Flywheel Tribeca: A Beautiful, Awesome Addition To The Neighborhood

I’ve been EAGERLY waiting for the new Tribeca Flywheel location to open since it was first announced months ago. For no good reason, I was expecting a smaller studio than their most recent UWS location, however, I was SO wrong.  The new Tribeca location is a huge, open, stunning space that is easily my favorite Fly in the city.  The studio on Greenwich, between Hubert and Laight Streets, is a short walk from work and it isn’t far from Soho either.

Flywheel Tribeca

Last weekend, Flywheel had a weekend of free classes to say “hello” to the neighborhood. The permanent schedule is chock full of some of the best of the best at Flywheel and the preview rides were no exception. I scored rides with both Alison Cohen and Jessie Alexander.

Alison’s class was great – as it ALWAYS is since she is just ridiculously good. It was, however, one of those classes that had some technical issues. The AC wasn’t working so it was brutally hot but Alison handled it like a champ and gave an incredible ride that never let on that anything was out of the ordinary. I was sweating buckets but Alison still managed to motivate the room to some huge numbers. She is just a champ at leading a challenging, athletic ride, which is why so often when I am jonesing for a Flywheel class, I end up in front of her.

Side note here:  after that sweaty, awesome class, I took a shower before heading to work. Normally, I try to avoid gym showers like the plague but after that class, it just wasn’t an option, so I got the chance to experience their silly luxurious showers. The individual rooms are more like a hotel’s shower than a regular gym which before work is a treat.  Tons of towels, all the tolietries you could need, killer hot water and massive water pressure. It is like the boutique gym version of hitting the shower jackpot.

Do More

Jesse’s class was the next night and by then the AC was fixed, thankfully. I’ve written about Jesse a ton (favorite post here) but it’s funny, I realized it’s been almost a year since I’ve taken a class with him. It was fun to get to ride with him again – he’s all swagger and confidence these days and just rocks the hell out of the room. It was awesome to watch. My out of practice indoor cycling legs were wiped after the class and by the end, I was just hoping to break a reasonable number. It was right before the last song and Jesse made his way around the room – as he got to me, he covered my torque board and whispered a number in my head that seemed impossible and said “you’ve got that – GO.” Momentarily, I was pissed at the big jump he’d put out there but then almost magically, I realized it made me work three times harder as I hit the number before the last beat of the song. There is a reason Jesse is one of the best…he helps people rise to be their very best – even when they don’t believe it themselves.

The new Tribeca studio is beautiful and has a kick-ass line up of my favorites – I couldn’t ask for more!

Photo of Studio from Flywheel’s Facebook page, bottom image just a little bit of internet goodness.

Being All In : 3 Flywheel Greats Remind Me To Be In the Moment

It has been a little while since I posted, since the week following the absolutely epic high of the NYC Triathlon, I got an evil head/chest cold that I just couldn’t shake. I have slowly been making my way back into working out after taking a full 10 days off. In retrospect, my cold was probably my body’s not so subtle nudge that rest isn’t such a bad thing. What can I say? Rest isn’t my strong suit! Last weekend was my first weekend really back on schedule and awesomely included classes with some of my absolute favorites at Flywheel – Jesse Alexander, Alison Cohen and Aleah Stander. It was one of those random weekends when teachers I love all seem to be teaching classes that I can actually make – a super rare occurrence in the summer, when everyone seemingly defects to the Hamptons.

Jesse and Alison’s hour-long classes were both hard, challenging and made me REALLY push myself. Jesse’s Saturday morning class was filled with a fun, party atmosphere (as his classes always are), plus some of my favorite folks were rocking out the front row with me and really, that is always inspiring. Jesse didn’t talk about “feeling sexy and riding like it” in this class, but his riders obviously had it engrained in their head so much at this point that it’s just natural! It’s funny, no matter the time of day, Jesse’s class always feel like pre-game to going out – even early on a Saturday!

Sunday’s Warrior Ride with Alison was so freaking hard (which I adore) but much quieter than Saturday’s, so I was easily the loud one of the class again! It has been awhile since I took that class but to jump in and see how strong that group is can be both staggering and inspiring. Alison is such a star at getting her riders to rise to every challenge she throws at them and her Warriors are the prime example of that. Alison inspired me to be in full beast mode but even at that, I struggled to stay on the board at 359! Apparently, I need to up my game to hang with Alison’s Warrior crew!

