How Watching Watts Can Improve Your Ride

You’ll be amazed by the changes you feel

We’ve been on our Stages bikes at Cadence for over a year now and it’s safe to say they’re a crowd pleaser! The biggest difference with the transition to new bikes was the console. While some people resist change, others couldn’t wait to try something new, and while some people initially found the onscreen numbers to be daunting or distracting, others were excited to have the accountability and motivation of tangible measurements.

Before diving a little deeper into how the console can help you improve your ride, we want to remind you that you never have to use the console when riding at Cadence. Our instructors will always cue to both RPM and the beat, and to watts and perceived exertion. What does that mean? Well, it means that your instructor will frequently give you a watt range and an RPM range to work within (more on that in a second), but they will also make sure that the RPM they cue is right on the beat (1,2 1,2), so that you can simply ride to the music, and they’ll give you a number on a scale of 1-10 as a perceived exertion at which to ride.

You’re all familiar with perceived exertion. We like to say that 0/10 is sitting on the couch and 10/10 is the hardest you can possibly push. That puts your “flat road” at a 5/10, meaning that your entire ride will range from your 5/10 to a final push that reaches for your 10/10. How do you define those numbers? What do they feel like in your body? Well, that takes us into the “perceived” part of the calculation. Everybody has a different way of defining different effort levels. If you’re unsure how you should feel at, say, a 7/10, then talk to your instructor about what type of sensation you can be looking for at different points along the perceived exertion scale. They can help you find a way to define those numbers that works best for you.

But, if you do like using the console, then that takes a bunch of the guesswork out of the equation. You will have noticed that, during the warm up, your instructor will cue you to find your flat road by finding your 5/10 in between 75 and 100 watts. Even though that’s a big range for you to play in, it gives you a specific number to use to guide the rest of your ride. Once you find whatever feels like your flat road within that range, you have a number that you know is your 5/10 perceived exertion.

Why do we love this so much? Because now you have something to hold you accountable for the rest of the ride. You can keep your eye on the screen not only as you climb and as you push through breathless intervals, but also as you come out of intervals and as you take quick active recoveries. Are your watts dropping below the number that you defined as your flat road, or below the base effort at which the instructor has asked you to be riding? Oops! Time to refocus and get back to the ride. You’ll be amazed by the changes you’ll feel by simply using the console to keep you accountable in between the big efforts.

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So you’ve got your number, somewhere between 75 and 100, that you know is your 5/10 – your flat road. But what watts should you be looking for when you’re asked to hit your 7/10, or 7.5, or 9? The best way to know is to take the Cadence Fitness Challenge. This “class” pops up on our schedule every once in a while, and is really a test that will gauge your average power output. This number will be used to generate a chart that will very clearly indicate what watts are equivalent to your perceived exertions.

If you haven’t had the chance to take the Cadence Fitness Challenge, then there are still certain watts you can use as a guide. Watts range so greatly though from person to person, depending on factors such as weight, height, and so on, that it’s best to talk to your instructor so they can help you come up with personal goals. All of our instructors love to chat and strive to help you have your best ride possible, so don’t be afraid to ask!

Another great way you can use the console to guide your ride is to keep track of your average watts. Next time you take a class in which you feel strong and energetic, make note of your average watts for that ride. Set a goal for how you want to see that number increase during your next ride (bringing your watts up by 5 from one ride to the next is a fantastic goal), and if you reach that goal, then you have tangible proof that you are getting stronger and improving!

Remember that you don’t have complete control over your own watts – the instructor has a say, too. The way the ride is designed will effect your average watts. For example, if there is less climbing and more jumping, there’s less opportunity to increase your average watts, and, instead, more opportunity to work on balance, agility, speed, core strength, and so on – every ride has a different intention behind it. In general, Cadence offers power-focused rides, though, so if you love those watts, then you’re in luck!

The gist? If you don’t want to use the console, don’t! It’s all good. If you do want to use it, then there are a bunch of ways that watching your watts can help you you improve your ride. You can use it to check your watts in between pushes and during recoveries to hold you accountable, to push you toward a target average, and to define your different stages along the perceived exertion scale.

Keep your eye on the schedule and on our social media to know when the Cadence Fitness Challenge is coming up next! And remember, the ride is never all about the numbers. It’s all about getting sweaty, challenging yourself, and letting your body surprise you!

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below!

Cadence Against Cancer

You’re part of a community that cares

If you noticed more pink on the bikes over the past month, that’s because guests were participating in our first annual month of Cadence Against Cancer. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and Cadence wanted to take the opportunity to support those who have struggled with breast cancer and to bring awareness to the disease. 

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Every time a rider wore pink, Cadence donated $1 to breast cancer research. 158 people showed up to ride in their pink work out gear, and not only did Cadence donate in their honour, but Basic Baby Co. showed their support for the cause by matching $100 of that with their own donation! We love this local company that has the health and wellness of women at the heart of their business.

