What it is: CycleBar, a boutique gym that offers spinning combined with upper-body exercise (hence the eponymous “bar”).
What’s new: Adding arms to the killer leg workout that is spinning. When not in use, the short, 4- to 6-pound bars rest neatly on the handlebars of the 25-gear Schwinn bikes. In the 50-minute class I took, we used the bars for a set of short — and wincingly effective — triceps, biceps and shoulder exercises.
Spinning in style: I’ve taken spinning classes off and on for years at some run-of-the-mill gyms and some downright grungy ones. CycleBar is decidedly upscale, with its stadium seating and theater-like lighting and sound. It’s sort of like going to a movie. Except for the pedaling. And the sweating.
Kinds of classes: The Woodbury CycleBar (currently the state’s only franchise) offers a classic ride, which includes hills, races, a techno-free song or two and a music video. There also are themed rides (such as the recent Prince music/video tribute), happy hour (which is followed by beer and wine), Sunday brunch (mimosas and muffins) and coffee rides.
For the competitive: There’s a large computer-generated scoreboard where you can post your stats, if you so desire, and compete with others in the class on RPM, power and your place in the pack.
For the not-so competitive: You don’t have to post your stats.
Sound of music: The gym has a state-of-the art sound system and boasts access to 2.5 million songs. During the 50-minute workout, we heard everything from Fergie to Sting. Each instructor makes his or her own playlist, which you can download after the class.
My moment of zen: Veteran instructor Jason Patalonis turned the music down, dimmed the lights and left the room in silence for a few minutes. Totally zoning out while pedaling was surprisingly refreshing.
Cost: $20 per ride, with multi-ride packages for $15 each. There are discounts for new riders, plus a free 30-minute intro class. Clip-on shoe rental, lockers and water bottles also are free. CycleBar (265 Radio Dr., Suite E, Woodbury, woodbury.cyclebar.com)