Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Class Review: Fly 45 w/ Holly Rilinger at Flywheel Studios

Saturday I was browsing the Flywheel Sports website (don't you spend your weekends checking out fitness studio websites? No? Never mind...) and I noticed that new students could try a Flywheel and Flybarre class for free. I had already wanted to check out Flywheel, so being able to do so for free? Yep, I'm there.

I checked out Rate Your Burn for instructor reviews to see who I should try. Holly Rilinger had 13 reviews and 4.9 stars. I'd already heard about her awesomeness by reading various NYC fitness blogs, so I figured I couldn't go wrong with a 12:30 lunch class with her.

the gorgeous boutique and lounge area

First, the new Upper West Side Flywheel studio. It is fabulous. Lots of room and a large boutique. Really pretty, light, and airy -- outside the spin room. The spin studio is like a nightclub. I've decided I like dark spin classes, though, since it lets me rock out to what will hopefully be an epic playlist. If you ever catch me in a spin class, chances are I'll be bopping, sweating, and singing along. No hips action, though, because I try not to start sexy times in an exercise class. That would be awkward.

I also love how close Flywheel's new studio is to me. There is nothing else that close! Sure, I could jog down to one of the studios on 72nd Street, but it's over a mile away and when I already walk 2.5 miles round-trip to and from school every day, sometimes I just don't want to do that. So Flywheel being 10 streets closer? That somehow seems amazing to me. Yes, I know, this entire paragraph is about how lazy I am. I'm very lazy when not working out, this is a true fact.

more waiting area -- pretty wood lockers are behind the wall

But back to Flywheel -- one thing I loved was that shoes, water, and towel were all included in the class. You don't have to pay extra to rent shoes or $1-2 for water. It's only $1, but when you're already paying more than $30 for a class, I really appreciate when studios just give you free water (the fact that Uplift Studios gives you both free water and free snacks makes them near and dear to me). It also made a huge difference to be able to clip in -- I just can concentrate on working harder when I'm not trying to keep my shoes in the pedals.

Ok, so what about Holly and the class?

Wow. I am so happy that I tried this class. Holly was incredible and I loved the entire experience. She was incredibly pumped up the entire time without seeming fake in the slightest bit. When an instructor is as obviously excited about teaching you as Holly was, it's impossible not to draw energy from them. And as the whole class becomes energized, you get this wonderful communal energy going (that's dripping with sweat).

Holly being awesomely excited 
I'm not normally a fan of the, "why are you here, look inside yourself, pull out your best" dialogue in class (I think my grinch heart is two sizes too small...).  Yet somehow, when it was Holly saying it, I was SO into it. Maybe it was her masterful cuing, her incredibly positive energy, or the way she aligned what she said to the song's lyrics, but I was totally with her the whole ride. She made it easy to follow the beat, which also helped me stay in sync with the flow of the class.

My favorite part of class? Holly shouted, "we focus so much on shrinking the outside, let's focus on expanding the inside," followed by intense pedaling with eyes closed. LOVE.

As far as composition, the class had more sprints than hills, but did a good job of mixing up both. Flywheel's bikes tell you the "torq" (AKA resistance) you're on, which is SO helpful as a newbie. I could make sure I was working at the right level rather than guessing at how much a "half-turn" or "full-turn" was supposed to be (that confuses me, guys). 

Partway through we used weighted bars to get in some core and upper body strength work. The class finished with some light stretching. It was a great way to work out the lactic acid build-up from my runs and strength-training over the weekend -- my legs felt way better than they had before the class!
this is basically what the new UWS studio looks like
How much did I love this class? I've already signed up for next Monday's 12:30 class as well and I can't wait. A few months ago I said to someone that I wasn't sure spinning classes were worth $32, but if they're with instructors as motivating and fun as Holly, I take that back.

Length - 45 minutes
Cost - $32 (free first class, for now)
Location - Upper West Side (466 Columbus Avenue between 82nd and 83rd Streets). There are also locations on the Upper East Side and in Flatiron, in addition to locations around the country.
Skill Level - Anyone! I'm a relative n00b to spin and had no issues.

Have you tried a Flywheel class? Do you like spinning?


  1. This really was such a great class -Holly killed her first class in the new studio! It was so good this week, I might even haul myself up to the UWS next Monday too!

    1. Awesome! If you do, I'll say hi this time :)

  2. Favorite spin studio, favorite instructor! I'm forcing you to go back with me once my knee is better!

    1. You won't need to force me, I'll go happily ;)

  3. Wow, that sounds like such a great class! I'm totally with you on being lazy when working out; I'm not going to walk more than one mile to a gym or fitness studio. Luckily, there's a Flywheel studio near me, so I might have to try it!