Couples Who Sweat Together

Working out together unites us around a common goal.

Our community is such a supportive place, and we especially love the energy in the studio when loved ones show up to support each other. Seeing families and friends ride together and celebrate each other’s successes is so special. So, in honour of Valentine’s Day, we are featuring one of our favourite Cadence couples. 

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Harper and Michael have been riding together at Cadence for over a year now, and they never fail to impress us with their positivity and determination. We sat down with them to find out a little more about why they love riding together and how they’re able to coordinate their schedules to prioritize their shared work outs. We are so inspired by them, and we know that they’ll inspire you, too!

Cadence: Tell us a bit about how long you two have been together!

Harper: We’ve been together for ten years. We met at UBC in the Greek system where we played on multiple intramural sports teams together. We just got married last year! We had two weddings – one in Canada last August and one a few weeks ago in Kenya!

C: Congratulations! Can you describe each other in a sentence or two? What stands out about the other’s personality?

H: Michael is the most outgoing, charismatic person I know! He’s amazing at connecting with pretty much anyone.

Michael: Harper is the most wonderful and loving soul with unlimited talents including delicious cooking and overly-competitive Catan!

C: So how and when did you find Cadence, and what has made you stick around?

H: We’ve been spinning together for about a year and a half. When we were getting back into exercise leading up to the wedding, we found Cadence and fell in love with the laidback, non-pretentious, and friendly vibes. Everyone at Cadence is so incredibly supportive and encouraging of our goals!

C: What do you love about taking class together?

H: We love signing along to the music and encouraging each other to push harder! The high five at the end of a class you’ve both crushed is super sweet.

C: Are you competitive with each other or mostly cheering each other on? Or both?

H: A bit of both for sure! We always compare average watts at the end of class. But we celebrate each other showing up every time because that’s what counts!

C: Do you have any tips for coordinating your schedules so that you can commit to making it to class together?

M: We have a shared workout calendar on iCal! Whenever one of us books a class, it shows up for the other. That’s really helpful in coordinating our schedules and it helps us to stay consistent. We usually book a week in advance so we never miss out on our favourite classes.

C: That’s such a great tip! Why does working out together matter to you and your relationship?

H: Working out together unites us around a common goal that is outside of our careers, which brings us closer.

C: What inspires you most about each other?

M: Harper is so goal-driven and holds herself and everyone around her to the highest standard.

H: Michael is absolutely fearless in pursuit of his dreams and never gives up.


Happy Valentine’s Day from everybody at Cadence!

The Scoop on Supplements

Usually a normal diet and lifestyle keeps your electrolyte levels
in check, but excessive sweating (due to, say, spinning)
can diminish your electrolyte store.

An ongoing conversation in the health and wellness industry is whether supplements should be recommended, or whether a well-balanced diet of whole foods makes supplementation a moot point (if you’re not eating a well-balanced diet of whole foods, then supplementation is less controversial). Taking vitamin B12 as a natural energy booster at lunch, magnesium to help you relax before bed, and vitamin C to improve your immunity could be daily occurrences as long as they fit certain criteria that work for you (namely, does doing so address a deficiency, does it make you feel better, and are you supplementing food rather than replacing food).

But what about supplementing under special circumstances? For example, when working out. Usually, consistent supplementation (daily) is necessary to see the desired benefits, but when it comes to exercise, you might need an extra something. In fact, you may be supplementing without even thinking about it. Do you bring sports drinks to class? Do you add any powders to your water? Do you crave a salty snack post-spin? If so, you’re supplementing with electrolytes.

Electrolytes are minerals, specifically sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, phosphate, and bicarbonate, that are found in your blood, sweat, and urine. They’re essential to the proper functioning of your body. Your body is constantly working to maintain homeostasis – the dynamic equilibrium at which everything from salt-fluid balance, to temperature, to pH levels is held within a very narrow window that keeps you ticking – and your electrolyte levels are crucial to regulating this balance.

