What is Flywheel Sports? Flywheel Sport is a premiere spin studio in Dallas known for its beautiful studio, their intense classes, and for pushing you to your limits. My favorite quotes from Flywheel is “Why walk when you can Fly?”
The Class: Flywheel offers both 45 min and 60 min spin classes that incorporate loud music, a challenging uphill and downhill spin class and even weights. The classes aren’t for the faint of heart. I used my ClassPass to sign up for my first class, but typically, new members would create an account online and are able to self check-in on the computers along the wall. They grab their spin shoes from cubbies or request them from the receptionist counter and head to the locker area to stash their belongings. Before class, members can be seen filling up their water bottles and grabbing a towel or two for the impending sweat session. There’s a flurry of members adjusting their bikes and warming up. You’ll also see Flywheel staff helping newbies like myself get set up on the bikes.
There’s a great mix of men and women of all ages that attend the classes. Classes flow from fast-paced at lower resistance, to a slower paced at high resistance, all the while increasing resistance steadily throughout the class. Toward the end of the class, there is a short segment of arm workouts designed to make your muscles burn. After a final sprint to the figurative finish line, the instructors offers a quick cool down with stretches on and off the bike to prevent injuries.
What makes Flywheel classes unique is the digital RPM reader and the Torqboard. On each bike is a reader that shows your level of Torq (aka resistance), RPM, Current and Total Output. The instructor uses this to cue where riders should be or striving to be. Throughout the class you’ll here the instructor say to crank up your Torq, strive for a certain RPM, or hover around a current number regardless of Torq or RPM. Unlike other bikes that may show watts or just RPM, the total output draws a huge appeal for those who want to know their cumulative score at the end of each session. Also, members have the opportunity to opt in or out for the Torqboard. There are two large flat screen TVs that display the torqboard and showcase each riders stats. It drives competition for those who are on the board and off the board for shyer people like myself.
My guy friends who attended a class with me loved the Torqboard. As hyper-competitive individuals, it definitely pushed them to work harder and literally smoke me. After three classes, I was able track my own progress based on the total output score. I aimed to score higher than all of my previous score and have steadily done so over the three classes. Another really cool thing about Flywheel is that your stats for each class are available for you to review in your account after the fact. Great for truly tracking your progress overtime.
The Studio/Space: The Highland Park location is deceivingly large. At first glance, I thought I made a mistake and showed up at a retail shop. Upon entering, the space expands through the back. You’ll find the check-in counter and bathrooms on the right, a curved walkway that leads to the enclosed studio room, locker area and shower rooms. There is only one large studio where the classes take place. The circular room looks like a time machine or space ship on the outside. The studio is a dark room with about 40 bikes positioned stadium style facing the instructor bike. When the door closes, the lights go off, the music is cranked up and it’s time to take off.
The Instructor: I had the pleasure of taking classes with instructors Lesley Werle, Cristin Caulfield and Missy Quintana. Missy taught the class with a broken hand! What a badass. All the ladies lead intense classes aimed at pushing you to exceed your limitations. I personally enjoyed Cristin’s class the most. She played music that I enjoyed the most – top 40s. Each instructors playlist is slightly different as well as their teaching style. I felt like I could totally go and party with Cristin. She was incredibly engaged and energetic.
Loved/Hated: I loved spinning with my friends. There’s something about the camaraderie that made me want to work harder and I had so much more fun sharing the experience with them. I also truly like the ability to track my progress and the ease of being able to register for classes, review my stats, choose my bike and even use my own credits to bring a guest. Flywheel has done a great job with the website experience and the class experience.
I think there can be some improvements to the musical aspect of Flywheel. It took me a while to find an instructor that played the music I wanted to jam out to when spinning. Since each instructor has their very own preference for music and even style of teaching, I wish there was a description of that available on the site. It’s hard to focus when I’m not digging the musical selection. Instead of having to do a blind “taste-test,” a small preview would’ve been helpful. While I’m definitely more into top 40’s and hip hop, I’m sure there are others who would prefer 80’s jams or house music.
The Next Day: Well I was definitely starving after the workout. I wasn’t terribly sore the next day. I did feel like I put in some real work. According to my stats, I burned an average of 500 calories per session. Let’s just say post-Flywheel beers are very delicious.
Difficulty Level: Forty-five minutes is a long time to cycle for someone who hasn’t built some cardio endurance. It’s a challenging class for those who are at an intermediate level of fitness and beyond. However, because the class is dark, beginners can truly ride at the lowest resistance in order to build strength without feeling like there is judgement and there is no obligation to be on the Torqboard. I was originally intimidated to attend because a guy friend made it sound so competitive. I would never want people to see how “poorly” I did on the Torqboard. But ya know what, after going I realized it wasn’t that scary and it was all in my head. I do look forward to opting in to be on the board one day. A note of inspiration for the wary: one of the instructors told me of a few riders that are older in age with various limitations, but still power through the class. Some have back issues and can’t get out of the saddle, but they don’t let that stop them from kicking some serious butt.
FYI/Costs/Parking: Your first class is complimentary and you sign up for it online. Shoes are included. There is water for purchase, but definitely bring your own water bottles. There is a cold fountain available along with free lockers and towel service. The Highland Park location is located in the Shops of Highland Park so parking is free and plentiful. There are three single bathrooms and only two single shower rooms. Unless you are the first out of the room to shower, I can see there being a line for one of the two showers. If you’re new, I’d plan to show up 15-20 minutes early so the staff can check you in and set you up on the bike.
The Takeaway: Great class for both men and women. The ability to track and measure progress is what sets Flywheel apart from other studios. If you want to try something different and challenge yourself, definitely check out Flywheel Sports! There is also a studio in Plano that offers Flywheel and Flybarre.
In order to review Flywheel Sports Highland Park, Deep Fried Fit attended several complimentary classes from Flywheel Sports and also used her complimentary ClassPass membership to sign up for classes.