Flywheel spin studio opens in the Back Bay
“Alright guys, get ready for a sprint in five, four, three, two, one.” The voice of Rich, our spin instructor, fills the Flywheel cycling studio, right on tempo with the music blasting through the sound system. As the beat of the song picks up, I pedal faster and begin to feel the burn in my legs. I keep my eyes on the digital tech-pack on my bike, trying to get up to 100 RPM during this 30-second sprint. When I feel like I can’t push myself any longer, I hear Rich’s encouraging voice counting down for us to slow the pace.
Rich Downing is just one of the 10 instructors at Flywheel, a spin studio that recently opened at the Prudential Center. The unique cycling experience began in NYC and has spread to major cities across the globe, including Dubai, Los Angeles, and Chicago. The newest studio in Back Bay is the first location in the greater Boston area.
Between its stadium seating, high-quality sound system, and live leaderboard, Flywheel is different from many other cycling classes. The bikes are set up in a semi-circle around the instructor who controls the playlist and coaches riders through the entire 45-minute class. Riders can choose whether or not to participate in the TorqBoard, a leaderboard that provides real-time rankings.
“There are two measures,” Coach Rich explains. “One is cumulative work that you’ve done that day and the other one is how you’re doing within a span of 30, 45, or 60 seconds called races.” Even if you choose not to participate in the TorqBoard, your performance metrics will be linked to your online account so you can track your personal progress.
While Flywheel is praised for its studio design, music, and superior technology, its success is also due in great part to its instructors. After six years of being a spin instructor elsewhere, Rich was hired by Flywheel. “I’ve never been involved in such an intense, comprehensive, and helpful training experience," he says. "You can tell that they take it very seriously and it makes the instructors take the workout seriously.”
Throughout the 45-minute session, Rich told us when to adjust our resistance and how fast we should be going in RPMs. About halfway through, we used light hand weights to give our arms a workout as well. At the end, Rich walked us through some stretches to loosen up our muscles and cool down. Between the upbeat music selection and Rich’s constant encouragement, the class flew by.
“I’m very much about the enjoyment and basically trying to have such a good time that you don’t notice how hard you’re working,” Rich added. Given my experience, Rich clearly accomplished this goal. When I checked my performance metrics online, I was shocked to see that I had gone 19.3 miles and burned over 675 calories in just 45 minutes.
Whether it’s your first time or you’re a spinning fanatic, you can tailor the workout to best suit your level. “It’s your workout, not mine," Rich says. "I try to be as individualized as possible and make people feel comfortable to customize the workout to their own needs.”
To attend a Flywheel class, create an account online and reserve your bike on the website. When you arrive, simply check in on one of the tablets in the lobby and pick up a pair of cycling shoes at the front desk. Lockers, complimentary towels, water, and merchandise are available as well. Check out Flywheel at the Prudential Center, 800 Boylston St.