Photo: Courtesy Of Cyc Fitness.
I’m a bit late to the party. Usually when I hear of a new studio opening, I’m the first in line to secure a spot in one of the inaugural classes. But, when I heard about the newest cycling studio, Cyc, I hit snooze, figuring it was probably just the spin studio of the month. I mean, how many times can you reinvent the (fly)wheel?
But, after hearing and reading endlessly about Cyc, I finally decided it was time to see what all the fuss was about — and if it could possibly live up to all the hype. I was lucky enough to get a bike in one of Keoni Hudoba’s packed Friday night classes. You may have already heard of Keoni. In addition to being the creator of the Cyc Method, he’s garnered a huge following from his days at Barry’s Bootcamp and SoulCycle.
Cyc opened in mid-January and is located within the DavidBartonGym at Astor Place, which happens to be the only thing I disliked about the class. (I prefer the sleeker, less visually and aurally intrusive aesthetic at Equinox.) It’s worth noting, though, that you can use the gym facilities within two hours of your scheduled Cyc class. Once you walk through their jam-packed, sensory-overloaded lobby, you’ll hit a stairwell leading downstairs to the locker rooms and Cyc’s very own lair. As soon as I changed and met with my fellow classmates in this lobby, I couldn’t help but feel I was lining up to enter a super-chic club, thanks to the music and the crowd. When the studio doors finally opened, I half expected to see a full bar instead of spin bikes.
I consider myself a fairly critical judge of spin classes. In order for a class to warrant regularity in my schedule, it must be the perfect storm of good music (first and foremost), motivating instruction, and a variety of exercises. Otherwise, the idea of riding a bike going nowhere for 45 minutes is just plain boring. Even in a perfect session, I often find myself glancing at the clock or leaving for a “water break” to get a change of scenery. This class flew by even before I had time to start searching for a clock (which, by the way, I don’t think they had). Ultimately, my preconceptions were blown away as it was nothing short of incredible.
Photo: Courtesy Of Cyc Fitness.
The class started off like most spin classes — a little bit of stretching followed by some sprints but quickly took a detour into uncharted territory. While using weights in class is nothing new, Cyc took its very own spin on the idea. Instead of mini-barbells or weighted rods, we used boxing weights, which look like little sandbags and are much easier to hold onto. Unlike other classes that incorporate weights for one or two songs, we held onto ours for the majority of the time and used them while simulating volleyball bumps and spikes, basketball dribbling and shoots, and boxing punches for a true full-body workout. Despite using only two-pound weights, I nearly maxed out my arm and core muscles, and if it weren’t for Keoni’s constant words of motivation as he jumped around the room, I probably would have tried to take a breather. At one point, he even turned off all the lights, except a black light, which added to the club-like ambience.
I left feeling like I didn’t know what hit me. I was so distracted by how much fun I had that I didn’t even notice how hard I was working or how long the class was. It was the perfect pre-game for my Friday night.