Hi hi, FSB Challenge participants!
I have been a long-time advocate of Spinning classes for their ability to burn calories. On this journey to take off the last 20 lbs, Spinning has become a great addition to my routine. Every single Friday you’ll see me checking into a studio (on Foursquare) as a way to relieve the stress of the week, burning some serious calories and to feel amazing.
If you live in NYC, there are two studios that have raised traditional Spinning classes to a whole new level with upper body components and a host of advanced moves for a total body conditioning experience. Both are great ways to feel the burn. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect:
- Brief description: Competitive indoor cycling class that brings out your inner New Yorker. As in, if you like to feel like you’re riding harder than the person next to you, this is the class for you. The class is constructed in a room where they bikes are on stadium-like risers that face the instructor and two flat screen monitors that show the metrics of the performance of the class where you can opt in to have your stats published for all to see. Bikes have digital readout screens that report torque, RPMs and other metrics. You also have weighted bars on either side of the wheel for an upper body weight section. The front wall is mirrored so you can check your form.
- Ambiance: Competitive. This is not a class where you zone out and ride. Your instructor is giving commands and encouragement to ride at a certain torque and/or RPM throughout the class. You have to focus or you’ll miss the fun.
- Added bonus: In addition to new bikes with rather comfy (as comfy as they can be) seats, the room is air conditioned.
- Amenities: shoes and towels are provided.
- If you’re new: Find someone who works there and make sure you get shown around and have someone adjust your bike. Newcomers have to fend for themselves.
- Quality of the workout: Amazing. I hurt in places I didn’t know I could. It’s intense.
- You’ll love Flywheel if: You’re into competitive workouts.
- Brief description: If you’re looking for a cycling experience with “soul,” this is the class for you. Rooms are darkened for the class and Jonathan Adler grapefruit-scented candles are burned during the experience for a very Zen-like ambiance. Bikes are all standard bikes with cup holders on the side for small hand weights that are used for an upper body portion. Room are very Zen in color palette (white, grey and accents of yellow) so it’s a pretty peaceful way to get your burn on. The front wall is also mirrored so you can check your form.
- Ambiance: Intense and very centered on your own performance against yourself. But don’t take that as a sign of weakness. These classes sell out in mere minutes when the schedule opens because of the high-performance workout and the results-oriented moves. Instructors get off the bikes to walk around the room and help demonstrate and correct form.
- Added bonus: The music is incredibly motivating. Plus, those candles really help when you need an extra boost of energy.
- Amenities: Towels are provided. Shoes can be rented and water can be purchased.
- If you’re new: Just tell someone at the front desk. They’ll escort you around and make sure you have everything you need. If you need help adjusting your bike, two people are in the room before class to help adjust. You will have to adjust to the heat of the room. It does get hot in there.
- Quality of the workout: Fantastic. Results come very quickly. You’ll also feel pretty mellow after class.
- You’ll love SoulCycle if: You’re into results-oriented workouts with a more instructor-motivated approach (more “You can do it” than “You need to beat the other riders.”)