Clark Preparatory Academy,


One of the hottest new fitness locations — and why it has a waiting list

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
Updated: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 3:38 PM

CycleBar, which recently opened its doors at Austin Landing, is a franchised indoor cycling studio with more than 100 locations worldwide. Classes are designed to provide a high intensity, low impact, cardio workout for riders 13 and older of all experience and fitness levels. CONTRIBUTED
Contributing Writer
CycleBar, which recently opened its doors at Austin Landing, is a franchised indoor cycling studio with more than 100 locations worldwide. Classes are designed to provide a high intensity, low impact, cardio workout for riders 13 and older of all experience and fitness levels. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)

There is heart-pumping music and state-of-the-art audio, video and lighting, but it’s not the hottest new club – it’s CycleBar.

CycleBar, which recently opened its doors at Austin Landing, is a franchised indoor cycling studio with more than 100 locations worldwide. Classes are designed to provide a high-intensity, low-impact cardio workout for riders 13 and older of all experience and fitness levels.

“Our goal is to have 50 minutes go by so fast that you don’t realize you burned 600 calories because you’re having such a good time,” said Steve Zubrzycki, who owns the local CycleBar with his wife, Jane.

If the packed CycleTheatere is any indication, Zubrzycki is right on track. Since the facility opened in late October, classes have not only been full, wait lists are common.

“I love that every class has the same basis, but each individual instructor makes their rides completely different,” said Haylie Stites, of West Carrollton. “The atmosphere is one of a kind.”


The Austin Landing location has 48 bikes, arranged in a multi-tier stadium formation. Rides are choreographed to heart-pumping playlists, complete with expansive video screens, to provide a concert-like experience for your workout.

It couldn’t be much easier to get riding as CycleBar provides shoes that clip into the pedals, along with complimentary water bottles and snacks. The bikes are compatible with SPD and LOOK shoes for those who prefer to bring their own shoes. Lockers with coded keypads are available to store personal belongings and locker rooms are stocked with robes, hair ties, wet clothing bags, and other toiletries.

“We try to provide all the amenities anyone would need,” Zubrzycki said.

>> How to make the most of Dayton’s new indoor bike park

CycleBar, which recently opened its doors at Austin Landing, is a franchised indoor cycling studio with more than 100 locations worldwide. Classes are designed to provide a high intensity, low impact, cardio workout for riders 13 and older of all experience and fitness levels. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)


Plentiful amenities eliminate some of the exercise excuses and a full slate of classes, offered seven days a week, eliminate several others. CycleBar offers 30 classes a week with some beginning as early as 5:30 a.m. on weekdays and as late as 7 p.m. Most classes are 50 minutes long, with some lunchtime rides wrapping up in 30 minutes, for those who need to get back to the office.

And while spinning has a high-intensity reputation, Zubrzycki – who rides at least four times a week himself – explains that classes are available for all types of riders.

“We have seven instructors, all with different personalities, so people seem to gravitate toward certain instructors after a few classes,” he said. “And, while classes can be intense, I always suggest that riders go at their pace.”

>> 10 things to know about the new cinema at Austin Landing


And data-driven cyclists will be right at home at CycleBar.

“I love that everything you do during your ride is recorded and automatically emailed to you, and posted to your private account online so I can compare my past sessions,” Stites said. “It tells you your average miles-per-hour, rpm, heart rate – if you have a monitor – speed, time you spent riding, class rank, distance and calories burned.”

CycleStats measure the six key metrics of daily workouts and keep historical performance data. The data is emailed to riders and CycleStats are also available at


Where: Austin Landing, 3655 Rigby Road


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How to sleep more soundly in the summer swelter

Published: Wednesday, May 30, 2018 @ 10:47 AM

Your room's temperature, caffeine and more can affect your sleep.

The rewards for getting proper shut eye (averaging at least 6 hours per night) range from boosted immunity and reduced stress to lower risk of obesity and the ever-important ability to function at work and while driving.

»RELATED: Sleeping in on the weekends could help you live longer, study suggests

These benefits don't alter in the slightest when summer rolls around. But when Atlanta summer temps start ranging from "sweltering" to "Inferno conditions," the challenge of getting enough sleep becomes all the more difficult.

And tempting as it is to call out with "toss and turn syndrome," ATL employers do seem to expect you to join the workaday world rested and in a timely fashion, even though it's May through August. So it's better all around to work on combating warm-weather sleep thieves.

