Wondering where to shape up in Seattle? Our wedding workouts series sends assistant style editor Amanda Zurita to test out some of the city's hottest (and hardest) fitness classes.
Spin classes are well-established for shedding pounds and toning up, and in bike-loving but rainy Seattle they're a great option for training in the winter months. Entering the spin game is Flywheel, a next-level cycling class with locations in Bellevue and South Lake Union.
The high-intensity classes at Flywheel are held in intimate rooms with stadium seating that faces a central, uberperky instructor. Shoes, towels, and lockers are free and employees are there to help you click in to your high-tech bike. Your first class is free and they have a variety of membership options.
I stopped by the Bellevue location opening week to give Flywheel a spin. Here's what I learned:
-Maybe skip the heavy meal beforehand.
Okay, I know this advice is a no-brainer but when I drove by my favorite biscuit place before class and they weren't sold out for the first time in ages, I couldn't help but pop in for a loaded biscuit sandwich. Big mistake. So instead of a giant, delicious carb-fest before class, go for something a bit lighter.
-Start warming up on your own because the class gets fast paced almost immediately. Find a bike, click in, and get your heart rate up to avoid exhaustion once class starts.
-Exercise is better in the dark.
Flywheel classes are held in semi-darkness, which really helps you to focus on your own workout and avoid comparing yourself to that badass biker across the room. Each bike is equipped with an illuminated tracking device that displays your RPM, resistance level, and overall power points—but only you can really see these numbers.
-Although the instructor suggests target RPM's and resistance levels, your workout is really up to you. You control all the technology on your bike and can push yourself to whatever level is comfortable. For my class, my numbers were often well under what the instructor suggested but I still felt the burn.
-Flywheel is a whole body workout—don't be surprised when you're asked to pull weighted bars out from the side of the bike and do all sorts of arm exercises...while still pumping your legs.
-When in doubt, pedal to the beat. The upbeat music at Flywheel is curated by an in-house DJ to fit the workouts—so you can take your eyes off the RPM monitor and still stay caught up.
-Flywheel tracks your workouts for you on their website where you can log in and see all your stats and improvements. Founder Ruth Zuckerman told me it takes about four weeks of three classes per week to see real results, but the site helps to set goals and measure performance over any period of time.
-It's going to hurt and you might want to quit. The good news? Unlike many fitness classes, a typical Flywheel session is only 45 minutes, and if I can endure under an hour of heart-pumping, non-stop cardio, you definitely can.