Sunday, January 10, 2010

Fitness Class Review: Spinning at The Studio - and more

I'll start with the review first.

The Studio
147 E 72nd  212.744.6667
$32 per class* or multi-class packages available to reserve a space (online reservations coming soon)
$5 shoe rentals available, towels provided
*I was able to try the class for free with a Val-Pak coupon!

Expectations: Loud music, loud instructor, lots of sweat, high energy, sore legs, hard core students, lots of sweat, a sore tush, a really great workout.

Studio: Located in what was probably built as a single family townhouse on the UES, then at one point split into a first floor retail space with multiple apartments above, The Studio looks as if it was once an apartment. Bright, beautiful architectual details, large front window. Entry space with check-in desk, coat hooks and bench, to the left is a fitness room with body bars and a few other pieces of equipment, men's dressing rooms, and a larger women's locker room with full bathroom in the back. To the right of the entrance is the bike room with (as I counted while riding) 24 bikes, including one for the instructor. Mirrors on three of the 4 walls, with the 4th wall having a huge window onto 72nd St.

Instructor: I found out after the class that our instructor, James, is also the owner. It was his first time teaching after a month vacation. He admitted to being a bit nervous coming back to class. I heard from several students that he is the best teacher of the 4 at the studio. He pushed the students but didn't get in faces or single anyone out (I appreciate this).

Thoughts: I was pleasantly surprised to learn that not everyone was an expert and the woman next to me was attending her 4th class. We were allowed to go at our own level, while James urged the advanced students to take the combinations a step further. It definitely required more arm support than I was expecting and I can really feel it in my triceps already. Not sure if it should be like this, but it is for me. The space was inviting, most of the students seemed to know each other and it was a great workout. Not knowing what was ahead, I started the class keeping the resistence on the low side, thinking that I rather make it to the end of the race rather than starting out too fast and walking the last mile. I'm definitely glad I did this since I was able to ratchet up the levels for the last 10 minutes of class and finished with a really good burn!

Overall Impression: The Studio is focused on spinning so I imagine their teachers and classes are more thorough and high intensity than they may be at health clubs. I like that there is a room with fitness equipment, that I assume anyone with a class package can use prior to class (even though I didn't notice anyone using it). Trish, who was at the front desk and schedules the class, was really sweet and helpful. Another student, who set me up with the bike and got me clipped in, was also really cool. Even though my tush hurt for 60 minutes straight, it was worth it when I finished up and felt energetic, refreshed, and like I just accomplished something. It was nice change from the routing I've been doing at the gym and seems like it would be a good alternative to a long run during these cold winter months. Great start to my day!

(please excuse the blurry pics. My camera isn't that great!)

Before class I headed to the gym and did 25 minutes on the elliptical and a longer strength training session than I've done for a while. Crunches, side bends, weighted twists, tricep kickbacks, overhead tricep extensions, and more. So it seems I had two workouts this morning! After the spinning class I came home and enjoyed a great, protein and vitamin rich breakfast of 3 scrambled egg whites, one small diced sweet potato, onion, one small banana, two small pancakes left over from yesterday with a tiny bit of peanut butter, along with a cup of Stumptown coffee with unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Not a bad way to get my day going & it warmed me up from the cold weather (14degrees!!).

Woody and I finallly watched Food, Inc. last night, which arrived from Netflix about 3 weeks ago. It is very similar to An Omnivore's Dilemma, which I'm reading now, and even featured Michael Pollan and Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms in Virginia. While I've already read about quite a bit of the information in the documentary, I was still struck by many of the details and visual images. It really amazes me how we all go through our daily life never thinking about what we are really eating. I highly encourage everyone to watch this movie. It's pretty disturbing what is going on without us knowing. I, for one, have been inspired lately to take more control over what I eat and where it comes from. There are so many consequences of the food industry, caused by producers, the government and even the demands of consumers. We think we know what we're eating and try to be healthy, but even then, most of really don't know what's going on and all that's happened behind the scenes to put that chicken breast in the meat case or the bag of potato chips on the shelf. Not trying to preach here, but I do think it's worth an hour and a half of your time.

Sunday questions:
Do you spin? If no, why not? If yes, what do you get out of it? Do you take classes at your gym or a specialized studio?
If you've seen the Food, Inc., I'd love to know what you think. To that point, I'd love anyone to weigh in with their thoughts on the food industry.

My warm wishes go out to all those awesome runners running the Disney Marathon today in the cold! I hope you took a few layers & gloves with you!!


Barbara said...

Your Dad brought back Terra beet and sweet potato chips from Up North. Oh , they could be addicting. I haven't noticed them here. Maybe someone else has.
The spinning sounds good..

Jen Cole said...

I took some spinning classes a while back and really liked them. Peter and I are getting semester group exercise passes for the MSU and start spinning at IM West at 6:15 tomorrow morning...I'm looking forward to it! Your post was so timely! Stay warm!

Julie said...

Hi Lisa,
It looks like you picked a nice little place for your spinning classes!! Go to my blog and read todays post all the way through until the end:) There is something that you need to see!

Melissa B. said...

Aaarrrrgggghhhh! I once took a spinning class from a fitness Nazi. Seriously!