Begin with the all-weather ways to improve your sleep, from the surprisingly effective tactics like never hitting the snooze button to the zany but practical ways to combat snoring (yours or the weed eater sounds emerging from the other side of the bed.)

Once you've mastered basic good-sleep habits, try these "hot summer nights" add-ons for those seeking slumber in Atlanta this summer:

Not getting enough sleep can impact weight loss. Strive for seven to nine hours of sleep every night.

Seek the optimal sleep temp. Your thermostat can make or break your slumber, according to the National Sleep Foundation's website, It suggested a bedroom temperature between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal sleep, which allows your body to decrease its own temperature so it can initiate sleep. "If your room is cool, rather than warm, it will be much easier to shut your eyes for the night," advised. "Thermostat settings far lower or higher than what's recommended could lead to restlessness and can also affect the quality of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep."

» RELATED: If you don’t get enough sleep, your brain could start eating itself 

Think of your bedroom like a cave. "It should be quiet, cool and dark for the best chance at getting enough rest," according to

Blackout before you sack out.June 21 is the longest day of summer in Atlanta with 14 hours, 24 minutes of daylight. Throughout the summer months, there's a good chance of sunlight seeping into your bedroom when you want to be asleep. "Since darkness is an important body cue for sleep, putting blackout curtains over your bedroom windows can be a great investment in your rest," noted.

Get the air flowing. An air conditioner is usually equal to even the hottest nighttime temperatures. But if you don't have AC or are economizing on utility bills or reluctant to inflict air conditioning woes on the environment, fans can go a long way to help make you more comfortable, according to It advised overly-warm sleepers to create a path for air to flow by opening several windows and to place a bowl of ice cubes in front of the fan for a cooling boost.

»RELATED: Catch some Z’s: 5 tips for falling asleep faster − starting tonight

Shower before bed. Rinsing off under the shower mimics your body's natural cooling process, also known as sweating. You'll still be moist after you towel off, noted, and the evaporation will create a chilling effect that sets the stage for sleep. Aim for a shower about an hour for bed. It need not be cold, either, as long as you allow enough time for your body to cool back down before you try to sleep. And don't add to the household heat and humidity by steaming up the bathroom!

Invest in breathable PJs and sheets. When the daytime temps demand lighter clothing, carry that idea into the evening hours. "Avoid pajamas in fabrics like silk that can trap heat and instead consider wicking materials," advised. "The right fabric can also help when it comes to your sheets. Look for natural materials like cotton, bamboo, or linen, and avoid high thread counts, which can trap body heat. A thread count between 200 and 400 may provide a happy medium of softness and breathability."

Party goers jump into Lake Travis from the deck of the Ark, a barge that hosts floating parties, in July 2011, a month when Austin recorded 29 days of 100-degree weather. Zach Ornitz/AMERICAN-STATESMAN(American-Statesman Staff)
Simmer down on the late-night activities. Summer is party time, for sure, from block parties to those concerts under the stars. But try to keep the late nights to a minimum to improve hot weather sleep, recommended. "Try to stick to consistent bedtimes and wake times as often as possible, avoid excessive drinking, and make sure to allow time to wind down (ideally at least 30 to 60 minutes) before you turn in."


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Avoid the pain, get the gains: 5 most common exercise-related injuries

Published: Friday, March 30, 2018 @ 11:09 AM
Updated: Friday, March 30, 2018 @ 11:09 AM

July 04, 2017 Atlanta: Leonard Korir collapses to the street after the finish line winning the 48th running of the AJC Peachtree Road Race with an unofficial time of 28:16 on Tuesday, July 4, 2017, in Atlanta.    Curtis Compton/ Compton
July 04, 2017 Atlanta: Leonard Korir collapses to the street after the finish line winning the 48th running of the AJC Peachtree Road Race with an unofficial time of 28:16 on Tuesday, July 4, 2017, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton/ Compton)

For those that take their workouts seriously, be sure to add one more fitness goal to the list: avoiding exercise injuries. 

Not only does getting hurt in the gym or on the trail cut back on how much time you spend getting fit,  it's also painful and treatment can be costly.

Why workout injuries happen

Personal trainer Justin Price, M.A. told Men's Fitness that there are two main reasons for workout-related injuries. The first is poor posture during the day, which weakens your entire musculoskeletal structure. The second: trying to do too much too fast.

