California’s hottest health crazes explored, reviewed and sweated on. This week, Cycle House LA and the infamous ’1000 Calorie Class’.
I love spin class, a lot, and I’m generally down for any excuse to turn the lights off and crank up some top 40 pop music… but the thought of spending 75 minutes on a bike in this situation did scare me a little. Actually, I was riddled with anxiety all morning before my ’1000 Calorie Class’- y’know when you think you might throw up if you eat too much and pee your pants if you drink too much, but at the same time you know you have to eat and hydrate? I had THAT feeling.
Anyway, my friend Beanz signed me up for this class and I got there nice and early to sign up and attempt to not freak out. I had a TOTAL Hollywood moment before I even got to the class:
1) I parked here:
2 ) Parked in front of this:
3) and realized I was outside this little store:
ONLY. IN. LA.
Cycle House is so much more than I thought it would be – it kinda sounds a bit grubby to me, I am not sure why I thought it would be ‘normal’ – it should really be called ‘Cycle Bach Pad’ or ‘Cycle Urban Contemporary Loft’, the ‘House’ part of ‘Cycle House’really doesn’t do it justice. First of all you walk into this amazing courtyard, and suddenly you don’t feel like you’re on La Cienega any more- you could be anywhere- it’s so zen, and relaxing:
There’s sofas and water and everything to make you feel like your in some yoga studio, not a crazy Spin Class.
The lady on the counter was charming, and told me not to freak out about class and she had me sign up to the gym on an ipad which was mounted into a wall. (I still think iPads mounted into things are cool, and I’m not sure when I’m going to give that up) Actually, after leaving the class, I got an automated email that said they’d try remember the sizes on my bike so they could set it up for me next time. How amazing is that? When I sign up for a class next, I walk in, and there’s no adjusting of the seat- GENIUS. We’ll see if it actually plays out like that, but they get major points for even coming up with that idea.
There’s about 50 bikes in the room, and as people filtered in, I recognized a couple of people from various places, one of whom told me I was screwed. This of course did not help that weird feeling in my stomach and I needed to pee again for no reason. Beanz arrived late, as usual, and we grabbed weights and started peddling and before you knew it, we were starting this epic 75 minute ride. For the first half, it was like a really really good spin class and I was sweating up a storm, bopping to the music and generally having a great time. Towards the middle, we had a few minutes worth of meditation on the bike- this HAS to be a California thing, right? It’s so awesome, just to focus on your breath and heart beat and zen out for a second. Beanz and I popped a Gu right before the second half of the class and I’m pretty certain that saved our lives because it definitely started to hurt, right around the 55 minute mark.
Our instructor, was a fellow Brit, by the name of Nick Hounslow and I’m probably biased to my country men, but, he was AWESOME. Major thumbs up for a) choice of music b) motivating and c) yelling at the right times.
I’m yet to figure out what was going on with heart rates, but I THINK you could buy a heart rate monitor, and the people in reception were tracking it while you worked out. The heart rate monitors calculated your exact calorie burn, in real time, to get an accurate count of how close you were to the 1000 calorie goal. A couple of times in the class Nick would run out and get an update on the count for foolish enough to try and be accurate with their calories and encourage/yell at people appropriately.
What makes an awesome spin instructor for me is one that gets off their bike and comes around the class to adjust your form, or push you harder or encourage you – major points for Mr Hounslow.
Oh and I just happened to google him and look – he’s a runner – I knew I liked this guy for a reason:
The second half of the class was just as brutal, but not in a torturous manner. We limped off the bikes to enjoy an ice cold, lavender scented moist towel. This is Los Angeles, after all.