Bike, Barre, Row
January came with the opportunity to try several new fitness adventures here in Boston, and that’s really helped me stay fairly on track when it comes to consistent workouts. Today I’m sharing my experiences at Cyc in Back Bay, Barre & Soul in Harvard Square, and Community Rowing in Brighton.
Spin at Cyc Fitness
I’d previously been hesitant to try Cyc because I heard it involved a lot of time spent out in third position, holding onto the handlebars with one hand while keeping a weight in the other. This just isn’t my kind of spin. I like songs with arm action, but nothing too out there. Still, when I was offered some classes as part of the Calories for a Cause program (hate the name, love the support for the Challenged Athletes Foundation), I decided to experience Cyc firsthand and help a good cause at the same time. (For every class I take, $1 is donated.)
I’ve really enjoyed Cyc classes, with my own modifications. Like Soul Cycle and other spin studio classes I’ve taken in Boston, Cyc operates mostly at a higher RPM. I prefer higher resistance, so I spend most of each class going half tempo. I also stay in my seat for every arm song. But even with modifications, the workout is awesome! The instructors are really motivating, playlists always on point, and the dark room makes the spinning experience really intense (or, if I’m hungover, less painful). I even had a chance to take a class with the founder of the Cyc Method, Keoni. I can easily say he is one of the best instructors I’ve ever spun with. He had me smiling almost the entire 45 minutes, despite the fact that he was simultaneously kicking my ass. Cyc classes once or twice a week have been a great addition to my routine and I’m excited to continue that into February.
Barre at Barre & Soul
I originally had planned to take Barre & Soul’s Hula Hoop yoga class, but I was running on a few hours of sleep and felt like I was catching a cold the day of, so I rescheduled to last week and opted for their signature barre class instead. Barre & Soul is located above the Harvard Square Tasty Burger (dangerous!) and is a studio that focuses on both barre and yoga. The barre class I took worked in a lot of yoga as well: chatarungas, planks, child’s poses, and chair poses. I really liked that.
I never feel as if I got a great overall workout when I leave a barre class, despite what many (including good friends) say to the contrary, and I felt the same way with this class. But specifically, I still got a great core and thigh workout…two areas that, lately, I have a hard time finding the discipline to work on myself. And I really liked the instructor. Barre & Soul’s prices are a bit less expensive than other studios, so those who can’t pay up for a studio like Pure Barre are in luck, but it also doesn’t offer the same amenities (changing areas, staff to clean equipment). However if you’re not interested in frills, and just want a place where you can attend both barre and yoga classes, then Barre & Soul is definitely worth checking out. Especially given the convenient location above Tasty Burger!
Indoor Rowing at Community Rowing
Community Rowing Inc, located inside the Harry Parker Boathouse, has recently started offering Indoor Rowing classes – think spin, but with an erg. Monday-Friday, at 6AM and 6:30PM, classes are offered that consist of a warm-up, core sector, rowing sector, and cool-down. Indoor rowing is an awesome total-body workout and I recently started trying out my gym’s erg every now and then. Plus, my boyfriend is a huge fan of indoor rowing. So I figured it was a great workout to try together, and when we had the chance to take a class, I jumped at it!
Our instructor Theo was low-key, but really informative and helpful. And since there are only about eight ergs in the room, instruction is really personalized. For that reason, Community Boating recommends booking ahead of time via MindBodyOnline (the platform most studios use). A drop-in class is a bit pricey at $20, but a 10-class pack is just $100! Jeff and I are considering going for that one. I’d like to work on my form and any cardio workout that goes by quickly is a winner in my book.
I received these classes free of charge. All opinions are my own and I was not asked to write a blog post – I just decided to!
Have you ever tried an indoor rowing class?
What “style” of spin do you prefer?
Which of these three workouts would you most want to try?