Living in Boston, there are 9379* fitness studios available. Whatever you’re into — whether it’s Barre, Cross Fit, or yoga, or spin, you can find whatever you want, usually within walking distance of wherever it is that you’re coming from.
If you’re a long time reader, you’ll probably notice that I’m not generally one to frequent group classes or fitness studios. Not because I have anything against them, but because I work out at my gym for free, and I have a hard time justifying the high cost of some studios when I know that money could be used elsewhere. That, and I’ve honestly always really liked working out alone. Trust me, I’m not one of those gabbers who chats away between sets. I get in the zone and get my work done, and that’s that!
Recently though, I was offered some classes at Turnstyle Cycle, a studio in Cambridge where my friend Caroline teaches. The funny thing is that she had no idea I had been offered these classes, and was surprised when I showed up! Anyway, I had wanted to try the studio for a while after seeing a lot of Caroline’s posts on social media.(<< Check out Turnstyle’s Instagram page for some awesome shots of their classes and more!)
So I made my way over to Cambridge for the first time one Sunday morning. Caroline greeted me and gave me a quick tour, taking the time to introduce me to the bikes that they use there: RealRyders. These are not your ordinary spin bikes, as they actually move on an axis, which takes some getting used to. They move side to side with your natural movement, feeling much more like a road bike than a traditional stationary spin bike. These bad boys force you to keep your core engaged for the entire workout, lest you end up wobbling around like an idiot the whole time (see: my first class).
Caroline and I before my first class! Can you see the fear in my eyes?
They say it takes 2-3 classes to get used to the bikes and really get a smooth ride, and boy are they right! My first class I was a wobbling mess, and my entire body was fatigued at the end from trying to stabilize the bike. But the truth is, although I may not have had a smooth ride or looked anything like a pro, I absolutely loved it.
The actual spin studio is small, but has a great feel to it. Each bike is close to it’s neighbor, but not too close, and they’re all angled to face the instructor, forming a semi-circle around him/her. It’s a set up that made me feel very connected with the class, yet still allowing me to have my own workout experience in the midst of many others. When the lights go down and pretty much the only light is coming from the instructors stand, you know it’s go time. The music is bumping, the playlists are on-point, and you’re a sweaty, smiley mess before you know it.
Caroline ready to go! She doesn’t even know I took this picture…how creepy am I?
During my few times there, I was able to take classes with both Caroline and Laura. They were both amazing, and each time I left there with more energy than when I went in. And I’m not just saying this because I’m friends with Caroline — truly even if I didn’t know her, I would sign up to take her classes as often as possible. She’s that good. Both of these girls have incredible energy, they know how to motivate and excite without being annoying (come on, we all know instructors who annoy), and they made me excited to get to class. I can’t speak for the other instructors there because the classes that fit into my schedule were always taught by these two, but I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that they’re all pretty awesome.
And back to the wobbly bikes for a minute — after the first class, I was honestly wondering if I’d ever “get it”, because I felt like the only person in there who’s bike was wobbling out of control. (Seriously, I wish I had video proof for you). But my second time was much more smooth, and as for my third class? Well, it was smooth, it was blissful, and I’ll tell ya it was better than drugs. I left there on such an endorphin high I’m surprised I didn’t go out and cure world hunger.
So if you’re nervous to try this because of these bikes, don’t be! You’ll get it, I promise. Trust your body and use your core, and your ride will even out before you know it!
My one regret is that I didn’t have time to try out the TRX classes that the studio also offers, which only means one thing: I have to go back! Yes, you’ve heard that right. My final verdict is that I love this studio so much I’m willing to pay for classes even though I already work out for free, even though I can spin on my own at my gym any time I want (and I do, frequently now), and even though I’m generally the queen-bee of solo workout-artists. The atmosphere is that good, the instructors are that good, and the workout speaks for itself.
So Boston, if you’re in the hunt for a new studio, check out Turnstyle Cycle in Kendall Sq. Just don’t all of you go at once, because I don’t want to be fighting people off for my favorite bike. 🙂
*Give or take a few.
Disclaimer: Turnstyle was generous enough to provide me with some free classes, but I was not compensated for this post or any others. As always, all opinions are my own.