Thoughts a World Champion Powerlifter Has During a High Intensity Cycling Class

I must admit, this article was never planned, but what it unfolded to has been much better than anything I could have imagined. Strength athletes are athletic in multiple ways, there’s no denying that. Although, if you take a world champion powerlifter and throw him into an hour long high intensity New York City bike class with no prep or forewarning, then some pretty hilarious anecdotes unfold.

The other night, I had the opportunity to hang out with -74kg powerlifter Taylor Atwood, and that entailed attending a “biking” event with a push-up contest after for the apparel company Ten Thousand. Fresh off an IPF Classic Powerlifting Championship, I was pumped to talk to Atwood and ask him about the experience, and also brainstorm some content ideas. (Hint: You’ll be seeing him in a BarBend video or two very soon!)

And now on to the event, in my defense, I explained what the event was beforehand, but little did we know that we were both incredibly underprepared for the physically demanding — scratch that — grueling bike class that took place in what seemed like a dark hot bike dungeon.

To top it off, the bike instructor kept glancing our way and yelling, “Pedal harder!”, as everyone around us seemed to have no problem keeping pace. To say the struggle was real would be an understatement. Sitting to the bike on my right, here are a few of the  thoughts that went through Atwood’s head during the workout.

A Powerlifter’s Thoughts During a Bike Workout

  • 5:00: Why am I doing this right now? I have to squat and deadlift tomorrow.
  • 9:00: Jake is crushing me on this bike…wait until the push-up contest though.
  • 12:00: Am I the only one not pedaling hard?
  • 14:00: Sh*t, he took his shirt off? It just got real.
  • 16:00: If I stop pedaling, I wonder if Jake will notice.
  • 20:00: Alright, just finish. Swag and smoothies are waiting for you.
  • 25:00: Are my gains being annihilated right now by doing this one hour bike session?
  • 30:00: Yes, we’re finished!
  • 31:00: F*ck. There’s 30 MORE minutes to go?
  • 41:00: Don’t cry.
  • 46:00: This is a sick quad pump, but I still want to quit.
  • 50:00: Alright, just don’t throw up.
  • 55:00: I’m a powerlifter, not a damn bike rider.
  • 60:00: Nope. I did not enjoy this. And I will not be back.

After leaving the bike dungeon, we headed back upstairs absolutely exhausted. Soon after we came back through to reality, the push-up competition began, and that entailed completing as many reps as possible in one minute (depth was to someone’s fist).

Needless to say, Atwood blew the push-up competition out of the water and smoked 83 easy reps, which kicked back over $100 to charity from his set alone. A small win on the evening for the heavy price of dead legs. All in all, it was a great day, but forewarning: Biking classes are tough.

Editor’s note: This article is an op-ed. The views expressed herein and in the video are the author’s and don’t necessarily reflect the views of BarBend. Claims, assertions, opinions, and quotes have been sourced exclusively by the author.