Perhaps even more special than the donations is the fact that any rider whose life has been touched by this disease could look to pink riders in the room and feel support. Sometimes a big difference can be made by the simple reminder that you’re not alone. Cadence is a place of community where we hope you always feels supported; whether you’re having a great day or a rough day, whether you’re celebrating, struggling, or facing something that seems insurmountable in the moment, you can always come for a ride and know that you’re being held up by the people around you. Wearing pink throughout October was our small way of bringing awareness to breast cancer while reminding everybody that you’re part of a community that cares.

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In addition to wearing pink, we sold some swag designed by Emma Hands Design. All proceeds from the Tough Titties bags, prints, and pins have also gone towards breast cancer research. We love this local designer (you probably know her from around the studio!) and adore these products she designed exclusively for Cadence Against Cancer. They are sure to be conversation starters when you’re out and about!

The statistics on breast cancer tell us that most of us have been or will be touched by it at some point. 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. An estimated 26,300 Canadian women and 230 Canadian men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. That’s 72 women in Canada every day who receive the dreaded diagnosis. Support, education, and awareness are so important in helping these women stay positive as they face this disease.

Our community showed amazing support and love throughout our first ever month of Cadence Against Cancer. We are so proud to be part of a community that prioritizes healthy bodies and healthy minds, and that comes together for causes that matter!

A Beautiful Day in Our Neighbourhood: Part 1

There are so many spots that we hit up
to fuel our ride and to recover post-sweat

We love our neighbourhood, and not just for its view of the mountains and its proximity to the beach, but also because we love our neighbours. Being snuggled in between South Granville and Kitsilano means that we have tons of great cafes, restaurants, shops, and studios all within walking distance of our front door.

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Kits beach

There are so many spots that we regularly hit up before and after class to fuel our ride and to recover post-sweat, and we want to share our go-to’s with you. Today, we’re taking you on a trip down West 4h Avenue to give you some ideas for an absolutely beautiful day in the neighbourhood:

Before your ride, grab a smoothie at Sejuiced. Our favourite is the Morning Energizer, filled with almonds, bananas, and whey protein to give you good fuel for your ride.

Time to ride. Whether you’re an early riser, a noon-er, or an after work rider, we’ve got the perfect cool down planned for you, so give it your all and don’t be afraid to get sweaty!

After your ride, head to Silk Road Tea on West 4th Avenue for a delicious alternative to your typical sports drink. Their local and organic teas are crafted with intention, and we love that they carry a range of wellness teas rich in nutrients that are particularly perfect for active people. Since you just got really sweaty, you should order a cup of Quench to replenish your electrolytes. Yum! And, if you mention that you ride at Cadence, they have an exclusive treat for you!

Keep on walking down West 4th, and you’ll come across LUSH (just follow your nose). Pop inside and treat yourself to a bath bomb. Pick one with sea salt if you want some added benefits for sore muscles (we like Big Blue). A warm bath will be the perfect way to end your day later!

 The All-Day Breaky Macro Bowl at Kokomo

The All-Day Breaky Macro Bowl at Kokomo

Right around the corner from LUSH, you’ll find Kokomo. It’s the perfect place to grab a post-spin bite. Each seasonal menu here is curated by a nutritionist to ensure that every meal is ideal pre- or post-workout fuel. The idea behind Kokomo is that those of us who are on-the-go, fitting our spin classes into already busy days, can still find quick, delicious, and nutritious food. Currently, the All-Day Breaky Macro Bowl (pictured) is a fall favourite. A tofu scramble topped with gems like roasted squash and cumin pickled cauliflower, it’s got the perfect balance of macronutrients. The tempeh, tofu, hemp hearts, and brown rice are packed full of protein; the cilantro and fresh greens are detoxifying; and the pickled cauliflower supports gut health. It’s a filling, colourful, totally delicious bowl that will keep you going for the rest of your day.

 Foot release using MELT pressure balls

Foot release using MELT pressure balls

After your meal, head back the way you came. On West 4th at Burrard is the neighbourhood’s original barre studio called The Dailey Method. In addition to their fitness classes, they offer a variety of restorative classes that are ideal for supplementing your intensive spin routine. Offered at 7pm on Tuesdays, noon on Fridays, and as part of a stretch and meditation class on Wednesday nights (called Dailey Release), MELT targets the body’s neurofascial system via release work on foam rollers and pressure balls. We swear by it as a necessary act of self-care. You can learn more about how it works here.

Ahhh. Now you’re feeling fed, watered, and rejuvenated. Time to head home to your LUSH bath!

And there you have it: a beautiful day in our neighbourhood. Stay tuned for a trip down South Granville coming up in a few weeks. If you have any recommendations, or if we’ve inspired you to discover a new favourite, leave a comment below and let us know!

