Name: Scott Wells
Hometown: Midway, Kentucky (currently living in Chicago, Illinois)
Occupation: Spin instructor at CycleBar; also work as a server and in retail
Time Cycling: 3 years
Start Weight: 400 pounds
End Weight: 220 pounds
Reason for Cycling: I lost most of my weight by dieting at first, and cycling was how I fell in love with exercising by building on what I was able to do through dieting. For me personally, I fell in love with indoor rhythm-based cycling classes. I love going wild on a stationary bike to my favorite songs!
I was a chubby kid growing up. I played sports but had more of a lineman body than a quarterback. At my largest before college, I weighed about 400 pounds. I always struggled with weight because I grew up in the south where we show love with food—and I love to eat.
Once I got to college, thanks to a vegetarian diet, yoga, and having more control over what I ate, I lost about 200 pounds over six years. I was about 20, and while there wasn’t some big turning point moment, I just got sick of being the odd man out. I struggled to find dates and companionship, especially dating in the gay world. I wanted to feel more in control of myself and more confident! I also had been told by doctors at my largest, I should be concerned about diabetes in my future.
I started working at one of the CycleBar studios after moving to Denver in September 2019. I applied to work thinking it was a (literal) bar. I had worked in bars and restaurants for years at that point and had just gotten to the city and needed a new job. I honestly had no idea what I was getting into, but based on my hospitality experience, they decided to give me a shot and told me to come take my first indoor cycling class that same week and see if I liked it and if I wanted to work there. I fell in love with it about halfway through the class.
Up until then, I’d never done any type of high-intensity workout like that and it was honestly so thrilling! Between the lights, the music, the instructor, and the whole group energy pulsing through the room, it felt more like a club than a workout class!
From there, I started working at the studio almost full time. Eventually I became a manager and now I’m an instructor. Finding cycling helped me build muscle in a new way, and made me so much stronger.
At the beginning of my cycling journey, I was taking three to five classes a week before I started teaching, and riding about 60 to 80 miles a week on a stationary bike. Right now, I teach two indoor cycling classes a week regularly.
Now that I’ve moved to Chicago with my boyfriend, I can’t wait to ride up and down the lakefront this summer! I also plan on commuting by bike more as things warm up.
I would say now I care less about what I eat and am way less strict on myself. Getting outside and having indoor cycling classes as a regular part of my fitness routine has made me relax a lot more when it comes to dieting and being more comfortable with just enjoying food instead of counting calories. Now my big goals are gaining weight and putting on more muscle.
All together I’ve lost 220 pounds over six years and through cycling, and I have gained about 20 pounds of muscle over three years.
The biggest change in my life has been my personal confidence level. Even though I still have extra skin and stretch marks and may not be “perfect,” by having a routine of getting outside and teaching cycling classes, I’ve really become more sure of myself. I honestly feel really free on a bike.
These three tips have made my cycling journey a success:
1. Learn from everyone you meet
I entered this world through indoor cycling and still have a lot to learn about road cycling. My grandmother always taught me that everyone you meet has something to teach you. And when it comes to learning more about bikes that’s been the truth for me!
2. Be bold and not afraid to try new things
If I had never tried something new, spin class for example, I wouldn’t even be here answering these questions.
3. Build a routine that works for you
I would say the best advice I can give to someone looking to lose weight and make a big change like this is to build a routine that works for you. Don’t try to find something online and copy-paste it onto your life. It’s not realistic. You know your schedule and lifestyle better than any influencer or Pinterest board. I am completely here for checking out new ideas or workouts, and I love getting advice from all over and trying new foods. However, after trying strict meal plans and trying to firmly follow an online weightlifting routine with a busy service industry schedule, I found what honestly worked for me was taking what I learned from those pieces of the puzzle and making it my own.
When it comes to exercise, the best way to see results is to be structured and have a routine. When I first started dieting to lose weight, I saw some results, but it wasn’t until I had a solid workout routine and stuck to it that I really started to see changes in my body! So just make sure to be consistent.
Scott’s Must-Have Gear
→Clif Bars: The best flavor is peanut butter banana in my opinion, but the regular peanut butter ones are great, too.
→Nalgene Water Bottle 32oz: It absolutely has to be the 32-ounce bottle! Only because it’s the perfect size for the bottle holder on the bike.
→Lululemon Always Agile Tank Top: When I say this thing wicks sweat, I am not playing! Seriously, I can teach in this tank, be drenched by the end of class, and still be almost dry in 30 minutes. It’s fantastic. I am 6’9” and sweat like a pig so it’s definitely putting in work.
→Lululemon ABC Jogger: I love these pants because they’re soft and stretchy enough to wear on a bike, but also well made enough to wear out and about in the city and not look like you’re wearing pajamas.
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