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Sydney’s Five-Pound Challenge for February

bandoned your big old New Year's resolution already? Senior Instructor SYDNEY MILLER has a solution: Try her healthy habit-forming challenges every month of 2017. Each one is designed to help you reach long-term goals through effective mini-routines. Check out what she’s got on tap for February…

Your goal this month? Kick up your strength training game this winter. Here, Sydney and registered dietitian and Nutrition Director at Good Housekeeping, JACKIE LONDON share their (science-backed!) savvy on why grabbing heavier weights during your SoulCycles ride is smart…

1. In-class challenges keep you accountable.
Last year, the most popular and effective challenges were the ones we could do in the studio together. Why? Because we literally did it TOGETHER. When we did the 5-pound challenge last year it was amazing to see so many people try heavier weights for the first time and crush it. Sometimes, you just need the help of the people around you to inspire you to reach higher and establish a new normal for yourself. If you aren't a regular rider and you are afraid to go right for the 5s, try grabbing 3s or even grabbing two 2-pound weights and working up to the 5s at the end of the month. On days you can't make it to SoulCycle, try adding some resistance training to your schedule or consider investing in a set of 5-10 pound weights for your apartment. No time? Commercial break of The Bachelor sounds like a good time to me!

2. Muscle-building keeps you burning… hours after class is over.
Yes, cardio is key for creating a calorie-burning workout. But strength training has the added benefit of helping you burn long after you leave a sweaty SOUL studio. In fact: Resistance training is the only tried-and true way that we can actually raise our own resting metabolic rate (RMR = the rate at which your body burns calories when you’re doing absolutely nothing!). Bottom line: The more muscle you build, the more fat you burn later on, which over time will help you stay strong, keep the pounds off, and help improve overall athletic performance — making your next class even more effective.

3. Your bones need love, too.

4. Biceps are the new black.
Be honest: Have you ever seen someone on the street and thought, Wow, he/she has some serious “SoulCycle arms.” Well, we have (and we’re not ashamed to admit it!) Weight-bearing exercise is actually replacing the free fat mass in your body, which means you’re creating stronger, better, leaner muscle that can help you look and feel your best, most confident self…just in time for spring.

5. Because change happens outside of your (2-pound) comfort zone.
Consider 5-pound weights your new set of oracles (well…sort of): They’re there to help “transcend” the way you workout and think about challenging yourself! If you’re a regular rider, you know the difference between a seriously, feel-like-you-might-drop-‘em weight series and one where you barely break a sweat. While all of our challenges are designed to help you push your own limits, starting with one piece of the puzzle (or one weight series per class) can help you jumpstart overall fitness goals without creating that overwhelming resolution burnout.

By the end of the month: We know you’ll feel great about kicking your workout up a notch—and ready to take on your next challenge in no time. Keep in mind: Since strength training boosts your metabolic burn, it’s important to drink an extra 8-ounces of H2O post-class to stay hydrated. Some muscle-building post-class snacks Jackie recommends: Greek yogurt with 12 grams sugar or less; 1 Tbsp. peanut butter with 100% whole-grain toast or ½ a sweet potato; a banana with a handful of almonds, or an egg/piece of part-skim cheese with a cup of veggies or piece of fruit. (P.S. Have any nutrition or fitness questions? Follow Syd and Jackie on social (@sydmiller and @jaclynlondonRD) and message us your pressing qs!

Catch classes with SYDNEY at 19th Street, Bryant Park and Union Square! Questions or comments? Email! Want to ride? Click HERE to grab a series and book a bike.
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