flywheel thoughts.

27 May

Yesterday I met up with my blog friend turned real life friend, Katherine, for a #SoulDate…err…spin class at Flywheel Sports on Larchmont Blvd.

We’re both spin-o-philes, and when I heard Soul Cycle’s biggest NYC rival was opening in LA, I knew I’d have to try it.

Upon walking into the studio, I immediately liked it. The locker area and foyer are BIG – there is tons of room to hang out, walk around, and the vibe is a little more low-key than Soul Cycle’s. Shoe rental is totally free, and check-in is done via small laptop computers set up at walk-in.

Their current motto seems to be “Never Coast” which I liked. They had merchandise for sale, just like Soul Cycle.

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The classroom is set up like a stadium. Katherine and I were in the second row, right in the center, which I think was a perfect location.

The defining element of Flywheel is that there is a “torq board.” When you sign in for a class, you can opt-in to their system which tracks your resistance and RPMs, and displays your current rank within the class at various times throughout the class. If you know me, you know that I can be somewhat competitive. (Okay…really super competitive). Katherine and I dominated, obviously.

I liked the Torq boards – it definitely made me work harder, but I found myself thinking more about making sure I beat whoever was in front of me, and then once I got to #1, making sure I stayed there. My focus was more on beating others and less on having fun. Where I come out of Soul Cycle feeling like I’m rejuvenated and refreshed, I came out of Flywheel feeling exhausted, but victorious. It was a different feeling – and I liked it – but I didn’t like it better.

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Our instructor, Elizabeth, was enthusiastic. The bikes have sensors which display your current RPMs and resistance levels, which was good because we could gauge where we were at. Elizabeth would say “Your resistance should be at a 50, and your RPMs should be between 85 and 90.” In other classes, instructors will say “You should be at a 5 on a 1-10 scale.” Flywheel takes the subjectivity out of it, and I liked that I was able to verify that I am indeed working hard.

The other cool thing about Flywheel is they store your information from the class online. Afterward, I could see my various scores, as well as mileage (23.4 for a 45 minute class!) and calories burned.

The music selection was just okay. I love me some Macklemore (remixed with Blu Cantrell!) but could have done without “I Touch Myself.” Yeah, they played that.

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Overall, I had a GREAT workout at Flywheel. I was WIPED later. I appreciated the fact that the first class was completely free. Beyond that, though, all things being equal, I would be much more willing to pay for Soul Cycle than for Flywheel. The quality is comparable, but the experience is very different.

Have any of you tried Flywheel? Soul Cycle? Thoughts? 

*All images are from Flywheel’s website.

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