We ♥ Tash

If you’re a regular rider at Cadence, then you know and love Tash. She’s our owner and our star instructor. For years, her classes have conjured cheers, warranted waitlists, pushed riders to their limits, and kept all of us coming back for more. Her taste and ear for music, her technical knowledge of the bike and the ride, her knack for motivation, and her genuine care for every rider that clips into a bike makes her rides truly one-of-a-kind experiences.

If you’ve been in Tash’s classes over the past couple of months then you will have noticed a growing baby bump, and the time has now come for Tash to pass her classes onto other instructors and hop off the bike for a bit (she’s due in a few weeks, guys, she stuck with you to the end!). We will all miss her but we’re so excited to see our wonderful boss, instructor, mentor, cheerleader, and fellow rider blossom into a beautiful new role – mom.

Tash will be back in the new year but for now we wish her stillness, relaxation, and quality time with family and friends. Thank you, Tash, from your entire Cadence team and community, for always brightening our days and motivating us to push that little bit harder. We can’t wait to meet your new baby girl. Congratulations!

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What's Up with the Plus Classes?

It provides me with the spin class I know and love,
in addition to a killer arm workout!

You may have noticed that Classic Cadence Plus has taken a more prominent spot on our fall schedule, and that Rhythm Ride Plus has been added! These 55-minute classes include an optional 10-minute upper body workout after our regular rides. We’re so excited to give you more opportunities to experience this benefit!

Here are some FAQs to give you the scoop on our Plus classes!

Why did Cadence add an upper body workout to class?

Lots of reasons, but the short story is – you asked for it! We heard from some of you that you were finishing your workouts at home with weights, and we thought, “Well, let’s do that together!” We are always challenging ourselves to evolve and to add value to your Cadence experience. We agree that spending time on the upper body is necessary for a more complete work out.

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How and why is the weight work at Cadence different than at other spin studios?

Our upper body workout happens off the bike. After our ride, we hop onto the floor to pick up our weights and stand while we focus on arms. This is because we are committed to safety and alignment. We believe that when your legs are spinning, you simply don’t have the stability necessary to safely add weight and movement to the upper body.

This choice turned out to have some other benefits. First, by focusing on legs on the bike and arms off the bike, you’re undoubtedly able to push yourself harder with each. Second, by tacking weights onto the end of class, it becomes optional. On days that you’re in a rush, you can jet out straight after your ride without missing a beat.


What if I can’t stay for 55 minutes?

You don’t have to stay! The first 45 minutes of class is exactly the same as it’s always been: warm up, ride, cool down, stretch. Then you can either scoot out or pick up your weights!

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What can I expect from the weight workout?

We use light weights – one, two, or three pounds – because the muscles will be contracted consistently for about eight minutes. The intention is not to bulk up but rather to tone, tighten, and strengthen the muscles. You will be guided through tiny movements, lots of repetition, and long holds. Expect to be surprised by just how heavy two pound weights can feel after a couple minutes!


I’ve never worked out with weights before and I’m nervous to do it in a group! What if I can’t make it all the way through?

That’s okay! Our goal, as always, is to make Cadence a safe, welcoming, and inclusive space. Stepping out of your comfort zone can be intimidating, but, like our rides, we encourage you to go at your own pace and take breaks as you need. We also feel that this is the perfect environment to give weights a go. You’ll have an instructor coaching you through, keeping you safe and focused, and guiding you toward optimal results.


Some testimonies from clients who have experienced our Plus classes already:

“What I love about Cadence Plus is that it provides me with the spin class I know and love, in addition to a killer arm workout. It’s hard to come by an enjoyable full body workout, so I’ve really appreciated having the short ’n’ sweet, targeted arm circuit added in. I have only good things to say about it!” -Veronika Holek

“The instructors carry over the same challenges of the cardio workout into 10 minutes of strength training for arms. As with the spin classes, the instructors create their own workout scripts, changing it up to avoid monotony while ensuring key areas are covered!” -Nancy Wu



If you have any other questions, please leave a comment below!

Back to Fall, Back to Balance

How can you find “balance” in the face of real-life priorities and restricted time?

Times of transition tend to be times of introspection. As the seasons change, it’s common to feel off-balance, spending more time on work than play or on others rather than yourself. Your Ideal Self is, most likely, a person who can spread her energy evenly across the board – finding time to spin, sleep, and everything in between – but how can you find this elusive “balance” in the face of real-life priorities and seemingly restricted time?


If balance is something you find yourself striving for as you enter the busy months of fall, try this exercise. Take out a piece of paper and write down the ten activities that you spend the majority of your time doing. Beside each activity, write down the approximate number of hours per week that you spend on it. 


