One of my goals for 2014 was to try new things, especially new fitness classes. Luckily, a lot of the fun little “boutique gyms” offer the first class free, which is great for my wallet AND my sense of adventure. First up…Flywheel!
I first noticed Flywheel because it was the only cycling gym that people talked about as much as SoulCycle (which still hasn’t hit Philly) and it didn’t hurt that it’s right next to my favorite brunch spot. I didn’t know anyone personally who had taken a class, but I always got the “Oh, my friends love it.” comment whenever I mentioned it to someone. With the weather being the way it was (is? will be again?) I decided that now would be the perfect time to take advantage of the indoor class!
First, the space is really great. Clean and modern which gives you the boutiquey feel. I noticed they had a lot of Flywheel merchandise, but I didn’t really take a look. The staff was super friendly and showed me around right away, which was great. I hate wandering around looking like a newbie. They have multiple computers for you to check yourself in (you sign up online) and review your sign up info, such as which bike you’re on (every bike is numbered so there’s no confusion). One of the coolest things about Flywheel is that everyone gets spin shoes! It was fun to try them and it definitely does make a difference from spinning in my sneakers. After shoving my stuff into one of their many lockers (that actually lock!) I was ready to get moving.
The spin room is pretty cool…it’s kind of like stadium seating for bikes and the instructor is in the center so everyone can see them. The staff was really helpful with setting up the bike and they even fixed my seat without making me unclip (which is great because I had clipping/unclipping issues). I got there plenty early and had time to get warmed up and look around the room. Each bike has a power board (I think that’s what they called it) on it that gives you various stats about your workout. It’s not like a normal bike display, so that does get a little confusing.
The class started off with the instructor (I had Hanna, who reminds me of a tinier Jillian Michaels) giving everyone the basic rundown of the class. Basically, it’s 45 minutes of cycling with a short “break” at 30 minutes for 4 minutes of arm work with weighted bars that are next to your bike. There’s also what they call the Torq Board, which ranks the members of the class based on their numbers. The bikes are set up the same way as spin bikes, but they call the resistance Torq. The Torq and RPMs are on the power board and that’s what most of the class is based off of and those are what gets you up on the Torq Board (scoreboard). After the quick explanation, we were off!
#1 – Hanna’s music was awesome. That is so important to me and it was such a help to get through my first class with my dignity intact. Her energy was also contagious. I was getting a little frustrated because I couldn’t get my RPMs to the numbers she wanted, but with her encouragement I was able to hit the numbers sometimes and not get discouraged the others. The arm segment is not to be dealt with lightly. It’s short and to the point, but your arms are already a little fatigued from holding onto the handlebars. I could definitely feel the burn in both the top and bottom halves of my body! Ten more minutes of spinning and we were done!
PROS: Great workout, fun atmosphere, friendly staff, easy to understand concept.
CONS: Price. At $25 a class (when paid for individually) it’s an expensive habit and easily the most expensive workout class I’ve seen in Philly. I don’t know if I can make that sort of financial commitment, no matter how much I loved it.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: Excellent workout and a lot of fun…I want to go back but I’m not sure how often I’ll be there. It’s hard to justify the expense BUT it is so fun…decisions decisions.