New Year, New You: Flywheel Boston Review

When it comes to working out in Boston, it seems like there are endless options—everywhere you turn, there’s a new studio popping up. For many people, the availability of choices can be almost paralyzing, so it helps when there’s a studio that offers more than just one type of fitness class. Flywheel Boston is a studio in Back Bay that offers both group cycling and barre style classes in Boston.

flywheel prudential center boston

I recently had the chance to try out a month of Flywheel classes in collaboration with Flywheel Sports, and fell in love with the studio. As a former Spinning instructor, I’m very critical of group cycling classes. Striving to set themselves above the rest, too many studios teach unsafe moves that have no place on a stationary bike. I’m happy to report that Flywheel not only passed muster in my book, but it won me over as well.

Flywheel

Flywheel’s signature Fly45 ride is 45-minutes of interval-based cardio paired with one song of upper body strength training on the bike. For those looking for an endurance workout, FlyBeats is a 45-minute ride that keeps you moving to the beat of the music on your recovery days. Both classes provide a full body workout in a reasonable amount of time.

flywheel back bay boston

Photo courtesy of Flywheel

My favorite thing about the Flywheel classes is that you won’t find any crazy moves in the stadium style room. No handlebar pushups, no crunching your core from side to side, and no rapid-fire tap backs. While these things might not mean much to the novice rider, this is magic to the ears of anyone whose ever almost (or actually) busted their face on or nearly fallen off of a bike while riding at another studio that incorporates bike acrobatics.

flywheel appWeighted bars are used for an effective upper body workout that keeps your body stable on the bike. If that sounds scary to you, I promise it’s not. The arm workout is a welcome reprieve from an intense class. Keeping up with the class is easy to do, thanks to a TechPack attached to the bike that helps monitor RPMs, Torq (aka resistance), and Current & Total Power.

New riders are encouraged to challenge themselves while riding at their own pace. Riders with a competitive side will love the optional Torq Board, which displays the top ten male and female riders, throughout the class. Individual results of each Flywheel class are tracked and displayed in the Flywheel app, making it easy to keep tabs on your progress.

FlyBarre

On the days that you’re looking to give your booty a break from the bike, there’s FlyBarre, a total body sculpting class. The 45-minute classes combine light weight training, dance, and core exercises in an easy to follow group class. FlyBarre focuses on creating strong and lean muscles and is a perfect complement to a cycling class. There are several FlyBarre classes including a 60-minute option, FlyBarre Sport for high-intensity bursts of cardio, and FlyBarre Arms & Abs, the signature FlyBarre class with a focus on these areas of the body.

flybarre boston review

 

As someone who suffers from tight hips and intermittent sciatica, both of which are aggravated by the folded position of a cycling class, I appreciated the chance to stretch and strengthen my body in the FlyBarre classes. A failure at Zumba, I was hesitant to try out FlyBarre due to the dance element, but was pleased to discover that the few choreographed moves were easy to keep up with.

Flywheel Amenities

One of the best things about Flywheel is the amenities that are available. Towels, lockers, and showers are free to use at the Back Bay location. Mats and bikes are assigned so you don’t have to worry about finding a spot if your train is delayed and can book your spot next to a friend if you’re working out together. Cycling shoes that clip into the Flywheel bikes are provided to give every rider the best possible workout. Not listed on their website, the Flywheel Back Bay location has jars of extra hair elastics and ear plugs, both of which are a nice touch.

Flywheel and FlyBarre Instructors

Anyone who has attended a group fitness class knows that it’s the instructor that makes or breaks the class. At both Flywheel and FlyBarre, the instructors were energetic, motivational, funny, and encouraging. Each instructor brings something different to their class, making every workout consistent in intensity, yet dynamic in spirit.

One of my favorite things about the instructors is that they make an effort to remember you. They’ll introduce themselves to you at your first class and recognize you in subsequent classes, making every person who walks through the doors of Flywheel feel like part of a community. If you’re looking for a way to get into shape this year at a welcoming studio, sign up for your first class for just $15 at Flywheel Boston in Back Bay.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary month of Flywheel classes but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Valentine’s Day Events in Boston

Valentine’s Day is this weekend and if you’re like most people, you’re scrambling to find something to do with your signifiant other or group of friends. It’s easy to find a restaurant with an expensive prix fixe menu but that’s boring and overdone. Here are 7 things to do in Boston with your friends or significant other that are more fun than dressing up and going out to dinner.

Valentine’s Day Drinking Events

Boston Wine Expoboston wine expo

The ultimate Valentine’s or Galentine’s Day event, the Boston Wine Expo is February 13th and 14th at the Seaport World Trade Center. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the BWE is the perfect way to celebrate with your boyfriend, girlfriend, or group of friends.

I attended the BWE with my boyfriend last year and we can’t wait to go back. Read my Boston Wine Expo 2015 review to see how much fun we had. Tickets start at $99 a person, including tastings, and for a limited time, Sunday tickets are $10 off so buy your Boston Wine Expo tickets here.

