Spinning Loudly at Cyc

cycFor my first class hop with my new ClassPass membership (two-week free trial edition) I needed a place that I didn’t require me carrying gym shoes around with me all day. That’s one of the reasons I love spinning studios that hand out clip-in cycling shoes when you walk in the door.

Cyc, which offers 45-minute beat-based rides with hand weight work has four locations. I went the Hell’s KitchenScreen Shot 2019-04-29 at 1.00.57 PM location on 8th Ave btwn 44th and 45th. As I walked in straight from work, I was really hoping to find a little container of hair ties like so many studios now have at the front desk. Instead, there were mints and little orange earplugs. I thought the earplugs seemed a strange choice until I walked out of the class half deaf in one ear.

The volume of music didn’t bother me during the class (I’m not that old yet!) In general, the music wasn’t memorable. The instructor, Tom was upbeat and encouraging although he did shout “Yeah?” quite often as though he was constantly asking us if we were on board.

The class includes weights and is not at all metrics focused, but I don’t think I pushed myself as hard as I do at FlyWheel or Peloton. The suggested torque knob turns just didn’t seem all that difficult and it was my first spin class in over a year. But at only $22/ride (discounts for packages) this indoor cycling class is on the budget end for NYC, and a good value for the price. You’ll pay $30-36 at the higher end for FlyWheel or Swerve (or Soul Cycle which is still not on ClassPass.)

I did like the fact that Glam and Glow Salon located just across the hall, so you can potentially wear your heels to work, take a Cyc spin class, shower, get a blow-out and go out on a date all in one day.

Here’s the skinny:

Cyc Beat Based Cycling

NYC Locations: Astor Place, Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, UES

PROS: Great value for the price, solid 45-minute spin class with weights, clean space with high-end amenities like showers, lockers, mints and earplugs. Beat-based, so great for riders who prefer a Soul Cycle-style ride without too much of a sermon or the high price tag. Glam and Go studio across the hall from the Hell’s Kitchen location.

CONS: Not as challenging as some studios I’ve been too; the music is so loud, you’ll probably need those free earplugs they offer at the front desk. No metrics, so if you prefer to see your calories, miles, and/or are motivated by competition, this is not the ride for you.

cyc hells kitchen

 

Back with Barry (and ClassPass too!)

class pass logo

A couple of young women I work with recently headed out of the office to a Barre class together, excited about their new ClassPass memberships. I too wanted to be going to a fun class instead of the treadmill at my $15/month no-frills gym.

The magic words were “Two Weeks Free,” and “No commitment.” And, I’m back in the class-hopping game. I have abandoned FitReserve (although I’m definitely willing to try them again too) and am taking the new face of ClassPass for a spin! (Pun intended.)

The first class I tried was a 45-minute spin class at Cyc in Hell’s Kitchen which reminded me of all the reasons I both love and hate spin classes. More on that in my next post. And then, yesterday I went back to my first ClassPass love, Barry’s Bootcamp (UWS location).

barry500_490x490_acf_cropped

Barry’s still tops the charts of my all time favorite, most challenging, and most effective workouts. They may well be what they claim to be, “the best workout in the world,” at least the best that I can access on ClassPass (since Orange Theory Fitness still isn’t available as an option). I feel stronger an leaner after just one class.

ClassPass has switched up its pricing and plans to be more reasonable and sustainable. When I first joined back in 2015, it was $99/month (the price of an average gym membership) for UNLIMITED classes. Then about the time they suddenly upped the price to $125/month, I jumped ship to FitReserve that had more flexible pricing plans. See an updated comparison of the two here.

Currently, I’m still in my two-week free trial (which limits your visits to some studios including Barry’s, and FlyWheel), but I’m leaning toward signing up for either the $49/27-credits a month plan or the $79/45-credits a month plan.

