Tag Archives: spinning

Soul Cycle Review

Gosh, this review has taken me a long time to even attempt to write!  My love of SoulCycle is somewhat complex.  You see, people seem to either love or hate SoulCycle, even my most trusted sources seem to disagree.  For example, Kelly Ripa (who introduced me to Physique 57 and changed my life) loves it.  Well and Good, who I adore and respect, has some mixed reviews.  Neither is Andy Cohen for that matter.

Anyways, maybe I am getting ahead of myself.

What is SoulCycle?

It’s a boutique indoor cycling studio with 36 locations in 8 states and not one but two cute logos!

soulcycle-logo-copy soulskull

 The Studios: SoulCycle studios are shiny, sleek and clean in fresh white and sunny yellow.  They are spotlessly clean with high end bathroom amenities. I will say that the studios vary in size by location. I’ve taken most of my classes at the NoHo location, which is large and bright with a more than ample locker area. On the other hand, the Union Square location is teeny tiny and the locker area is a madhouse. Did I mention that the Union Square location is a three minute walk from the location one block up on 19th street?  Crazy! The classes are that packed!

The studio itself has high quality bikes in stadium style seating.The bikes are pretty close together and have no measurement of resistance or RPMs–it’s a feeling not a calculation.  Most classes are done in candlelight, which adds a nice ambience. Also there are 2 pound weights that rest on the back of the bike.


The Workout:

45-60 minutes of spinning to upbeat music.  There is a mind body element–it’s sort of zen/yoga-esque.  You are encouraged to let go of your day and focus on your workout.  My classes have been heavy on the push ups and bike dancing, which I love. I always feel like I am being pumped with happy endorphins. However, the classes are very low on resistance, so you really have to self regulate to feel the burn.  There is a short weights section done with very light weights. This is followed by a cool down, where most people really bliss out!

What I love: I love how fun SoulCycle is!  It is literally a joy to be there.  The class is a non-stop good time with a side of work out. If I’ve had a rough day and just need to get away from it all for an hour; I immediately book a soul cycle class. I also think the instructors are very good and the front desk staff is always super friendly and welcoming. The general vibe of the place is great, it feels young, fun and a little bit fancy.

Why I’m not head over heels:  While I really enjoy soul cycle classes, I don’t think I get quite as good a workout as I do at Flywheel or even other similar studios. I like having the accountability of the RPM and resistance gauge. It ensures I push myself to the max. I don’t always leave spent At SoulCycle, I really have to keep on my resistance because it’s rarely even mentioned, so you can spin your heart out without really burning anything if you aren’t careful. On the plus side, SoulCycle will never bulk you up the way Tracy Anderson claims most spinning studios do. As a friend put it, “I feel like I can go to Soul Cycle if I’m a little bit sick”, meaning you can kind of phone it in if you want to.  For example, the 2 pound weights that are attached to your bike are pretty wimpy, you have to take it upon yourself to pick up heavier weights at the front of the class.

Bottom line: If you are someone who can push yourself without someone screaming in your face and telling you exactly how hard to push, SoulCycle will be perfect for you. If you want your workout to actually feel enjoyable, Soul Cycle will be perfect for you. However, if you pay to get whipped into shape, Soul Cycle may not get you there, even though you will leave with a smile plastered across your face.

Cost: A single ride in NYC is $34, your first ride is $20.

Free Spin Class at Revolve–Take 2

You may remember a few weeks ago that Dori and I hosted a spin class at Revolve.

Well, we had so much fun that the invited us back for ANOTHER FREE SPIN CLASS!

I know, it’s awesome.

Two more reasons it’s awesome:

  1. It’s with Dyan!  She’s a really fun instructor with really great playlists.
  2. It’s a RIP RIDE!  Yup 60 minutes of sweaty spinning with some arm work thrown in to boot!

It’s on Sunday, April 14th at 3:00PM!

You know you want to join, so sign up here!

Hope to see you there!


Three Days, Three Great Workouts

The last few days have been filled with my favorite things, good friends, good food, and great workouts!

I kicked off my weekend with an Uplifting Strength class. I brought my pal Laura with me to share the torture! Michelle was amazing as always.  The new class is more strength heavy than my beloved work it curcit, but I the workout is still killer.

Sunday, I went to Revolve for my first class with Dyan! Oh my gosh, she is truly an awesome instructor. There happened to be a big group there for a birthday party (great idea), so she managed to weave some birthday shout outs into her playlist. I loved her energy. I could only do about 75% of the class at full effort, and I still felt like I got a great workout.  Enough to indulge in a brunch at Max Brenner immediately after.

