◊ THE CLASS: SPIN ◊
WHAT YOU NEED
Form-fitting bottoms, and if you have a sensitive derrière, padded shorts
(Shoes are provided)
We were in Calgary for the weekend, so we checked out a studio that’s been on our list for the longest time because we know a TON of people who frequent this sweaty establishment on the regular. We also brought along a bunch of friends, which made the whole thing more fun. Friends who
spew spin together, stay together…or something, right? YYC Cycle is one of Calgary’s top spin studios and they now have three locations in Calgary: Kensington, Mardaloop and Avenida. We checked out the Kensington studio, since it’s their OG, and they successfully brought ALL the high-sweat, high-energy, high-calorie killing heat that we love about spin. Within minutes of walking in, we felt warmly welcomed and part of the crew and Mackenzie (aka The Motivator – as they call their instructors) totally lived up to the name. She kept us going hard for the entire 50 minutes, even when we didn’t want to (but did?). We finished the class with a round of high fives and a stroll through Kensington in search of strong-ass coffee. Not sure a Saturday gets much better?!
As mentioned, YYC Cycle has three locations in Calgary; Kensington, Mardaloop and Avenida and they’ve also expanded to YEG where they have two locations, on Whyte Ave and 124th Street (review for those here). We wanted to check out their roots at the original Kensington location, which is RIGHT in the heart of Kensington. If you’re familiar with Calgary, you’ll definitely be familiar with Kensington, but if you’re not, Kensington is the city’s cultural hub – filled with restaurants, coffee shops, independent boutiques, and cool people. One downside to the otherwise sparkly location is parking. There’s a variety of parking options on Kensington Road and the surrounding streets, some streets are free before 9am and after 6pm, and others are completely free, but be sure to check the street signs and arrive early since this area is always busy. There’s also paid heated underground parking accessible via 10A street.
CLASS SCHEDULE + PRICE
This is a spin only studio offering straight up, uncomplicated, sweat-it-out spin. All classes are 50 minutes and, with the exception of different instructors that may switch it up a bit, you can expect a very consistent ride from class to class that will incorporate sprints, hills, and some arm work like tricep dips and push-ups. This is where things get interesting. That style of class and the consistently of it can be what a lot of people really want, and it was challenging for sure – see more below in the Level of Difficulty section – however we did shave the top off the pineapple here because after much chatting with our peeps in Calgary, there’s a feeling that the classes don’t change a lot from this hills, sprints, dips formula. Again, that can be enough and totally perfect for a lot of people, but if we were to go back again and again, or if we compare it to many studios we’ve been to in Toronto, we would love to see more freshness being brought to the classes and the choreography.
As far as the schedule, classes start at 6:00am during the week with the last class usually at 7:45pm. On weekends, classes don’t start until 8:00am but they shut things down early around 2:00pm. All riders need to sign-up online to reserve a bike prior to class and it’s recommended to arrive at least 15 minutes before class to give you time to properly set-up. Each of the bikes in the studio is numbered, so when you check in you can reserve the bike you want on a chart located on the corner of the desk. Had we come alone, we might not have truly appreciated this – but it was an amazing perk when rolling with our homies (not even going to apologize for the Clueless reference).
Prices are great for a spin studio and with extras like shoes, and towel service, it’s worth every penny. They offer a 10% discount for students and the more you buy, the cheaper the ride – such as the 20-ride pass which works out to $15 per ride. Monthly memberships only make sense if you’re a committed rider. The Monthly Membership for example is only a better deal if you see yourself hitting the pedals more than three times a week. One thing that we really loved is YYC Cycle’s community love. Every Friday is a “GIVE’R” class with a $10 drop-in rate, with 100% of the proceeds going to their current charity of choice. The YYC spinners certainly take advantage of these discounted Fridays, because YYC Cycle is currently on track to donate 2 million dollars! Woot!