My third and final class was Monday’s class with Aleah which, of course, was awesome. She is such a rockstar. I was bummed when she decamped for Miami but Monday, we got the rare treat to have her back in NYC – even if it was for only a day. I didn’t think it was possible but it seems like she has actually gotten even better down in Miami. Aleah’s classes are always hard and inspiring but this one was epic. She rides with her whole heart in and expects the same in return. Being all in and fully present really is what it is all about – big or small- be in that moment.  Aleah’s passion for what she does makes that the only option when you are in front of her. It was exactly the reminder I needed this week.

After 3 days of kick-ass classes, I had finally fully shaken off my sickness and for the first time in weeks felt like myself.  It seems like I can always count on Flywheel to help me snap myself out of a funk – this weekend was no exception.

Logo and bottom image from Flywheel’s Website for New York. Top quote just a good thing to remember.

FBS’s top 5 classes for 2011

 

Closing out this year, I am sick, which means that I have far too much time to reflect on all of the amazing experiences I have gotten to have this year.  I have done a lot of workouts, done a huge variety of classes, and written about a lot of them here.  When I think about my top 5 experiences, it becomes a challenge…because I write about the things I love.  So, narrowing it down to a top five was a little daunting, but it turns out that there ARE a top 5 that really stand out for me when reflecting on 2011:

  1. Jesse Alexander’s 1 Year Anniversary Ride: At that point, I had just taken a handful of classes with Jesse but it fully cemented him as one of my absolute favorites. It was one of those perfect classes, where everyone there was completely, raucously invested in the ride AND the instructor was completely in the zone. At the beginning of class, no one knew why this one was so special, but there was this moment of awareness when the place erupted with love – it was awesome to witness and changed my love of Flywheel to a flat out love of the community that has been built there.

  1. Holly Rilinger’s Training Camp:  Holly is awesome. Plain and simple.  In fact, one of her Flywheel classes was the reason I finally started my blog. It was the very first thing I posted about. She just has that sort of effect on you. However, it isn’t the class that I think of anymore when I think of Holly. In September, I was chosen by Health Warrior to participate in one of her Training camps.  It was 4 weeks of getting to workout with one of the best trainers in the city, in a small group setting. It was easily a highlight of my year. It says a lot that this night owl woke up voluntarily at 4:30 a.m. to attend – and never missed a class or was late – and that by the end, I really believed in my inner athlete.

  1. AS 1 – I didn’t know what to expect, really, when I got there but the one thing I didn’t expect was to love this workout. It is one of my absolute favorite classes I tried this year, hands down. As 1 is definitely going to be in the mix in the New Year. It was hard, exhausting AND made me feel like a bad ass. I love the minimal space, the exacting coaching and the functional based training – PLUS whacking those big ropes against the ground rocks. I left tired and invigorated – the sign for me of the greatest kind of class.

  1. Brick Workout v. 2 – This year I did two Brick workouts, sponsored by the Lululemon 66th Street and Flywheel. I loved the idea of indoor cycling and running back-to-back, and it was just as hard as I thought it would be. The first one was on a perfect, beautiful, crisp fall day and was great challenging fun. The second one though, is the one I loved, since it was during the season’s freak snowstorm in October. The indoor cycling portion with Aleah Stander (Flywheel rockstar instructor) was packed, but only 4 of us made it over to the park for the 3 mile run in a snowy Central Park with Abby Bales, the run coach who amazingly motivated me to keep going in the snow AND made it seem like fun. It was a workout that made me feel like both a bad ass and an athlete. It also made me think that maybe in the new year I should try and get some more running coach time in – it made a huge difference that day!

  1. Soul Cycle with Danny Kopel: A friend of mine invited me to my second Soul Cycle class (I had really enjoyed my first with Jenny Gaither, too) and it was ridiculously fun. It felt more like being at a concert and it made it easy to see why Danny has groupies – but it was also a just a good sweaty workout too. Of the handful of Soul Cycle classes I have taken, this one was the most fun and was the one that made me know I’ll be back at some point next year.

