Back on the Bike

Well, sort of – by back on the bike I mean a spin bike, not my road bike. It’s funny that I much prefer running outdoors in any kind of weather to running on a treadmill, but I’m the complete opposite when it comes to biking. This is probably cause I’m not the best biker and I get nervous on the roads around D.C., but as I’ve mentioned before, spin is my favorite kind of cross training.

I made my first trip to Revolve, a dedicated spin studio in Arlington, at the beginning of this year and was instantly hooked. Their classes are super intense, the instructors are phenomenal, the playlists are always great and I love that you can mix it up with the different style rides. I was there almost every day during my unlimited intro month and then bought 20-class packages to get me through my cross training days for the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler and Nike Women’s Half Marathon.

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Between travelling every weekend in June, starting the new job and all the expenses involved with moving, it’d been awhile since I’d been to Revolve. They were kind enough to comp me a few rides this month and boy has it felt good to be back. One of the classes I went to was even a request ride where riders got to submit their song requests beforehand. I love that they mix it up with fun rides like this and was pumped that my request got played during class! I’ll be buying another 20-class package very soon as I incorporate spin as my main form of cross training to get ready for the Marine Corps Marathon and go after my BQ!

On top of the great tracks pumped through the speakers during class, I now to get to enjoy music from Revolve anytime I want with the launch of RevolveSounds on Spotify. I’d actually always been on the fence about trying Spotify and am so glad this gave me the push to finally check it out. It’s amazing! I’m already thinking about upgrading to the premium version. Let me know if you’ve tried the premium one and think it’s worth it.

You can follow RevolveSounds on Spotify and check out their various playlists. I love the 2013 Summer Edition playlist, which has a lot of the songs they play during class. My favorite playlist of theirs though is Rethink Office. When I need to focus at work and block out some background noise I’ll pop in an ear bud and listen to this station. It has some fun songs that keep me going throughout the day without distracting me from work. If you like to listen to music at work, definitely check out this playlist.

revolvestudio2

They also have a Revive: Sunday morning playlist that’s a bit more mellow and fun to listen to while I’m doing things around my apartment. I don’t listen to music while I run outside anymore, but I’m looking forward to listening to the Revolve Run mix the next time I hit the treadmill at the gym.

Are you a spin class fan? How important to you is the music during spin classes?

 

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Blogger Ride at Revolve

Last Thursday I was invited to a special spin class Revolve hosted for D.C. area fitness bloggers and enthusiasts. It came together out of a group of bloggers featured in the Washingtonian chatting on twitter and turned into a big event. I go to Revolve regularly and love their classes, and am also a huge fan of a lot of the bloggers that were going so I was really excited to take another class there and actually meet some of these people who’s blogs I’ve been following.

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I stole this shot from Anne’s at fANNEtastic food blog.

Francina Segbefia taught our class with awesome energy, a kick-butt Vegas-themed playlist and a flair of style. She kicked things off by having everyone introduce ourselves and the name of our blog so we could know each other in the real world too. It was so much fun. She had the whole class singing along to Gold Digger and other songs and pushed us all the way to the end where we wrapped up with some weights to work on the upper body. Their body ride classes are fast becoming my favorite type of spin class – it’s a great change of pace and this one was an absolute blast.

On the bikes next to me were Melody from Will Run for Margaritas – love her blog – and Laney from Running On Veggies – I hadn’t seen her blog before, but it’s great and definitely worth your time to check out. Turns out Melody and I used to teach boot camps at the same site – small world D.C. for you. Some other bloggers I really enjoy reading were also there including Melissa Romero who does the Washingtonian Well Being blog, Ashley of Coffee Cake and Cardio, Workout Wonks and DC Fit Crasher.

Blogger Introductions

Blogger Introductions

After class we had some time to mingle and post-ride refreshments from Gouter. I was a bit skeptical that I would like something labeled raw, vegan and organic, and I’m not really into juices or cleanses, but these were surprisingly tasty!

Post-Ride Refreshments

Post-Ride Refreshments

Overall it was a great night – fun to meet other bloggers excited about health and fitness in D.C., and get a great workout in too!

Barre Ride

It’s felt great hitting the spin studio a ton this month, and Sunday I finally tried out my first Barre Ride class up at Revolve in Clarendon. What an awesome combination of cardio and strength in an hour workout. I put in a fast-paced 4 miler right before heading up to the studio, so my legs were already feeling it a little, but they were full-on shaking by the end of class.

It started out like one of their usual rides. We did 36 minutes of heart-pumping riding and using the weights for an upper body workout before hopping off the bikes and ditching our bike shoes. We started out with calf raises and then stood in different ballet positions – first and second position – doing squats and pulses while holding onto the bikes for balance. We did more of these going into a plié, while up on the balls of our feet in relevé. (For any ballet dancers out there I’m likely using these terms wrong, but I’m trying!)

The toughest portion for me came when we were up on the balls of our feet, went down to a 90 degree chair position, pulsed further down before coming back to chair position, and stood all the way up before starting again. I was seriously trembling by the end. We wrapped up with a few more exercises before ending class with some stretches. I can’t even remember them all now, but my sore muscles over the past couple days have reminded me what we worked on!

If you’re looking to get in some intense cardio and strength in one workout I highly recommend the barre ride. It was great!

Spin Class: High Energy + High Intensity = Great Workout

I’ve jumped head first (or more accurately, bike shoes first) back into spinning this past week, taking classes at Revolve’s spin studio in Clarendon. I took a break from spinning while doing the physical therapy thing, and while I was able to ride my regular bike as long as I didn’t clip into  the pedals, it definitely feels good to be back in the spin studio for my favorite kind of cross training.

I joined the Washington Sports Club in Clarendon about a year ago primarily for their group classes. I already have free access to gyms at home and at work for the basics, but I missed spinning and was interested in trying out other classes like body pump. Unfortunately, their class times don’t fit well into my schedule anymore, so I’m considering ending my membership there after my year commitment is up.

I took advantage of a free pass to try out the relatively new Revolve Fitness studio in Clarendon last week. I’ve seen rave reviews about their studios in NYC as well as the one here. It’s not a gym, but rather is a dedicated spin studio. The class was awesome and really kicked my butt – a great way to start the week off. I bought their discounted intro package for one month of unlimited rides at $60. It gets a bit pricey, at least for me, after the first month is up, (although I have no doubts about the quality they provide) so I don’t think I’ll continue with the monthly unlimited memberships going forward, but you can also buy packs of individual rides to spread out over several months as well.

Bike Shoes

Bike Shoes

In the meantime, I plan to get as much use as possible out of my intro month. I took classes Monday, Wednesday and Friday of this week, and already have spots reserved for weekend classes. They offer three types of classes: Real Ride, Body Ride and Barre Ride. The Real Ride is similar to what I’m used to having taken classes at other gyms, and it simulates an outdoor ride with challenging sprint intervals and hills. I took my first Body Ride class this morning, which combines light weights to work on your upper body while riding and still getting the cardio impact. We did the weights for one longer song and I loved it – very cool change of pace.

I’m not sure how I feel about the Barre Ride. You spend the first half of class riding your way to a great cardio workout then hop off the bikes for a series of barre-based exercises using the bike’s handle bars as a bar. I’ve never done this type of exercise, but will try to fit it in sometime during my intro month, and will let you know how it goes.

I love the high intensity, energetic atmosphere at spin classes. It can leave you exhausted and provides the best cardio benefits of the cross training activities that I do. I’m never bored, as can often happen on the elliptical at the gym, and both the 45-minute and one-hour classes are over in a flash.