Friday, December 27, 2013

Review: Flywheel - My Latest Obsession

So, if you follow me on social media, instagram or twitter...then you know one thing. I have replaced running all the miles with taking all the Flywheel classes.

It all began oh so innocently.

I was visiting my sister for the Halloween Half Marathon in Miami. She had recently started working at Flywheel and casually mentions that the day after we should take a class. 

New activity? Sold. I hadn't been spinning much and I was in "taper" the week before the NYC Marathon so obviously the day after running 15 miles (1/2 marathon + additional) I should totally take a spin class and run some miles! Plus she was so stoked about not only the job but the classes that I couldn't NOT go, right?

The next morning we ran the mile or so over to the studio to warm up/shake out from the half marathon. 

We arrived and immediately I just felt the energy. The previous class had just let out and I was greeted by smiling sweaty people. My favorite kind of people! 

She showed me how to sign in - SO easy - you sign in with your username at the laptop, confirm your bike assignment is correct and then grab your shoes from the correlating numbered cubby to your bike.  Easy peasy. 

I'm not new to spinning but we quickly put our stuff in a locker (no locks needed - the type where you create a new code each time you use them) and set up the bike and we were in business. Each studio is set up stadium style so there pretty much isn't a bad seat in the house.

Note: this class would be my first time clipping in with spin shoes (which are provided for you as part of the class fee) - holy difference. I am sorry I will never ever spin again without the shoes. 

Start spinning the legs to warm up as the lights are dimmed and the music starts. 

Now this is my favorite part, unique to Flywheel and probably the large part of why I am obsessed at this point. 

You create a username with your account to participate in the Torque Board during class if you so choose. If you do, your total power number will appear on the screen under your name and bike. 

If you know me, you know that at times I am ultra competitive. I'm sorry not everything in life is a race? What? That is just absurd. It's about winning (okay not always buuuuut a lot). 

We get going and after a couple songs I see that my sister and I are neck to neck and at the top of the board! Us, the two who ran 15 miles the day before and prior to class. I kind of look at her and go to the dark side. Inner competitor comes out and is just like GO TIME. Head down and ride. All of it amazing. Plus the added benefit of one track where you do some upper body strength while spinning with weighted bars.

Happy to say I beat her that day (sorry Karlyle!) and finished #4 I think for my first ride. 

Next steps were running a few more miles then upon returning to her apartment stalking the Flywheel New York website and choosing classes for the upcoming week. 

That was about 2 months ago and I have probably started averaging 4 classes per week. Side note: my wallet hates me.

I have only been going to the Flatiron studio and have already found my "favorites". 

Top of my list has to be Jesse Alexander

Because of him and his popularity - I have a permanent alarm on my phone that alerts me at 4/4:30/4:55pm every Sunday for the 5:00 booking time to open because quite literally within a minute his classes fill up. 

It is insane. And warranted. I actually feel a little ridiculous for how pumped I get just THINKING about his class. Now, I am not the most hip hop person which a lot of his playlists are but his song selection is always amazing in the way it is choreographed to his ride. But, it is more just his energy. It oozes out of him. He is jumping off the bike. At times so amped with energy that he is actually jumping encouraging us. He will also move through the class, interact personally with you during the ride. 

My first one with him was the day before Thanksgiving. I guess a lot of people were no shows because for the only time I have ever experienced since there were empty bikes. I had one next to me and the next thing I knew he came over whispered some words of inspiration and then hopped up on the bike next to me and started riding with me. Want me to work harder? Okay. Done. Rode my way to #1 on the board in that class. And then proceeded to take a double with him on Thanksgiving Day. He was also the start of me realizing I could hit 300+ in total power in a 45 min class. He brings out the best. He encourages you to have an goal, and intention for each ride. Don't just show up - have a purpose. 

Okay enough of the Jesse love. But seriously, go book his class and tell me you don't love every sweaty second of it.

I've stuck with a few instructors for the most part. Ryan is just pure awesome his playlists are up my alley 100%. Want to get pumped before work? Hit up Kate or Grant and get your ass kicked before stepping foot in the office. And cannot forget Ruth the genius behind it all. I plan to test out more, but for now schedule and location wise, Flatiron is most convenient and I can only make 6/7am or usually 7:30pm or later week days (thanks work don't you know I have sweating to get done?). Weekends are dedicated one day to running long one to Flywheel typically.

At $32 a class (includes shoes and all the bottled water you need to replenish the pool of sweat that will be under your bike) it isn't cheap - but for me I am always willing to sacrifice the money for a killer workout. You can buy packages and they will get a little cheaper per class, but I would LOVE a membership option (apparently that used to exist but does not anymore, siiiiiigh).

Thankfully my Christmas consisted almost entirely of Flywheel gear + packages. Thank you everyone for catching on to my obsession. And please feel free to note my birthday coming up in the next month. Okay? Thanks.

I know that there is quite the following for Soul Cycle who is just as cult like in their obsession but I have to say...I can't see leaving Flywheel. I couldn't leave behind the competition or the classes that I come to look so forward to. And let's not forget the goal to "power up" each month. Get 2500 power points and get the shirt that month. I like goals and competition what can I say?

This has been the perfect diversion in my much needed "down" time from serious marathon training. It came at the perfect point in time. I was obviously burned out from logging 40-60 mile weeks and strict training schedules. My fall didn't go as planned and I didn't get my sub 4 hour marathon that I was focused on for oh you know just 6 months or so. I was disenchanted and was starting to think of training as a burden rather than fun and this has really helped invigorate a passion. As I am in "off" season now I plan to probably stick to a 3 classes/week schedule to accommodate at least 3 runs per week schedule to maintain fitness (1 easy/1 speed or hill/1 long) plus strength training.

Next up on the list is to get my butt to Flybarre to work on my strength and toning which is severely lacking these days. I have been getting better about hitting the weight room but think that Flybarre will help me focus on that strength to help running.

All I can say is get your ass to Flywheel...but let me know so I have more excuses to go! And I hope you drink to kool aid and fall in love just as much as I have.


  1. I teach spin at 24 hour fitness but you just convinced me to take a Flywheel class!! At $32 a pop (when I get PAID more than that to teach! ha) it will probably be a 1 time thing but i really wanna see what the hype is about!

  2. Includes shoes and water, huh? That's kind of nice...

    I need to try this!

  3. I love, love, love Flywheel. I miss it a lot but sadly it's on my "not allowed" list while I'm in "no spending" mode. It's such a great studio!