Thursday, December 5, 2013

A traveler's guide to spinning in Somerset, NJ

This week I find myself traveling in NJ for work, so unfortunately I was not able to make my favorite spinning class this morning with Anna at Form. However, with a little bit of advanced planning, I was able to locate a morning spinning class at the NY Sports Club near the hotel I am staying, and for a reasonable $15 guest fee I reserved a spot.

I'd never really considered the cultural differences between spinning in the US and spinning in Sweden, but this class certainly made them apparent. In a room of approximately 20 participants, I was the only man. This, apparently, is not uncommon in the United States, where spinning has gained a reputation as a feminine pursuit, as described by Pete Iorizzo. Also of note was the age of the participants--I was easily the youngest person in the room by at least 5 years.

The class instructor, Michael Chunko (picture at right), does not perhaps look the part of the typical spinning leader, but one could tell immediately from his rapport with the class regulars that he is well-liked. And after 45 minutes of heavy resistance alternated with super fast pedaling, the floor under my stationary bike was a pool of sweat. This was one of the more technical spinning classes I've taken, made possible by the fact that the bikes at NYCSC have a digital display with both cadence and resistance. This allowed Mike to call out numbers for each interval ("You should be seeing 68 RPM right now.") which in turn allowed each participant to dial in the appropriate resistance for their ability level.

My final result: average heart rate 159 bpm; max heart rate 185 bpm; calories burned 773 kcal. Not bad for a 45 minute start to the day, and a much more satisfying workout than I probably would have achieved at the hotel gym.

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