I think most women, when faced with an opportunity to spend an overnight in Boston, would schedule a pedicure, relax and maybe sip on something while being pampered. Not me and my friend Shannon. We prefer to have a psycho scream at us in a dark room, with music blasting, as we spin ourselves into a frenzy of sweat and panic. Clearly, we don’t know how to relax!
The thing is, this is how we have fun. We’re both busy moms of twins (she has two sets!), work and juggle fitness like so many others. We also are both spin instructors and, when we scheduled our overnight to Boston, I knew she would be on board to check out something new and different for a fitness class. We country girls never get the opportunity to indulge in the latest fitness trends unless we drive to NYC or Boston. Barre isn’t setting up shop anywhere near our home towns anytime soon, so we have to take this opportunities when they present themselves.
Don’t worry, we also took plenty of time to shop, eat our faces off, have a few cocktails, and we even stumbled upon this gem:
Now, back to FlyWheel and our first experience in a big city spin class:
1. The atmosphere was fantastic and the amenities were great too. They actually had two choices of water – “cold” and “room temperature.” I mostly prefer room temperature, but when I’m going to sweat as much as I anticipated, I went with freezing cold (and so did Shannon). Spoiler alert – we made the right choice!
2. You can reserve a bike, online, anywhere you want in the room. They also provide towels, plastic bags for all your sweaty clothes afterward, and spin shoes with socks. Yes, yes they do. However, the thought of sweating buckets into used shoes just freaks me out, so I brought my own. I do love that they have them though, since not too many people commit to the expense of a clip-in shoe before they know it’s something they’re going to stick with. And the experience of a clip-in vs a regular sneaker is vastly different.
3. The room was fantastic. It was dark, the sound system was blaring but crisp and balanced with the microphone, so even though the instructor was reaching Ozzy decibels at some points, it wasn’t unbearable, and when he was talking like a human, you could make out every word.
4. The overall ride was a killer, so I’m going to put it in the LOVE column. The format is not what I’m used to teaching – carefully constructed and timed intervals that he literally counted down at times – but it was so challenging that I didn’t even really notice, and changing it up was really great.
5. The leaderboard! Of course I liked this aspect, right? When you sign-up online, they give you the option of having a username that will appear on a screen in class, to let you know how you’re doing compared to the other participants. We’re still not clear on exactly how this is calculated. Does speed count most? What if I’m riding at level 23 at 90 RPM but someone else is on level 20 at 100? Does it take everything into account? Who knows and really, who cares, but it was cool to see the board and what place you were in, plus they only pop it up a few times so you’re not constantly staring and obsessing over it. Not that I would do that. *HA*
I hung in between third and fourth for the duration and, after class, they email you your “performance stats” so you can have a closer look and then measure your improvement each time you ride, as well as where you hang within your “region.” Now that is cool!
1. The music. Some of the songs I knew but they we remixed to the max, so it didn’t give me the usual motivating rush I’m used to, and then the rest of the songs I didn’t know at all but, they were motivating and upbeat. Who am I kidding? By about 10 minutes in, I was delirious so, maybe I was just hearing things, and he played all my favorite songs. We’ll call this a wash.
2. The torque and resistance system. It was a little hard to get used to. Our instructor was excellent, and gave us the ranges we should be in, which I was pretty much able to keep up with, until he wanted us to hit 100 RPMs. Usually this isn’t an issue (like, at all) in my classes I teach, but I was having a hard time getting there. Like anything else, I think I would need time to get used to the system and I’m sure my legs and lungs would figure it out.
3. There was a weighted, upper body portion of the class. I don’t know about you, but I like to just spin when I’m spinning. Why muddle things? We literally took out these weighted bars, in the middle of class, and did shoulder, bicep and tricep exercises for about 5 minutes. It was fine but really not necessary. I noticed that a lot of people in class skipped it, so obviously it’s optional but really, what’s the point?
1. Our instructor didn’t ride the whole time. Not even close. Again, he was a fantastic, motivating and extremely fit instructor. In fact, there was freakin’ steam rising off of him for most of the class, which leads me to believe there was some very cold air blowing directly on him, so what gives, Colin? He would ride like a bat out of hell (and scream like one at times!) and then just hit the brakes and sit on the saddle in a dead stop and cue us. I’m not a fan of any instructor doing this ever. Unless they’re injured. There’s noting less motivating then the instructor not doing the workout.
2. The cool down. We basically just came to a dead stop with our legs after an hour of beating them into submission! My body actually started shaking so I kept my legs moving a little bit, even though we were instructed to stop and start our calf stretch in the saddle. We did stretch all our major muscle groups that we worked, but the abrupt stop of the legs was ugly.
3. Not having a class near me. It was so, so great to just show up and do what I was told. It was a grueling workout, all encompassing, and an escape and departure from what I’m used to. Afterward I felt completely refreshed, even though I was thoroughly spent! Nirvana.
Afterward, we dragged ourselves through the Prudential Center (another perk!) and made have had a pitstop at White House Black Market before walking back to the hotel to get ready for a big girl steak dinner. Obviously, we earned it! We also may or may not have gone back to Burdick chocolates, because if it has my name on it, it has to be somewhat good for you, right? Right!
How was your weekend?
Have you ever taken a FlyWheel class? Would you?
How would you spend a girls weekend in the city?