WHEW. Sorry for the lag in time before my final Vegas recap! I was doing pretty well energy-wise for a while, but it seems to have caught up with me! Here we go!
When we last left off, I went to see the Chainsmokers….and then it was Saturday morning. WOW this morning was rough. 3 hours of sleep is not my jam. I was the definition of walking dead.
Of course, it was just my luck that the night I got almost no sleep, my first session was on MOVING bikes! That’s right! I did a session on RealRyder bikes, which tilt side to side. I did this same workshop 2 years ago, and the instructor actually remembered me! I think it’s because I was absolutely terrible at it. When you stand on those bikes, they rock side to side like crazy! It’s a lot more like riding on a real bike on the road. I think I was significantly better this time around! These bikes are cool partly because it is more like riding on the road, but also because they’re ever lower impact than a normal spin bike because the bikes takes the impact of a pedal stroke, instead of your body (like shoulder/wrists). This was a fun workshop, and definitely something different!
After that session, I immediately drank my chocolate milk and tried not to fall asleep.
My next session was pretty cool: a Blogilates POP Pilates workout lead by Cassey Ho!
Cassey Ho is a famous Youtuber and fitness instructor who has created her own branch of Pilates, POP Pilates, that is now taught in gyms all over the country. I do her ab workout videos pretty regularly, so it was cool to do an in-person workout and see what POP Pilates is all about! I really liked her in person too. She seemed nice, genuine, and similar to her online persona! The workout was fun, but I will likely stick to her ab videos because Pilates isn’t my favorite thing. It was a much welcomed break from cycling though!
Post-session, I rushed downstairs to have the same lunch as the previous day: Southwest salad with BBQ sauce and baked chips.
For my after lunch session, I was originally signed up for another Schwinn workshop, but had already spent a full day with the instructor in my certification, so I decided to mix it up and go to a Stages workshop on power. Again, they had bikes that measured percentages of your power, and you ride based off the percentage. So why ride based off power?
-Power is much more personalized to each rider. 1/4 turn of resistance (the old standard instruction for gear change) is a much bigger leap for some people than others.
-Power is a great motivational tool because riders can track their progress over time.
-Teaching off of power adds more of a purpose to the workout.
-Sometimes during recovery, riders take a ton of year off and stop paying attention to class. To ameliorate this, instruct riders to recover at half of the power of their hard work effort.
It worked out well that Saturday was my “walking dead day” because I had planned on skipping the evening workshop time slot, so after cycling, I grabbed a snack and headed back to the hotel to clean up and relax, before venturing out to explore the strip.
I took the Monorail to Paris/Bally’s, and got dinner at the food court area there. Nothing sounded better than a burger and fries. The lunch area by the conference where I got my salads also had french fries, and every day they smelled amazing, but I didn’t want fries before hopping on the bike. After an exhausting week, the burger and fries were just amazing. I went to Johnny Rockets and got a chicken burger with fries and a side salad (I ditched the bun).
On my way out, I stopped at one of those mall massage stands and it was absolutely amazing. Again, I learned that apparently if you spend enough time on a bike, your shoulders and back get super tight!
I actually got off at this monorail stop because my sister told me I had to see the garden at the Bellagio, and that was the closest stop.
I actually couldn’t find the gardens, but I did more importantly find dessert! I stopped at a cafe for gelato, and then saw that they had gluten free banana chocolate chip muffins. So I got one “for later.”
Very sorbet on top, chocolate gelato on the bottom. It was actually 108 degrees when I was walking around so this was amazing.
I had half the muffin then, and half on the way back to my hotel later on. It’s nice to have a crazy appetite post-cycling!
The one other place I wanted to see was New York, New York, since it’s pretty cool. It’s a mini replica of NYC! I had been there once before.
I got to bed at a very reasonable hour, and was up bright eyed and bushy tailed the next morning for the final half day!
My first session was a lecture on food psychology and why we eat more than we think. The speaker was fantastic, and the talk was interesting. He argued that a large part of the obesity epidemic is due to people overeating (obviously), and this is because we don’t realize what we’re actually eating. Takeaways:
-Food now is lower protein and fiber, and higher sugar, making it easier to unknowingly eat more because protein and fiber is much more filling and satiating.
-Portion sizes have increased dramatically in the last 20 years, and we’ve gotten used to these huge sizes. For instance, the Tollhouse chocolate chip cookie recipe is the same as it was many years ago (same quantity of ingredients), but now it makes 60 cookies, whereas before it yielded 100.
-People feel more satisfied with a full bowl, even if the bowl is smaller. Also, people tend to eat food until it is gone. Swap out larger bowls and plates for smaller dishes.
-When food is visible an convenient, people eat more. In a study where candy was placed on a desk (visible and easy), inside the desk (not visible but easy), or 5 feet away (visible but hard), people by far ate more candy when it was on the desk, and by far ate the least when they would have to get up and eat it. Sometimes laziness isn’t a bad thing!
-The labels on food change how people perceive it. Food with a fancier description on a menu was rated by tasters as being far superior.
-People eat less when they have a visual cue of how much they’ve eaten; for instance, people eat less if the empty candy wrappers are present.
-Eat mindfully and write it down—when people track their food, they tend to eat less.
***There are many things we don’t know in nutrition, but everyone agrees we need to eat whole foods!***
And then, I was on to my final session: aerobic training in cycling.
With all the attention HIIT has gotten, people often overlook aerobic conditioning (not breathless, not a max effort, but a prolonged effort). This is an important base for fitness. Additionally, HIIT is very hard on our bodies. HIIT should really only make up about 20% of workouts in the week. Additionally, lower intensity conditioning is great because not everyone likes to kill themselves like you have to in HIIT to get benefits, and the risk of injury is lower. We practices a few different forms of aerobic conditioning, for a pretty long ride. A couple of typical ways to implement this in a spin class:
-Long, hard sustained effort (7:00 intervals for instance)
-Intervals that are hard, but not anaerobic, especially intervals that interchange hard and moderate effort, without ever returning to easy effort.
The hard effort should be at the edge of the lactate threshold, but still very difficult.
Then, that was it! I was craving Subway, so I took the Monorail to MGM Grand since I remembered there was one there, plus it was closer to the airport so I could grab a cheaper cab.
The usual turkey and provolone salad with baked lays.
After lunch, I headed to the airport. I had a ton of time before my flight and would have loved to explore more, but I had to check out of my hotel at 7am and lugging a giant suitcase around in 108 degree weather is not my idea of a good time. I spent all afternoon getting my first Vegas blog posts up!
I went to Wendy’s at the airport for dinner and got a baked potato with broccoli and cheese, and an actually really delicious salad with chicken, mango, strawberry, feta, and honey roasted sunflower seeds.
This was been a crazy week as well, so recaps of that coming soon!