Sodium is essential to proper functioning of your nervous system, potassium helps to regulate proper fluid balance, calcium and magnesium are needed for proper contraction of your muscles (that includes your heart!), and all the electrolytes contribute to the most important factor of homeostasis: regulation of internal pH levels. Usually a normal diet and lifestyle keeps your electrolyte levels in check, but heat, illness, or excessive sweating (due to, say, spinning) can diminish your electrolyte store. You feel thirsty as a result, but replenishing with water is replacing only the fluid, not the lost electrolytes.

What happens when you’re low in electrolytes? Well, a mild disturbance will go unnoticed. (You may just feel the need to crack open a bag of potato chips to curb the salt craving). But a more severe imbalance will result in fatigue, an irregular heartbeat, numbness or tingling, confusion, muscle weakness, cramping, headaches, or convulsions. If you’ve ever experienced these symptoms post-spin, it may be a sign that you’re sweating out more electrolytes than you’re taking in.

In the spirit of turning to food first, here are some foods containing electrolytes that would be great options for pre- or post-spin snacks: bananas, avocados, and sweet potatoes (for potassium), nuts and seeds (for magnesium), leafy green vegetables (for calcium), and pickled and salty foods (for sodium and chloride). Making a green smoothie packed with spinach, bananas, and nut milk would give you a good dose of electrolytes.

If you’re still experiencing signs of an electrolyte deficiency as a result of your sweaty ride, then consider supplementation. Most people turn to sports drinks like Gatorade for this, but the additives like sugar and colouring are less than ideal. You can make your own electrolyte drink by adding a bit of salt (1/4 teaspoon), some lemon juice (1/4 cup), and some coconut water (about a cup), to your bottle of water. Or, you can add electrolyte tablets or powders to your water. There are plenty to choose from, so consider ingredients like added colour, sugar, flavouring, and so on, as well as additional nutrients, like vitamin C, when making your choice.

The key is to listen to your body. Excessive supplementation is not good (there’s such a thing as too many electrolytes), so if you’ve never experienced any of the signs of low electrolyte levels, then your diet is probably providing you with sufficient amounts. If you have experienced the signs, try altering your snack choices on the day of your work outs to see if that helps, and if it doesn’t do the trick, look for a supplement that fits for you. Everybody’s body is different and needs different support, so it’s all about tuning in and listening closely. Leave a comment if you have any questions!

Goal Setting

Spend time defining your motivation.

Lately it’s become trendy to reject the idea of New Year resolutions, in favour of the perspective that goal-setting should not be isolated to one point in the year. Whether or not you agree with this opinion, there’s no harm in taking the beginning of a new calendar year as an opportunity to refine intentions and priorities!

We also have a sneaking suspicion that perhaps the reason why people have turned their backs on New Year resolutions is that their goal-setting techniques are not as effective as they could be, and so they wind up feeling as if it’s all a waste of time. So, we’ve compiled some goal-setting strategies for you. You can take January as an opportunity to set some new goals, or you can wait until it feels more natural for you – either way, we hope these tips will help you to find success in achieving your goals this year.

1) Set yourself up for success, not failure.

We all know that the number one rule of goal-setting is to be realistic. Don’t give yourself an insurmountable task that you’ve already, on some level, accepted that you will not achieve. When you do this, you’re setting yourself up for failure and all the crappy feelings that come along with it. Instead, create a goal that you know you can achieve. Then, identify the specific blocks you’ve had in pursuit of this goal in the past – the reasons why you haven’t yet achieved it even though you know you could. Once you’ve got those reasons, you can work towards setting yourself up for success by addressing those blocks.

2) Be clear on your why.

Spend time defining your motivation. Write it down if you have to. Before committing to a specific goal, be very clear with yourself on why you want to achieve it, and then remind yourself of this motivation whenever you need an extra push.

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3) Have an accountability partner.

Find somebody you trust to help hold you accountable! Let them know what you’re working towards and why, and ask them to check in with you once in a while. Your closest accountability partner and biggest motivator should be yourself, but if you have another person who can be there to surprise you with check ins, and to hear your successes and struggles, you’ll be a little more likely to continue down the right path.

