This morning, I had the good fortune of joining a class at a local spin studio, Flywheel. A local fitness maven extraordinaire was gracious enough to host a free class, and I jumped at the chance. I do take spinning classes at my gym a bit, but I know that the gulf between gym yoga and yoga at a studio is wide so I was curious to see how a spinning class should be in its own element.
First off, the studio is nice. Very nice. Very very nice, I dare say. Free locker use (with keys), free water (which I was grateful for, although I'm kicking myself for taking a plastic bottle and not bringing a reusable one), the ability to reserve bikes in advance, and free shoe rental. That alone was worth the early morning wake up call - I've never, ever ridden any sort of bike with clip in shoes, and I could feel the difference in pedaling acutely.
The bikes were tightly placed in the studio. Not so tight that you ran any risk of hitting your neighbor, but it was crowded, which meant it got steamy in there. The lights were off for most of the class, which made it an intense and surreal race against yourself. I expected all of that and none of it bothered me. The studio was tiered, which was kind of cool. The bikes were much nicer than those at my gym (ahem, understatement). They calculated your RPMs and the torque, giving a more precise ride than I'm used to (at my gym, it's this vague "turn the dial up a little, you should feel like you're at a 7 out of 10 exertion").
I'm sure it varies, but the music was much, much better than anything I've heard at the gym, ever. Therein lies my one caveat, however: the music was loud. As in, I had to cover my ears with my headband and I was still wincing in pain at some points. If you go, take a bike far, far away from the speakers unless you cherish that "just left a rock concert" feeling.
The instructor, Erica, was amazing. She was fit, she was motivating, she was energetic, she was encouraging. I mention that she was fit because you'd be shocked at how many spin instructors at my gym are, well, not fit. It's much more motivating to get through a workout knowing that someday you might look like the instructor when the instructor has gorgeously sculpted arms rather than a beer belly.
Speaking of arms, the workout incorporated some (very light) lifting, too, through use of weighted bars conveniently stored on the side of the bikes. Nice touch. Worth nearly $30 a class? I'm not sure. Since the studio is almost an hour from my apartment when the express train's not running (damn you, D train), it's moot to me. I'll have to settle for mediocre gym-spinning instead for now.
Verdict: I loved it! Thanks SO much to Jess for arranging this.