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Spinning Again At FlyWheel

As predicted, it’s slightly painful to sit today! This is the culprit.

My bottom met a spin bike for the first time in years. I actually own padded shorts that I’ve never worn (gifted to me when I went through a month long spinning phase when I first moved to Charlotte) but after a quick try on I deemed that I’d rather have a bruised butt than a diaper butt!

The occasion for attending a spin class was the grand opening of FlyWheel. It’s a concept out of New York and they’ve started expanding to cities like Chicago, Atlanta and Charlotte. Basically, it’s upscale spinning with awesome service, state-of-the-art equipment and facilities and great instructors who play rocking music that is customized by FlyWheel DJs.

The idea is that you sign up for class online ahead of time and when you arrive at the studio they have spin shoes waiting in your size in a cubby. You strap them on and head in to the spin room that features stadium seating and really cool bikes. They kill all of the lights while you’re spinning and there’s only a spotlight on the instructor and some TV monitors…and really loud music. I loved the custom mixes of popular songs. Everything was timed so that you hit climbs and sprints on a beat.

The bikes are wired to a computer system that shows you your progress in relation to the other participants (they only flash this occasionally for comparison – it’s not up the whole time). Each individual bike shows stats on your torque, RPMs and total power. This was my favorite feature of FlyWheel because you could follow the instructors directions exactly.

Another differentiating feature of FlyWheel is that there is a little bit of upper body work included towards the end of the classes. There are body bars attached the the bike and you do a few minutes of biceps, shoulder and triceps work. The weight isn’t really heavy enough to feel like you’re really getting a good strength workout but I appreciate that it’s a least a little bit of upper body toning.

I really enjoyed attending the preview class at FlyWheel and it did remind me that spinning is a great cross training activity.Β The kicker is that you pay for the experience. The classes run around $20-$25 a piece. Luckily, I received two free class passes so I can try a few more classes with their regular instructors (our instructor was in from NYC for the opening) before committing to paying for a class package.

Spinning…love it or hate it?Β 

I was sweaty and starving after class so I came home to shower and make lunch. Check it out…not only is my sandwich not open faced but it’s not toasted or “melty.” – all cold! Arnold Health-Full bread with hummus, mashed avocado, spinach, tempeh, pepper jack, tomatoes and sprouts.

Afternoon pick-me-up. Iced green tea is the new soy latte for warm weather.

I ended the day by taking Sullie for a walk just before sunset and eating a salad. I ruined my appetite for dinner by snacking on way too much granola before teaching an evening yoga class. Salad was pretty much the only thing that sounded remotely appetizing. Mixed greens, grilled asparagus, strawberries, mushrooms, croutons, dried cherries, goat cheese and chickpeas for some protein.

Hope you’re having a good week!

{ 49 comments… add one }
  • 1
    kat March 21, 2012, 4:48 pm

    LOVE spinning, as you know. it has literally changed my life. it’s a acquired taste though…i think you either love it or hate it. and i’ve never been to a spin class as fancy-schmancy as the one you referenced. i think i would REALLY have a full-blown addiction if those studios existed here in asheville. πŸ™‚

    • 2
      Jen March 22, 2012, 10:56 am

      kat – i love that you love it so much and i am so happy that you’ve finally started teaching. i hope i can take your class one day! πŸ™‚

  • 3
    Emily B. March 21, 2012, 4:58 pm

    I have a renewed love of spinning- I look forward to it every Tuesday morning! What a work out! But agree about the $$ factor for these specialty studios- they’re great but I can only afford 1X per week. Better than none, though!

    • 4
      Jen March 22, 2012, 10:57 am

      it would be a fun once a week “treat” workout! πŸ™‚

  • 5
    HRCK the Herald March 21, 2012, 5:00 pm

    A spinning lover over here. My classes aren’t so fancy though! I did go to one class at a different gym that had a big projector in the front with the fake route you were supposed to be taking. The video had stoplights that you had to speed through, hills to climb, flats to race, etc etc.

    I also had one teacher who just made up a whole trek in his head and dictated where we were going for the entire hour. It was hilarious– he’d say things like “SWERVE, there’s a squirrel!” Hah.

    • 6
      Jen March 22, 2012, 10:57 am

      haha – that is hilarious about the squirrel teacher.

  • 7
    Ellen March 21, 2012, 5:03 pm

    Who’d you have?! I spin at flywheel up here and its so addicting! The studio itself makes it worth it!

    • 8
      Jen March 22, 2012, 11:01 am

      i can’t remember his name. it was a guy. he was great!

      • 9
        Ellen March 22, 2012, 12:05 pm

        Sounds like Chris T. he is one of the best! Hope you enjoy your other two rides as well!

