Fit Friday: The Flywheel Experience

So many times I’m asked what all I do for my workouts.  It’s been awhile since I put together a Fitness Friday post that I thought I would share one of my favorite workouts today: Spinning.

Fitness Friday

While I lost almost all of my weight with weight training and diet, I have found myself rather bored in the gym lately.  Variety is one thing that can make or break a fitness routine, so I decided it was time to change things up a little and add a bit of cardio.  What I have discovered is that hidden inside this woman is a cardio junkie looking for the next adventure!

But, let me clarify, I still love to lift & weight train, just not everyday now.

Repping out Curtsy Lunges for leg day

Repping out Curtsy Lunges for leg day

Spinning or indoor cycling as it is also known is an exercise class that focuses on endurance, strength, intervals, high intensity, and recovery using a stationary bicycle with a weighted flywheel in a classroom setting.

There are spin classes and studios popping up everywhere (including the gym where I work and train), but Flywheel Sports has become mine and the Mister’s destination for a good workout.  The Flywheel concept was originally from New York and a break off from the ever popular Soul Cycle studio.  Now Flywheel Sports can be found in many areas from Atlanta to LA, with a studio in Charlotte.  We love to spend time in Charlotte on the weekends so working out there is a welcome break from the gym where I spend so much of my time.

Audley and I took out first spin class back in June and have been hooked ever since!

You buy credits and book your classes online either through the web or an app downloaded to your phone.  When you book you class you can choose your bike, so if you want to be in the front of the class (not me!) you can.  You can also hide out in the back of the class as you learn the basics of this new adventure.

It’s really simple to do.

When you enter the Flywheel Studio, you check in on the computers in the foyer and pick up your shoes from the cubby that is also your bike number (the first time you register on Flywheel you will give them your shoes size).

There are four computers set up for you to check-in on and your shoes for the class will be in the cubb below.

There are four computers set up for you to check-in on and your shoes for the class will be in the cubby below.

Shoes for spinning are absolutely necessary as they latch onto the bike pedal and keep your foot from slipping off as you are spinning 100 mph!

Shoes for spinning are absolutely necessary as they latch onto the bike pedal and keep your foot from slipping off as you are spinning 100 mph!

The spin room is set up in an arena atmosphere with all of the bikes facing the front of mirrored lined walls.  There is a bike for the instructor set up as well as all of the equipment to control the awesome tunes that will motivate, pump and carry you through your workout.  After everyone is set up with their bike (they have plenty of help to get you going), the lights are dimmed which will definitely help get you  in the zone for the intense hour ahead.

Arena style spin studio

Arena style spin studio

Each bike is set up for you to control as well as keep progress throughout the class.

The blue torque knob increases or decreases the intensity of the ride as if you were going up and down hills.  To the lest is the panel that lets you know how you are doing.

The blue torque knob increases or decreases the intensity of the ride as if you were going up and down hills. To the lest is the panel that lets you know how you are doing.

I love the intensity (without stupidity) and challenge of the workout.  Each class is 45-60 minutes and the intensity begins the moment you first turn the pedal.  The music for each class is pick to match the rhythm of each hill, sprint and decline of the ride.  Recently Flywheel Charlotte was doing rides to mimic the stages of the Tour de France.

Talk about challenging!

Le Tour de Fly chalkboard

Le Tour de Fly chalkboard

Throughout the class, the instructor will tell you how to adjust your bike for the maximum ride and workout.  As a beginner, you can lag a little behind until you are ready to tackle the class head on.  No one judges you as they are too involved in their own workout.

If you are competitive with yourself or even with others, this type of class is perfect for you.  You can keep your stats to yourself or you can have them published on a torque-board in the room using your nickname and see how you compare to others in the room.  I haven’t reached that stage yet, but I love seeing my results improve after each session.

Dressing for spin is easy.  You want comfortable, but tighter fitting clothes.  You don’t want to catch your attire on the bike during a ride!  I usually stick to Nike dri-fit crop pants and a tank top.

Here’s what you get in each class: a certified and totally energetic instructor, super awesome music with a beat to get your heart pumping, a high intensity ride, a light arm and shoulder workout, the opportunity to burn 800-1000 calories in one class, and the satisfaction of accomplishing something that two years ago was impossible.

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Flywheel is by far the sweatiest and most intense cardio workout I have ever been through.  If you do not like to sweat I wouldn’t recommend this for you at all, but if you are up for challenging yourself and competing with others this is the place for you!  It’s a blast to do alone or with a friend.

Check them out here for a location near you and get to spinning!

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