Thursday, April 3, 2014

Flywheel Sports - Spin class for adrenaline nerds

A lady I work with knows how much I enjoy working out and she invited me to a 5:30am Flywheel class on a Thursday morning.  She was going to pay for it.  There isn't much that will get me out the door at 5:00am, but a free spin class will do it.  I'm obsessed, but let me start at the beginning.

I've been obsessed with spin/cycle classes for years.  I took my first one when I was in high school, a million years ago, and I try to get to one a week at my YMCA.  It's a must when I join a gym.  There must be a spin class offering.  The first few classes I took at my Y were fantastic, but the instructor doesn't teach anymore (at least when I can take the classes) and the new instructor leaves a lot to be desired.

Flywheel isn't your standard class.  The bikes are amazing!  Step one is to create an account on the site and buy credits to you for your classes.  There are several packages you can pick from, they aren't cheap.  When you sign up for your class, which fill up QUICK, you pick your bike for your class.  During class, the bike tracks your distance, torque, and power for each 45 minute class.  After class you can go online and see your performance.  The great thing is that the website tracks all of your classes so you can see how you're doing over time.

I have no idea if I'm fast or slow, no judging!

Above is my performance after two classes.  The top section is my average across those statistics and below that is my performance for each of my two rides.  I've burned less calories than estimated because my weight is below the weight assumption - not a big deal to me.  Knowing that I've ridden 21 miles each class blows my mind.  I say that Flywheel is a class for adrenaline nerds because you have to enjoy the class, the loud music and pushing yourself to the limit, at the same time all of the analytics are very exciting.  At least they are to me.  As soon as I got home I went online and checked my performance and compared it against my last class.  I love data.  Especially workout data.    

I have to also give Flywheel credit for the ease of their website.  Setting up an account was easy, finding the performance results is easy and scheduling a class is easy.  This is what the class schedule looks like for the Buckhead location in Atlanta for this week.  I'm not joking when I say classes fill up fast.  When you're logged into your account online you select the instructor you want and the class you want and you're all set to pick your bike.  You can sort the list by instructor if you'd like, too.  If the class you want is full you'll have the option to get on a waiting list.  I was on the waiting list for my 2nd class and within 24 hours I got the email saying I had a reserved bike.  I'm not sure if that's typical, but it worked well for me.  

Another great thing about Flywheel is that all of the bikes are set for the clip in shoes which are given to you when you check in.  (Also an easy process with an iPad and the shoes are ready in your little cubby.  That way at 5:15am you don't have to talk to a human being if you don't want to, and more importantly, the line isn't out the door 5 minutes before class starts.)  I'm sure people bring their own shoes if they own a pair.  I should have asked for a pair for my birthday - big miss for me!

I've only taken class with Richard S so I can only speak to my experiences and his classes.  He kicks ass.  I'm sweating before our warm up is complete and I don't stop until I get home to my shower.  He is encouraging and motivating and isn't afraid to push the class.  I hate that the only time I can make his class is at 5:30 in the morning, but it's worth it.  Even the 20 minute drive to Buckhead.  

If you're in the area and want a new workout challenge, try Flywheel.  I'm fitting it in 1x a week to mix up my cardio workouts.  They also have FlyBarre in the same studio which I haven't tried yet.  I hope to try it out soon, but I think that will be a Saturday morning class when I don't want the hard cardio workout.  


  1. The trendy spin craze wheels into San Diego with SparkCycle's pulsating music and dance-party vibe La Jolla.