Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fly What? FlyWheel, of course!

I finally got around to trying a spin class last week! I chose to spin at FlyWheel in the Flatiron District of Manhattan. Here's how they describe their classes:

"high- intensity cardio workout!"                           
          "energetic atmosphere!"
          "most effective and safe!"       

Here's how this LaFemmeFITalle describes it: Super intense, loud, and just a bit much to take on a Wednesday morning.

A quick re-cap of my visit: I arrived for a 9 o'clock class last Wednesday morning. The place was easy to find and I arrived in plenty of time to get settled in. The woman at the front desk was nice enough, though not overly helpful. She showed me where the riding shoes that I'd reserved (at no additional charge!) were waiting for me and gave me a quick tutorial on how to use the lockers they provide. FlyWheel's facilities are not very big but they are adequate; I grabbed a bench in the small seating area as I waited for the class before mine to end. Here's a quick shot of my snazzy riding shoes:
Do you like?
The bottoms of the shoes clip onto the pedals of the bike so that your feet don't slip off when you're riding fast!

As people from the 8 o'clock class piled out, I got a little nervous. Now that the door was open, I could see inside to the dark studio that held about 40 stationary bikes all packed in like sardines and I was thankful my class did not appear to be a full one. True to form, I went in and grabbed a bike in the front row. I wanted to be able to see the teacher clearly and, well, I wanted to watch myself in the mirror! Form is important, ya know?

One of the staff members who was inside cleaning up was super friendly and showed me how to "clip" my shoes onto my bike. When Stephanie, our instructor came in, she introduced herself and quickly explained how to adjust the intensity of my ride (the Torque on my bike). She gave me a friendly warning that her class is a lot to take, especially the first time, and not to feel like I had to keep up with her or anyone else. She said to just challenge myself to MY limit. Game on, Steph.

Well, she was not kidding. Two minutes in, I was glad I'd grabbed an extra one these:

  As I mentioned, the studio was dark and it stayed that way most of the time, save for the neon lights going on around us. Actually, it looked a lot like this site. The music was LOUD.... Stephanie, apparently a fan of Shakira, the theme song from "Rocky", Bob Marley, and Survivor (think "Eye of the Tiger")  definitely kept the energy HIGH as she barked out orders "Go faster! You can do it! Turn that torque UP- higher, Higher, HIGHER!") She'd always slow us back down just when I thought I was going to pass out. Great instructor.

I think my favorite part of the class is this cool competition you can sign up to participate in when you reserve your class online. At the front of the studio, there are two televisions hanging from the ceiling and, if you sign up (using any nickname or initials you please), every so often names and bike numbers of competition participants are listed, ranked from best to worst.  The ranking is based on your torque (intensity level) and your speed. I was shocked to see I usually placed second out of about six people who were participating.... It's not a big deal but it definitely did make me work harder. What can I say? I'm competitive.

Towards the end of the 45 minute class, Stephanie had us pick up short, weighted bars to get in some arm exercises while we pedaled. It was tough, not because the bars were so heavy but because we'd been riding intensely for about 30 minutes and she was alllllll about reps. Again, I thought I was going to pass out. (But in a good way!)  

Finally, finally, FINALLY it was time to cool down and stretch. After forgetting my shoes were "locked" into the pedals, I embarrassed myself by nearly falling off the bike but regained my composure and stretched for 10 minutes with Stephanie and my classmates before heading out.

I was a schvitzing, shaky-legged, smiling mess when I walked out.

Would I do it again? Hmmmm.... Maybe. It wasn't my very favorite class but if I had a friend who really wanted me to tag along, I probably would. Or if it was on GroupOnHINT, HINT, KNUDGE, KNUDGE FlyWheel!

PROS: It was an intense class- and I love that. It was also an easy location for me to get to. There are other locations around the city. I also really like the built-in competition component.

CONS: The price. It costs $30 for a single session. Of course, as with most gyms, they offer incentives to buy in bulk but I don't think their deals are very impressive (for example, 10 rides for $275... Hurray! Not.) Also, while there are plenty of spin class fanatics out there (maybe you're one of them!) and the fact that FlyWheel does well at its job, I am just not one of them. If I'm on a bike, I prefer to be out in the open air (at least for now- ask me again when it's winter here.)

What is your take on Spinning? 

No comments:

Post a Comment