High school cyclist on experience with fitness apps and personal cycling growth

Jacob Robinson delves into why cycling is the best option for him on his personal growth into exercise, posed here with his Specialized Allez Sport. (Dylan Robinson/Lariat)

Any form of exercise upon getting started can prove daunting. Each activity necessitates its own form of interaction to see growth within and doing the bare minimum does not yield many results by the end of the week.

Apps have popped up to help supplement the hump exercising can create for some people where they can’t see themselves getting out the door to begin the session in the first place.

These apps include Strava, MyFitnessPal, Nike Training Club, Peloton Live and Gymshark to name a few that help an individual log their exercises on top of counting calories to keep motivation in check.

Cycling in particular offers numerous benefits for the fledgling cyclist on the fronts of intensive cardio workouts, enhanced cardiovascular performance, increased flexibility and endurance and strengthening the lower body. Cycling even trumps swimming when it comes to an average calorie burning rate per hour as long as the cyclist is riding at a pace between 14-20 miles per hour.

High school senior Jacob Robinson looks towards cycling as his primary form of workout since running takes a toll overtime on the joints. As a cycling enthusiast, Robinson owns both a Specialized Allez Sport and a Specialized Sirrus Sport allowing for competitive cycling tracking over longer distances and leisurely commutes respectively. 

“Specialized is the best brand of bikes for me,” said Robinson. “You have Giant, Trek, Cannondale, Canyon, and Pinarello, but Specialized stands out the most out of all them thanks to the sleek design and performance.”

Robinson chose to get into cycling thanks to his friends’ experiences with the sport and having enjoyed riding bikes while younger so moving into the refined sport of cycling was a natural evolution for him.

“I’ve always enjoyed cycling and riding bikes such as when I rode my bike every day to middle school on the commute to Shorecliffs and back,” said Robinson. “Each ride I grew to love it more and saw a progressive interest in it leading to my purchasing of better bikes to take my interest even further.”

Going back to the fitness apps, they allow for Robinson to manage how much he eats in addition to staying on top of completing previously visited routes even better the next time they are approached by him. This feature is an aspect of the Strava app he utilizes which marks personal best times on specific segments of a given route you are cycling on and pitting it against other people’s best times for the same leg of the ride.

“It’s a great feature because you can try and get better each time you ride,” said Robinson. “If you go on a certain route each time you take a ride, you can then challenge yourself to get better upon each attempt.”

Just upon his ride today, Robinson received a personal best on Capistrano Bluff’s mile segment with a two minute and 40 seconds time at an average pace of 20 miles per hour. The feature makes each ride feel refreshing to him and keeps each instance of a route exciting.

Weight loss is also a large motivating factor for Robinson in continuing to further his cycling goals as running is hard to get into for him and cardio is still desired. Strava and MyFitnessPal assure that calories are counted and progress is noted every day to see eventual growth from when he first started utilizing them more extensively earlier in 2019.

“Cycling has helped me lose weight and I think makes me feel healthier, doesn’t make my heart feel like it’s going to explode after each time I do it,” said Robinson. “It allows me to feel better about myself and inspires me to do better on every facet even beyond health making me care more about what life has to offer.”

In an attempt to slim down and start leveling himself out, Robinson found solace in cycling as a proper means to see a gradual process of change with commitment to long 20-40 mile bike rides about three to four times in a given week. Robinson encourages other people to take a step towards healthier living and starting out with a passion for a form of exercise goes a long way in initiating that process. 

Technology in this instance motivates an individual and when used for constructive purposes it can see the user growth in areas previously thought incapable.