Friday, February 8, 2013

The Experts Weigh In: Cycle Therapy

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Like I've said before, cycling classes are my jam. In my 'former life' I managed indoor cycling studios for Flywheel Sports, and as a result, you've heard lots and lots about Flywheel (maybe too much in fact!). So in honor of mixing things up, I recruited one of my readers (and former co-workers) Jaclyn Bouchard to try out another cycling class in the city and report back.

Here's Jaclyn with the inside scoop...


Class Taken: Craig Hunter's “Cycle Therapy” at Equinox Printing House (421 Hudson St., NY, NY)

Starting out my indoor cycling career at Flywheel was a bad idea. Well, it was a great idea, but it was bad for everything that came after. Comparing Flywheel to any other spin experience is like contrasting puppy mill offspring to purebreds; you won’t find them scratching at a window for attention and people are paying big bucks just to get one (in this case, class). So, back to the beginning, starting out at Flywheel was a bad idea because I am now a self-proclaimed spin snob… spob? Can we make spob happen?

Anyway, not having the ability to support my Flywheel habit, I have taken myself elsewhere but still managed to keep the Flywheel mentality - a terrible combination. I am now an Equinox member. Pause. An Equinox Printing House member. You better believe my muploads (mobile + uploads = muploads) are 80% super hip, exotic shots (in my brain) of my feet dipped into my exclusive West Village rooftop pool. 

The view from my oh so glamorous gym.
Now what was I saying?

Oh... spin! So I signed up for Craig Hunter’s 12:30pm Monday class titled “Cycle Therapy". I suppose when you teach these classes at Equinox you feel lost in a large fishbowl of instructors so you need to make a name for yourself via enticing class titles like Monster Cycle. 

Cycle Therapy? Sure, I just want to sweat it out on my lunch break.

So, I arrive, slip on my specialty shoes (Flywheel taught me I am a special rider…), clip in and get ready to sweat.

The Instructor: A very sweet man who seems high off of incense, Lululemon and meditation oils (aka. he is “that yoga person” - kind of like when you have “that theater friend"). Come on NYC, you know what I'm talking about.

When the music starts I am immediately slightly disappointed. I understand my obsession with dirty south hip-hop is not a shared attribute of the entire class BUT we dove headfirst into bongo drums and technostatic beats. And then... he started talking. Now granted, I am not a spiritual person so I am clearly every “that yoga persons” worst nightmare, but this just got really intense really quickly.

The Class: Broken out into “seven dances”, each with an accompanying bongo techno party. The normal “can you make it to the top of this hill??” was replaced with “your body is filled with millions of pathways that come together at seven points in your spine. Think of these stops as the local line stations and the others as the express. We are going to arrive at every local stop through seven dances.” I mean, I may only have a pre-med degree, but I am pretty sure if you search Grey’s Anatomy in its entirety there is no reference to local and express subway stops in your spine, but again, I am not a medical doctor.

The Final Word: Okay okay, putting all the eccentric add-ons aside, the class was great. Creating a “themed” ride is a trend that may be getting a bit out of control, but hey, this class was set apart from the others. For some, it may do the trick - spiritual spin alliances could be the perfect Monday cleanse. You could tell that Craig’s heart was fully into every second of the class and he sincerely cared if others were following along.

Because of this - his clear dedication to his work - I have been back almost every Monday since. Craig’s class is always an awesome mix of 1st (mind), 2nd (body) and 3rd (soul) positions, integrating different resistance levels that create a challenging workout. We climb hills, we flush the legs out during sprints and we cross the finish line out of breath every time.

Also, he does really cute salsa dancing moves off the bike.

I really am a spob, aren't I?

Jaclyn Bouchard... where do I start? She's a fun one for sure. Jaclyn has the street smarts of Riff from West Side Story, combined with the flair of Lady Gaga (that's a compliment, in case you weren't sure). By day, she does sales for a sustainability start-up in the West Village (so eco chic of you, JB!), but by night, you'll find her at the trendiest NYC establishment drinking VSL with a BKS - that's an abbrev. for vodka soda lime with a big kid straw. What kind of vodka?, you ask? In her own words - "Whatever is cheapest. Nail polish remover if you have it". Jaclyn claims to have CPVS (chronic phantom vibrate syndrome). You know, where you always think you're receiving massive amounts of texts and emails, when alas, there are "none, goose egg, zero"? And if she were stranded on a deserted island, she'd only require a boat load of Pirate's Booty White Cheddar, obviously keeping with the theme there. You see? She's a fun one, and I'm glad to call her my friend (and group fitness class guinea pig)!

1 comment:

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