By Pamela Weinberg
Despite the depressed New York economy, group cycling classes have been popping up all around Manhattan, especially uptown. For $25 to $30 per class, you can work out your frustrations on a spin bike and burn calories as you decompress.
Group cycling classes (also known as Spin classes) have been popular in New York City for at least a decade. When these high-intensity exercise classes were first introduced, they were only offered at the major fitness chains. If you wanted to take a Spin class, you needed to be a member of a gym or beg a friend for a guest pass.
Two years ago, Soul Cycle changed all of that by opening the first stand-alone spin studio in Manhattan. Soul Cycle offers day and evening classes seven days a week. They boast some of the most popular instructors in the City, many (Laurie, Stacey, and Ruth) with cult followings. The classes book up quickly so to insure your seat, you must sign up online at noon on Mondays for the week ahead. Soul Cycle’s website describes the studio as a “spa-like environment with a yoga vibe.” Scented candles, great soaps and products in the bathrooms and the not-so-occasional celebrity spotting make this studio very hip and popular. Sign up at Soul-cycle.com for classes in New York City all year around, and Bridgehampton in the summer.
Soul-Cycle’s biggest competition in the city and the Hamptons is ZoneHampton. ZoneHampton has been an East End mainstay for nearly a decade and Marion has been there from the beginning, first as an instructor, then an owner. Her New York studio opened about a year and half ago on the East Side sharing space with Monqi Fitness. Much new buzz was added last month when Marion installed a new type of bike that moves from side to side so the rider simulates turning and really feels the ride. These classes are intense and provide a tougher workout than ever before. The atmosphere here is relaxed and the people behind the desk, Nohemy, etc. are lovely. Marion’s classes fill up quickly and reservations are recommended. Sign-ups are done online at zonehampton.com on Wednesday’s beginning at noon. ZoneHampton has recently added a Soho studio and a Southampton studio to its burgeoning empire.
The newest spin studio to hit the Upper East Side is The Studio, run by James Park. Park was a former instructor at ZoneHampton and is known as having a voice like a DJ and his own flair for catchy mantras that permeate his classes: “Don’t make it a thing” is his latest. Park’s studio is gorgeous, and if it wasn’t an exercise studio, you would want to live there. The space is sunny and overlooks East 72nd Street from the second floor. The room is smaller than Soul Cycle and ZoneHampton, but very cozy and Park seems to know everyone in his classes and treats them like family. Sign-ups right now are taken by phone, and the weekend classes do tend to fill up.
117 W. 72nd Street (rear lobby)
207 E. 67th St. (Third Avenue)
147 E. 72nd Street (2nd floor)
Between 3rd and Lexington
Pamela Weinberg is co-author of City Baby, the best-selling NYC parenting guidebook, and runs seminars for new and expectant moms. Her website is www.citybabyny.com