have you heard all the rave about orangetheory? the format of a cardio blast on the treadmill to get your blood pumpin’ before launching into a full-on HIIT workout supposedly torches fat like nobody’s biz. but yours truly (katy, in-house fitlosophy been-there-tried-that fitness guinea pig) is not a treadmill person, so i’d long ago written off the possibility of testing this theory. then a friend told me about a class called twisted cycle - a sweat-inducing combination of indoor cycling + high intensity interval training (HIIT) that basically sounded like the spin equivalent of orangetheory, which for a spin lover like myself (and our chief fitlosopher), is a no-brainer. i literally could not sign up fast enough, and before i knew it, it was time to get wheel. (i can’t promise that’ll be the last spin pun, but i’ll do my best to keep it to a minimum.)
i must’ve had fear in my eyes as i walked in, because i was greeted immediately by a nice man at the front desk who asked me if it was my first time. when i answered yes, he explained how it was gonna go: we’d be starting with spin to get our heart rates up, then spending the rest of the class doing various strength + endurance exercises - all while wearing a heart rate monitor. he took me through the different heart rate zones, each assigned a color, and informed me that yellow is the fat-burning zone. everyone’s heart rate would be displayed on a big screen in the studio throughout the entire class, which meant no slackin’ for this girl.
it was go time. i entered the large studio, which was broken up into three sections: spin bikes, weights + the more cardio-driven strength exercise tools like boxes, TRX bands + battle ropes. a huge chalkboard mounted on the wall in each section listed out the exercises we’d be attempting that day, which change not only daily, but with each new instructor.
after a little help strapping on my heart-rate monitor (“go for the yellow, katy, go straight for the yellow,” i told myself) and adjusting my bike, i was ready for action. i followed the instructor’s cues, peddling away for 15 minutes straight, alternating tensions + speeds, sometimes standing, other times sitting, oftentimes bobbing from side to side. it was the typical spin format, which is tough, but knowing that it would only be 15 minutes really allowed me to push through even harder than i would in a longer spin class. the time flew.
now it was time to shift gears (i just can’t help myself - i’m punny fo life), getting my feet on the ground + my weights in the air. bicep curls, skull crushers, slam balls, battle ropes, burpees - you name it, we were doin’ it. 15 minutes at each of the two sections. since it was my first class, i had the option to stick to both the lighter weights and the lower reps...which i happily went with. mind you, even the “lighter” weights still felt like lifting a 10-ton bag of sand, and let’s just say 20 burpees with box toe-taps doesn’t exactly feel like taking it easy - especially after 15 minutes of hardcore spin + 30 minutes of non-stop strength training.
we ended with 5 minutes of abs, which felt like child’s pose compared to the rest of the class. i left the class drenched in sweat and brimming with endorphins. is there a better feeling than knowing you just crushed a really great workout??
i cannot recommend twisted cycle enough, especially if you are a fan of more intense workouts. i’ve never worn a heart-rate monitor for a workout in my entire life, but it definitely added a measure of determination for me, which meant i really gave it my all the entire class. i also love that they break it down into bite-sized segments - it makes it feel totally doable, as opposed to a regular spin class where knowing that you have to keep this up for an entire hour can seem daunting. i'll definitely be giving it a spin again! (ok, last one, i promise.)
have a workout you love + think we should try? let us know in the comments below!