Now, ask yourself a couple careful questions:

-Was it hard to come up with ten things? That might be a sign that one or two things are dominating a lot of your time. If that’s the case, fill up the blank spots with things you wish were on the list and schedule one or two of them into your calendar for the upcoming week. 

-Does the majority of your list include doing things with or for other people? That might be a sign that you are not prioritizing yourself at all. If that’s the case, pick up your calendar again, and schedule a chunk of time in the next week when you will be alone. Choose something fun to do. Don’t let anybody else come with you. 

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-Are you surprised by things not on the list? For example, do you feel like you work out a lot, but exercise didn’t make it to the top ten? That might be a sign that you’re not making as much time as you thought for the activities that matter to you. In the next week, take an hour away from something at the top of your list and give it to something you wish was on the list. 

-Do you notice a theme? For example, do all your activities take place indoors? Do half of them require staring at a screen? Are none of them creative? If that’s the case, think about how you can tweak your list into a theme you want to see. Implement one of those changes in the next week.

-Finally, are the hours on your list not adding up? (There’s 168 hours in a week, by the way.) If there’s a surprising amount of time that you can’t account for, that might be a sign that you’re not using time as wisely as you could. Some of those lost hours could be used for activities you thought you didn’t have time to do!


Time is your friend, not your enemy. We’re often guilty of throwing our hands up and exclaiming, “There’s not enough time in the day!” But, once you become hyper-aware of how you’re spending your time, you’ll be surprised not only by the way you can manipulate that time, but also by the minutes and hours that become available to you. And that’s not encouragement to run yourself ragged, but rather encouragement to use your found time in a way that will help you reach for the balance you crave. Clump those found minutes together into an hour when you can go to a spin class, prep your meals for tomorrow, or simply go to bed earlier. You’re on your way to a more balanced life!

The Why Behind The Music

When you hit the bottom of that pedal stroke right on the beat for the whole track, even as the hill is getting heavier, you feel invincible.
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At Cadence, music is at the core of everything we do. We know that music is the key ingredient to an awesome class. The ride we plan and the coaching and cheering we bring to the bike can only take a class so far. A 5-star class happens when the music puts a fire in your belly. 

When you hit the bottom of that pedal stroke right on the beat for the whole track, even as the hill is getting heavier, you feel invincible. And when a whole group of people is riding that beat together, it’s a sense of empowerment that you probably won’t find anywhere else in your day. We know how great that feeling is, and we try to give it to you every time.

That sense that the music is guiding your ride is not just a feeling, though. It’s science.

In the last 15-ish years, the connection between music and movement has been studied more and more. Turns out, music adds more than an element of play to the ride. It adds more than distraction from your fatigue. It adds more than motivation. It does all those things, and we use it strategically for all those reasons, but music does so much morefor your ride.

The gist? Lights and disco balls can bring playful fun to the ride; a podcast can distract you; your instructor’s inspirational speech can motivate you. Only music, though, increases endurance, reduces perceived effort, and promotes metabolic efficiency. Studies show people can actually cycle longer and harder with music than without.

Music and movement are literally entangled in the brain. Without getting too science-y, basically we can’t notmove to music.

Some songs are clearly better to ride to than others, not only because heavy beats seem to give your legs more power and inspiring lyrics seem to give you wings to the top of the hill, but also because other factors, especially tempo, effect the body’s reaction. But, hey, that’s what we’re here for. You leave the picking and choosing to us, and we’ll do our best to put together an awesome playlist each and every ride.

If you want to read more about the psychology behind work out music, the link to our favourite article is below. And if you have any songs that are yourgo-to work out tracks, please share with us! We’d love to take them for a ride.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/psychology-workout-music/

 

Find The Motivation!

Your work out routine should make you feel strong, well-rounded, and energized.

March is in full swing and the boost of energy that rings in the New Year has come and gone.

We know what it’s like to feel your motivation dip this time of year, so we want to share with you some of the ways we push ourselves to show up on the bike even when we’re tempted to rain check.

1) Set a weekly goal. Decide at the beginning of the week how many classes you want to attend, commit them to your schedule, and then plan around them. Be realistic when you do this. Think about what makes sense for your time, your body, and your life.

2) Be very present at the end of your ride. As you cool down and stretch, scan your body, mind, and spirit and note how you feel. This is why we ride. Flag this feeling and pull it up next time your couch is calling you away from the bike.

3) Be honest and gentle with yourself. Nobody is telling you to ride every day. Your work out routine should make you feel strong, well-rounded, and energized. That might mean two or three rides a week, balanced with yoga and beach walks. Listen to your body.

4) Get to know the person on the bike next to you and hang back to chat with your instructor after class. Maybe bring a friend who’s never tried spin before (you’ll have a blast playing the expert). It’s all about community and feeding off the energy of others. Have fun!

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