While originally I had planned to make a light and healthy meal for Sunday dinner, when I was in Fairway I spotted butternut squash and the only thing I could think about was risotto!  Not exactly light, but very delicious. I roasted the squash with cinnamon and added saffron to the rice for a nice sweet and salty balance.

Finally, the DSB and FitnessNYC Spinning Event went down last night!  30+ awesome ladies (and a few gents) joined us for a late night ride with Jason Tran.  While it was late, I realize my muscles are much warmer at the end of the day and my workouts are actually stronger.  Jason was amazing! Beyond amazing.  He knows every single beat of the music and his enthusiasm is unparalleled. The spinners were high energy too. I love a class that actually answers the instructor back.

If I had to pick between Dyan and Jason, it would be a hard choice.  Fortunately, I don’t! I can take classes with both! I think we all got a great workout with 40 minutes of intense spinning and 6 of arm work. I’m feeling it today!

I’ve definitely had little to no interest in the gym lately. I am always on the fence about quitting my membership and just sticking with my boutique classes.  I should definitely do a cost/benefit analysis!

In other big decisions, who should get to go to the Biggest Loser Finale, Jackson or Joe?


See ya soon!


Revolve Fitness-the New Spin on the Block

Hello!  I just got back from a fun weekend in Atlantic City!  We arrived back just in time to catch the coldest days of winter so far!  Brrrr.

As you may know, I live downtown.  I love downtown. It feels real to me.  As much as I love and worship Central Park,  I’ll always be a downtown girl at heart. Lucky for me, the Union Square area is currently prime real estate for boutique fitness studios.  New spinning, barre, and pilates places seem to be opening their doors every week.

Revolve was an exciting addition to the Union Square spinning scene, which currently houses Soul Cycle and Flywheel. I was excited to check it out the new comer.

The studio is sleek and new with one large spinning room with about 48 bikes off the lobby and a full locker and changing area downstairs.  The one thing to remember is that the locker area is co-ed, so make sure to change in the bathrooms. I may or may not have noticed the obvious sign clarifying the rules the first time around. blush.

The first class I took was the real ride, which is your standard 45 minute ride. It was a bit of a blur because I arrived a little late and was totally flustered trying to get my shoes in the clips.  I require like 3 minutes a foot to get each shoe in the darn clip! I left feeling like I had a great workout, but it was a little too short. Like the Rip Ride that’s 60 minutes would have been perfect.

Last week I took the Body Ride.  The instructor Heidi was really great.  She said all the right things, gave really clear cues and had a rocking soundtrack that made me grin from ear to ear (check it out below!). The real ride was a series of hills and sprint intervals with a mini strength section with weights in the middle. The break for strength gave us enough of a break to really push it in the second half of the class.  I liked that Heidi also reminded us that we were almost done and had nothing left to save for.

Overall, I like Revolve. It has a neighborhoody, casual feel to it. The staff is really friendly.  It doesn’t have quite the intensity of Flywheel and it doesn’t feel as competititve, but Revolve gives you a great workout if you are willing to push it.  I had hoped it was a little cheaper than the other studios, but they all end up being about the same (once you factor in renting shoes).  That’s the thing about boutique studios in NYC, they are all almost exactly $30-32, it’s almost uncanny.

I look forward to trying out some of Revolve’s specialty classes, like their request and mosh up classes. As well as some of their celeb instructor classes! There community initiatives seem very strong, so I am excited to see what’s to come.

Here is Heidi’s killer playlist! It really made the class for me!

10000 Lovers-IDA Maria

Catch My Breath Remixes-Kelly Clarkson

Stereo Hands-White Panda

Gangstar Trippin--Fat Boy Slim

Coming Home Part 2-Skylar Grey

Revolution: Boutique Spinning Hits Suburbia

Typically when I go visit my parents my workout options include running, biking, maybe swimming and exercise TV.  All of which are great options.  However, currently running is not an option, and the bikes in the shed aren’t really in road shape. However, when I went home last weekend, I had no worries as to how I would get in a good workout.  I haphazardly stumbled upon The Revolution,  while I was actually looking for Revolve after seeing it featured in Well and Good.   While Revolution wasn’t what I was looking for, it immediately caught my eye because it happened to be in my hometown, Clifton Park, NY.  A boutique spinning studio in suburbia? With barre classes, interval spinning workouts and more? What!  I have to admit, I have been dying to go home just to check it out in person. (Note: I realize that a spinning studio in upstate ny is not particularly relevant to the majority of my readers, but I was so excited I had to post about it!)