  • 10
    Kamaile March 21, 2012, 5:06 pm

    I love spinning. I wear the padded shorts (tri shorts with just a little padding) sometimes but not everytime, it does help though. I love iced green tea but my favorite is iced soy latte!

    • 11
      Jen March 22, 2012, 11:02 am

      i think mine are just too padded and the padding is too wide.

      i love iced soy lattes too but tea has been so refreshing lately.

  • 12
    Rebekah March 21, 2012, 5:11 pm

    I went to spin today at my gym! I go every now and then when my body is saying, “Please don’t make me run today or I’ll break.” πŸ™‚ LOVE it. I always feel like my heart rate goes way up and I end up working harder than when I “just” run.

    Question: what are those croutons on your salad? They look homemade (and delicious!).

    • 13
      Jen March 22, 2012, 11:03 am

      haha – i love your rationale behind deciding to spin. i think it’s a different kind of burn than running but i do agree that my heart rate probably gets higher when i spin (unless i’m doing sprints/speed).

      not homemade! i think they’re the h.t. trader’s brand from harris teeter.

  • 14
    Krystina (Krystina Zena) March 21, 2012, 5:17 pm

    Spinning…sucks. Haha.

    It makes me feel really accomplished whenever I’ve finished a class because it’s hard, it hurts and it makes me sweat like a beast. By the end of the class I feel so terrible, sweaty and lethargic that it doesn’t seem worth doing in the first place.

    • 15
      Jen March 22, 2012, 11:05 am

      sounds like you are definitely in the “hate it” camp! πŸ™‚

  • 16
    Jen March 21, 2012, 5:35 pm

    I’m taking a class there tomorrow. I’m even more excited after reading your review. I was obsessed with spinning for about 6 yrs and almost got certified to teach. That seems so long ago!

    • 17
      Jen March 22, 2012, 11:05 am

      excited to hear what you think about it!

  • 18
    Jamey March 21, 2012, 6:01 pm

    I love spinning!! My gym does RPM (the Les Mills version of spin). It is my favorite class!

    • 19
      Jen March 22, 2012, 11:06 am

      i haven’t tried RPM but i’m sure i would love it since it’s les mills and the workout is set to music/choreographed.

  • 20
    Becca March 21, 2012, 6:14 pm

    I LOVE spin class! My gym has a class called spin intervals that combines time on the bike along with weight moves off the bike. It is extremely hard but a fantastic workout πŸ™‚ I also think that great music and a motivating instructor really make the class.

    • 21
      Jen March 22, 2012, 11:08 am

      that sounds like a great class! and YES on the instructor and music.

  • 22
    Tracy March 21, 2012, 6:26 pm

    I loooove spin! Started doing it about a year and a half ago to replace running b/c of bad knees…it’s the only activity that gives me the same high that running does! $20-$25 is pretty ridiculous per class though.

    http://www.kitchenambition.blogspot.com

    • 23
      Jen March 22, 2012, 11:09 am

      yay – i’m happy to hear that spin has been a good run substitute for you! they have flywheel in atlanta! πŸ™‚

  • 24
    Matt @ The Athlete's Plate March 21, 2012, 6:27 pm

    I love spinning!

    • 25
      Jen March 22, 2012, 11:09 am

      i know you do! i can’t believe you do it on your own!

  • 26
    Kate March 21, 2012, 6:35 pm

    This just made my day! Whenever i go to my hometown, i visit a spin studio near my parents’ house…and have been hoping for something like this to come along to Charlotte for a while! Can’t wait to check it out!

    • 27
      Jen March 22, 2012, 11:09 am

      you will love it kate!

  • 28
    Stephanie March 21, 2012, 8:32 pm

    Spinning – LOVE it! In fact, I’m catching up on what’s in my Reader after my normal Wednesday-night spin class. I typically take spinning on Sunday afternoons, too. I even thought about you when I was driving home. I normally eat Kashi GoLean Crunch for dinner Mon-Thur because it’s quick and easy and I’m starving after a day at work and an hour-plus-long workout. But I decided tonight to have REAL food (my version of real anyway) and scrambled three eggs and had half a cup of skim milk with a tablespoon of Hershey’s chocolate syrup in it.

    http://www.mcmania-ourlifeasweknowit.blogspot.com

    • 29
      Jen March 22, 2012, 11:10 am

      egg dinners are always delicious! good decision and great post-workout recovery meal.

  • 30
    Christie March 21, 2012, 9:20 pm

    I am actually a spinning instructor and love it! I first saw the flywheel a few weeks ago at a race expo. They offered to let me try it out, but I knew i’d be on longer than I should the day before a hilly half marathon.

