Meet Charles – February 2019 Rider of the Month
How can you walk into the BESPOKE studio, see Charles’ smiling face (and some spectacular hair color), and not know that you have stepped into one of the coolest and friendliest cycling studios DTLA… no, correct that, LA has to offer. Whether morning, noon or night, you have a great chance of catching a “Charles sighting” because the man is a spin demon, often doubling up and inspiring fellow BESPOKE riders to take it to the next level. This man defines bike number “5”, front and center and ready to burn up some calories and set the pace for the class. Following an injury I had in December, Charles became the “go to” guy to ride the instructors’ bike while I hopped and skipped around the room ordering all you riders to “tap it back!”, And the man never misses a tap back! Ok, one last thing, you know all the inspiring newsletters and BESPOKE marketing stuff… yup, your man Charles is keeping us all connected. Now, Y’all just roll them shoulders back, take a deep a breath, in through your nose, out through your mouth, and join me with a big shout out to Charles!
When did you start riding?
Started riding in July 2016 at other studios. Came across BESPOKE in April of 2018. Rode with Instructor Erika for my initial first ride and could NOT keep up with the class. It’s rewarding to see how far I’ve come in such a short time.
How many rides have you taken in total to date?
Did the math with the front desk staff and tallied up 172 rides in 10 months.
What made you search for an indoor cycling studio?
I didn’t have any desire to try indoor cycling until a friend of mine asked me to try it out with her. From there I had started taking classes whenever I could find a good deal. Lol.
How did you hear about BESPOKE?
The same friend told me I should try this cycling studio she stumbled across on Class Pass. I took the free intro class and fell in love with the studio. This studio has friendliest staff and instructors. The sense of community is what made me return for more.
Had you ever spun before BESPOKE before joining?
I had spun at Flywheel and Soul Cycle. Both are great studios, but BESPOKE keeps me coming back for more every week because of the remarkable instructors welcoming staff. A tip of the hat to the instructors and staff!
Who is your fitness role model, and why?
This is such a hard question because there are so many fitness role models around me on a daily basis… If I had to choose, it would have to be my best friend. He’s been constant motivation for me since we were teenagers. He’s kept me aligned with being active, and making sure that an active lifestyle is a priority in my life. The dude is a health nut, and it’s always good to have one of those close by I suppose. Thanks, Mark!
What is your favorite music to cycle to?
Definitely EDM! Those beats man… They’re perfect for flats, sprints, and hills. Its very adaptable music for a spin in my opinion, but I’ll also take good remix or mash-up!
Tell us of a specific accomplishment you’ve had with your active lifestyle.
My dexterity has definitely improved. I find myself more flexible and agile in the last few months. I used to have bad back problems from being overweight and not caring about posture. Haven’t really felt that pain much since I started spinning consistently and becoming more active across the board.
What keeps you motivated lately?
Seeing the consistent progress I’ve been achieving keeps me motivated for one. Secondly, being surrounded by like-minded individuals in the studio helps keep me on track also. Sitting front and center is also pretty motivating during class. Shoutout to all the instructors who stay calling me out during class. You push me further to become better with every ride 🙂
What changes have you made that are working for you?
Honestly, I stopped drinking alcohol and consuming cannabis as frequently as I did before. I didn’t overdo it (usually) with either substance, but they both have side effects that would render me useless after consumption. That part of the consumption wasn’t fun, and I started to hate the feeling when I canceled spin class after spin class. I gradually started cutting down consumption of both all together to find a better balance that worked for me and my active lifestyle.
Any other breakthroughs you’ve had that you want to share?
Physically speaking, this is the thinnest and physically fit I’ve been in over 10+ years. Mentally I’m always in a great headspace all the time thanks to the endorphins! When you feel good, you look good. Then you spread the good!
How consistent are you with riding on a weekly basis?
Recently I have been averaging about 5-8 rides. Usually only ride from Tuesday to Saturday’s if you wanna join! If my schedule permits, I double up back-to-back classes to burn some extra calories. Being called out by an instructor between classes will manifest a double spin also… Lol.
On a scale of 1 – 10 how healthy do you feel incorporating cycling into your lifestyle?
Without questions, a 10. Adding cycling into my daily routine has really helped me achieve and maintain a healthy weight. After being told by a doctor that I was overweight a while back, I realized that something needed to change. Being referred to the studio was the best thing that could have happened to me.
What advice do you have for new riders?
Take a couple of classes, join the studio for a few weeks and see how you like it from there. Group fitness nor cycling is for everyone… Rome wasn’t built in a day so your endurance, and ability to follow all the chores, will come in time. Another rider said, “Spin never gets easier, but you do get better.” That’s spin in a nutshell. Anyone can do it well if you constantly commit mentally and try your hardest each ride.
What has been your most memorable experience with BESPOKE?
We obviously don’t go anywhere on these stationary in-studio bikes, but racing Instructor Steve during his final flats have become a reoccurring memorable experience. The end of his classes consists of a final sprint with low resistance and a high volume of rotations. He’ll call me out so that we can go head-to-head on who can “spin the fastest”—if that’s even a thing because we’re not going anywhere… *shrugs* Friendly competition never hurt anyone. Ha!
How much weight did you lose from day one?
I haven’t lost too much weight. I’ve lost about 22lbs since my first ride, but the significant change has been in body fat. I’ve dropped about 5% body fat in the 10 months that I’ve been actively riding at the studio.
How long did it take to see major results?
When I joined the studio, I had already started being pretty active, so it was probably a good 3 or so months before I saw any physical results. Within the first month, however, I could tell that my endurance is getting better. I could keep up with classes without gassing out halfway through.
Lose any inches from your waist?
I have lost 5 inches around my waist to date and have dropped four pant sizes. It sounds great and all, but now it’s hard to find a nice pair of pants that fit me well! #firstworldproblems
Where there any obstacles or challenges that you faced in losing weight?
Every day is an obstacle for me, especially in my work environment. Having fast metabolism is foreign to me, so I can understand why gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins! I am constantly hungry but having healthy alternatives in a fast-paced work environment isn’t always an option. I have to make those options available to myself.