...
DQ: When I'm relaxed and excited about what's to come. When I'm feeling confident about everything, and when I'm around good people. Also, the feeling after sweating is very rewarding.
TSS: Do you have down days? If so, what do you do to combat them?
DQ: Yes, I do have down days. On days when I am super tired and exhausted from the week, I push myself to go out and get a workout in. I want to feel accomplished or do something good for myself. It’s not hard to push myself, because it's now a routine for me.
Since the very beginning of his journey to become one of the next instructors at The Sweat Shoppe, Alex Gastelum has supported his fellow teacher trainees. We sat down with Alex after his second class of the day taught by fellow teacher-in-training Callie Stark. He was sweaty, happy, and ready for a massage.
Over the last four years, Alex has been a staple in Shoppe trainer Melissa Lau's class. He takes his training seriously. On occasion, he has missed family events, skipped out on plans, and even taken a day off work to attend sweat cycles. Alex is the real deal.
Melissa has been Alex's heated indoor-cycling mentor and his inspiration to teach spin himself. "I taught Melissa's kids at one point, and she challenged me to come in and take her class. I thought, "I can't be indoors in a closed room—plus I already have my [own] workouts."
Finally, though, Alex decided to take on Melissa's challenge. "One day, I had the opportunity to take her class. I remember I was nervous. I sat in the back row next to a woman whose child I also had taught. I took the challenge because I thought, 'I can do this.'"
To his surprise, he found the class difficult and challenging.
"I was shocked. I thought with all the working out I was doing, I would be able to do it. But I couldn't. In the end, I was exhausted, and that's when I decided I wanted to start cycling."
Alex has been teaching children at Fun and Fit Gymnastics Center for 17 years. He was looking for the next step in his career—teaching adults. Over the summer, he decided to become a trainer at the Shoppe. This has been his way of giving back for what cycling has done for him.
"It has enhanced my performance, built my self esteem, and made me love myself."
His energy is contagious. Anyone who knows Alex can tell you his smile and demeanor can make even the shyest person come out of their shell. Cycling has been an emotional journey for him. When asked why he cycles now, his eyes welled up with tears of joy.
"I spin because I am afraid to die. I sit on the bike and just run. Just pedal. You only live once. I want to be happy, healthy, and alive to see my family and friends. Never look back!"
His favorite song for a seated climb is "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol. This song reminds him of how he refuses to fail or give up. He said he simply wants to be loved and understood.
"I just love that song; I want it for my wedding. When the song says, 'Would you lie with me and just forget the world,' it is like saying, 'I love you for you.' To me, when the song says, 'All that I am, all that I ever was,' it reminds me that I am okay just being Alex."
TSS: What do you do to let loose?
AG: I come to class five times a week. It's my stress reliever. I drop my shoulders and give my all, 110%.
TSS: What do you do when you miss a class?
AG: I panic. I am very structured, so when I miss class, I feel like I'm missing something—like I'm not complete. I'm stressed out if I'm not here. I feel empty.
TSS: What is your favorite thing about the Shoppe?
AG: The atmosphere. I like that everybody is different—different sizes, colors, ages. I like picking up people who are down, acknowledging them and making their day.
TSS: What was teaching your first class like?
AG: I was overwhelmed with so much support—which made it easy. It helped me not to be so emotional. I felt comfortable and was able to get right into teaching mode.
TSS: Who inspires you?
AG: Melissa (Lau)—her endurance, energy, and body, and her having three kids.
TSS: What is your personal mantra?
AG: Keep moving forward, don't look back.
TSS: What are your heated indoor-cycling musts?
AG: It's funny—but a mirror, then good music, a towel, water, and I'm good to go.
TSS: What do you leave at home?
AG: All of my baggage. I leave everything from the day at home: personal, financial, emotional, relationship—just, "Bye." Once I come in here, it's a whole other story.
TSS: Any advice for those new to training at the Shoppe?
AG: I would encourage them to breathe and focus on themselves. I would tell them they aren't here to compete against anyone. If I have to sit next to you, I will; and we will get through this together.
He just finished his first full Ironman in Lake Placid, New York, on July 26 and is already hitting the ground running—literally—training for the San Diego Superfrog Ironman 70.3 in less than five weeks. Oh, wait, there’s more: He's also training for the New York Marathon the first weekend of November. Who is this czar of an athlete? Robb Fordham—wholesale mortgage executive, competitive athlete, father, and self proclaimed “shy guy.” Robb makes his achievements look easy, but they are not for the faint of heart.
Robb set a personal goal to finish the Lake Placid Ironman in 14 hours. He finished in 12:33. The forecast was for rain, but they got heat instead. With a tendency to overheat, Robb said that heated cycling at The Sweat Shoppe made a massive difference in his performance and helped him control his heart rate.
“I took a non-conventional training approach. I just wanted to do it and see if I could hang on. In hindsight, it doesn’t seem like a long time. I sit and analyze my goal, the little points.”
He rode as hard as he could on the bike for the first hour. He said the run was as long and difficult as he had expected it to be,but was pleased to see he was the first one out of the water. Then came the cycling.
“The bike ride, through upstate New York, was gorgeous, but after six hours—and for the last 10 miles—I wanted to get off the bike so bad. The running was the worst part; my feet swelled up bad.”
Completing his first full Ironman was an emotional and transcendent experience. One of the things that got him through was the support of spectators along the route.
Upon finishing the Ironman, he and a few others joined the spectators and cheered the rest of the competitors. One moment that touched Robb was hearing the crowd roar as the name of a 77-year-old man was called out as he crossed the finish line later that evening.
“I cried tears of joy many times along the course. Spectators are there from 6:30 a.m. until midnight, cheering people on. You don’t see that in a lot of sports.”
To make his mark on the score board, Robb takes his training seriously and always makes time to get his workouts in. Adamant about reaching his goals, he attributes his success to balance. The father of two (Max, 4; Sam, 2) knows time with his sons is paramount and puts them first—even when training for a race.
“When it came to balance, I told myself I was going to do it. It doesn’t make me happier to work harder. I get my fulfillment with my kids.”
While looking for something to get him into shape six years ago, Robb started doing small races, one a year. Robb is a former CrossFitter, and his friend (who was also his CrossFit coach) was a strong influence on him when he began racing.
A wrestler since he was six (and through college at the Air Force Academy and Cal State San Marcus), he knows how to tap into training mode. However, it has not always been easy.
After participating in a half Ironman last year, Robb underwent reconstructive knee surgery, so his training was non-existent until March and April of this year.
“It’s tough getting back into working out. I had gained weight but have just about trimmed all of it off. It’s always hard to jump back into a training regimen.”
With swimming and running having already been a part of his routine, he was looking for the cycling element.
“I was looking to train for the cycling part. I checked out Jason’s class, and at first I thought I was going to die.”
But Robb came back. He loved the workout he got from The Sweat Shoppe without the impact of being outdoors. He has attributed his athletic success to incorporating heated indoor cycling into his training. Robb enjoys being around like-minded individuals at the Shoppe who share his training mentality, and likes that the people are nice.
Just kept going, be persistent. It’s a different style; you either like it or you don’t. Everyone goes at their own pace. Stay on the bike for 50 minutes, stay on it, go a little at a time, push it, go for it. Give it a shot and come back.
Outlook on training:
After a crappy day, I realize that running is a luxury, simple things, and everything is not so bad.
3 Things to Know about Robb
Shy around other people, reserved
2 awesome kids
Likes to eat and drink beer