The Race Is On At Flywheel.
Welcome to Body Movin', our feature where, each week, we take a closer look at wherever you'll find health-minded folks jogging, crunching, lifting or otherwise moving their bodies in the name of fitness. Because, listen, we all need to get off of our ass from time to time. Hey: No pain, no gain. Check out this feature's archives here.
Fast facts on Flywheel.
• Degree of Difficulty Scale For Beginners: 7 out of 10.
• Calories Burned in 45 Minutes: 519.
• Muscle Soreness After The Fact: 3 out of 10.
• Location: 4252 Oak Lawn Avenue, Dallas, TX 75219.
• Classes Offered: Flywheel and Flybarre.
• Introductory Offer: First class is free.
• Price: $180/month, $25 per ride, $117.50 for 5 rides, $225 for 10 rides or $400 for 20 rides.
For those of you putting off going to the gym to get in your boring cardio workouts for the week, Flywheel — or stadium cycling — offers a new and exciting way to squeeze in a 45-minute, calorie-burning work out with many added perks. Like, say, the fact that you get to ride a bike without having to endure the summer heat or risking your life in traffic.
According to regional marketing coordinator Lilly Neubauer, those benefits are just the start: “Flywheel is a perfect [blend] of cycling, music, rhythm and the fun of getting out of your own comfort zone around other people,” Neubauer says. “It's equal parts the group vibe, but it's also a really personal experience and workout at the same time.”
Not only does this facility boast nine different instructors that each put their own personal spin on the workout regarding their music preference and motivational strategy, but it also offers on-site shower rooms provided for your convenience — y'know, just in case you don't have enough time to run home before heading out to socialize for the night. There's also a retail store that features a different style and theme every month so you can sport your Flywheel gear all around town if that's your thing.
But the most convenient — and coolest — aspect of this program? They offer a free Flywheel app on your phone that allows you to access your stats from previous classes. The app features facts like your average speed, your calories burned and your total distance traveled. So it's easy for you to stay motivated as you see your stats go up each time you step back into class.
Showing up early is a definite must for beginners as there's a lot to learn before jumping up onto one of these bikes. For starters, you'll want a little time to download and acclimate yourself with the Flywheel smartphone app, which is how you'll reserve your bike for the class. Then, when you sign into the facility's computer upon arrival, the bike you've reserved will automatically know to send your stats from class to your phone following the workout.
Once signed in, there should be a pair of bike shoes in your size awaiting you in the cubby with your bike number on it. An instructor will then show you how to measure your seat and handle distance on your bike, as well as help you get your shoes clicked in to place. Without the hassle of the typical shoe straps that you see on an exercise bike, Flywheel offers a much safer and effective way to attach your shoes so that you can ride without the worry of slipping out of those pesky straps and seriously injuring yourself.
Then the class starts — and without a moment to spare — as the lights dim and the instructor is left with a single spotlight shining above her. It's a pretty personal and borderline theatrical experience, allowing you to focus on the instructor and forget about comparing yourself to everyone else around you.
Well, for a bit.
Throughout the course of the class, you manually adjust your resistance, which Flywheel calls your “Torq.” All of your stats are featured on an individual bike tech-pack, so you can be aware of your speed and resistance. As the class gets progressively louder — and sweatier — there are a few exciting moments where your individual score is featured on a screen at the front of the class called the “TorqBoard.” If you're competitive at all, it's a nice push. Plus, it makes the class a little more interesting as you push yourself to the end of your ride.
Then, almost three quarters of the way through class, there's a brief arm work out section where a weighted bar is provided to allow your legs a quick break and round out all of your muscle activity. The idea here is that,, as you continue to attend classes, your muscles will begin to build as your entire body is strengthened.
A membership isn't required at Flywheel, though one will make things a bit cheaper if you plan on attending an average of two sessions a week or more. Even sans membership, though, credits are available for individual purchase so that you can easily sign up for a class when you feel like throwing a high-energy cardio workout into your weekly schedule.
Neubauer does recommend that those just starting out — and those therefore still building the necessary muscles — make it a point to attend a little more regularly, though.
Says Neubauer: “The more you ride, the strength just kicks in. The first goal should be just to have fun and start enjoying it. Suddenly, you will look at your numbers and everything will have totally changed. The best thing you can do is to show up. You'll be amazed at how far you can go.”
Overall, I'll give Flywheel an A.