Assigning different studios different credit amounts was a genius move. I’m willing to dish out the 16 credits class for Barry’s, but as my credits run low, I can hit up a Crunch Gym for open gym time at a mere 2-3 credits (depending on the time of day).  Up to 10 of your unused credits will roll over to the next month. You can also buy extra credits if you run out, but they aren’t cheap. If money were no object, I’d opt for the $159/100-credits a month plan. (They have higher priced plans that include an unlimited membership to Blink Gym as well, but with so many open gym time options in the class selection, unless you live right next door to a Blink, I don’t see the point.)

I’m down to only 10 credits after running and lifting with Barry yesterday, but it was so worth it. Shout out to instructor Kat S who had me feeling strong enough to push myself, and confident enough to know my own limits and to celebrate my personal progress instead of comparing my capabilities to my neighbor’s. She gives just the right blend of challenge and encouragement with a big, warm smile!

The Top 9 Best Exercises For Weight Loss, Ranked In Order Of Effectiveness

This could be very helpful when choosing your classes if it’s calories you’re counting. Personally, I think the FUN-factor is just as important. I’d much rather go ice skating or pretend to surf in a SurfSET class (see latest post: https://classhoppernyc.com/2016/01/11/surfs-up-surfset-and-ive-got-a-secret/) than jump rope for an hour– is that even possible? But I found this blog post interesting and helpful and though you might too.

you sexy beast, you

I love this blogger’s writing. This is so true. How you feel is everything.

The Shameful Sheep

You know the feeling you get when you make a new change to your appearance? It may be something small like a new haircut but, holy crap… you walk out of that salon like you are owning a runway. Work it. You’re a whole new person regardless of the dirty, oily, slicked down hair you tried to hide when you ran inside just an hour earlier. It’s all a distant memory. You don’t even know who that person was, but it sure as hell wasn’t youjoggingdog

I’m like that with running clothes. For some reason, when I pull on new clothes and head out, I feel legit. I’m no longer a 5k racer drawing attention because I’m making an awkward and squinty duck face due to sweat dripping into my eyes and not being able to breathe. People are staring at me and whispering because I’m a pro. They are so impressed they can’t look away. I can…

View original post 176 more words

Why Fitness Should NOT be your New Year’s Resolution

I just saw this hilarious self-parody video of “All About That Bass” featuring James Corden, and I cannot stop watching it:

I love New Years and all the hope of fresh starts and checking off goals like getting fit, writing my will, and being nicer to my partner in the mornings. But, it’s true: we all feel like crap when we break the resolution, and then we just give up.

That’s why fitness really can’t be a New Years Resolution for me. Blogging about it is. But I’m gonna do what I can and see from there. Exercise has to be a part of my life, and so I work it in however I can. And find ways to make it FUN! Like trying whacky new classes, catching up with a friend by ice skating instead of over drinks, and doing the 7-minute workout app while I binge watch Making a Murderer.

It’s not about body image (not as much as it was in my 20’s anyway) or losing weight as much as it is about coping with my anxiety and upping my happiness quotient. It really is about health and sanity for me, and the more you think of it that way, the more likely you are to stick with it.

Take Me to Church, I Mean SoulCycle

soul cycle inside

I did it. I finally took the plunge and went to Soul Cycle. They would never deign to participate in something like ClassPass or FitReserve. But they do offer you your first class for $20. I just had to know what the original cult spin class was like.

kelly rippa

There are people for whom Soul Cycle is a religion. And indeed, there are church-like elements to the experience. Good music, candles at the altar, a person at a podium shouting their truth at you, devotees wearing special clothes, and we ended with our heads bowed and eyes closed. There are even those smiley door-greeting people told to find out if you’re a guest so they can make you feel welcome when you walk in the door. And they lure you in with those damn Grapefruit Jonathan Adler candles that smell so good you could burn your nose off by sticking it into the flame to get closer. I want to go back just to smell those things again.

