Paceline Elite Performance Gym, 1020 Ken Pratt Blvd., Longmont, 720-204-4337, pacelinegym.com
Instructor: Roland Nel started teaching twelve years ago after years of competitive bicycling. Originally from South Africa, Nel and his wife, Candice Schwartz, packed their bags and moved to Colorado in May. They opened Paceline in October, offering Wattbike cycling classes, gymnastics strength training and nutrition consultations.
What is the workout? A cycling class with a spin. All off the stationary bikes are Wattbikes, indoor trainers that sync with mobile devices and record 80-100 metrics a second.
A short preliminary test on the Wattbike measures an individual's training zones which is then recorded in their Wattbike app. The resistance associated with each zone is different for everyone but the intensity is the same. "Everybody is going to be working equally as hard. There is no cheating," Nel said.
I may not have been going as far or as hard as the person next me (who happened to be a semi-professional cyclist), but the level of effort was similar. The Endurance 60 class involved endurance focused with one to two minute intervals that varied in RPMs and zones. As the zones increased so did the resistance.
What's different? Spinning classes are usually a means to an intense cardiovascular workout. While that is a major component of the class, it also puts a significant emphasis on skill building.
"We don't just work on getting people to come in and sweat. You don't want to just raise people's cardio. You want people to come out of a Wattbike class having learned something," Nel said.
The bike records and displays pedaling metrics, and according to a graph I was way in the red — Nel instructed me to pull back on the pedal and activate my calves as my foot reached the bottom of the stroke. This small adjustment made a big difference, taking the load off my quads and distributing the work through my calves and glutes.
Instead of riding a bike at the front of the class, Nel walked around the room giving individual advice. He adjusted my resistance and peddle stroke.
"Because we try and keep it as personalized as possible, your results are going to be far more accurate and far more individualized," Nel said.
Cost: The new rider class is free. The gym is currently running a special; the first month is $45, then the membership fee is $125 a month for unlimited classes and no contract.
Level: Cycling is a low impact exercise, making it approachable for most people. Avoiding injury is even easier due to the personalized nature of this class. This class is accessible if you can balance on a bike seat and you're free of any serious injuries.
When: New rider classes are held at noon on Mondays, 9:30 a.m. on Tuesdays, 7:15 p.m. on Wednesdays and 6 p.m. on Thursdays. Regular classes are offered throughout the day. Check out the detailed schedule online.
What to prepare: Bring water and padded riding shorts. You will thank me for both.
Muscles worked: Legs and core all the way. My core really engaged as the RPMs picked up and I had to keep myself from wobbling on the bike.
What I loved: During other cycling classes my quads fatigued quickly and I couldn't wait until class was over. Conversely, in this class I felt strong all the way through. There was a great camaraderie among the riders and instructors that made the class even more enjoyable.
What I didn't like: Honestly, I loved everything about this class. I never felt lost or out of my depth. If I had one complaint it's that I wish they offered weight training classes. I would love to justify two gym memberships, but sadly no.
How I felt after the class: Icy roads and a full day's work awaited me and despite all this I still felt great. I've spent every day since trying to justify both those gym memberships.
Know of any interesting workouts? Tell us about them so we can check them out: email@example.com.