Hey VitalFit community, meet Aly Raymer! Aly is the senior lead instructor at B/Spoke Studios (2017 Best of Boston Spin Studio), a yoga instructor at Exhale Spa, a New Balance Ambassador, and also one of the most kind and genuine individuals we've ever met!
There are a million things that make Aly unique, but she has amassed a loyal following throughout Boston due to her inspiring, challenging, and incredibly fun workouts. Aly brings an infectious energy with her at all times, and always seems to have the time for everyone and everything no matter how hectic her schedule.
We started working with Aly before we ever brought a product to market. She tested all sorts of creations for us, and has undoubtedly helped us to get where we are today! She grew up in California and has a passion for natural remedies, so her thoughts and expertise have been a major source of design and product inspiration!
We're known to pop by B/Spoke more often than just about anyone would like and we recently caught up with Aly to ask her some questions about the fitness industry, the influencer marketplace, and what she thinks the future will look like!
You’re the Senior Lead Instructor at B/SPOKE and we know that you sometimes teach 3 or more classes a day! How do you manage to keep a balanced workout routine off the bike? What do you do to recover (besides taking tart cherry!)?
My regular off bike routine consists of foam rolling 4x per week and a proper yoga stretch for my chest, back, and hips.
I am definitely guilty of not consistently cross training, but when I do, I love Pilates at B-Tone, any body weight circuit training and of course, yoga.
I also walk everywhere during the warm months, dance whenever possible and spend a good amount of time napping…balance right?
That's what we've found through all of our research - it's all about balance! In what ways is spinning a balanced, total body workout? Do you have any advice for people who are especially loyal to spinning with regards to balancing their workouts?
I would not necessarily call it a balanced total body workout. It is cardio at its core and while it includes many aspects of building strength and endurance, it is not the only workout you should be completing if you are striving for balance.
That's awesome advice! We've found that with the studio workouts it can be really important to find that sweet spot between doing workouts you love and finding that balance. I think it can sometimes be a misconception that one specific workout is all you need. What are some other common misconceptions about spinning that you see?
Something I hear most often is that people are “afraid” to try it! It can be intimidating FOR SURE, but it truly is a go at your own pace style workout. You are literally in charge of the speed and power you add to your ride.
So whether you are an avid cyclist, fitness junkie, someone just starting their workout routine, or someone in the middle, you most definitely can spin!
Love it! We've seen first hand how inclusive and fun your classes can be for any skill level (we were definitely not good and still had a blast!). We wanted to pivot a little here and discuss something we talk to you about often - the more social/online side of the industry. It seems that between Instagram, blogs, influencers, and actual professionals, there is just SO MUCH info out there. How do you go about navigating these often-overwhelming waters?
I am pretty skeptical of much of the information out there unless I either try it, research it or chat with an expert about it. Who do I trust for information? My friends who are fully licensed or degreed, my physical therapist, my acupuncturist and for witchcraft and old wives concoctions, my mom who passes my grandmother’s tricks down to me :)
I tend to stick to what I know unless someone can prove me otherwise. Lately, I have been given a lot of opportunities to try new products, and before I try them I always do my research and see how it was made, what is in it and if there are any reviews/feedback from real clients. Ideally, if it is a new company, I like to see who is behind it and what their intentions are.
What about when people are getting that information online or through social media? Do you have any advice or think there is anything that people should be particularly wary of?I
Yes! I would be wary of ANYTHING that claims weight loss in a short period of time, teas that make you skinny, workouts that are outside your skill level, pills that curb your appetite and any crash diets. I would also be cautious following the advice of “Social Media Stars” unless they are students of their field (not just a person who works out) and anyone claiming to be an “EXPERT” in their field. Who can claim to be an expert when the fitness/wellness industry is still so new!?
That's so true! One of the things we've tried to do is rather than claim we're experts or have some magic potion, to collaborate, learn from one another, and kind of develop this inclusive, trustworthy community. We've talked a lot about the negative stuff, but are there other things people should know about on the more positive side of things?
I think people should know that there are always going to be different ways to get to the same goals. Stick with what makes YOU feel good, don’t get stuck on the results and find rituals that you enjoy practicing. Lastly, don’t take classes you dislike, eat food that doesn’t fulfill you and sacrifice your social life in ways that leave you with too much FOMO. There is a give and take, a balance, but it should never cost you your happiness!
We absolutely love the message that you conveyed there! Building on that, how can the fitness community go about creating a more authentic, more valuable social media ecosystem that stresses a message similar to what you just discussed?
Social media is such a new frontier and I am so happy to be apart of it. The amazing community online allows for people like me and my peers to express themselves to a much larger audience, attract new clients and connect with people on a different level outside the studio. I believe that the fitness community can create a more authentic and valuable ecosystem by sticking with what they know, by not comparing to each other and by sharing their own personal wealth of knowledge instead of trying to be just like everyone else. The more diversity, the more information… the more intelligent and strong we can become together!
Thanks so much to the wonderful Aly Raymer for sharing some of her insights with us! If you'd like to find Aly online you can check her schedule at bspokestudios.com (definitely try out her class!) or see her on instagram @aly_raymer.