NikkiFitness Faves: NYC Class Review of Equinox’s THE PURSUiT Spin/ Class.
I work in fitness, and I love it so much, that sampling the city’s hottest boutique classes has become a hobby.
And, different from other bloggers out there who write about taking classes, I am actually certified in group fitness/yoga/personal training, and have been teaching and training for over 15 years. I know what works, what doesn’t, what’s dangerous, and what’s a gimmick.
Ratings- “Boost”: what was great and different/”Sweat”: how tough of a workout/”Safety”: what I don’t love/ “Fun Factor”: was it as much fun as a night out?
1=lowest 10=highest rating (60= perfect 10s)
Equinox’s The Pursuit new spin class (SoHo preview #EqxPursuit, and multiple locations launching soon) TOTAL 45! (My second highest rating after Flywheel and just more than Chaise Fitness)
This is a long review, because a lot happens in this class. Thank goodness. If I was reviewing 95% of most spin classes in America it would only take a few sentence.
The Look: 7 – It’s a typical Equinox with large spa-like fitness luxury. The Pursuit class I tried included orange glow bracelets that matched the branding of the new class. The Spin studio has a stage and large screen in behind the instructor that shows many different measurement graphics and also techno-inspired lighting to rev up your ride. The bikes are not on stadium platforms, just a flat room.
The Boost Factor: 9 – I think normal spin classes are too boring and the lack of measurement and comparison/instruction about how fast you should be going with how much resistance. Lack of measurement makes it either too easy, or you are unsure how to to allocate your output so you work hard, yet have enough left over for that last 10 minutes. Soul Cycle amused me for its party atmosphere, but the “quarter turn right” and “race” instructions leave a lot to guesswork. So I loved Flywheel when I first tried it because of all the metrics, the TorqueBoard/App where you compete with yourself and others and how you work hard but still have some juice for the last push, yet the class is fun and flies by! (See my review of that class). You use the bike computers less in the Pursuit class than in Flywheel, but there are about 4 different ways to motivate and compete in this class, which makes it fun, challenging and keeps your mind (sort of) off of your tired body. I do wish the instructor had mentioned the bike computer a little more, like “You should aim for this power number now”, or “Race at this level of RPMs.”
The Sweat Factor: 9 – I rarely have sweat-shinny arms/face/chest/neck during even boot-camp classes, but I was definitely soaked in this class. There were times when I had to back off to really catch my breath during the races because you want to push so hard the whole time. (A good thing).
The Safety Factor: 8 –There are no weights for arm toning, which many say make for a safer spin class, however I don’t think safety is really that much at risk when your legs pedal lightly. I actually enjoy them for a little more of a full-body workout. Either way, this class only felt slightly unsafe in the shoe – because I am used to locking rental spin shoes into the bike pedals. They offer clip-in only if you own your own spin shoes. I used regular sneakers like many of the participants, and a few times I felt like in 3rd position, my right foot might come lose.
Sore Factor: 4– I was not so much sore in my quads as I just felt that they were tired the next day. There was not a lot of instruction on how to engage your backside in 3rd position, so I feel like I did less than in Flywheel. It’s more about cardio and burning calories. People who spin less than once a week might feel quad soreness.
Fun Factor: 9 – This preview class was supposed to start at 7:15pm but we sat around and entered the bike room at 7:40, and didn’t start class until 7:50 so that was very annoying, especially if you have to travel and deal with childcare. However, the fun of the class made up for this scheduling snafu. There were three different phases to class, and this is what makes it so different and great. First, you see your spin wheel with the number of your bike on the screen, the spokes around it grow thicker and spin faster the harder you work, either from adding more resistance, increasing RPMs or both. When you start the first race, your wheel climbs up the screen depending on how hard you are working, and you see where everyone else is as well. Then you have 3 timed races against yourself (but also kind of against others), each time being notified by your wheel turning blue if you are on track to beat your first time. After the third race, the screen changes and tells you the top 8 men and the top 8 women in class so far.
Between each of the 10-minute races there is ample time to recover and hydrate.
The second 10-minute race brings a music genre change and divides the class in half randomly. Your bike number drops into a pyramid every time you reach a quarter mile, so the first to get one or more pyramids in a certain amount of time causes an avalanche and wins after three races. This was the least fun part but still interesting and different. They show the top 8 men and women again, so you try hard even if you are not a team person, because you want to move from 8-6 for example.
The last 10-minute section of class divides the class from left to right in 3 different teams, and you watch an outlined race course to see which teams take the lead and when. There are three separate races and the best time and power effort wins. This brings a little more camaraderie because you know who your teammates are and you still work hard because you want to rise up that tip 8 list by the end of class. The good (or bad part depending on how much you want to be guided) is that you can sit, or go into 3rd position at any time in class, lighten the resistance and race or increase and go with the beat during probably 70% of class. I prefer a little more guidance so we are all on the same race, but others might like this freedom. Bottom line, the class flies by, ends with a nice stretch and uses more than one water bottle to make it through. No one coasts.
Fitness – fit it in your week with cross-training and fun class visits!
Nikki is a hard-core class fitness instructor, celebrity personal trainer, yoga teacher, TV Fitness personality, creator of 11 DVDs and author of the Slimnastics Workout. Follow her on FB, Insta + Twitter: @NikkiFitness or www.nikkifitness.com