I took a Cycle House class from Nichelle Hines of Hollywood Cycle and lived to tell the tale.
Guys, it was intense, like really intense. I used to play competitive volleyball growing up and when I was dripping in sweat in the middle of the class I was transported back to my days of training for Junior Olympics. Hines will whip, no kick, your butt into shape real fast! It's no wonder celebrities like Jenna Dewan Tatum, Jamie Chung and Madonna attribute their fit, lean and toned frames to Hines' insane classes and training.
Here are 5 things I learned while surviving the insanely intense class that made me burn over 600 calories!
1. Cycling Won't Make You Bulky, If Done Right: I've always been weary of cycling classes because I always believed I'd get "bulky." So I just added in a few cycling classes in my workout mix.
However, in Nichelle's Cycle House class, I realized this cycling was very different! My abs were being used more than any other cycling class before. I credit it to the way she structured the class. It wasn't just arm exercises with weights and sprints on the bike, it was also a lot of slow motion work, which honestly was the hardest for me. We would crank our resistance up and have to slowly cycle. Sounds easy, but the trick was we couldn't bounce whatsoever and Nichelle kept us on point. She even had one rider balance something on her head as she did this slow motion portion of the class! Every single muscle in my body felt utilized and it wasn't just my legs, my abs were burning, pulsing and the evidence was there the next day when my entire body was sore.
Hines says that bulky talk is nonsense, "You're not going to all of the sudden wake up with big thighs, because you're doing a 45 minute interval training 4-5 times a week. It's not how it works. You are a slave to that resistance knob and if you do everything that you're supposed to do, you're not going to have those problems."
2. Remember Why You Came: I woke up at 6 a.m. on a Saturday to make it to the 7:30 a.m. class. I had a busy week, was tired and had a friend's birthday the night before, so I was sluggish when the workout began. But, throughout the class Nichelle caught eye contact with us riders, yelling passionately, "Remember why you came!"
I didn't wake up at the crack of dawn on the weekend to be mediocre. I woke up because I want a change, and Nichelle in the midst of all the intensity reminded me of that, and that's what kept my feet pedaling. Also, the Drake and Beyoncé songs definitely helped too! When chatting with Nichelle later she told E! News, "It's really important to me that you guys have the experience that you need, because I'm here for you guys. If it wasn't for you guys, I'd be a black woman alone in a room screaming." (Did we mention Nichelle also has a great sense of humor?!)
3. Don't Bother With Mascara: I've watched the show and have seen the glamorous girls that attend the classes, so I thought, "I'll just throw on some mascara." Wrong, wrong, WRONG! I worked out so hard, at one point I felt like Pinocchio with sweat dripping to the tip of my nose every time I looked down. At one point I looked up to the front of the class and clearly I wasn't the only one getting my sweat on, every single mirror at the front of the class was completely fogged! Like, as fogged as your mirror gets when you take a steaming hot shower! When I finished with class, I had mascara from my eyelids, to my nose, to my cheeks, to my chin. It was everywhere!
4. Nichelle Could Be A Football Coach: I mean this in the highest form of a compliment, because I love football, and taking Nichelle's class made me feel a slice of what a two-a-day might feel like. She's intense, passionate and some might assume mean, but that is not the case! She cares about every single rider in the room and if she feels like you are slacking, she is not afraid to call you out. But don't get it twisted, it's because she cares. Hines tells E! News, "I care a lot. That is everything to me. It's why I do this, it's the reason all of this is happening, and I would never ever take that for granted or act like that wasn't the No. 1 reason I'm here. This all happened as a result of me doing my job."
You never know what anyone's journey is. The pic on the left is me at 206lbs. Since I started losing weight, I've always aimed for health, and feeling capable and strong. What it looks like on the outside is secondary to how you feel about yourself. I push because I have had my fair share of struggle and I know that if you stay true to you and fight for what you believe in nothing can be taken from you. Stay positive, stay true, and always do you. #TBT ??????
5. Don't Let the Yelling Scare You, Nichelle Has a Big Heart: I think people misunderstand Nichelle if they think she's mean, don't let her intensity scare you. She's passionate, she cares and she wants you to achieve your goals. Hines told E! News, "I used to weigh 206 pounds. I know what it feels like to not be where you want to be in life, and not feel the way you want to feel." When at Cycle House, one fan who came to the class told me, "I look up to her so much, she's just the ultimate girl boss!"
So what is Nichelle's best #GirlBoss advice? She says, "Here's the facts about me: I'm intense and I'm passionate, so if you can't handle that we probably can't work together. But for me it was always be true to who you are and stand up for what you believe in."
Tune in to a brand new Hollywood Cycle tonight at 10 p.m., only on E!