I signed up for the later of the two Saturday classes offered, which was at 8:30AM. The studio itself was tucked away in a small shopping plaza.  Immediately upon walking in the door, you are in the studio. There’s just a small front desk, and the rest of the space is dedicated to about 35 spinning bikes.

I hopped on with eight fellow ladies and off we went for a full 60 minutes of “True Rev.” The instructor was nice, her soundtrack was a great mix of old (Janet Jackson and Black Velvet), classic (Survive by Cake) and new Super Bass and Someone that I Used to Know).  We did a good mix of jumps, climbs and sprints.  Overall, it was closer to a gym spinning class than a Flywheel spinning class. I never really felt like I was pushed to the max. I think part of it was the fact that the spinners weren’t really that into it.  In spinning, the energy level of the spinners really impacts the tone of the class.   That said, it was still a very good workout.  A 60 minute class is no joke.  I left feeling great that I had a great sweat and it was only 9:30!

The best part of the class was the price, only $10!  That’s less than 1/3 the cost of a NYC class. I’ll definitely be back next time I’m in town.

Now, when does Revolve open?

Spinner’s High

Back in January,  I pledged to take four spin classes a week in March.  So far I have taken two spin classes.  My unexpected race plans kind of took over the spin time in my schedule. However, today I didn’t want to run.  To be honest, I kind of wanted to go home after work and take a nap. However, I decided to take a look at the gym class schedule and saw that there was a 6:15 class at a location not too far from me.  It was about 5:45 at the time, so I threw on gym clothes and was able to make it with a few minutes to spare.

As the 21st Street NYHRC isn’t my usual location, I had never had the instructor.  In spinning, the instructor really does make all the difference.  Tonight I really hit a winner!  It was probably the best spinning class I have taken since college, not including Flywheel. God, do I miss my college instructors!  Where are you Shu?

Anyways, it was a great class with never ending heavy climbs broken up by fast intervals in standing position.  It was the first class in a while where we kept turning the knob up and up and up and not looking back until I could barely turn the wheel!  The instructor kept telling us to clear our minds, which was helpful because even though he said it every two minutes, I kept forgetting.  But it was helpful to let go of all the nagging thoughts that followed me through the day, to stop making to do lists, to  close my eyes and just be for a minute and let 1901 fully absorb.

Every time I spin, I realize that it is really my perfect workout: dark, fast, intense, crazy, loud, addictive, on to the next…it’s kind of like the city. 

In sum, thank you to the 21st St Thursday night spin instructor, you cleared my mind!

Speaking of spinning, have you heard of this “racy” spinning event?


Thanks for letting me know that there have been comment issues.  Apparently, wordpress.com changed their comment policy and requires a wordpress, twitter or facebook login to comment now. It’s annoying, I understand. 

However, over a year ago I bought the domain fitnessnycblog.com.  In fact, so long ago that it expired and I have to pay an embarrassing, painful amount of money to get it back.  Clearly, I fear change!  As I have now  wasted a lot of money on the domain, I might as well use it, right?  I plan to drop the .wordpress.com pretty soon, so if you can bear with the comment situation for a while longer, hopefully it won’t be an issue for too much longer.  

FlyWheel Spinning Success

I can’t thank everyone enough for coming out tonight!

It was so amazing to see so many familiar faces and meet so many new people!

It was my first time at the FlyWheel Upper East Side Studio, so I took a look around.


The studio had plenty of amenities, shoes, changing rooms, free water and towels, and lockers with locks provided.

IMG_1278 IMG_1281

I loved the cute workout wear.

IMG_1277 IMG_1279

Plus Hint Water helped sponsor our class so we had plenty of hydration options.  I really like the Mango-Grapefruit flavor!

 IMG_1282  IMG_1276

It was really exciting as people started arriving!  The lobby was filled with energy!

But we weren’t there just to hang out, there was a workout to do.  As we started getting situated on the bikes, several FlyWheel staff members came around to help people get set up. Flywheel bikes use weighted bars as well as a little monitor to track your torque, power, and RPMs right from your bike.

IMG_1283 IMG_1284  IMG_1286

The class was great!  Jesse is an amazing instructor and he kept us motivated, focused and sweating the whole time.  We spent about an equal amount of time in and out of the seat and did quite a bit of “bike dancing” which I love!  Jesse never let our minds wander, our eyes were on the prize—swimsuit season.  About halfway through the class we pulled out the weighted bars.  Man, it was all I could do to lift those 4 pounds by the last few reps.  Jesse promised the exercises wouldn’t bulk us up, which made the girls rejoice and the boys laugh!

