Saturday, August 23, 2014

Review: The CHS Revolution indoor cycling studio in Charleston, SC

Tired of the same boring workout on the treadmill or the elliptical at the gym? Well read on, my friends. 

I had the pleasure today of visiting the CHS Revolution indoor cycling studio in downtown Charleston, SC.  I was contacted by their fantastic PR person Demi Bean and asked to bring my friends to try out their studio and write a review.  This is my review.  

The studio is in a new building, located at 441 Meeting Street. My biggest concern when I got there was where on Earth I was going to park.  This is downtown Charleston, after all.  But my concerns were immediately alleviated when I was told I could park for free at the Bi-Lo grocery store next door.  This is a huge advantage for this studio because parking is always a problem downtown.  It's also a good arrangement for Bi-Lo (more on that later.)

The facility is very clean and new and I was greeted at the desk by the front door by a courteous, welcoming and smiling staff.  It sort of felt like being in an Apple Store. Very fresh interior, very well-designed.  I got signed in and was assigned a bike to work out.  They're numbered.  We had a group of less than 10, but I could imagine this numbering system is crucial in a full class.

You don't need to bring cycling shoes, as they are provided.  The facility also has a very state-of-the-art locker area and you don't need a lock. The lockers all have digital keypads on them.  A very nice touch.

I was introduced to Katie, our instructor for our workout.  Katie was upbeat and positive and an all-around fun person. This is exactly what you want for a spin instructor.

Only this isn't your garden variety spin class. Not by a long shot.

My group was 8 people strong, including my friends, myself, Demi and Katie.  We were all set.  They took us into the workout room where all the spin bikes were.  Katie took her place up on the platform in front of the room with her headset and tablet, which appeared to control the music and lights. It's all very state-of-the-art.  Katie explained how everything worked and Demi helped me set the height on my spin bike. We were off and running.

Once the music started and the workout began, it became clear that I was going to sweat - a lot.  You want a full body workout? This is it.  Katie had us speed up, slow down, increase the resistance using the knob on the bike ("a quarter turn!") Stand up.  Sit down.  Katie worked us hard and I loved it.

Then she had us do push-ups of sorts on the bikes as we were pedaling.  I love this.  Make it harder! The 45 minutes went by in a flash and then, near the end, something I loved: resistance training.  They had 2 small weights (5 pounds maybe?) sitting on the bike to use.  You can get an incredible workout lifting small weights repeatedly and Katie worked us out good.

The whole workout was a real rush. In addition to revving up your metabolism, you're getting an intense cardio workout as well as arms, legs and upper body. I've never sweat so much during a workout in my life.

So what does it cost?
So the big question is this: how much does it cost to join? CHS Revolution has a breakdown of their pricing online.  I was very happy to see all the pricing is without contracts.  You also just sign up online using a Mastercard, Visa or Amex.  A lot of health clubs are very high-pressure and I was glad to see CHS Revolution doesn't operate this way.

They offer two kinds of sessions: The 45-minute "Rev Ride" and the 60-minute "Revival Ride," which is only held on Saturdays.  The Rev Rides are $20 each, with the Revival Ride coming in at $23. You can buy the rides in packs of 5, 10 or 20.  Student pricing is available at a discount.

The real deal I think is the $99 for unlimited rides the first month.  This is a great way to try out the studio with minimal investment and learn how the classes work.

My workout group

The bottom line
If you are looking for an intense, full-body workout, look no further.  If you live in downtown Charleston, look no further.  This is the absolutely perfect solution to a boring workout.  Even if you live further out like I do, perhaps grabbing the once-a-week Saturday ride is an idea.

The pricing is reasonable, the facility is fantastic and the people are great!  I could see them almost holding a beginner class to explain how it all works with the adjustments, the bike and the movements.  I've been to spin classes before, but not one like this. But Katie did a great job explaining everything and keeping us on track.

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

How to go: 
CHS Revolution Indoor Cycling Studio
441 Meeting Street Suite A (link opens Google Maps)
Phone 843-737-5330
Website for information and to join
Facebook Twitter Instagram

But back to Bi-Lo for a minute....
When I got done with the workout at CHS Revolution, I was STARVING.  So I figured you know what? Bi-Lo provided me with parking while I was working out, I will go in there and buy lunch.  And so that I did. Perfect post-workout lunch!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Hello Dave Ramsey Fans!

I recently found out that the Dave Ramsey Show has been running my video again and featuring it on their webpage.

Thank you for all the e-mails. I appreciate it. It really is possible for a regular person to rise up and take their life back.  Just like we can all get out of debt, we all can lose weight and keep it off when we say out loud: "I HAVE HAD IT!!!"

If you haven't already, please feel free to purchase my book from It's available as an e-book on any smartphone or tablet for only $4.99. Found out how I lost almost 400 pounds without surgery!

Also, like my Facebook page. And follow me on Twitter.

