Studio Review: FlyWheel

When using ClassPass you get unlimited classes but you can only visit each studio three times. FlyWheel is one of the few studios that kept me coming back more than once.

My first experience left me slightly confused whether I liked it or not. I enjoyed the instructors music choice and although I wasn’t familiar with many of the songs they always provided a great beat to match your pedal stroke with. The bikes were comfortable, the spin shoes were great and they have a digital screen that allows you to see how fast you are pedaling and how much resistance you have on. This is partially why I felt confused. The instructor would gives us a range like set your resistance between 15-20 so we had a range to work within but I couldn’t feel any resistance until I had at least 25 on the wheel. So based on that I was never in the right range but I think it is just a guide and you really have to figure out what works for you. The second thing that left me unsure of whether I liked the class was due to the instructor. For one song she told us to find something to get really angry about. The whole song she kept telling us to get angry and use that to push harder, dig deeper. Maybe it is the yogi side of me but I have no desire to get angry and actually find it difficult to get angry about anything anyways. I just thought it was a little odd to use anger as a motivation in a fitness class. I think it would have been great to visualize a goal we deeply want in life and push hard and be determined to get to the top of the hill and reach our goal.

My second experience left me impressed. The instructor was absolutely amazing and there was nothing I could critique or would have wanted any differently. The other unique part of FlyWheel is that there is a score board up front that lets you know where you ranked in the class. I think it takes the amount of resistance and the speed and turns it into a number to gauge how hard you are working. The first class I was in sixth place and the second class I was third. I’m not sure that really is a good gauge in how fit you are because really it is based on the people you are in class with but maybe I got a little stronger/faster! I got another great workout and left knowing that I would try FlyWheel again but I will definitely look for this specific instructor.

For my third class I decided to check out their Barre Class. The instructor was extremely friendly and actually took the time to check in with each person, learn their name, and check for injuries. The class was challenging because it worked the smaller, weaker muscle groups in the core, hips, glutes, and shoulders but I didn’t break a sweat. I was lying their thinking that this could never be the only workout I do but I do think it is a very nice compliment to spinning. It will help people balance out all the spinning by strengthening the muscles you need to engage in a spin class.

All in all, FlyWheel is a great studio. I don’t think I will get a membership here but I may drop in for an occasional spin class with the instructor I loved.

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Studio Review: The Handle Bar

the-handle-bar-spin-studio-bostonThis is one more studio I won’t bother visiting again. The studio is nicely designed and pretty, the bikes were great, the spin shoes were old (mine had a hole in the toe), and the lighting and sound are good. Essentially it has the makings to be a great studio so it all comes down to the instructor.

I honestly don’t think I am the only one that does this but when an instructor walks in the room I definitely “check her out”. I want to look at her body to get a glimpse at what this workout may effect aesthetically and see if she is a role model of the lifestyle. Upon first glimpse all I see is terrible posture. She has severely rounded shoulders and forward head which is very common in cyclists with poor form. I know I definitely made a judgement at that point that this may not be the best workout. The workout began and it was filled with all the “choreographed” bike moves that aren’t actually supposed to be done on a bike and the disappointment began. Most studios I have felt comfortable modifying and not doing these moves that I know are horrible for posture and can cause injuries. At The Handle Bar I was the only one not doing them and it made me feel a bit awkward. The other thing that bothered me was the instructor taught by telling you to add a half turn of resistance onto the wheel. This is a terrible method of teaching because each bikes brake pads are different and each client has a different level of basic leg strength so I never really knew what level I should be working at.

Between the music, the instructor, and the workout there was just nothing special here. I could try going back with a different instructor but I just don’t feel the need for a second chance.