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4) Celebrate your successes.

Know the stepping stones towards the bigger picture, and celebrate those small successes. Decide in the beginning what your treats to yourself will be. Is your goal to spin three times a week? Maybe after a month of consistent spinning you treat yourself to a new water bottle or go out for brunch. You should acknowledge your efforts and be proud of all you accomplish in pursuit of your ultimate goal.

5) Know that it’s not all or nothing.

One of the greatest downfalls of reaching goals is the idea that one misstep means that we’ve failed. If you want to spin three times a week, and one week you only make it onto the bike once, it’s easy to throw your hands up and decide you’ve already failed, so you may as well give up. Instead of buying into this “all or nothing” attitude, be gentle and remind yourself that it’s a learning process and a slow build towards your goal. You can try again next week to make it to class three times, and if you only go twice, well that’s still a step in the right direction!

Do you have any goals for 2019? Share in the comments below!

Defining the Cadence Ride

There’s a why behind everything we do.
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As we move into a new year and renew our fitness goals, and as more and more spin studios pop up around the city, we want to give you a clear idea of exactly what you can expect from a Cadence ride. It might sound silly to those new to spin to say that there are so many different types of rides being offered out there. Spin is spin is spin, right? Wrong. Each studio has its own philosophy, its own methods, its own goals, its own rhythm.

Let’s define the Cadence ride.

1) Power

First and foremost, Cadence offers a power-focused ride. This means that your Classic Cadence rides will be made up of lots of climbs. Hills will be longer and heavier than you might be accustomed to at other spin studios, and speed work will also have a definitively strength-based feel. (There’s no bouncing around or 130RPM sprints going on here; your legs are working the entire time.) Expect to become close friends with that tension dial and gear shift – you will be using them frequently throughout the ride, constantly playing with resistance to continue pushing yourself. We encourage you to use the console and track your watts so that you have a clear idea of your power output. (Read more on riding with watts here.) The result? You actually get stronger.


2) Music

Music is the driving force behind our rides. It guides our movements and provides much-needed motivation. (Read more on how music guides the ride here.) Every stroke of the pedal is choreographed to the beat. However, there’s none of that “left-right, left-right” nonsense. We find that kind of instruction intimidating and distracting, not motivating. Instead, your instructor will give you some “1-2” counts to help you find the beat and will let you know what RPM you’re aiming for to hit the rhythm of the music, all in an effort to encourage the group to ride together and to fulfill the intention of the exercise, but if you’re off the beat, it’s really no big deal. You do you. Just let the music help to push you up that hill!


3) Inclusivity

Our philosophy on music carries into our philosophy on resistance, movement, and everything else. That is, you do you. Your instructor has planned a ride with a specific intention in mind, and every instruction you’re getting is in service of that intention, but, ultimately, this is your ride. You don’t have to add tension every time you’re asked to, you don’t have to stand up when everybody else does, and you don’t have to take a recovery if you don’t need one. We understand that you might have an injury you’re working through, you might be new to spin and still figuring out how your body moves on the bike, your energy might be different than usual today, or you might be at your peak performance level and ready to push hard. Modifications and adjustments are encouraged, as your instructor will remind you throughout the ride, and we’ve specifically designed our rides to suit every fitness and experience level and to allow for those modifications. There’s no judgment here. Our goal is to set you up for success, not failure.


4) Goal-Setting

The Cadence ride is not about dancing on the bike. The Cadence ride is about getting a solid work out. We know that people flock to Cadence for all different sorts of reasons, and we love the diversity of our clientele, but we assume that each of you climbs onto that bike with some sort of fitness goal in mind. Whether you just want to sprinkle some sweaty cardio into your weekly routine or you’re training for a PB at your next race, we encourage you to have a specific, measurable goal that you’re working towards. Our rides are designed to help you reach those goals. While our sense of community is so strong that you’ll find people lingering long after class, sipping their coffee and chatting, and while the room inevitably turns into a sweaty, loud, pulsating space every single time, we don’t lose sight of the fact that our purpose is to help you reach your fitness goals. We want to see you get stronger over time, and we love celebrating those successes with you.