    I feel the same as about padded shorts and use a padded seat instead.

    • 31
      Jen March 22, 2012, 11:11 am

      i think that was a smart decision the day before your race. padded seat sounds like a much better option!

  • 32
    Laura March 21, 2012, 9:51 pm

    I’ve only been to two spinning classes – both at Flywheel, and I’ve really enjoyed it. I’m not hooked yet, but I may be getting there. Too bad Flywheel is so pricey! I can only justify it 1x/week at the most.

    • 33
      Jen March 22, 2012, 11:12 am

      agreed! if i am going to spin i like to have a fun experience like that but don’t think it would become my main workout.

  • 34
    Courtney @ Fitness With A Fork March 21, 2012, 10:39 pm

    I love spin (we just call it cycle at the gyms where I work), but I teach it, so of course I love it!

    I think it’s definitely something that people either love or hate.
    But, everyone should definitely give it more than 1 try!

    $20 a class though?.. no thanks! haha!

    • 35
      Jen March 22, 2012, 11:14 am

      i hear you on trying it more than once. you have to build up a little bit of endurance for it so you don’t just feel like you’re dying the whole time.

  • 37
    Amy March 22, 2012, 5:15 am

    Flywheel sounds super fun and certainly not like your average spin class! I would love for my gym to kick the spinning up a notch…I used to LOVE it. It used to be PACKED every class but now there are only a handful of people that go to classes and the energy is way low. Sad to say, but I think a lot of it has to do with the instructors…like they’ve lost their enthusiasm for it.

    Can I just say that your arms look amazing?! I was wondering…do you drink protein shakes or anything? Do you aim for a certain amount of protein daily?

    • 38
      Jen March 22, 2012, 11:15 am

      that is sad about the spin classes at your gym. instructors do make or break a class.

      thanks for the compliment on my arms. it’s mostly due to all the strength training i do + yoga. i’m actually trying to up my protein intake right now. i generally don’t do shakes although i do occasionally add protein powder to my smoothies. i would say i average about 80 grams a day.

  • 39
    She Rocks Fitness March 22, 2012, 9:20 am

    I have a love/hate relationship with spin. I know it’s good for you and a great way to change up your workout routine, but it’s tough. Your review of FlyWheel is very similar to what most of my friends/clients say about it. Everyone agrees, it’s a little pricey, and most tried it because of coupons. Almost Friday! πŸ™‚

    • 40
      Jen March 22, 2012, 11:19 am

      i know, i feel like you have to spin somewhat regularly for it not to just feel miserable!

  • 41
    Hilary March 22, 2012, 9:54 am

    I like spinning but agree it’s a bit pricey. Was your instructor from SoulCycle in NYC? SoulCycle has awesome instructors and is very popular here…if anyone is ever in the city and looking for a good Spin workout. πŸ™‚

    • 42
      Jen March 22, 2012, 11:16 am

      our instructor was from flywheel in NYC. he was great!

      i’ve heard amazing things about soul cycle!

  • 43
    Kira March 22, 2012, 11:12 am

    I’m a spinning fan, especially as cross-training for running. It gives me a great cardio workout with very little impact on my legs. In fact, I usually feel that my legs are springier the morning after an evening spin class! The Thursday night spin teacher at our gym is my favorite. She’s so motivating and encouraging even though her workouts are TOUGH.

    • 44
      Jen March 22, 2012, 11:18 am

      kira – spin is definitely great cross training for running and it is a very effective cardio workout. the instructor does totally make the class and the workout. you need that energy along with intelligently planned workouts.

  • 45
    Sarah March 22, 2012, 1:58 pm

    Great timing, I’m going to a preview ride today and now am more excited! Never done it before so should be interesting..

  • 46
    Alyssa @ Fit and Fun in Third March 22, 2012, 4:49 pm

    I’m obsessed with spinning! I go to a 6 A.M. class a few times a week, and I love it when my instructor turns the lights down and the music up…. makes me feel very hardcore! πŸ˜‰

  • 47
    Michelle D March 24, 2012, 9:38 am

    I teach spin every week and love it. I also drink green smoothies each week, but got of my everyday blender full a while back. I’m going to try this challenge. I rotate greens from spinach to kale, to collards, to rainbow chard, bok choy Yesterday I had kale, 2 c water, juice of lemon, juice of lime, one organic apple, a handful of frozen peaches and 1 T. of ground flaxseeds. Gotta say, it really helps if you have a Vitamix!

  • 48
    Lisa March 25, 2012, 1:18 am

    That salad looks delicious. I love spin, love love. It’s my favourite form of exercise for sure. If I ever miss a class during the week I feel a little incomplete that day πŸ˜‰

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