The next morning on our trip, we headed to Purdy Street to try out Flywheel. We were definitely hurting a little from our 8-mile run with the Raven (link here), but we stretched a little and hoped that an intense 45-min ride would loosen us up. I have tried SoulCycle before (link here), so I was super excited to check out Flywheel to see the difference.
We had to reserve our bikes on Sunday at 5pm the week before. That is when the reservation block opens online, and at 5pm on the dot, I watched before me as bikes were being reserved left and right. You actually chose your bike online. It’s a lot like when you are choosing your concert tickets; you reserve your seat. Luckily I was able to get two bikes next to each other. By 5:05pm, the class of 60 bikes was nearly sold out.
Along with the common questions that are asked during a registration process like name, address, and payment info, Flywheel also wants to know if you want to opt in for the Torqboard and if so has you create your username. This is where things get interesting. The Torqboard is a competitors dream, and an exercise novice’s nightmare (which is why you can “opt out” if you want). About ten times during class, the instructor turns on the Torqboard, and you can see where you rank among the other 60 or so riders in class. There is a male and a female side, and the stats are based on speed and power (torq). So for instance, if you are cycling quickly at a low resistance, you won’t rank as high as someone who is cycling at the same speed with more resistance (and is essentially working harder than you). More to come on this…
Usually the workout is all about two things – the instructor and the music – so I did my homework and picked an instructor who came with an awesome and hard-core reputation. After all, when you are paying $25-30 a class, you want to leave sweaty and satisfied.
We arrived about twenty minutes early for our 9:30am class and checked in on iPads at the front of the studio. Our cubby holes coincided with our bike numbers, and slot 44 already had my size 7.5 cycling shoes in there waiting for me. The shoes are no additional cost. We changed, found our bikes, and were ready to roll. Class started promptly at 9:30am, and it was full of heart-pumping, exciting music that really got you motivated for your workout. I was so excited and energized (the pre-workout coffee helped) that I really had to try hard to stay under my max heart rate of 170 for the ride. It is very difficult for me to reign it in during my workouts, but I know that my body is working twice as hard since it’s supporting 2 people now. I was pedaling along, enjoying the class, and then it happened…the Torqboard flashed up for the first time…and I was FIRST. “MaryDFit” right there. Number one on the girl’s side, and beating a few on the guy’s side as well.
Oh it was on.
I wasn’t first by a long shot at all. There were two other riders that were right on my tail. How much longer did we have of class? Oh 30 minutes?! Oh boy, this was going to be one killer workout. For the rest of class, I was pushing myself so hard to remain in that first place spot while also making sure that I wasn’t overdoing it. It was not easy. There were many times when that Torq flashed up that I was second or third. It was so close. It shows where the other riders were located too, so I was eyeing up bike 28 and 48 the whole time.
At minute 25, we started to incorporate weights into the workout using weighted bars that were located on either side of the bike. You had the option of using one or two bars. Each weighed about two or three pounds. That segment lasted for about five minutes, working the shoulder, chest, triceps and biceps. By 30 minutes we were back to just riding, and I was back to super competitive. At the end of class, I ended up tied for second place, a little disheartened but also proud that my body could sustain that level of endurance and intensity for that long. Good work body.
I can officially say that I am hooked on Flywheel. Justin travels to Atlanta for work this spring, and I am planning to hop in his suitcase for a few days so I can check out their Buckhead studio and do a little work from the road. If you have the opportunity to try this amazing workout, please do so. At the end of class you’ll think to yourself, “Torq down for what?!”