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Gym Belle  - noun  one who enjoys pull-ups, push-ups, lifting things up/putting 'em down, PRs of all kinds, racing, jumping, spinning, daring and blogging re same (more here)


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Flywheel: Spin by Numbers

Remember the old days, when your spin instructor told you to turn the "resistance" up "a quarter turn" or "just enough so you feel it, not enough that it slows you down?" Of course, each bike was different. Sometimes, you'd have to turn the knob a few times to go from a level 6 to a level 7 on your personal scale of perceived exertion.  Other times, the gentlest tap would take you from cruising to climbing.  Well, kiss those days goodbye; spin bikes have gone digital.

I realize that spin bikes with digital consoles aren't brand spanking new.  NYC Equinoxes started getting in the new Schwinns last fall.  Even now, though, they're far from ubiquitous, and until last weekend, I hadn't had an opportunity to try one out.

Last Saturday, Jess from Fit Chick in the City hosted a special class for her followers at Flywheel, the city's newest spin studio.  Flywheel was founded by Ruth Zuckerberg (formerly of Soul Cycle) and Tiki Barber.  There are currently two NYC locations, and a Sag Harbor location is set to open this weekend. 

Each bike at Flywheel has a small display with four numbers: torq, RPM and current and total power.  Torq (yes, that's how they spell it) replaces resistance, but is basically the same idea.  RPM is your rotations per minute.  Power gives you a sense of your output.  I'm told it's comparable to calorie burn, but my heart rate monitor wasn't cooperating that day, so I couldn't confirm that. 

The digital display really shaped my experience.  I realized how much time I usually spend during spin class trying to gauge my speed and resistance.  At Flywheel, all of those thoughts were unnecessary.  The instructor's cues are given in numeric form, i.e. "turn your torq to 20 and stay between 60 and 80 RPM."  I knew exactly where I was and where I wanted to be, so I was really able to focus.  Having a tangible goal also made the class that much more intense.  I really didn't want to fall short.  

The flatiron Flywheel location is sleek and modern.  The bikes are arranged stadium-style in a semi-circle.  Flatpanel "Torqboards" hang on either side of the instructor's podium.  I was a little disappointed that our instructor didn't make use of them.  I'm told they can broadcast your data on the screens so that people can compare their speeds, etc. 

Each bike is also equipped with a basket containing two adorable mini body bars.  One is 4 lbs, one is 6 lbs, and you can use either or both of them for the arm sequences at the end of class.

Our instructor, Erica, led a great class.  The playlist included Mama Said Knock You Out.  Really, it doesn't get better than that.  The best part for me, though, was getting to hang out with blogger friends old and new.  I didn't get to chat with everyone, but was very happy to spend some time with Jess, Mari from Namaste Mari, Alison from Foster Fitness, and Mo from Food Snob.  My good friend, and fitness blogger at heart, Erica, was also there.

Thank you, Jess!

-Gym Belle-


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Reader Comments (7)

I loved it too! And I was so happy to see you again! We should have a spin date soon! I want to try out the UWS location. :) And I loved meeting Erica- bring her along!


May 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlison Foster

Yay! I would love a spin date!

Gym Belle

May 25, 2010 | Registered CommenterGym Belle

I had such a fabulous time! and it was great to meet you =)

May 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMari

I can't wait for the summer because I am going to try and take all different types of classes in the city. Now I will add Flywheel to my list. I hope if you all do another class I can come!

You too, Mari! Nicole, I'll let you know if I hear of anything :)

May 28, 2010 | Registered CommenterGym Belle

This may finally get me into the world of spinning! I'm much more of a digital girl - thanks for the tip!

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November 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterfznggb fznggb

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