 

Images: 1. Internet goodness 2. Flywheel’s Flatiron location for one of my many visits 3. Our first Training Camp session from Holly’s Facebook page with our Health Warrior goodie boxes 4. The As 1 space from their website 5. Another bit of internet goodness 6.  Union Square Soul Cycle studio from their website

The Triple Threat at Flywheel UES: 90 minutes of amazing

On Sunday, I went to a special event at Flywheel UES called the Triple Threat- a 90 minute class taught by 3 instructors:  Jesse Alexander, Chris Tracy and Grant Belton. I had missed the first one that they held in the Flatiron location, and swore that I wouldn’t miss the second. All of the reports were that it was a ridiculously fun challenge, although I will say, a 90 minute class seemed just crazy to me, but I figured it would be fun to experience…

First up this time was Jesse Alexander and at first, I was sort of worried that my favorite was leading things off. The last version had him in the final leg and I had been sort of counting on his positive energy to pull me through the last 30 minutes when I was sure that I was going to need it. Turns out, having him in the lead was perfect – he totally set the tone for the class with that perfect, intense, joyful positivity that he always projects in his classes. It started the event off with such an amazing vibe that there was no way it couldn’t be a killer time. The crowd was in it, with an uproar of noise coming from the riders constantly and Jesse sat it the pocket of that energy – and amped them up even further as his ride went along. By the time he asked us to pull our bars out for the arms section, I looked up at the Torque Board and realized I was in third place. As the arm section went through, I kept flopping back and forth with the girl ahead of me. I am never that far up on the Torque Board!

The next instructor up was Chris Tracy, whom I knew nothing about except that he was one of the Triple Threat guys. I had absolutely no idea what to expect from him. The funny thing about Chris is that he looks really young, but has this ESPN sportscaster voice that is just awesome. He also says some sort of whacky crap while up on the bike and since I love a little bit of goofiness – I was sucked into his ride right away. Chris’ section felt like a brutal 30 minute hill climb, although there were flats.  Chris really likes the Torque Board and it was shocking how motivating that was for me. Given my rare position in the top three, I pushed myself like a loon to try and get to the top of the damn board and see how long I could stay there. The other girl was RIGHT behind me and we were 1 and 2 the whole time – with only 3 points separating us through Chris’ section. We were totally pushing each other, trying to get ahead and not wanting to let the other gain any ground. My competitive streak went into overdrive when my competitor rode through the arms section. It erased my tired and I kicked in to beast mode – I wasn’t going to let her beat me because of that!

By the time Grant Belton came on, I was TIRED but motivated, and he was the perfect lead. He has the most amazing, calm, “you can DO this” vibe that I have ever seen on a bike, while still really playing up to the music and the crowd. He was totally in his element and I loved him for it. At that point in that ride, I needed someone to just be calm and commanding and Grant has that in spades. He was exactly what I needed to bring me over the finish line, while still keeping the intensity up. I needed that to keep the ground I had fought so hard to maintain. YAY!  Grant deserves hero status in my book for that one.


At the end of the ride, I had won the women’s section and racked up an amazing 592 on the Torque Board. I have never even been in the top three in any class and I was floored. Technically, I was almost actually ON the floor, since I was a little shaky trying to get off the bike, but thankfully, managed to not be THAT dramatic!

All I can say is “Fuck yeah! I LOVE to fly!”


Top + Bottom images- Torque Board final & the one of me after with Triple Threat’s fearless leaders both from Flywheel’s Facebook page,  Middle Image- a little Internet goodness

Flywheeling with the Fella

The fella and I never take classes together – while I run around the city like a loon getting my fitness fix, he really just sticks to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. On Sunday night however, since we were going to have a random Monday hooky day off together the next day, I got the brilliant idea that it was about time that the fella take his first indoor cycling class.  I knew the perfect first class to take him to. One of my favorite instructors at Flywheel, the ridiculously motivating Jesse Alexander, had some spots in his 12:30 class open – the perfect time AND the perfect first class teacher. Plus, it didn’t hurt that there was not enough time for the fella to back out of the plan once he agreed to it and it was set in motion. I have wanted him to come try Flywheel for a while now because I knew he would totally get into it – once he GOT there.

