My thighs are screaming. My calves are screaming. My core is screaming – this week has been a tough one – I swapped my bike for a Me-Mover.
First things first, let me introduce myself: My name is Lewis and I am the marketing manager and graphic designer here at Me-Mover Fitness HQ. I moved to Denmark in my mid-twenties and found myself behind a desk editing photographs and creating campaigns for Me-Mover within the first few months of living in Copenhagen. Naturally, I have done my fair share of Me-Moving, but this has always been a one-off – A trip on a weekend, a photoshoot, or a short event here and there. This month, however, I decided to go all in – ride or die.
From a young age I have always loved road cycling. My love for cycling was part of the reason why I moved to the cycling capital of Europe, and part of the reason why I drifted towards the sporting-goods sector. More recently (and because of the naturally flat landscape here in Denmark) I’ve migrated from road to track cycling, or “fixed gear riding”. For those out the loop, fixed gear bikes are essentially stripped down road bikes – no gears, no freewheels, no brakes. Your legs are what make you go and what make you stop. Of course, that puts a lot of pressure on your knees!
I decided to swap my bike for a Me-Mover to see if I could build some strength in my knees. Of course, as a cyclist I am naturally sceptical of anything with more than two wheels. BUT actually, I am hooked!
Intensity like no other
Swapping my bike for a Me-Mover meant I wasn’t just casually Me-Moving around any more. This time I was commuting to work. I had to be at work, I had to be there before 9:00, and I had to face a “feels-like -10C” Nordic headwind on the way. My body had to work harder than it has for a long time. My thighs have been conditioned to take quite a beating; but, my core, arms, and calves were not prepared for the Me-Mover.
At first the burn centred around my calves, similarly to running, however with a change of technique (leaning slightly backwards and engaging my upper body) I was able to spread this more evenly over my body to give my calves a rest and put more power through the pedals. Within 20 minutes the -10C headwind becomes something of a relief. My body was in overdrive dealing with the workload.
20 minutes really IS enough
Me-Moving really is an intense full-body exercise. For me, the feeling you get after 15kms of Me-Moving is very similar to a 70km+ cycle. After my first longer ride I actually had a mid-day nap which, if you’re a hobby cyclist, you’re probably very familiar with. Of course, the reality was that this was less than an hour trip.
When I would train on my road bike I would go out from anywhere between 3 to 7 hours – something that I just cannot do any more with my busy schedule. Being able to condense my workout – and a full-body one at that – into my 30 minute commute is actually incredible. For me, it means that if I do find time to go out with the local cyclists on a weekend, I wont be “sitting in”, chewing my handlebars, or worse, falling “off the back” and riding home alone, head hanging in shame.
Transfer effects for cyclists
And that is the thing – the Me-Mover is a great training tool for cyclists. Fast stepping is great for your fast-twitch muscle fibres, making you more explosive out the saddle; and slower stepping is sure to increase endurance and strength. For the big-gear cyclist like myself, the Me-Mover is great because it makes me focus on other areas for a more full-bodied workout. The Me-Mover not only improves my cardio-conditioning, but also works my calves and core which are important when pulling pedals up sharp inclines, or descending down the other side.
What about my knees?
It is definitely too early to tell if I’ve built strength in my knees but one thing I have noticed is that, unlike when cycling, I don’t get knee pain when riding hard. I have put this down to the riding position, with my legs being as nature intended!
Plus, something really strange: on a cold morning my knees warm up very fast, and stay warm too – spooky! I’d love to know if anyone else has noticed this?!
Overall, I’m looking forward to seeing the long-term benefits of Me-Moving, and I’ll keep you updated along the way.