Last night I decided to step outside of my norm and try out a fun new indoor cycling place called Flywheel Sports.
Flywheel just recently opened their doors in the South Lake Union neighborhood and already they’ve built quite the fan base. It’s smack in the middle of Amazon country so there’s definitely great foot traffic there.
Flywheel has locations in many of the major metropolitan cities such as NYC, Chicago, and Atlanta and continues to expand. I’m so excited that they’ve opened their doors to Seattle and given us a glimpse of the indoor cycling craze!
From their website: “An experience that lasts 45 or 60 minutes and includes climbs and descents, while working arms with weighted bars. It’s an amazing escape that challenges your body and relaxes your mind. Our studios offer stadium-style seating, making every seat in the house a good one.
I decided to try my first ride for free last night after having toyed with the idea for a couple of weeks. I’m currently on a mini-hiatus from racing, though I just signed up for yet another half marathon two weeks from now. I thought to myself, why not try something new? Step outside of my comfort zone? And step (or cycle) outside I did.
The signup process was quite simple. I went to their website Flywheel Sports, selected my location, and created a profile. From there, I could view the availability schedule and select the instructor based on their profile.
My ride last night was instructed by Tommy, a seasoned cyclist who’s coached cycling, done STP (Seattle to Portland, an epic ride), and recently became a Lululemon Seattle ambassador. I was very pleased with Tommy’s coaching as he was super pumped up, enthusiastic, and encouraging of all us riders to accelerate harder with each song and reach for our best potential.
My first impression walking into the facility was WOW! — super modern building, amazingly merchandised apparel in the front, and just all around exciting and new.
As soon as you walk through the doors, you check-in via the laptops, pick up your clip-in cycling shoes from the numbered cubbies, and place your stuff into the cool self-password-assigned lockers. Sweet.
Once I stepped into the stadium cycling room, a guy there immediately approached me and offered me guidance on where my pre-chosen bike was located and helped me to adjust the seat to the right position and height. He also showed me how to operate the clip-in pedals which was greatly appreciated by a cycling newbie like myself.
After a few minutes of pedaling, we got started at 5:30pm on the dot with Tommy showing us what positions on the handlebar to reach for when he indicated 1, 2, 3. When he said 2 this meant lifting up off the seat and pedaling/accelerating, and 3 was reaching at the very end of the long handlebars for an ascent. There was also a round knob where we could adjust our torque, or resistance, which was awesome since we could each personalize the difficulty based on how we felt.
The neat thing about Flywheel was that every cycling bike recognized the individual, tracking personalized metrics like power, torque, RPM, etc. All of these would be useful for repeat cyclists to track continued performance. There’s also a couple screens at the front of the stadium that listed “usernames” of cyclists that had opted in to be displayed on the public torque board. Basically a way to compete against one another for lead status. 🙂
As soon as we were ready to get started, Tommy pumped up the music, turned off the lights, and had us all amped up and ready to fly! Throughout the class, which was 45-minutes long, we did ascents, descents, hill climbs, accelerations, etc. The music selection always pumped us up, Tommy got us going, and we pushed ourselves to the brink of exhaustion.
Oh, side note, good thing I worked out hard because I ate my body weight in dim sum earlier for lunch at the New Hong Kong Restaurant in the International District. Seriously, my fave in Seattle.
By the end of the class, I was completely spent and dripping with sweat. You know it’s a good workout when you’re working so hard that your ponytail is soaked though with sweat. It’s no joke, folks.
Would I do Flywheel again? Yes! Absolutely! I left feeling like I had the most intense workout ever. Having recently bought a road bike, I’m excited to really build up my cycling endurance to do long rides with my man and potentially start doing sprint triathlons.
The only downside is that the rides are very expensive — $20+ a pop. There’s currently a SLU deal for $180/month for an unlimited month membership. I’d recommend doing that as you’ll get super addicted to the adrenaline rush. However, definitely try Flywheel with the first ride for free! Trust me.
I’ll look into joining Flywheel Sports after I finish up my month at Riley Athletics’ Rock Body Boot Camp program, a 30-45 minute total body metabolic conditioning workout. Just did my orientation tonight and will start my first session tomorrow morning. The workout will consist of foundational exercises including burpees, kettlebell deadlifts, planks, squats, and much much more. I’m looking forward to strength and conditioning, HIIT (high intensity interval training) to tone up and lose some extra body fat %. Let’s hope I see amazing results! 🙂 I’ll be reporting back here.