Valentine’s Gras Pub Crawl

For those seeking something less refined, there’s a Valentine’s Day/Mardi Gras themed pub crawl hosted by Pub Crawlers of Boston on February 13th. Tickets are $23—get more info and buy your tickets here.

Valentine’s Day Couples Events

Muse Paintbar Couples’ Nightsmuse paintbar couples night

The newest in paint-and-drink nights, Muse Paintbar is offering Couples’ Nights from Friday February 12 through Sunday February 14, 2016.

Muse offers multiple sessions throughout the day and evening and all evening sessions on Saturday, February 13th include a glass of Prosecco. Tickets are $35-$55 – check out the calendar and paintings at Muse Paintbar here.

Alice’s Table Flower Arrangement Classflower arranging class boston

Don’t buy a bouquet of flowers for your love; make one together! Alice’s Table is offering pop-up flower arrangement classes at The Street at Chestnut Hill.

The innovative company is partnering with Shake Shack for the perfect couple-friendly event with burgers, beer, flowers on February 13th. Tickets are $75 and include a bouquet you make and take home – buy your Alice’s Table Valentine’s Day tickets here.

Valentine’s Day Exercise Events in Boston

YogaWorks Back Bay Acro Yoga Workshop

Formerly known as Back Bay Yoga, YogaWorks Back Bay is under new ownership and amping up their workshops. The studio is offering an Acro Yoga workshop on Valentine’s Day. Come with a loved one or friend to this partner yoga workout. Don’t have someone to drag along? Come anyway and YogaWorks will pair you up with someone! All levels welcome and tickets are $40—get a FREE week at YogaWorks Back Bay and sign up for YogaWorks Valentine’s Day Acro Yoga here.

Cyc Fitness Valentine’s Rides

Boston’s newest indoor cycling studio, Cyc Fitness is a great full-body workout for you and your girlfriends. Located in the swanky David Barton Gym on Arlington Street, Cyc Fitness is hosting both love and heartbreak themed rides all this week. Also, Cyc Fitness has teamed up with the Challenged Athletes Foundation. The studio will donate $1 every time you ride until the end of February as part of their Calories for a Cause campaign. Classes are $27—check out the schedule and sign up for a Cyc Fitness Boston class here.

Xtend Barre Newbury Streetvalentines day xtend barre newbury class

Looking to be healthy for Valentine’s Day? Sign up and bring your sweetie for free on February 11th at 7:45pm. Unlike other barre classes, Xtend Barre is very man-friendly so your Y-chromosomed paramour won’t feel out of place. Classes cost $30 each without a membership—a great deal for 2 people! Don’t miss this awesome workout—sign up for this  Xtend Barre Valentine’s class here.

Do you know of a great Valentine’s Day event that isn’t included in this list? Let me know in the comments below!

Kickstarting Holiday Fitness with Flywheel Back Bay

The past few months have been super busy. I haven’t been as active as I’d like to be and believe it or not, all of the travel and food and Thursday night Shake Shack has caught up with me. Feeling sluggish and lazy, I was excited to hear that Blog and Tweet Boston, a local blogger group, was having a sponsored event at Flywheel in Back Bay. Usually I’m more comfortable attending blogger meetups with a fellow blog friend, but over the weekend I attended the #BlogandFLY event solo and am so happy I went!

For those not in the know, Flywheel Sports in Back Bay offers both Flywheel stadium cycling classes and Flybarre barre classes. I had been to one Flywheel class previously and was impressed with the of the class. As a former Spinning instructor, I’m a purist when it comes to cycling classes, opting out of those known for incorporating calisthenics and other dangerous-to-me moves on the bike. Although Flywheel’s cycling class has an arm workout component to the routine, I found it to be a safe class that offers a great workout.

flywheel back bay boston

Our #BlogandFLY class was taught by Catie Macken, an instructor whose teaching style I love! Catie taught the one other Flywheel class I had taken in July and her yoga-inspired class enabled me to clear my mind and focus on having a great workout.

The best and worst thing about Flywheel is the data reporting. Each bike is equipped with an on-bike computer “tech-pack” that registers your resistance (Torq), RPMs, and power that you can opt to have posted on a Leaderboard during class. I say that it’s the worst because as someone who doesn’t cycle often, the computer can be discouraging or distracting when you’re pushing hard during class only to discover that you’re moving at a snail’s pace. For people like me who get psyched out by knowing their speed or the duration of a workout, I recommend ignoring it except for when the instructor gives you a torque number to adjust.

The data however is also the best part about Flywheel because even if you opt out of posting your power on the Leaderboard and ignore it during class, all of the stats are recorded in your Flywheel account. Data geeks like me will delight in seeing and tracking their progress and PRs online.

flywheel boston cycling data

After our awesome ride was over, we enjoyed salads from sweetgreen, the delicious locally-sourced organic food destination that’s opening up at The Shops in the Prudential Center in Boston.

sweetgreen salad

Thanks Flywheel Sports and sweetgreen for an awesome #BlogandFLY!