You can e-mail me as well.  Check out my links and other videos down the side of the page.  You can also go back and read all my blog posts from my weight loss journey...for free! 

Monday, May 26, 2014


Bryan Ganey on the Dave Ramsey Show

Check out the video of my call-in appearance on the Dave Ramsey Show.

Have You Had Enough?

You've probably heard it said many times that people change their lives when they have "had it."  When they're sick and tired of being sick and tired. When they reach a point where living their life a certain way becomes impossible. 

The pain of doing the same thing over and over becomes greater than the pain of change. 

That's what happened to me 4 years ago, on June 20, 2010. 

When people come to me and tell me they can't seem to find the motivation to get started, to make a change, to eat better, to move their body more...I tell them:

You haven't had enough. 

Think about torture. (Sorry to be so graphic, but it's a good analogy. Follow me here.) The torturer eventually breaks the prisoner because they reach a point where they can't take it anymore. That is what has to happen for the prisoner to give the torturer what they want. 

Same thing with changing your lifestyle. You will change when you can't take anymore torture.  When your joints start to hurt. When simple tasks start to become impossible. When your health starts to slowly decline. 

Things unlikely to make people lose weight in any lasting way:

-Social humiliation. Social situations can be avoided. Not enough pain to change. 

-Clothes not fitting anymore. Sorry, you can always buy bigger clothes. 

-Attraction by the opposite sex. That's not enough either. I had girlfriends when I was 577 pounds.  Sure, it shrinks the pool of available dates, but it's not impossible. Besides, it's a superficial reason to lose weight anymore. 

-Some short-term goal. A wedding. A family reunion. A graduation. It's not enough. The event is over and it's back to the previous behaviors. 

So I ask you: have you had enough?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

How To Succeed at Weight Loss (And Anything Else)

Not a day goes by that I am not asked some variation of the following question:

"How did you lose all that weight?"

Everyone wants the secret.  "Tell me what to eat!  How much cardio should I do?  What foods should I avoid?"

So for the very first time, I'm going to divulge the secret weapon when it comes to weight loss and just about anything else in life.  Lean very close to your screen and take it all in.

The way to lose weight and keep it off forever is this:

Establish and follow a set routine.

Even though it might not seem like it, I know you.  I can see you, sitting in your house right now, almost as if a camera has been planted there.  If you are overweight or out of shape, what you are doing wrong is drifting through your life with no plan.  You are on the "grab something" diet.  You know the diet I am talking about.  "I'll grab something when I get to work.  I'll grab something on the way home."

What you are really 'grabbing' is chaos.  You live your life one minute to the next, putting zero effort into what you're doing.  There is no planning.  There is no structure.  And there definitely is not a routine.

I was recently watching a very old movie from my childhood.  I hadn't seen it in 30 years.  It was called "Iceman."  It's a fictional story about a science expedition that found a perfectly preserved 40,000 year old neanderthal caveman frozen in a block of ice.  They thawed him out and brought him back to life.  Go ahead, check it out.  It's on Netflix streaming.

One thing immediately jumped out at me in this movie.  The prehistoric man, upon being brought back to life, was placed in an artificial habitat (like at a zoo.)  What did he do?  Did he sit there and stare at the wall?  Did he cry about how he had no idea where he was and what he was supposed to do?  Nope.

He immediately went to work.  His first order of business was killing a wild pig for food that was roaming his habitat.  Then he went about starting a fire.  Then he collected everything he could find, laying it out in front of him so he could observe his inventory and figure out what to do with it.  He found berries to crush, so he could make ink to paint the cave walls to do his drawings.

In short, he was observing a set routine that ensured his survival.  If you are to lose weight and experience any chance at keeping that weight off, you must establish and follow a routine.  I'm not saying the routine can't change, but it has to be there.

Think about how we raise small children from the time they are a baby.  All successful mothers will tell you: set up a routine.  Schedule nap time.  Go to bed at the same time every night.  Kids like structure.  They will flourish.  Do the basics every day the same way, at the same time.  Do you think this need for structure and predictability goes away when we become adults?  It shouldn't, not if you want to be successful. 

Anyone that has met me or knows me in the last 4 years knows that my routine is sacred.  It is not to be interfered with.  There are non-negotiable aspects of my routine that keep me on the straight and narrow.  I must walk every day at least a few miles.  I must always pack my lunch and eat it.  I must eat every few hours.  Restaurants are not an option unless I absolutely have to.  I must drink water.

Remember: if you are going through life just doing whatever, then "whatever" is what you're going to weigh.  "Whatever" is how long you're going to live.  "Whatever" is how much success you're going to have in life.

You can do better.  I can do better.  But it all starts with a routine.  Once you set up your routine, you start to follow it.  Day after day, the routine will develop.  Then it will become second nature.  If your routine is a healthy one, good health will follow.

Like the caveman, your routine will become very ingrained in you.  You too will be pre-programmed for success.  You will do what you do automatically, because it is just what you do.  It will become second nature.

What's your routine going to be?