5) Intention

There’s a why behind everything we do. Every piece of the ride, every part of your experience, is in service of a greater intention. We want you to be able to give yourself over to the ride with the trust that your instructor has got your back. Every instructor has a ton of experience and knowledge behind each decision they’ve made; we’re not jumping now just for the hell of it or starting our ride with a climb for no reason. The Cadence ride has been carefully crafted. It’s why our riders do get stronger, and continuously set higher bars for themselves. Whether you’re doing tapbacks in Pauline’s Rhythm Ride or on the ninth minute of your climb in Jaclyn’s Classic Cadence Class, you’re there for a reason.


All in all, the Cadence ride is a power-based, music-driven, goal-focused ride, that has been carefully crafted to make room for every type of rider imaginable. If you have any questions about what to expect or want to know more about why we do what we do, leave a comment below. We’ll see you on the bike!

Wish List

There are two types of people in this world: those who start their holiday shopping in July and are done by Fall, and those who start their holiday shopping halfway through December and are scrambling for last minute ideas that still seem thoughtful and planned. If you fall into the second group, we’re here for you.

Cadence hoodie in blue, $65

Cadence hoodie in blue, $65

We have brand new sweatshirts at the studio that are sooo cozy, not to mention super cute. Designed by our in-house graphic artist, Emma Hands, they make the perfect gift for anybody on your list who loves riding with us, or who just needs a comfy cover up for their gym clothes.

Available in red and blue, they’re good for guys and gals. Grab one for your bestie, or better yet, put it on your own wish list! That’s what we did. Each sweatshirt comes with a custom pin designed by Emma as well, to make it extra special.

In addition to our sweatshirts, there’s loads of other merch at the studio right now, so be sure to take a browse next time you pop in for a ride. You might find the perfect gifts for the people left on your list.

What are we getting for our loved ones? The gift of spin, of course! Don’t forget that we have gift cards, so that you can treat your friends and fam to a ride and share your favourite work out with them. This is the perfect gift for anybody who wants to make spin a part of their regular routine in the new year, or who might just want to find a new way to move and sweat. With the gift of spin, you can’t go wrong.

Have fun shopping!

End of Year Resolutions

Finish your year strong

Have you ever noticed that when we hit this time of year, we tend to pretend that the next few weeks don’t count, because we’ll make up some New Year’s resolutions to counteract our December decisions? We decide that we’ll do better and be better come January, so it’s okay if we lose sight of all goals, intentions, and ambitions over the holidays.

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At Cadence, we’re all about living in the present and making the most of every moment. That’s why we want to invite you to join us in making some End of the Year Resolutions. There’s still three weeks left in 2018! That’s enough time to read a novel from start to finish, take yourself to a museum or gallery that you’ve been dying to visit, or to attend, like, ten more spin classes (maybe we’re getting a little too ambitious?). Our advice is to give yourself five minutes today to write out your “resolutions” for the end of 2018. It will get you feeling inspired and motivated.

It’s busy this time of year, we get it, but that’s all the more reason to resolve to focus on yourself. This is the perfect opportunity to schedule in some me-time, to make the final push towards your last New Year’s Resolutions, or to give yourself a project that excites you, and actually allow yourself the time to do it. Don’t let December be an excuse to lose sight of your goals – use these last few weeks as motivation to finish your year strong!

Spin Snacks

The key is to listen to your body

As a fitness instructor and nutritionist-in-training, I often get asked about the best foods to eat before and after work outs, and when exactly to be eating. Just as for all things health-focused, the answer is going to be different for everybody. Depending on metabolism, routine, health goals, preferences, and so on, there are going to be different “best” eating and exercise plans for each person. For example, if your favourite go-to spin class is at 6am and your health goals at the moment are to slim down, my recommendation to you would be far different than an after-work spinner whose main health goal is training for a PB at her next triathlon.

