I was late to the spin class train — or any group fitness workout classes, really — having only taken my first-ever spin class in May earlier this year. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve steered clear of gyms and group fitness classes out of fear of embarrassing myself. As a typically reclusive 20-something, I figured my daily commute to and from the train station (about a 15 minute walk each way) coupled with a change in my diet and a few minutes of my TV’s on-demand free workout videos would be enough to keep me in shape and help me avoid actually working out, but it didn’t and I needed a change.
That change came in the form of Spiked Spin’s weekly spin class. Although I wasn’t exactly a newbie to the class, I hadn’t done any other form of physical activity in recent months and if I was going to attend a workout class, why not go to one where I can enjoy the booming melodies of recent hip-hop tracks all while burning away the calories from the fudge brownie I devoured earlier in the day?
So I made my way to Spiked Spin’s #SpinLikeAJedi class hosted by Spiked Spin and Cassius in honor of the film, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which is out in theaters now. A diverse group of fitness newbies and enthusiasts braved the frigid New York City weather on Wednesday night (Dec. 13) and gathered at the CompleteBody Gym. To warm us up a bit, Spiked Spin founder and the instructor of the night, Brianna Owens, kicked off the night with the fiery, club-ready “Mi Gente” from J Balvin, Willy William, and Beyoncé. With stomachs tucked in and shoulders relaxed, our legs moved steadily to the beat of the song.
Throughout the 45-minute class, we increased our speed and alternated between first (sitting on the saddle with our hands at the lowest part of the bar) and third position (off the saddle, this time with our hands gripping the two handle bars at the top). At one point, we found ourselves twerking to the high-energy beat of A$AP Ferg’s “Who Dat” and G-Eazy’s “No Limit,” added resistance while bopping to the 90s gem “All About The Benjamins,” and incorporated push-ups during our ride to N.E.R.D’s “Lemon.” We slowed it down to slow-churning melody of Jhene Aiko’s “While We’re Young,” the last song of the night, before winding down and taking a moment to catch our breaths and meditate.
Each rider powered through their ride with vigor regardless of their fitness experience (or inexperience) with the look of contentment smeared across their faces. It was clear each rider entered Spiked Spin’s doors with a goal in mind and with the new year rolling around, they were just one step closer to achieving their goals.
Following Spiked Spin’s #SpinLikeAJedi class, her sweat. caught up with a few attendees to discuss cycling, wellness-related new year resolutions and more.
Nicole Newsun, 30-something
her sweat.: What do you love most about cycling?
Nicole: I came to one of [Brianna Owen’s] Spiked Spin guest classes before and it was really fun. I also do SoulCycle. Sometimes I don’t like running or even treadmill running so I like to have other activities that are high-intensity. I like classes that mix the cycling with the music, which makes it even more amped and I find that it works better for me. I’m training for the 2018 Miami Half Marathon, so cycling helps me build up endurance.
What are some health-based resolutions you have for the new year?
Well, I’m in my friend’s wedding next week so I’m trying to minimize the waist until then. [Laughs] But just in general, I just want to improve my overall wellness. I’d like to eat well, work on my abs, try to listen and focus better, and also experiment with other fitness routines.
Van Crawford, 25
Is cycling your choice fitness workout?
I don’t do too many classes. I actually work out a lot pretty frequently and I have a fast metabolism, so I don’t really try to do too much cardio. Since this is like organized cardio, I thought this was the best form to do it.
Were you intimidated being the only male in the class?
No, if anything I appreciated it. Maybe if I would’ve seen another dude in the class, I would’ve felt that competitive edge but I didn’t feel like anyone was here for competition, it just felt more free.
What are some of your goals as we head into the new year?
I just want to set some boundaries in terms of my eating habits, not necessarily following a strict diet. I don’t want to be a vegan because I still want to eat chicken, fish and all the protein but maybe cut out fried foods.
Rivea Ruff, 20-something
How’d you get into cycling?
Well really I just came to check it out. I’m not into cycling at all. I worked out years ago but now I’m trying to find something I’ll be able to stick with better, something I can be a little more consistent with because going to the gym is boring.
How’d you motivate yourself to push through the workout and not give up?
I just kept thinking well it’s probably only been 10 minutes so I just have to make it through the rest — that’s how I think about all my workouts. Like, it’ll be over soon.
Any fitness resolutions for the new year?
I try not to do those because when you make it something year-based, it’s easy for it to fizzle out by March-ish. So I’d rather just make it a lifestyle change that I can stick to as opposed to a resolution that I’m forgetting about by the time it gets warm again.