I love when someone reaches out and says, "Let's go try a new gym/workout." So when Jessie suggested we try a new class @ Flywheel, I was super excited. We all know Flywheel as the cycling studio that rocks it with the stadium seating, incredible energy and one of my favorite Boss Babe instructors, Norah. I also know that they host barre classes (although I have never tried one). So I was excited to hear that they are branching out into my beloved HIIT workouts and introducing a FLYFit class.
The only time that worked with the busy end of school year schedule, Peru trip and work was a lunchtime sweat in the middle of the week. It was a good idea in theory until I tried to head down to South Lake Union. Don't make the same mistake we did unless you are within walking distance of the studio. I highly recommend taking an early morning or late evening class if you need to drive to Flywheel. Between traffic, construction and lunchtime foot traffic, we were both late to the 12:00 PM class. Not to mention parking is nearly impossible that time of day.
Like all my other visits to Flywheel, I was greeted by a smiling team member with an iPad in hand, ready to check me in. He had me head upstairs to the second level/landing area. I had never been up there so I was excited to see the space.
Once you climb up the stairs, there is an open area that houses cubbies, a bench, towels and a huge range of weights. Always a good sign. The studio itself is small, it fits about 18-20 mats and felt tight when I snuck into a mat in the middle of the room. Fortunately, everyone was great about making it work and the instructor was good about reminding us to stagger when needed.
I walked in 5 minutes late so the warm up was well under way. The second I met Amanda, the instructor, I knew she had to be a Mom. She walked over to me, greeted me with a kind smile, shared a few brief instructions and showed me to an empty mat, all without missing a beat in leading the class through their warm ups. She did the same thing when Jessie walked in shortly after me. You know anyone that can multitask, while smiling and not breaking a sweat has to be a Super Mom! I immediately liked her and her style.
The class incorporated a mat, bands which were already hung from the bar on the wall and a variety of weights. The format was set up to rotate through 3 exercises, 45 seconds each for 2 rounds before taking a quick break. The variety of the routine was perfect. Each set included 2 levels of strength (arms, core, legs) and usually a round of cardio (mountain climbers, jump squats).
What I always admire about good instructors who meet you for the first time or are teaching a group of new clients, is their ability to quickly gauge the room's ability and determine how/when to motivate and push each person. As soon as we started our chest presses, Amanda quickly noticed that quite a few of us needed heavier weights. She encouraged us to go heavier and even ran out of the room to grab them for us. I'm glad she did this because 1.) During a 45 second set, I had no intention of stopping to get more weights and losing a chance to workout 2.) The weights I had were doing nothing for me and I really did need to go heavier to challenge myself.
The workout was exactly what I needed. It incorporated a lot of core and strength workouts that I normally don't get to do - chest flies and band workouts such as superman pulls, tricep pulls and lunge jumps with a row. And just when I was craving a bit more cardio, Amanda kicked it up with an intense cardio finisher. We wrapped up the workout with a full round of cardio that included a jump squat, high knees and burpees finisher. You KNOW this made me so SO happy!
I definitely recommend this class. It's a little more strength than cardio so it's perfect for someone like me who's weekly schedule has been heavy on the cardio, light on the strength. The space is actually perfect for the workout. It appears small but it created an intense and intimate space without making it feel tight. I didn't ever feel like I was sweating on someone or about to step on someone. I also love that it's set in a dark room so you can let it get UGLY and not worry about having people see you!!
But most importantly, I was a HUGE fan of Amanda. The routine that she taught flowed really well and I felt as though I was getting a good variety. It felt like a complete workout, especially with the cardio finish at the end. I also like that it was a 45 seconds per exercise so that I had to learn to pace and push myself a bit differently than I would during a normal 20 second Tabata set.
I also appreciated her ability to motivate us throughout the entire workout. When she wasn't walking around the room yelling words of encouragement and giving us form tips, she was right there in the middle of it all working out with us. I love an instructor that can give form tips during a group workout but at the same time, isn't afraid to get down and sweat with us! Amanda also teachers Barre classes so go see her if you can.
All FLYFit classes are FREE through the end of June!! Check them out a FlyWheel SLU.