Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Workout Wednesday: Revolve Spin Class Review

Can't believe it's already Wednesday! The week is flying by and I have so much to do!

In an ongoing (probably futile) effort to get some more "work" vs "eat" balance on the blog, I'm sharing a review of a great workout I  did this weekend: the Revolve Charity Ride for Rock Recovery.

First, let me say that before this class spinning was one of my least favorite exercises, despite only trying it a couple times in college. I'm pretty sure I would've rather run for 45 minutes than taken a 45 minute spin class, which is saying a lot if you know anything about me and running. So what convinced me to take a another spin class after over 5 years? It wasn't (surprisingly) a huge bucket of free margaritas. It was a good cause! 

(Image Source)

Rock Recovery is a DC-based nonprofit whose mission is to support the journey to freedom from disordered eating. The organization works to bridge gaps in treatment faced by those suffering from disordered eating by offering an affordable, robust individual recovery program, well as nationwide community empowerment programs.

On Saturday, Revolve Washington DC held a charity spin class with all proceeds going toward Rock Recovery. For $25, you got a 45 minute Revolve indoor cycling class, free shoe rental and snacks, and the warm and fuzzy feeling of making a big difference to a small charity doing great work. Despite my negative impression of spin classes, this was too good of a deal to pass up. So I recruited a friend and dragged myself down to Revolve in Arlington on Saturday afternoon.

The Class

After we signed in, we gave our shoe sizes to the helpful Revolve staff member and velcro-ed ourselves into our free rental pairs of Shimano cycling shoes. All riders in Revolve classes are required to wear cycling shoes that clip into pedals, but they have shoes for rent if you don't have your own. Fun fact: according to Revolve, studies have shown that cycling shoes provide a more secure position in the pedals allowing you to produce more pedal strokes and get nearly 30% more out of your workout! Plus they look cool and make you feel like a serious athlete! (or is that just me?)

After getting our shoes on, we stored our gear in one of the free combo lockers, picked out our bike assignments, and headed into the studio. Once inside, the Revolve instructors were super helpful with setting up our bikes and explaining what the different settings did. It was a little weird to clip in, but after getting in the clips it was pretty comfortable pedaling. At least until the class started. Then things got serious.

The class consisted of a mixture of standing and sitting sprints, hill climbs, and intervals led by our instructor Stephanie who was accompanied by an awesome playlist and various lighting effects. This was an INTENSE workout, but Stephanie's energy, the great music and club lighting combined to make it energizing and fun versus depressingly hard. After 45 painful but surprisingly enjoyable minutes (plus some warm up pedaling while waiting for my fellow riders to get set up), I had burned 428 calories and my leg muscles felt tired in a very good way.


Instruction: Stephanie had great energy and was kept the class motivated without yelling or badgering. She gave off a very supportive, yet tough at the same time vibe, and her instruction really helped me push myself

Music: I can't emphasize enough how big of a difference the awesome playlist made to the whole experience. There were several times I found myself grooving and singing along to the music even at the end of a crazy hard hill or sprint! AND as an added bonus, some of Revolve's music is available for free on Spotify.

Intensity: This was definitely an intense and efficient workout, burning a lot of calories in a short amount of time.


Price: While I was happy to pay $25 for this charity ride, classes at Revolve normally cost $18-$12 a ride (depending how many you purchase at once) and a year membership will run you $95 a month. This is pretty pricey, especially when you consider that many full-service gyms in the city cost $50-$70 a month. 

The muddy hill: It's a little hard to describe, but basically while we were doing a tough hill and continuously increasing resistance, Stephanie was telling us to visualize the steepest most horrible hill ever full of mud getting stuck in our tires. Definitely killed the whole fun/party vibe for me. This was, however, the only moment in Stephanie's instruction that I didn't like.

Super sweaty from a great workout!
Bottom Line:

I really enjoyed the class. It was a great workout, and was honestly fun at the same time, something I never thought I'd say about a spin class. Plus, the class raised $800 for Rock Recovery! I would love to take another class and check out some of Revolve's other offerings, but the price is too steep for me to take on a monthly membership or go too often.