Hey, FLY Guys… it’s officially Movember, and there’s no better time to bring awareness to your health, wellness, and feeling awesome. We sat down with NYC Flywheel instructor and Ironman Brian Levine to chat about the power of fitness and how to FLY like an athlete in no time.
1. What role does Flywheel play in your Ironman and race training and how has it even beneficial?
I came across Flywheel when I was training for my first Ironman and realized how crunched for time I was living and working in New York City. In the cold winter months, it was difficult to both find time and be motivated to ride outside with shorter daylight hours. Flywheel provided an intense indoor cycling experience that allowed me to track my performance and have fun. With the recent RPM transition, Flywheel is an even more valuable tool for cyclists and triathletes like myself who have a limited amount of time and want to train indoors. It also exposes me to a wonderful community of athletes and individuals who are like-minded and enjoy the same sports that I do.
2. How do you fuel your workouts?
For my morning rides, I like to exercise on an empty stomach. After a workout, I’m a firm advocate of overnight oats. My go-to ingredients are chia seeds, flax seeds, oats, two big scoops of peanut butter, bananas and blueberries, almond milk and a dash of honey. I also drink a lot of water, and every so often I’ll treat myself to a plant-based protein smoothie.
3. What would you tell someone who is thinking of trying Flywheel for the first time, or who might be training for an Ironman?
I would say that there are similarities to getting started, but the two are VERY different beasts! For someone new to Flywheel, my advice would be to just come and try it! We are an accepting and welcoming community, the workout is fun and you can always modify and go at a pace that makes you feel comfortable. I would also recommend trying a multitude of different instructors as we all have a different style and taste in music.
For someone interested in the Ironman, my advice would be start with a sprint triathlon and see if you fall in love with the sport like I did. Then, look into finding a community of other triathletes who can answer your questions and support you along the way.
4. How has being a Flywheel instructor changed you, your body and your frame of mind?
Being an instructor at Flywheel has opened a ton of doors and introduced me to wonderful individuals in the fitness community. Because of these connections, I was able to start a triathlon club based out of Lululemon one the UWS this summer. Teaching and riding at Flywheel has increased my aerobic capacity and helped me stay in peak shape, even during the off-season when I’m not racing. In addition to the obvious physical benefits, Flywheel has taught me to focus on putting my mental health above all else. It has helped me balance my responsibilities not only as an instructor, but also as a Lululemon ambassador and full-time second grade teacher.
5. In your FLY instructor bio, you mention that you tried your hand in corporate, but was happiest connecting with others as a personal trainer. Why is the instructor-rider connection (and community!) so important in helping people go for their goals?
In major metropolitan areas it can be difficult to find like-minded individuals and stay on top of your fitness goals. One of the best parts of Flywheel are the wonderful connections that I have been able to make with many of my riders. Not only have many of them become friends, but also have helped each other stay committed and focused on our long-term fitness projects.
6. Movember helps put the spotlight on men’s health issues. Why do you feel raising awareness is so important?
In today’s social media-centric world, it’s easy for men and women alike to loose sight of what health and fitness really is. I think it’s important for men not only to feel comfortable with their bodies, but also to realize that having a six pack doesn’t necessarily mean that they are healthy. Diet, sleep, work/life balance and exercise are all important factors in health. It is imperative that people educate themselves about more than just the aesthetic and hopefully Movember can help promote some of the other important areas of men’s health to those that are uninformed.