Ready for the latest installment of our Fitness Dossiers, those endorphin-addled explorations of all those super-chicly branded, sometimes quizzically named boutique fitness haute spots around town? We’re paying attention to our torq and also heading to the barre at Flywheel, which also offers Flybarre classes at select locations. Master instructor and VP of recruiting, Kate Hickl, took us along for the ride…
BY ALEXANDRA ILYASHOV
Flywheel in three words: Fun, empowering, effective!
Before Flywheel…I worked in advertising for 5 1/2 years and then switched gears, transitioning to fitness full-time in NYC. I taught yoga at YogaWorks, indoor cycling at Soul Cycle and then eventually Flywheel.
Flywheel mantra: I have a few. Finish stronger than you started; Take it 8-counts at a time; Make it bigger than a pedal stroke; Just focus on yourself, and, of course, Never Coast!
The hard sell: We believe that our high-energy classes are not only fun and engaging, but they also produce real results. TheFlywheel experience begins from the moment you walk through our doors. We’re all about ensuring our riders (and pulsers) feel welcome and comfortable. Our performance tracking technology is the baseline and signature component to the Flywheel method. It keeps riders focused and accountable during class. And from a creative standpoint, we’re able to maintain the integrity of the method via the technology—providing consistent rides and continued results across the country at our 30+ studio locations.
Flybarre backstory: We saw the need for an additional workout that would perfectly complement our Flywheel classes, an opportunity to strengthen and stretch in ways that would be impossible on the bike.
What sets Flywheel apart from other cycling studios: It’s all about the experience–from our unprecedented amenities including stadium seating, custom-made indoor cycling bikes as well as complimentary shoes for our riders, to our best-in-class instructors and friendly staff. Most importantly, there is a tight sense of community at all of our studios.
Ideal après-class snack: Depending on the time of day, my go-to’s include: purple grapes, almonds or cashews, GoMacro bar (coconut flavored), a soy latte from Toby’s, or a free banana from Flywheel.
Flywheel’s soundtrack: No playlist is ever the same! The carefully crafted playlists are an eclectic and energized mix of tunes. In any given 45-minute class, you can expect 10-12 songs from various genres and with various tempos. Think Jay Z, Incubus, The Strokes, Skrillex, Michael Jackson and Tove Lo! Ideally, you mix in something for everyone!
Biggest misconception about Flywheel: That it’s too difficult and numbers-focused.
Advice for a first-timer: For both Flywheel and Flybarre classes, tell the instructor you’re new and let them know of any injuries. In Flywheel, ask for help with your bike set-up, during the ride go at your own pace and modify if/when you need to. FlyBarre is all about repetition and exhausting the muscles. Shaking is GOOD. Take breaks when you need to, but quickly jump back into exercises.
Major mistakes newbies make: Riding on the wrong setting. Proper bike set-up and form are literally the game-breakers and changers to any successful and fun class. Many newbies go to the back, avoid contact with the instructor and disappear right after class. Chances are they won’t come back. I recommend riding close to the instructor and letting them know you’re new. A good instructor can cue and correct in the moment as well as give one-on-one attention, even during a group class.
Ideal ‘diet’ of Flywheel and Flybarre classes: This truly depends on goals but if time and money aren’t an issue, I personally think three of each throughout the week is a perfect mix. And if you can double up on one of those days, it’s an intense, incomparable total body workout that leaves you the “good” exhausted. On days you’re not at Flywheel, mix in some yoga, a kettle bell session and/or a run!
Earliest fitness memory, ever: I’ve always loved sports, and particularly those involving a ball—soccer, volleyball, softball, flag football. I think my earliest memory would be running around soccer fields at the age of 5!
Go-to workouts beyond PUNCH Fitness Center: I work out with my trainer at Body Space Fitness and jump into a yoga class or two!
Workout we’ll never catch you doing: Ballet or swimming. I’m lacking in the technique and patience department.
Workouts on the horizon next: I love the American Ninja Warrior concept—it’s equally physically and mentally challenging. It’s a total body workout without even realizing it.
Classes clocked weekly: I teach 12 times a week and try to jump into a class or two. It’s always nice to be a student and learn from other instructors. I also take three FlyBarre classes a week.
Flywheel’s draw for the fashion set: It’s an intense and efficient workout—it’s appealing to those who lead a fast-paced life and run a tight schedule. It’s also social and great for networking—you never know who you’ll end up riding next to and striking up a conversation with!
PART II: The Daily weighs in…
Location and logistics: There are currently seven locations in NYC, plus a handful of outposts in the tristate area, including the Hamptons. (Plus locations in Chicago, Atlanta, North Carolina, Seattle, Philly, Boston, D.C., L.A., Texas, Northern Cali, Florida, and Dubai). Cancel by 5 p.m. the day prior to your class sans penalty.
What you’ll shell out: $34 for a single ride or Flybarre class; $165 for five rides or Flybarre classes; $320 for 10 rides or Flybarre classes; $600 for 20 rides or Flybarre classes. A series of membership packages are available for $375 to $595 per month.
Stroll-right-into-a-meeting or absolutely-shower-necessitating? For a Flywheel class, certainly schedule in a shower (not every location has them, but they’re very nice digs for rinsing off at locations that do, like the Flatiron outpost). It’s a toss-up for Flybarre, though we’d err on the side of showering.
It’s worth it if…You’re a competitive and/or numbers-driven person, and you love spinning (or want to give it a try). The stadium seating set-up plus the monitoring of stats throughout each ride makes for a pretty different experience than other spin studios out there; take a class and decide for yourself! The facilities are great, and less femme than other spin spots, if you’re bringing the beau along. Bonus points for the included extras, like gratis shoe rentals and post-workout fruit to snack on. Flybarre is amazing for barre skeptics, or those that want a really rigorous take on barre and mat work.