This morning I found myself at Flywheel for my first class. The great thing about Flywheel is that they let you take your first class for free! So I just made an account and was able to book this class without putting in any credit card information (win!)
I’ve taken spin classes at a local gym in the past and loved them. That was about 2 years ago and I was riding my bike everyday as well as taking spin classes. AKA my butt had built up a resistance to the pain of sitting in the saddle (bike seat). This was not the case this time.
Warning: If you are taking your first spin class and do not regularly ride a bike, get ready for some serious butt pain. Like, serious.
I’m going to be honest, I didn’t love Flywheel. Something just didn’t click for me. I think the instructor was great. The music was okay. The bikes were pretty awesome though! Let me start from the beginning.
First of all, I don’t know about you, but I get nervous when I go to a new gym/studio for the first time. I never really know what to expect, so let me share what the Center City Philadelphia Flywheel is like.
When you walk in you see a lot of merchandise you can buy.
I wasn’t really drawn to the merch. I’m much more all about bright colors and strappy tanks. I checked in with the front desk and told them it was my first time. If I’m being picky about it, I felt like the welcome wasn’t totally warm.
When trying out a new studio (that most people are paying $$$ for) I want some royal treatment. I want to be proudly shown around the studio and warmly welcomed. I want them to sell me on the studio. The staff was completely helpful and friendly, don’t get me wrong! But I just wish they could have put me at ease just a little bit more. But once again, I might be just a little picky.
The woman at the front desk signed me in and showed me the touch screen tablets that I would sign into if I were a regular (very high tech). She then gave me the pair of clip-in cycling shoes that had been put in my Bike 11 cubby (the bike I booked when I booked the class online). When you sign up for a class, they ask you for your shoe size, so they can hook you up with the shoes in your cubby when you come in.
I was then shown to the lockers (I don’t know if they have a locker room, I was just shown to some lockers that were in the main room/ waiting area). The lockers are the kind that you type a code into and that’s how you lock them. Somehow, I couldn’t figure them out, even while reading the directions and doing it step by step.
Locker- 1; Sarah- 0
Once it was time to go into the room, one of the women from the front desk helped me adjust my bike and clip my shoes in. I had never used clip-in shoes and it took me (and the woman) an embarrassingly long time to clip in.
I felt a little embarrassed because it screamed “NEWBIE” to everyone. Noticing that I was new, the instructor came over once I was clipped in and showed me the different part of the bike.
Each bike has a kind of speedometer (Torq meter I think they call it???) that tells you your resistance, your RPM, your place in class, and your total energy (or something like that). Each class has a TV screen that updates the stats of the top 10 bikers in each class (if you choose to sign up for the board).
I’m not going to lie, getting to the start of class felt a little daunting. Once class started it was fun, but it was tough! Flywheel says it’s for all fitness levels, but I will say, if you don’t have some type of cardiovascular conditioning, it might be really hard for you. Sure, you can always turn your Torq (resistance) down to make it easier, but that felt like a cop-out to me.
The drills went along with the music, which is typical for most spin classes, but I just didn’t feel the same intensity that I used to feel in my old spin classes. The instructor also stayed on her bike the whole time, which, I’m not sure if that’s the norm for Flywheel, but I really liked when my old spin instructor would walk around the room (and kinda yell in your face to motivate you).
I will say that I got a great workout in! I sweated like crazy and I would definitely make sure you grab a towel before you start!
I was super happy about getting in a great workout this morning, but I can’t see myself craving to go back anytime soon. Flywheel carries the hefty price tag of $25 a class, which just doesn’t seem worth it to me. Oh well, I will continue my search of more fun fitness classes in Philly!
Have you ever tried Flywheel? Or another cycling studio? What are your thoughts?