For That Class Couple, 2016 was a momentous year. We started our fitness blogging journey, completed both the NYRR Five-Borough Challenge and 9+1, tried a whole bunch of different classes, and, oh yeah, got engaged.
Throughout our journey though the crazy year that was 2016, we took notes on our favorite New York City workouts, instructors, gyms, and more, and wanted to share our thoughts with all of you (because, honestly, everyone else was creating “Best of 2016” lists, so we felt left out). We’ll start with our favorite spin classes (TCC started its fitness class journey with spin), and go from there. From That Class Couple to you, we wish you a happy–and healthy!–New Year!
Top Five Spin Classes
1) SWERVE (TCC review here)
The facilities are second to none (the newer midtown location is perfect for getting ready after class in the morning, and SWERVE’s original location in Flatiron is pretty nice as well), the instructors are energetic and play great music, and the smoothies are the bomb. Just like most of SWERVE’s team-based classes, this competition was a close race, but SWERVE takes the top prize! For those who aren’t familiar with SWERVE, classes are divided into three teams, which compete against one another as the class progresses. Classes are relatively straightforward, albeit with occasional sprint and “SWERVE to the beat” mini-competitions scattered throughout, and you can expect to hear a lot of EDM and top 40 as you ride. TCC also had one of its coolest experiences of the year when it went to a spin class (and post-class roundtable) with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and a bunch of retired NFL players, one of SWERVE’s “Speaker Series” events, which TCC thinks are really cool.
SWERVE has two locations in NYC, Midtown and Flatiron. Classes are $34 each. swervefitness.com
Traditionally TCC’s favorite spin studio, Flywheel takes second place only because of inconsistency. Some of the studios are great (Astor Place, Chelsea, East 60th, UWS), but some are getting kind of gross (UES). Some of the city’s best spin instructors teach at Flywheel, but we’ve also had some less than stellar experiences with others. Flywheel is a strictly fitness-based spin studio…no dancing on a bike or zen candles, just sweat. While classes are all basically the same, each instructor is very unique, so don’t be surprised if you sprint to Billy Joel during one class, and don’t recognize a single EDM song the next. Despite its inconsistencies, Flywheel is still one of the most premium spin experiences in the city, and once you find an instructor you like, you’ll be wishing that you could afford to go back every day.
Flywheel has 9 locations all over Manhattan. Classes are $34 each. flywheelsports.com
Not for everyone, Peloton features amazing bikes, instructors who look like they should be on TV (because, well, they kind of are…), a lounge with coffee bar that is by FAR the nicest of any gym in New York (albeit extremely crowded on a normal day). The locker rooms are very nice (but extremely crowded…you may see a trend here…), and the location (23rd between 6th and 7th) is very convenient for many. But Peloton has a certain, shall we say, pretentiousness, that can turn some people off. Think lots of tech startup looking dudes in spandex bike singlets blowing away the competition (and instructors calling out riders on their 200th ride). Oh yeah, each ride is also filmed for Peloton’s riders at home, so if you think that you are imagining that there’s a camera zipping over your head, well, you’re not hallucinating. But at the end of the day, TCC has never had less than a fantastic workout at Peloton. TCC is also a big fan of Peloton’s theme rides, especially Jenn’s NFL Pregame Sunday ride, featuring lots of jock jams and football talk (but seriously, Jenn, please stop hating on the Jets so much…).
Peloton is located in Chelsea, on 23rd Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues. Classes are $32 each. pelotoncycle.com
4) Monster Cycle
Let’s just say Monster Cycle is…unique. If Monster Cycle was your high school classmate, it would be the popular kid who started hanging out with the goth crowd, dressing kind of weird, occasionally using illegal substances, but still beating up on everyone on the football field and dating the hot cheerleader. That kid now probably lives in Bushwick and works for a startup. But we digress. Monster Cycle is cool because it’s different, and because you watch music videos as you ride. Unlike the first three studios on this list, Monster Cycle doesn’t provide in-ride metrics, so the ride is more about feel and beat than about trying to top the competition. Monster Cycle’s themed classes are also really cool (if you find an artist who you like, you’ll be totally pumped up to spin to their music). TCC hasn’t checked out Monster Cycle’s original location in Soho, but the new spot in Chelsea (in the crypt of an old church…so cool) is totally different, and totally hip. Wear your trendiest clothes to Monster Cycle…you’ll have lots of competition.
Monster Cycle is located in SoHo and Chelsea. Classes are $33 each. themonstercycle.com
Jon’s neighborhood spin studio before TCC moved in together, Crank is a fantastic option for those living on the UES (or in Long Island City, though TCC hasn’t been to the LIC location yet). Totally not pretentious, great neighborhood vibe, excellent amenities for a small studio (complementary shoes!), and awesome instructors (many of whom have moved onto better known studios like Flywheel). Crank is generally more about movement on the bike than sprinting, but it’s a fantastic workout nonetheless, and a great option in a neighborhood that doesn’t have a whole lot going on spin-wise.
Crank is located on the Upper East Side and in Long Island City. Classes are $28 each. cranknyc.com
Next up–best barre in NYC!