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Having said that, there are a few rules of thumb that the majority of us spinners can use as guidelines. First, eating after class is more important than eating before class. Now, if you’re attending a 530pm spin, of course you will have eaten throughout the day, but for those 6am and 7am spinners, it’s sometimes hard to know if you should set the alarm 15 minutes earlier to grab a bite, or hit snooze and show up on an empty stomach. The truth is that the jury’s still out on the exact effects of fasting pre-workout, and for long-duration exercise you would definitely want to fuel up beforehand, but for a 45 minute early-morning ride, it’s not a bad thing to save breakfast for after. You’ll be more likely to avoid cramps, and your body will use fat stores instead of carbs for energy (which doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re losing fat, FYI, but it might . . . more research is needed). 

The caveat here is that you do have breakfast right after. You don’t have to have a granola bar in your pocket to consume during your cool down, but you do want to make sure you’re eating within the hour. If you eat before your ride, your body has some nutrients stored up to help you with recovery, but if you haven’t broken your fast yet, you need some protein and carbs, stat. Protein will help in muscle and tissue recovery and carbs will help restore your energy.

My favourite post-spin breakfast is this smoothie:

-3 big handfuls of spinach (it’s a lot of spinach)

-1 cup of frozen mango

-1 banana

-1-2 tablespoons flaxseed meal

-1-2 tablespoons hemp hearts

-1-2 cups almond milk

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I use this recipe as my smoothie base every day, and then throw in whatever else tickles my fancy that morning (a spoonful of almond butter, cinnamon, an orange . . .). It’s packed full of vitamins and minerals, but, even more important for your post-spin breakfast, it’s got all the carbs and complete proteins your body needs to recover and refuel.

If you’re reading this wide-eyed, wondering how anybody could possibly hop on the bike without having a bite first, then you’re not alone. Lots of us most definitely need to eat before a work out, whether or not the sun has risen yet. The key is to listen to your body, and if you’re hungry, then eat. My recommendation would be a piece of fruit, as this will be digested quickly and keep you feeling light as you ride, while also giving you instant energy. Melon is the most quickly digested, so if you’ve got some cubes of cantaloup in the fridge then go for that. A couple mandarin oranges, a banana, or an apple are all great options, too. If that doesn’t fill you up enough, add you favourite nut butter. My go-to is slices of apple dipped in almond butter (banana and peanut butter is the other classic option).

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What if you’re a 9-5er who heads straight from the office to the bike? You probably need a boost of energy en route. My green smoothie would be great for you, too (all that fruit will give you a healthy sugar buzz to get you going), or, if you didn’t pack around a smoothie all day, keep it simple with a handful of nuts and seeds. Pumpkin seeds, peanuts, and pistachios are all good choices because they are high in protein and high in carbs, which is what you need to prevent muscle damage, while giving you energy to push yourself.

My favourite post-spin dinner is a big bowl packed full of whole grains, vegetables, and healthy fats. I love building bowls right after a work out because you can assemble a nutrient-packed meal from leftovers, fresh produce, and whatever you happen to crave in the moment, and it can be done in just a few minutes. It’s important to eat within an hour to ninety minutes of your work out, to properly repair muscle tissue, refuel, and recover, so a bowl is a quick and easy way to do that. Here’s my basic recipe:

-A base of either quinoa or brown rice (or whatever other grain you have on hand)

-A handful of spinach (or whatever other greens you have)

-A big scoop of roasted veggies (whenever you have an evening at home, roast a big pan of small chunks of sweet potato, cauliflower, carrots, and your other favourite root and cruciferous vegetables – these are great to have on hand, stored in the fridge, throughout the week)

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-A big scoop of hummus

-Half an avocado

-A sprinkle of your favourite seeds (I usually go for pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds, and a generous scoop of hemp hearts)

Other great add ins: sauerkraut, falafel, salmon, chickpeas, fresh veggies.

Drink lots of water after your ride, and it’s a good idea to add in some electrolyte supplements to replenish the mineral salts that you sweat out!

If you have any favourite pre- or post-ride meal ideas, please share below! And feel free to comment with any questions.

-Olivia

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!