RELATED: Here’s what happens to your body when you don’t get enough sleep

Avoiding injury causes is key, along with understanding which injuries are most common, so you won't become the next person sitting out while everyone else lifts, rows and runs.

Treadmills are involved in more serious injuries than any other piece of gym equipment, and treadmill injuries included broken bones, abrasions, rectal bleeding and gym rats developing chest pain while working out on the machines, according to a USA Today review of the CPSC database system.(JEAN-DOMINIQUE/News | WHBQ)

According to experts quoted in, possible injuries do depend to some degree on what workouts you're doing, but there are five areas of the human body that are most susceptible to workout injuries.

5 most common workout injuries

According to Brian B. Parr, an American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) certified clinical exercise specialist, and Brandon Aiken, an athletic trainer, those top injuries are:

1. Strained back: This is the no. 1 most likely injury, said Parr and Aiken. The cause is simple: weakened back muscles due to extended bouts of sitting at work or home. 
 Prevention: Lift with your legs, not your back, and gradually strengthen your back muscles with low intensity exercises.

2. Strained shoulder: An extensive range of motion in your shoulders allows more overuse injuries there, along with injuries initiated by poor posture and faulty workout technique. Shoulder dislocations or rotator cuff damage result in the most pain and suffering.
 Prevention: Instead of "pushing through" shoulder pain, let your shoulder rest. And to prime your shoulders to resist injury, strengthen them with wall pushups, shoulder presses and elastic tube resistance training.

3. ACL/PCL injuries: These are more common to athletes than garden-variety exercisers, said Parr and Aiken, but knee injuries are common wherever sports with jumping or rapid changes in direction are played. An ACL or PCL tear can keep you out of the gym and off your feet for months, possibly requiring surgery.
Price, who owns The BioMechanics, a corrective exercise and functional fitness facility in San Diego, told Men's Fitness that going from a desk job to intense workouts can cause these knee injuries.

 "We don't use our hip muscles during the day. Then we decide to go kickbox or do bootcamp," he said. "If our feet aren't stable, due to improper footwear, and our hip muscles aren't strong, the knee gets all the stress."

 Prevention: While leg extensions, curls and presses would seem the most likely to prevent knee injuries during workouts, they don't help because they don't strengthen the muscles of the feet and hips, according to Price. "A better exercise would be lunges. With a lunge your hip and ankle are bending together, stabilizing and strengthening the knee." For extended benefit, he said to do lunges both forward and backward and then side to side.

Runners in the main event hit the halfway mark in the Peachtree Road Race Chad Rhym/ Rhym)

4. Runner's knee: This irritation of the cartilage beneath your kneecap makes up about 40 percent of all running injuries, Barr and Aiken said. 
 Prevention: Work to strengthen hip, glute and quad muscles. Also shorten your stride when you run.

5: Achilles tendinitis: Your tendon tightens and becomes irritated during various exercises, especially strength training.
 Prevention: Reduce your risk of Achilles tendinitis by increasing strength training gradually (not dramatically) and building strength in your calf muscles.

According to Parr and Aiken, the key to avoiding almost all of the most common workout injuries is simply to be patient. Getting in shape takes time.


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7 ways to cut back on sugar (and cut your cravings)

Published: Monday, January 29, 2018 @ 9:57 AM

This year, Dunkin' Donuts decided to make all your dreams come true On Nov. 20, the eatery will release its holiday menu It includes the Frosted Sugar Cookie Donut, Gingerbread Cookie Donut, and Snowflake Sprinkle Donut The brand promises its special holiday treats will evoke "warm memories of beloved baking favorites." Additionally, the donut shop will welcome back its seasonal Peppermint Mocha and Brown Sugar Cinnamon flavored coffee beverages

If you're drawn to sugary treats like a kid to the candy store, you are not alone. The average American consumes 19.5 teaspoons (82 grams) of sugar every day, which adds up to about 66 pounds of sugar per year, per person, according to the University of California San Francisco SugarScience website

»RELATED: Are you hooked on sugar? 5 clues you might be addicted to sugar

Meanwhile, the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting added sugar to 10 percent of daily calories, which works out to about 150 calories or around nine teaspoons (38 grams) of added sugar, or two-thirds of that for women, registered dietitian Amy Gorin told the Weight Watchers blog.

The sheer overabundance of added sugar in the American diet goes well beyond childlike pleasure. Researchers have linked too much dietary sugar to ailments and diseases that include heart disease, kidney failure, Type 2 diabetes and even insomnia.