That would probably be the only reason I’d go back too. Not that I didn’t enjoy it. It was an amazing workout. I’m just not into cults. And that’s what Soul Cycle is.  A trendy one, but a cult all the same. (See these magazine articles from Vanity Fair and NYMag if you don’t trust me on that.) They’ve done a great job of branding themselves and creating an A-list, dance club-like feel. You feel special while you’re in there. And truth be told, I liked the workout and the music (which is especially loud) better than FlyWheel. But that’s probably because I tend to like a non-metrics driven cycling class. That said, I’ll always go back to FlyWheel because they’re dependable, they have free water bottles and fruit, and I have to check my metrics sometimes.

Whom am I kidding, if I had all the money in the world, I’d go back for more soul cycling (if they’d have me), not just for the candles but for those moments when I felt like I was flying.

You can find soul-similar-style, non-metric rides though that aren’t quite as holy or holier-than-thou (in that they are on ClassPass) at Cyc, Crank, Monster, (and probably at Peloton’s Rhythm Rides which I haven’t tried yet).

Here’s my summary of the bike masters of soul:

SoulCycle (multiple locations, I went to the Union Square one)

PROS:

It is that rare workout where you’re transported to a trance-like zone between your body and the music so that you push harder without thinking about it; good amount of upper body work so you come close to a total body workout; nice amenities in the locker room; those grapefruit candles; the MUSIC; being part of the cool crowd.

CONS: 

Being part of the cool crowd (the majority of the riders are the same 20-somethings lining up, or cutting the line at the trendiest clubs in the Meatpacking district, wearing make-up and headbands for their workout); too many people in the narrow locker hallway, so after a great workout in the zen-zone you have to face navigating that crowd; pricey classes, shoe rentals are $3

And speaking of church, this is a little random, but I can’t stop watching it, and maybe there’s a fitness class somewhere that can make me feel like I can dance like this (note, not really dance this well, cause that’s impossible, but maybe give me the feeling of it):

4th on the Fly and 60 Minutes at Drill

leaderboard

That’s right, I finished fourth on the leaderboard in my latest FlyWheel class! Granted, the class was on the small side, but that’s quite an improvement from my first SWERVE rides class two months ago where I finished 28 out of 35. Now’s the time that I’m thankful for those metrics since the numbers on my scale and my pants size haven’t budged much.

Since comparing FlyWheel to SWERVE is apples to oranges, I’ll have to head back to SWERVE soon. In the meantime, I did a 60 minute ride downtown at Drill Fitness. I was dragging a bit on a Sunday morning, but wearing a heart monitor and seeing my numbers on the screen kept my heart in it. (Pardon the pun.) Even though you can slack off during a ride by not pushing yourself as hard as you can or turning your resistance knob down when no one’s looking, staring at your hear rate on the screen shames you into going faster.

The teacher I had a Drill was Prozac-happy even though the crowd was hung over, and the facilities are pristine. Plenty of room in the locker room, free shoes, and a smoothie bar. It is tempting to purchase the heart-rate monitor so that I can sync-up with their system and track my progress. And I might if they weren’t so far away. Tribeca is a hike, and FlyWheel is everywhere. I’d love for someone to do some kind of test though to see how accurate the metrics are at all these place.  And, I’m kind of jonesing for a metrics-free drumroll ride at Cyc.

Drill Fitness 

Located in Tribeca, offers Indoor Cycling and Bootcamp-style, HIIT conditioning classes.

PROS

Super-solid ride with decent music; complimentary heart-rate monitors and shoes for your ride; beautiful facility with ample room in the lockers and nice showers; smoothie bar; they offer HIIT classes in addition to cycling.

CONS

Felt a little bit sterile, and the staff could have been friendlier; can’t track your numbers unless you purchase the hear rate monitor from them.