- Single Ride: $20
- 5 Rides: $90 ($18 per ride)
- 10 Rides: $170 ($17 per ride)
- 20 Rides: $300 ($15 per ride)
- 1 Month Membership: $199
- Intro Offer $65 for 3 weeks unlimited and 1 year for $1500
While this studio is quite small, it’s also bright and really well laid out. The lobby has plenty of open space for riders to transition, with a large amount of seating outside the cycle studio to act as a waiting area. We love the programmable lockers to store your things (bye bye, BYOL… bring your own lock) and the change rooms offer lots of space to de-gross yourself after class and get ready for the rest of your day. The walls are covered with inspirational quotes, exposed brick (hearts for eyes), custom art, neon lights and lots of character. The cycle studio is set in a dark room with tons of lights, which “The Motivator” will adjust throughout class, and the entire class is based around killer beats and motivated humans. It’s like a healthy nightclub and just as sweaty. Side note, and listen up because it’s important: we have taken a lot of spin classes and the seats on these bikes are SOFT. Like, much better than usual. We’re confused because they don’t look different, but the classic next day “ouchies” we usually experience were not there. What’s up with this YYC Cycle, tell us your tricks?? Either way, your bum will appreciate it.
The crowd for our class was a mix of mid 20’s to early 30’s, with almost a 50/50 split of male to female and 75% full. Capacity for the studio is 43 bikes, so when it’s full, it’s a fun ride. A few rules at YYC Cycle that we’re also totally into: no phones in the spin studio and keep talking to a minimum. You’re there to focus on your hills, homies.
- Shower facilities with all the extras you need (shampoo, conditioner, hairspray, hair dryers, straighteners, etc)
- Lockers with built-in programmable locks
- Towel service
- Cycle shoes provided
- Little touch – bubble gum at the front desk – scoring points
The staff at YYC Cycle are super helpful and welcoming. This is especially true for first timers, as the staff spend the time to ensure that riders are properly set up. YYC Cycle was established about four years ago, and now has roughly 55 instructors on their roster (holy amazing). Each instructor will offer a different experience but they will always bring high energy, a curated playlist and tons of inspiration.
Let’s start by saying; Mackenzie did not have it easy in this class. There were serious issues happening with the audio, meaning our beats were crackly and too quiet for our liking. It’s a shame, because part of the allure of YYC Cycle is the amazing beats and accompanying tempo of your workout. That being said, Mackenzie did an amazing job keeping us all full of life even in the poor circumstances. We were seriously impressed with how smoothly she managed to sync the lights with the music, even while she HAD to have been frustrated. Her music ranged from EDM and remixes of top 40 pop, and we can only imagine how much cooler the entire thing would have been with full volume and quality. Mackenzie rode the class with us the ENTIRE time, which is super impressive because we consider ourselves pretty fit and we could hardly breathe – seriously, kudos M. One suggestion we had for the class is to potentially integrate more knowledge based instruction. There were two things we struggled with in our first ever YYC Cycle experience. First off, we had a hard time finding a gauge on how hard we should be going. This is both the beauty and the curse of spin, you choose your own adventure, however, there wasn’t much instruction for us on how hard we should be pushing at specific times. Mackenzie did, however, give us plenty of cues to protect our knees for certain movements, which was definitely appreciated. The second thing we struggled with was when we had to change up our hand/arm movements. YYC Cycle refers to different numbered hand positions and sometimes Mackenzie had us dive into various patterns of those numbered positions. We definitely could have used a refresher because we were lost. We’re already uncoordinated, and uncoordinated and confused left us super grateful for the low lighting.
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY
WAY HARD | HARD | MIDDLE OF THE ROADSIES | CHILL | HELLA CHILL
Before starting the class, we had to set up our bikes. The YYC team was super helpful ensuring we set the bikes up properly for our bodies, and they also have a wicked video on their website to break it down. Once we were clipped in with our fancy cycle shoes, we were set. If you’re not used to these shoes, clipping in can be QUITE the challenge but Mackenzie was on hand to make sure we were good and ready.
There was quite the mixed bag of skills levels in the room, with some individuals definitely new to YYC Cycle (us included) but many seasoned members of the Bikergang, which we appreciated greatly because it gave us people to follow cues from when the dips and hand movements got a little confusing. For the 50-minute class, Mackenzie had us out of our seat almost immediately and into sprints to get our heart rate high. We transitioned into hills to work our legs and glutes, and the “resting” time was a mix of arm work, little mini dance parties, and throwing out words of encouragement and back-pats to our neighbours. This class forced us to dig deep and push through doubt and fatigue, and we definitely appreciated the low lighting so we could hide the serious struggle that was our lives. We wrapped it up with a hard push to the finish line and a short cool down and stretch. This one belongs on your must try list.
To try this class or anything else on their schedule, see YYC Cycle’s contact info below:
Web: www.yyc-cycle.com PHONE: 403.229.0737 EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org Instagram | Facebook | Twitter