With all that bad press, you'd think it would be easy for a logical person just to stop eating so much added sugar. But sugar creates a wave of dopamine and serotonin, the brain's "feel-good" chemicals. Your reaction to sugar matches the reaction to certain drugs, including cocaine, according to Self. And once you get that initial sugar high, your body only craves more.

But there are sugar-reducing steps you can take on your own. You'll be limiting anything sweet added to foods during processing, like honey, brown sugar, maple syrup, molasses, fruit juice, brown rice sugar, sugar cane and other sugar stand-ins, like corn syrup. 

One piece of good news: sugars found naturally in fruit and milk don't count against the recommended daily amount.

Gorin gave the example of oatmeal, where 1.5 ounces of pre-sweetened maple and brown sugar oatmeal in individual servings contains 12 grams of added sugar but ordinary oatmeal (quick cook, old-fashioned or steel cut) has zero added sugar. A 12-ounce can of cola, meanwhile, has more than triple the added sugar of the sweetened oatmeal, 39 grams.

Even if you're not trying to lose weight, these tips provided by Weight Watchers and other nutritionists will help you cut sugar from your diet, and, eventually, tame your cravings:

A woman drinks from a water fountain in Green Park in London.

Drink more water

Avoid sugar-laden sodas like the plague. "If you crave bubbles switch to sparkling water or all-natural seltzer with a splash of 100-percent fruit juice or fresh fruit for flavor," Shape recommended.

Reach for fruit at snack time

"Trading processed treats for fruit-based snacks is a great way to slash added sugar and up your intake of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber," Shape noted. It suggested sliced apples or pears dolloped with almond butter; nonfat organic yogurt layered with in-season fresh fruit, nuts and rolled oats; or a fresh fruit smoothie.

Infuse your water and ice

For a sweet drink without the sugar, combine fresh sliced fruit and water in a pitcher and let it sit overnight before serving, advised sports dietitian Natalie Rizzo.

»RELATED: This is what 12 Diet Cokes a day can do to your body, according to Atlanta nutritionists

Swap tea for soda

"I love to drink fruity, herbal teas like peach, apple, lemon, or raspberry, hot or iced, when I want something sweet and I need to make water more exciting," nutritionist Christy Brissette suggested.

This warming whole-grain porridge pairs cooked wheat berries with rolled oats, fruit and nuts for a filling, fiber-rich breakfast. Using a microwave makes preparation speedy, especially if you’ve thawed frozen cooked wheat berries overnight in the refridgerator. (Ken Burris/MCT)

Sweeten oatmeal with fruit

"Add frozen berries to your plain, warm, cooked oats instead of purchasing instant oatmeal that's packaged with added sugar," registered dietitian Tori Holthaus told Weight Watchers. "The frozen berries melt and nearly liquefy into the oatmeal - and a sweet, delicious flavor results."

Make your own tomato sauce

"Many jarred tomato sauces have added sugar, and who needs that?" registered dietitian Sarah Pflugradt told Weight Watchers. "You will feel like an Italian chef with a savory sauce simmering away in your house!"

Pre-plan your splurges

Stash healthy snacks in your desk to help you avoid the office goodies that show up, Shape recommended, and make it a policy to avoid free samples. That way you can genuinely enjoy the occasional planned splurge, like a restaurant dessert balanced by a light entrée.


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12 expert-approved tips to avoid holiday weight gain

Published: Tuesday, October 31, 2017 @ 12:00 AM

Here are 12 tips for keeping holiday eating under control Plan ahead and bring a snack Be the slowest eater at the table Drink plenty of water Bring your own guilt-free dish to a party so you know there’s at least one you can splurge on Use a small plate so it looks full Remember, you can eat whatever you’d like, as long as it’s in moderation Ditch sweet drinks and consume alcohol in moderation, if at all Don’t hang out by the buffet table Keep the portion size in check Before going back for secon

During the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, nibbling on chocolates, sugar cookies, pumpkin pie seems to be a way of life.

The good news is it may not be as bad as you think. The average American gains about 1 pound during the winter holiday season, far less than the 5 to 8 pounds commonly believed, according to the National Institutes of Health.

But the bad news is that people often don’t lose the weight, and it can pile on over the years. People who are overweight are more likely to gain 5 pounds during the holidays, according to the NIH.

