It’s that time of the year again. The holiday season has come and gone, but the extra pounds we accumulated are hanging on for dear life. In an effort to get back on track after indulging in a big slice of gingersnap spice cake and spiked egg nog, we suggest signing up for a spin class. The high-intensity, calorie-burning activity is just what you need to undo the damage.
Don’t know where to go or what to bring with you to a cycling session? It’s OK. We visited some awesome studios that do a nice job of helping to keep you on track now that the holidays are behind us. Here’s our mini-guide to indoor cycling and staying fit after the festive season.
Atlanta Spin Class: Flywheel
3063 Bolling Way NE, Atlanta, GA 30305 • (678) 702-5684
Situated in The Shops Buckhead Atlanta, Flywheel’s Buckhead location has a gorgeous facility (think light woods, comfy couch). Try a 45-minute class (60- and 90-minute classes are offered as well) in Flywheel’s stadium-style studio, which will surely melt the calories away. “Flywheel has the tools [complimentary shoes], the tech and the instructors to help you achieve your fitness goals — whether that goal is to shape and build muscle, lose weight or strengthen your mind and spirit,” says regional director Cassie Cresta, Southeast marketing. “If burning calories is a focus, a 45-minute Flywheel class can burn up to 800 calories!”
The bikes are equipped with a tech pack that allows each rider to see how much energy they are exerting. “You have total control over your resistance and RPM (speed),” Cassie says. And if you want to see how you measure up to others in the room, sign up for the TorqBoard display, which is totally optional. “Whether or not you opt in, your performance data will be stored in your account online or on our iOS app, so you can track progress, compete with yourself and set new goals,” she continues.
After class, hit the locker room to rinse off with Flywheel’s lemon sage soapy suds as warm water from the Speakman showerhead hits your skin. On the way out, grab a banana (they’re free!) and don’t think twice about those hearty side dishes you ate at last year’s Christmas party.
Atlanta Spin Class: DEFINE body & mind
1833 Peachtree Road NW, Atlanta, GA 30309 • (404) 351-8663
It’s all about finding the beat in a DEFINE revolution class. “It is a perfectly balanced, 45-minute, full-body, rhythm-based indoor cycling class. We combine high-intensity cardio and strength training, which is driven by pulsing high-energy music,” says Jessica Smithgall, owner of DEFINE: Atlanta. “This formula is the perfect way to sync rhythms designed to re-energize the body and mind. Isometrics and choreographed movements — like push-ups on the handlebars — cross back and forth across aerobic and anaerobic thresholds. Plus, we use small hand weights and a flexible ball to tone and sculpt while maintaining a BPM (beats per minute) that promotes heart health,” she says.
Cyclists must wear cycling shoes with Shimano Pedaling Dynamics (SPD) clips. You can buy Shimano cycling shoes or rent them at DEFINE. And thanks to the high-energy music, a rider can burn up to 700 calories. “You’ll even burn fat for 24 hours after class is over,” Jessica says.
Atlanta Spin Class: Atmasphere
3097 Piedmont Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30305 • (404) 444-9444
Stop by this lifestyle studio to burn up to 800 calories in its ATMA | Ride 45 cycling class. “Our Ride classes incorporate the mindfulness of our yoga classes,” says Pavel Stuchlik, founder of Atmasphere. “We set an intention for our riders that encourages them to push themselves and use this energy from their ride to reach and ignite their own intention,” he says.
“Usually someone has a weight loss goal, and indoor cycling is a great way to cross train and get in shape,” Pavel says. Sweat it out on the studio’s STAGES bikes. “STAGES bikes use magnetic resistance, which allows for a smooth ride and fearless resistance,” he says. “The bikes have been said to be the most comfortable indoor bikes to ride. They are also the best bikes for outdoor cyclists to transition into indoor cycling.” Plus, each bike comes with a FitMetrix screen for you to keep track of your distance, speed, revolutions per minute (RPM) and more.