The funny thing is that, because I take so many random classes, I forget that first classes can be worrisome at all and that first indoor cycling ones can be the worst. The fella truly didn’t know what to expect. I always talk about the feeling of a class but gloss over the basics. Yes, you wear special shoes that clip in but Flywheel has them for you, and they have towels and water there too. They will help you with the bike set-up…no one will leave you to flail around confused. In the fella’s case, I helped with the set-up of the bike and then Jesse came over and finished it to get it perfect. The best instructors give you clear directions on what you are supposed to be doing (one of my favorite lines that Jesse says in every class is: ”I will always count you up, I will always count you down”).  And Flywheel’s torque board make the class easier to follow too, since you are given “your torque should be this, your rpms in this range”… which I love. It frees you of that “Am I doing this right?” bit and allows you to just focus on working out as hard as possible.  And my final piece of advice to the fella: bring a change of clothes!  You WILL be a sweaty mess and will be sorry if you don’t have something to change into.

Jesse really is amazing and it was the perfect first class, as I knew it would be. It is always so gratifying to be able to share that first class experience with someone, and with one of my absolute favorite instructors, it was just awesome.  The class was great, the music rocking and invigorating, and the entire class was completely in the zone. The fella did great for his first class, as I knew he would, and it was ridiculously fun to ride beside him. The class was really challenging and kicked my ass, but almost more importantly for me, it was so good that the fella suddenly and completely got my Flywheel addiction.

As we walked out of the class he looked at me and said “That class was outta control, sick.  I really thought I was in shape before I went in there but that class kicked my ASS… my legs feel like jello!” After such a kick-ass class, we wandered through the city and enjoyed a blissful rest of the day.  Later that night, the fella said… “I can’t believe how great that class was… I really think we should go do that again. “

Hell. Yes.

Trekking to the UES Flywheel for some rocking positivity…

On Tuesday morning, I trekked up to the UES Flywheel to take a class with the awesome, infectiously positive force, Jesse Alexander. There are people who I would go anywhere to take a class from and Jesse is one of them. The fact that this mid-morning class isn’t packed to the gills, as most of his classes are, means that once in awhile I get to sneak into it. I was super sore from As 1 and climbing at Brooklyn Boulders the day before and really, the only thing to do in cases like that is to try and work it out. Flywheel is such a sweaty, amazing workout and I knew it would make me feel a million times better. I really had no idea how true that would be for this class.

I have taken a bunch of classes with Jesse at this point and really have loved them all. Down at the Flatiron studio, his crowd is louder and more raucus (which I love) but Uptown is distinctly quieter and more reserved – Jesse is not. The thing that I like the most about his classes is that he is so unequivocally himself. Jesse LOVES what he does, seemingly life in general, and really just wants everyone to get on the train of positivity with him.  I never fail to get swept up into the spirit of it and leave feeling awesome about life, not just working out. That is an impressive skill! At one point, Jesse was talking about how we needed to get to a place of discomfort to make changes, but he was quick to clarify that it wasn’t the same as pain. Getting out of your comfort zone really is how you make changes. Discomfort is where you want to be.  Then, Jesse said perhaps my favorite thing I have ever heard in any class:

“Anyone who says ‘No pain, no gain’ is an asshole.”

It caught me off guard and cracked me up but it is also something I totally agree with. Discomfort is good and needed – pain is not. Jesse’s class always pushes me to that discomfort place and that is awesome!

There were only about 20 of us in the class, and as much as I want to shake people for not filling up this class like they should, I like that it gives me a chance to go. It is getting busier though, so I fear people are finally realizing what a treat they have in their neighborhood… so check out Jesse’s rocking positivity while there is still space!

Jesse’s classes really are something special.

The perfect ride that was also a celebration…

On Sunday night, when I came home from Jesse Alexander’s pre-game ride, I was almost shell-shocked from the awesome. The fella looked at me and was like…  “It was that good?” and I told him “I am pretty sure it was the best spinning class I have ever been a part of.”