Experts agree it’s perfectly fine — even healthy — to indulge during the holidays; just don’t go bonkers. BECKY STEIN / SPECIAL(Becky Stein)

Experts agree it’s perfectly fine — even healthy — to indulge during the holidays; just don’t go bonkers. No matter what you do, don’t starve yourself or skip meals, because that only sets you up for grabbing the closest plate of brownies.

Lanier Dabruzzi, a dietitian and senior manager of public relations for the Southeast Dairy Association, suggests eating a healthy snack such as hummus or a cheese stick and vegetable sticks before leaving the house so that you don’t show up to the party too hungry.

When you’re at a holiday party, scan the table of delectables to decide which three high-calorie foods you really want. Devote half of your plate to waistline-friendly choices such as sliced fruits and vegetables.

Elyse Sartor, an outpatient dietitian at Northside Hospital, said one way to ensure the party offers at least one guilt-free treat is to bring one yourself. Her go-to dessert and hostess gifts are citrus fruits, local and seasonal vegetables, or apples, honey, cinnamon and walnuts in a pretty basket.

Eggnog is a fattening drink that should be enjoyed only in moderation. Watch the liquid calories to limit weight gain. CONTRIBUTED

RELATED: Your ultimate guide to the holidays, including food, shopping and more in Atlanta.

And remember, all of those bites of food (broken Christmas cookies included) really do count. So do the wine, soft drinks and calorie-mother lode eggnog (which can pack 400 calories in one mug).

Another way to stave off weight gain is by exercising. Keith Kantor, a Norcross nutritionist and CEO of the Nutritional Addiction Mitigation Eating and Drinking program (NAMED), said even if you cannot devote the same amount of time to exercise as you normally do outside of the holiday season, try to remain active throughout the day. He recommends aiming for 10,000 steps every day, and rather than devoting separate time to exercise, counting steps can be done while holiday shopping at the mall, walking your dog, playing with your kids.

At the same time, don’t forget to get enough sleep. When you are sleepy, you are more likely to grab food for an energy boost.

Exercise, journaling and meditation can help prevent stress and overeating during the holidays. FILE PHOTO(The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Here are 12 tips for keeping holiday eating under control:

1. Plan ahead. Before you go to the mall, slip a cheese stick and carrot sticks, or another low-fat snack, into your purse (or bag) to fight off temptations in the food court.

2. Be the slowest eater at the table. This will give you a chance to notice when you feel satisfied. Slow down by challenging yourself to chew each bite 20 times, putting your utensils down between bites, and taking 30 minutes per plate.

3. Drink plenty of water. And drink a glass before the party to help fill you up.

4. Bring your own guilt-free dish to a party so you know there’s at least one you can splurge on.

5. Use a small plate so it looks full.

6. Remember, you can eat whatever you’d like, as long as it’s in moderation.

7. Ditch sweet drinks and consume alcohol in moderation, if at all. Choose sparkling water with citrus slices in stemware for no-calorie bubbly.

RELATED: Want to lose more weight? Ditch your diet for a couple of weeks, study suggests

8. Don’t hang out by the buffet table. Chatting beside it will only tempt you to graze.

9. Go small. Many desserts are being made in bite-sized portions now, which is fantastic for getting the sweet cravings fix while keeping the portion size in check.

10. Before going back for seconds, wait 20 minutes for your food to “settle.” You might feel full and lose interest in more munching.

Peppermint Bars are an extravagant dessert of a fudgy brownie layered with peppermint frosting and a rich chocolate glaze. It’s OK to indulge in a holiday treat, but make sure you’re balancing it with waistline-friendly choices, as well as staying active through the day. MCCORMICK / MCT

11. Find ways to exercise every day. If exercise is hard to fit in with a busy holiday schedule, try the 10x10x10 rule: fit in 10 minutes three times throughout the day for a total of 30 minutes per day.

12. Incorporate daily stress relievers like exercise, journaling and meditation — and avoid waiting until the last minute for gifts and preparations. Consider making a list of the traditions you love, and it’s OK to say no and skip some festivities to avoid overscheduling yourself.

Sources: Elyse Sartor, outpatient dietitian at Northside Hospital; Lanier Dabruzzi, a nutrition affairs manager for the Southeast Dairy Association; and Keith Kantor, a Norcross nutritionist and author of the book “The Green Box League of Nutritious Justice” (Effective Press, $38.95).

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