About ClassPass

UPDATE: As of April 2016 ClassPass has upped its prices, although I ditched it a while ago due to the difficulty I had booking classes at the times and studios I most wanted. It now has a pricing structure that is more similar to my current fav, FitReserve. You’ll pay $200 + tax for an unlimited membership at ClassPass and still only get to go to any one studio only 3 times per month. With taxes and fees, the membership costs of either ClassPass or FitReserve are about the same. You can visit a studio 4 times a month with FitReserve though, and I’ve found it infinitely easier to book the best studios at peak times on FitReserve.

class-passA gym? A passport? A miracle. ClassPass, formerly Classtivity, is an alternative to a gym membership. By signing up on their website, you pay $99/month $200/month and get access to take classes at boutique studios all over your city. In the New York metro area that currently includes 326 studios which is up from 308 when I joined three weeks ago, so it seems their popularity is growing. You can also get a ClassPass memebership in 13 other cities including Boston, Miami, L.A., D.C. and Chicago. (If you travel a lot, it’s probably worth getting a ClassPass Flex membership in which you can use your membership in all 14 cities.)

For someone like me who tends to get bored with my fitness routine faster than I can find my running shoes, ClassPass is my savior. It feels like it was made for me. In fact, I’m so psyched I finally joined the blog-o-sphere. So far I’ve tried Yoga, Zumba, indoor cycling, EVF Performance, and something called Yogilaties (a cross between Yoga and Pilates). I plan to try Pilates, CrossFit, and dance classes at Alvin Ailey as soon as possible.

Here’s the skinny on what you can expect with your membership:

Cost: $99/month $200/month (no sign-up fee); recurring billing on the day of the month you sign up.

What you get: Access to all the classes at participating studios in your city. You can take as many classes as you like all month long, but only up to 3 classes at any one studio.

Kinds of Classes: Yoga, Pilates, Dance (from ballet to Zumba and Bollywood), martial arts, CrossFit, rowing, rock climbing, pole dancing, strength training, barre, and indoor cycling.

What’s the Catch? You have to sign-up for the classes on the ClassPass website at least 2 hours in advance and if you cancel less than 24 hours in advance you get charged $20. (This is actually quite motivating for me to get to the classes instead of lazing out. Also, their customer service is good, and I think if you had an emergency you could call and talk to them about it. This happened to me when I accidentally booked something I didn’t want to book– they were very nice on the phone.)

PROS: Amazing selection of studios and classes; easy to book; great value for your money if you use it at least a couple times a week and don’t cancel at the last minute; great for people who want to get fit, but are terrified of commitment; easy to put membership on hold or cancel; you can filter a class search by location, studio, or type of class; maps of area studios included.

CONS: Cancelling at the last minute could get expensive; as of yet SoulCycle classes aren’t included (but many other indoor cycling classes like FlyWheel are); when you do a search using their filters option, it doesn’t save your filters so you have to re-enter them everytime you click on a class description (I wrote to them about this issue and they say they are working on it, and that in the meantime you can open the class descriptions in a new tab so as not to lose your filters); you can only go to studios you like 3 times each month and for FlyWheel Studios, that includes FlyBarre.

Holiday Gifts for the Fitness Lover in Your Life

ATHLEATS NUTRITION

What to get the person who has everything? Simple – a fitness gift! No matter how much you have you can never have enough fitness, gear, accessories or healthy treats!

My top fitness gift picks this holiday season

Noizy10672196_702262406534827_3266861395789102674_n Brand bluetooth speaker and earphones. This speaker connects to your phone, computer, tv and any other bluetooth electronic device with enough sound to fill any NYC apartment. Workout in the park? No problem! Beach volleyball- bring it along!! Did I mention its water resistant, lightweight and takes up about as much space as a water bottle in your gym bag?

iphones (1)What’s more annoying then earbud pulling the wires out of your ears during a heavy lifting session? NOTHING….I went wireless and it changed my quality of life!  http://noizybrands.com/

Looking for a new fitness activity or trainer around NYC ? Look no further-  SportSetter gives you access to exclusiveve trials at over 300 activities around NYC…

View original post 379 more words