Last week, I got a message from Jesse that he wanted me to come to his Sunday night 6:30pm class if at all possible. Since I have my FITiST 4 pack, I had a class to play with and so my immediate response was “I’ll be there!”-  I don’t think I have been to a Flywheel weekend class in about a year and suddenly, I would be going to two classes in one weekend. That was a weekend plan I could love! I didn’t really take into account how jello-y the Brick class would make my legs, so when Sunday came around, I wasn’t nearly as excited as I should be. BUT, I love Jesse’s class (as evidenced here) and had heard that his Sunday 6:30 class was insanely good.  In fact, I heard one of the girls talking about it during the Brick even! So, even though there was a part of me that just wanted to curl up on the couch after the fella and I had a long walk around Brooklyn, I rallied to go AND managed to get my excitement back too. Because seriously, every Flywheel class is a treat and I wouldn’t bother to waste a treat by having a lack of motivation!

The studio was already buzzing when I got there.  I snapped up my shoes and went to drop off my stuff in a locker.  It occurred to me that maybe I should check in at the front desk and see if there was any chance that I could switch bikes. Originally when I signed up, there were only bikes in the back row available, and while I will sit anywhere, really, I LIKE being closer. I am a “need to be in eyesight of the teacher” kind of girl because then I feel like I have to go all out all of the time. What can I say? The back row means I can cheat and slack off and since my legs were sore from the day before, I was worried that I would take that to the extreme. It turned out that there was one bike in the front row available, which I snapped up.  No half-assing it possible in the front row!

From the moment the class started, you could just feel that it was going to be something special. Jesse was in the moment and full of energy and motivation that just sucked everyone in. The music was mostly rap and rock and just fed the crowd. Every question was answered by the class with a roar that threatened to take the roof off the place. It was one of those rare classes where the energy of the teacher is fully matched by the crowd and it gets more intense and inspiring for all as it goes along. Turned out it was Jesse’s one-year anniversary of teaching at Flywheel.  No wonder it felt so much like a party – it WAS and I am so glad that I got to attend.  Jesse really is a rocking, inspiring, amazing instructor and I can’t wait to see where the next year takes him.

(Image: Random internet goodness that seemed perfect for Jesse)

Jesse Alexander’s Kickass Flywheel Class

Aside

           

Yesterday, an awesomely random post from Flywheel popped up for anyone interested in attending a free 10:30 am class in the UES studio, taught by Jesse Alexander.  The catch was that it was going to be filmed, but as anyone who knows me will vouch for, a film crew has never stopped me from a free fitness class!  I have been seen in clips from Japan to LA sweating it out, so the film crew warning didn’t bother me at all.

So after not being at Flywheel in months I have gotten to go to two classes in as many weeks. That is completely awesome. I hadn’t been to the UES Flywheel location since they had switched it over from the Ride the Zone space. It is gorgeous! It isn’t really shocking since Flywheel’s studio aesthetic is so distinct but somehow, because I knew what the old space looked like, I was still surprised by it.

I checked in, got my shoes and sat down on the bench and waited for the studio to open up.  I love this part. I love hearing people talk about an upcoming class, especially when it is with someone I have never taken.  Let’s just say this: Jesse apparently has some very adamant fans at Flywheel, they were practically swooning talking about how they hadn’t been able to take his class lately.  Ardent fans are always a good sign in my book.

I haven’t taken a guy spinning instructor in a very long time and Jesse is so very GUY.  As the class started I was a little worried that was going to annoy me, since it felt a little like being part of the spinning version of ESPN Sportscenter – lots of team talk and sports analogies.  About 2 songs in I was starting to grin, and I knew I was starting to get hooked. Then he swore.  Oh man, it might be wrong but that completely won me over.  Maybe because I felt like swearing because it was such a hard class with SO MUCH resistance the WHOLE time or maybe I just love when the veneer comes off a little bit and people are just impassioned.  Jesse played some great music, lots of rap and one Madonna song which apparently is really unusual in his classes. He does seem much more likely to play Linkin Park than the standard spin songs, so I can see how Madonna was an odd selection for his class.  By the time I got off the bike I realized my legs were like jello and I was a sweaty mess -a sign of a great spin teacher and good class in my book.

But my favorite moment?  When he told everyone to they could do anything they wanted to, they “just have to be that shit” – I almost fell off my bike.  Probably good that the news crew didn’t come to this class but I am damn glad I did.