It always makes me feel old when I describe a restaurant or bar as “You know, the place that used to be [insert restaurant that was the place to be for six months and then it died but the new place at which we’re about to totally overpay for drinks and mediocre food totally won’t follow that same path.]” Especially when I have to insert cringe-worthy names like “Privilege,” “Area-then-Industry” or “Guys? Guys and Dolls…I don’t remember: the one we typically walked by on our way to stuffing our face at Dominick’s.”
Interestingly enough, however, my first time having to do this for a gym just made me feel really athletic.
In what used to be the uber-run down cycling studio at Train, the brand spanking new Cycle House has emerged. And no, this is not just a fresh coat of paint, new sign, call it a day takeover: this is a full renovation into a completely new studio.
The place is beautiful. From the shoes, to the bikes, to the decor - everything is brand new, and they spared no expenses in making it a luxury fitness destination. If you are using the studio’s shoes - as I did - they are waiting for you at your reserved bike when you arrive with a fresh towel. It’s those details that really add to the experience.
The class is 45 minutes, and starts off with a statement from the instructor that makes me realize I’ve probably been spinning wrong for years: In order to get the workout benefit of riding along a FLAT road, the resistance pads need to at least be touching the wheel. Not a hill…a flat road. Take a look the next time you’re spinning…just touching the wheel is more resistance than you would expect.
There is nowhere to hide, as my fitness friend Lauren has us in the front row center (bless her, probably for the best). That means that every time the instructor has us turn the resistance up, I’m turning it up - and no sneaking any decrease resistance turns. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: spinning, when you’re really following the “turn the resistance up” commands from the instructor, is the most intense workout there is.
The 45-minute spin is mostly out of the saddle, a lot of hills, and just a few sprints toward the end. The music is well-suited for the ride, and can best be described as the playlist your hip, music-aficionado friend would make for you knowing you like pop music, but hoping you can appreciate some more quality jams in there. In addition to a mix of hills and some runs, we do five minutes of light (2lb) weights, but that really serve to fatigue the arms for some decent toning.
Between the music and the variation on challenges, the class really flies by and I’m surprised when it’s over.
I will say one thing: the whole look, feel and routine is a little - shall we say - derived from SoulCycle. The lighting, the motivational signs, the light weight workout at exactly the same time it’s done at Soul Cycle, the instructor-turned-DJ running a playlist of a laptop in the front - everything right down to the LED candles around the instructor platform screams “We’re not messing with a formula that works.” As I have no monetary investment in SoulCycle, I’m fine with this.
The first class is discounted 50%, which makes trying it totally worthwhile. The prices, however, were also ripped off from Soul Cycle - as in super ‘spensive. The 45 minute classes start at $26, and go down to $22.60 if you purchase 25 of them. Granted, this is all inclusive of the shoes, the parking, towel service…but the pricing is the one thing I miss from Train.
The rusty bikes, not so much.
624 North La Cienega Blvd
The instructor: Jason
Key Takeaways: If you like SoulCycle, you’ll like Cycle House, if you don’t like the SoulCycle prices, you won’t like Cycle House prices