After the weights portion, it was time to refocus with the same energy we began with.  I was having a really good time, so even though I was sweating and occasionally closing my eyes—this makes you go faster—I stayed strong until the end.  We finished with three sprints and then enjoyed a nice cool down and stretch. I am not sure if I am sad or happy the Torque Board wasn’t on, but Jesse was all the motivation I need to keep from slacking off.  I was a sweaty mess when I finished, and apparently, standing in a room full of people dripping with sweat is not the environment that best highlights my public speaking skills, so sorry for the semi-awkward speech! Congrats to the winners of the class pack giveaway and Hint Water!

Thanks again to Flywheel, Hint, Jesse and the amazing staff tonight who made the event a great time!  I think everyone had a great time!  Bloggers, send me any posts/recaps and I will link to them all!

But for now, here are just a few twitter comments:


And now for the blog winner of a 5-Class Pack to FlyWheel Sports

The winner is—I didn’t count my comments or repeat comments:

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2011-06-15 01:41:50 UTC

Nat | June 13, 2011 at 3:32 pm |

So sorry to be missing the class – sounds fab! I follow flywheel on twitter. Thanks!


A special thanks to Dori, Sara, Sam, Ali, Bari, Manhattanista, Jen, Ellen, Allie, Theresa, Alice, CatRunEatReality for being there tonight! If I missed anyone, I apologize!!!

Free Flywheel Spinning Event!

I am so excited to announce that Flywheel Sports and FitnessNYC are collaborating to host a free private ride!


When: Tuesday, June 14th

Where: Flywheel Upper East Side -201 East 67th Street, 3rd floor

Time: 7:30pm

Sign up is now closed, but you can still enter the class giveaway below!

If you sign up for this event, not only will you have access to a free  spinning class with one of Flywheel’s best instructors, but there will be lots of great giveaways and freebies from Flywheel’s affiliates!  You don’t want to miss this great event!

Hint Water will be providing water to all participants—and more great sponsors will be announced in the coming weeks.

Giveaways (so far) will include : a case of Hint water delivered to your home or office and a  5-Class Pack to Flywheel

In addition, one reader can win a 5-class pack to Flywheel (good for spinning or Flybarre) by following Flywheel Sports on twitter OR becoming a fan on their Facebook page.   If already do those, feel free to follow me! Just leave a comment on this post to let me know you have done one of the above and you’re entered to win! The winner will be announced on June 14th on the blog! Good Luck!

I took a Flywheel class and it rocked my spinning world.  Flywheel’s high tech spinning bikes and technology are way beyond any spinning I had ever experienced before!

Weekly Workout Wrap Up

Another week in fitness

Monday: 3s and 5s interval run 5.2 miles–I think


60 minutes elliptical

This workout was conquered Sean Covey Style (7 Habits), I began with the end in mind because I was feeling kind of blah. By 15 minutes in, I was enjoying myself. Sometimes it’s good to have a plan.


2 mile walk
30 minute elliptical
15 minutes assorted crunches


40 block sprint walk–I was running late

Crunch Fat Burning Pilates DVD
Zumba Special K Dance DVD


I did my 3s and 5s interval run, but reversed the interval sprints and tempo runs, so it looked like this:

1st Set
3 minute sprint interval (sprint 1 minute , jog 1 minute, sprint 1 minute) (7.5, 6, 7.5)
3 minute tempo run (6.5)
3 minute sprint interval (sprint 1 minute , jog 1 minute, sprint 1 minute) (7.0, 6, 7.0)

Recovery: 3 minute walk or jog (4)

2nd Set
5 minute sprint interval (sprint 1 min., jog 1 min, sprint 1 min., jog 1 min., sprint 1 min.)(8, 6, 8, 6, 8)
5 minute tempo run (6.8)
5 minute sprint interval (sprint 1 min., jog 1 min, sprint 1 min., jog 1 min., sprint 1 min.) (8, 6, 8, 6, 8)

Recovery: 3 minute walk or jog (4)

3rd Set

3 minute sprint interval (sprint 1 minute , jog 1 minute, sprint 1 minute) (7.5, 6, 7.5)
3 minute tempo run (6.5)
3 minute sprint interval (sprint 1 minute , jog 1 minute, sprint 1 minute) (7.2, 6, 7.2)