Atmasphere provides complimentary hand towels, water and cycling shoes to first-time guests and members. But if you’d prefer to just wear tennis shoes and slip into the cages on the pedals, you can. “We offer all of the props needed to have a worry-free class,” Pavel says.
Atlanta Spin Class: Cyc
3393 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30326 • (404) 698-4343
The variety of cycling classes offered at Cyc ensures that you won’t get bored. Choose from Cyc45 (signature ride), CycLift (designed to increase resistance and use weights), CycLean (created to raise stamina with hills, jogs and jumps) and Cyc60 (an extra 15-minute challenge). “Cyc offers a series of exhilarating, beat-based rides that activate the whole body, the whole time,” says Kimberly LaPlante, studio director Cyc Buckhead. “The renowned workout incorporates calorie-burning endurance intervals and weighted sectors inspired by more than 20 different sports movements from boxing, rowing, volleyball and more.”
The “cycologists” (translation: your spin instructors) keep you energized and moving so much that any memory of Grandma’s fruitcake will be gone before you know it. “Each unique ride and motivating playlist are designed to get you cyc’d,” Kimberly says. “Here, you can burn between 400 and 800 calories.”
Atlanta Spin Class: exhale
1065 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30309 • (404) 720-5000
A new year, new Technogym Excite+ bikes and a new attitude will have you dropping those seasonal pounds in no time! Taking a Core Cycle class at exhale is fun and the instructors are very welcoming. “This is a great class for beginners and expert cyclists alike,” says Alex Stubbs, studio director. “Our teachers will lead you through this total body workout.” They will also help you set up your bike a few minutes before the spin session begins.
Unlike other studios in town, this Midtown location does not rent shoes, so you’ll want to bring your own sneakers or cycling kicks with you. And if you’re not sure when you want to go, don’t worry — exhale offers 14 spin classes each week. “It’s the perfect class to lose weight after the holidays because it is a heart-pounding, calorie-burning class that pushes beyond your limits to get the results that you want,” Alex says.
Class is held in a small-scale room. When you walk in, you’ll notice an oversized chalkboard covered with names and drawings on it. After spinning, don’t be afraid to walk over to the board, grab a piece of pink chalk and put your signature on it. It’s a super cool way to show the world that you accomplished one of your New Year’s objectives!
Atlanta Spin Class: Torq Cycle
935 Marietta St. NW, Atlanta, GA 30318 • (404) 606-6931
This West Midtown studio promises to burn between 400 and 600 calories in its indoor spin class. “We incorporate more classic indoor cycling movements and RPM parameters and we use wattage as energy output,” says Katie Martinez, co-owner/founder of Torq Cycle ATL. “However, while we are a bit more technical in our format, all of our rides are choreographed to the beat of the music, which makes the ride enjoyable and easy for folks new to cycling to get the hang of it.”
Torq offers Express 35, which is ideal for those who want to work off their holiday weight during lunchtime. This class, along with the studio’s 45- and 60-minute sessions, concentrate on cardio and upper body. Although its most popular classes are the 6 a.m. and 7:15 a.m. rides, the new 9:30 a.m. class has proven to be a goodie for those who don’t want to sweat side-by-side with others in a packed room.
“We build in a lot of different efforts throughout a class, like speed and resistance challenges to build endurance or sprint intervals for short bursts of effort,” Katie says. “With the anaerobic and aerobic activity, the workout builds muscle endurance, supports heart health and increases lung capacity. Your abs even get a workout,” she says. Adding, “While the high-energy, low-impact workout gets you sweating and burning calories, the sense of community here at Torq is very strong. People feel connected to one another and make new friends along the way — this helps you keep up with the workouts year round.”
Although the holidays were meant to be enjoyed, it’s time to snap out of the food craze and try a spin class. And if cycling isn’t your thing, just be sure to do anything active — something you enjoy that’s in your wheelhouse (get it?!).
Spin class isn’t your thing? Take a look at more of our favorite workouts in our Fitness section!