There's a new fitness studio downtown, offering strength and spin classes, so we (Angela and Johanna) just had to try it out.
Its name, Let's Sweat, is definitely fitting. There was so much sweat, which seemed to make the instructor happy. So, yay!
• Angela is a fairly active mama in her early 40s. She tries to hit the gym at least three times a week (ok, ok, it's usually like once or twice) where she runs on the treadmill, lifts weights and takes classes. She loves the post-workout zen she feels after a good sweat session.
• Johanna is in her late 20s and gets by with 20-minute workouts every morning. Don't be too impressed. She keeps her pajamas on and lunges and crunches to YouTube videos while binge-watching Netflix. Every now and then she goes for a run and remembers she hates running.
On the studio
Angela: I love the studio. It's in the Arts Warehouse District on 6th Avenue and 6th Street, so it has an artsy, hip vibe. The front is all windows, so we could see what was going on outside in the mirrors in the spin area of the studio. It gave me something to focus on other than my burning quads.
The walls are dark and the lights are dim with a kick-ass sound system. Also, THEY HAVE HAIR TIES!!! You can tell it's run by women because there's a shelf with hair ties, ear plugs, mints and other goodies.
Johanna: I also loved the studio and the light streaming through those enormous windows. Luckily, the bikes are tucked toward the back of the studio away from the windows, so the world can't see you crying while you pedal.
The mirrors in the front of the studio not only let us spy on the outside world while we worked, but they also let me check my form — a luxury when you're used to working out in your living room. I will say, I was a bit self-conscious about doing push ups (on my knees, if you have to know) and other exercises with passersby strolling outside the windows, but I got over it.
They also have showers and dressing rooms, in case you need to spin and sprint and don't want to wear eau de B.O. for the rest of the day.
On the class
Angela: I went into this class with a little dread in my heart. I'm not a fan of stationery bikes at the gym, so I've never even wanted to try spinning. But, I will say it isn't like just riding the stationery bike at the gym. You're suffering in a group. There's some comfort in that. Plus, the class is a combination of spinning and strength training. The lunchtime class is only 25 minutes on the bikes and 20 minutes on the floor. It was doable. In fact, it was kinda fun.
The instructor was great. She was friendly, helpful and a little evil (She totally came over and upped my resistance when I thought I was being sneaky). She was also motivating and kept saying how awesome we all looked. And, they LOVE it when you sweat a lot, which is good for me.
Afterwards, I felt like a million bucks — a wobbly, hungry million bucks. I got a hard workout in and felt the endorphins kick in. Win-win.
Johanna: This class got off to a great start. The instructor came over before class to help us adjust our bikes to the right height and distance from the handlebars. I also loved that the bikes had a "slip-in" option for the pedals, meaning we didn't have to have fancy shoes with clips to stay attached to the pedals during the sprints.
We were only on the bikes for half the time and I WAS SO GRATEFUL. My booty hurt and my heart was pounding. TBH, there were a few times our instructor told us to increase the resistance on our bikes, but I decreased instead. This was not like my YouTube workouts.
When we got off the bikes, I could feel my legs trembling in a good way. I loved how this class was split up. Not only did my legs get a killer workout, but I got to work my arms, chest and core, too. Plus, our instructor was there to tweak form as we lifted weights or used TRX equipment. Even though each phase challenged me, I never felt pressure. Just lots of encouragement.
Would you go again?
Angela: I would! But, at $15 a class, probably not regularly because it's a little spendy for me.
Johanna: This was a great workout, but like Angela, $15 for a class is a bit steep for me. Maybe I'd go occasionally or at a discounted rate.
What: Cycle + Strength
When: 12:15 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Cost: $15 (You can get 3 classes for $30 this month)