Cool down:3 minute walk or jog (4)

Whew that was killer-4.65 miles total

35 minutes on elliptical


30 minute elliptical (RPE 7)

1 hours cardio/strength workout video (Ultimate Video Workout by Kathy Smith)


4.4 mile run

Didn’t want to kill myself before my first spinning class in a long time. The run was pretty great, and I wanted to do more. I ran to the Socrates Sculpture Park, my little LIC sanctuary. The new exhibit was pretty cool. I am not one to pretend to get weird art, music or dance, but somehow, it all makes sense at the SSP. The former exhibit was more mainstream weird, this one is more weird, weird, but fabulous. Plus the people taking pilates class amid the modern sculpture adds a great sense of character to park.

Spinning class

Loved it! I was a little worried because the instructor was kind of old and wearing a crop top, spandex leggings, slouch socks and a bandanna headband, but her class was good and hard. And the music was stellar too, which is so important. She said she took it easy on us because it was the first class of the quarter and there were several beginners, so I can’t wait to see what she has in store for next week!

I will say I was annoyed that she kept saying to sprint with zero resistance. Sprint with no resistance is not only kind of dangerous, but ineffective. You really need some resistance to strength your muscles and up the calorie burn, even if you are sprinting. There is no point in just letting your legs fly around the wheel hither and yon.

I am going to try to sneak into a class that incorporates strength and spinning that the gym offers. I will give you the full review on that since it is different than a regular cardio focused spinning class, which I assume most are familiar with. But if you have questions, holla!

PS I am pooped!

MonQi Fitness

I was expecting great things from this studio, which spreads across three floors. The only free double class option opened when I called was the 8:30 spin, 9:25 abs and butt classes. So I made it to the studio at 8:15 wondering who else was crazy enough to be up and at em at that hour.

Not many people.

I waited in the very cramped locker area with two very lean upper east side women. (I couldn’t help thinking that these were the type of women who must have subsisted on the froyo at 40 carrots in Bloomies during the ’80’s.) One was going on and on about how she was going to have to sell her country house, and how she was devastated for her kids. How she supposed they could just take a week vacation somewhere, but she just could imagine the thought of not having a home away from home for the summer. I am not perfect, but I try not to take anything for granted. I almost said something like, yeah I bet women in Darfur really miss their summer homes too, but I managed to bite my tongue.
Okay off the soapbox on to the spin bike.

The studio was huge with 40 bikes. There were only 6 people in the class, and for some reason a woman decided to sit on the bike right next to me, but whatevs.

The class was very challenging. It was a cross between the type of spinning where you kind of do a different activity each song (jumps, moving back and forth, changing handle positions, balancing on your fingertips, dancing on the bike, etc) and the continuous journey type ride. I am a fan of the former, it’s so much more fun.

Music really makes a spin class for me, and despite my extremely low tolerance for remixes and techno, I liked the music. It really got us through some tough cycling.

I learned a good take home tip: Driving through resistance creates long lean muscles, whereas puttering through creates bulky ones.

I really had to focus and push myself through the workout. I just tried to remind myself that if I had to stop, my body would just stop moving, but I had to hang on until that point.

I was sweating like crazy halfway through, fortunately we had a mini break on low resistance to flush out the legs. The midpoint recharge was crucial!

I went immediately from the bike to the studio upstairs for abs and butt. There were only 5 people in the class.

The instructor played all my favorite workout class songs, golddigger, right there, milkshake, i do, and all those great hip hop songs, so that helped because I was definitely tired.
Her teaching style was not my favorite. She started out by saying how tough she was, and before any hard moves she would be like, “everyone hates these.” I prefer more motivational, “you can do it types.” But at least she wasn’t annoyingly peppy. The class was tough, but not impossible, which is good. I wouldn’t pay $30 for it because it was pretty similar to most ab and butt classes at gyms.

I wasn’t blown away by anything at MonQi. The atmosphere wasn’t anything to write home about, and the clientele was just not me. I felt like I was in the Real Housewives of Manhattan or something. Although if you are into gossip, this could be the place for you. As I was getting stuff out of my locker a woman on her phone was instructing someone to “buy the Post, page 9 is all about Jay!”
This review is of one trip to MonQi. It was a pretty unusual time to be working out, and so I would have to go back and try several classes to be totally objective. The citysearch reviews say great things, so I encourage you to check them out too. While I did think the spin class was pretty great, $28 a class is pretty darn pricey. So unless another great special comes around, I probably won’t be back.