If exercise is your church, then walking into the converted gothic cathedral that houses Monster Cycle Limelight is where you can go to confess your caloric sins. It might not be obvious at first, but the giant cathedral on the corner of 6th and 20th is actually a workout mega studio called Limelight and on this day, we were here for a spin class. Gothic on the outside and mega dark and grungy on the inside, this is no prim and proper boutique studio, but these beat-based spin classes are a great sweat and have some unique additions (you know, aside from location).
Monster Cycle is a beat-based spin class where you not only ride to the beat of the music, but simultaneously watch music videos as they are projected onto two giant screens at the front of the studio. Class starts out with riders gathered outside the massive wooden doors. As they open a few minutes before class starts (we half expected to see church pews, and not rows of spin bikes), everyone rushes in, because…it’s a free for all! That’s right, no “bike 12 is my favorite” business here, bikes are first come first serve. However, what we quickly realized, is that unlike other studios where one might vye for that front row bike with the perfect mirror view, it really doesn’t matter where you ride at Monster Cycle. The focal point of the studio is the two front screens, there are no mirrors here to stare at yourself while you hit a 1-2 sprint. Class started with a warm-up track, a few jogs, and a 10(!!!) minute climb over four songs. These classes are not choreographed, don’t expect tap-backs, crunches or elbow drops, but do expect to hit seated and standing sprints, intervals, and an upper body weighted arm workout towards the end of the ride. There are no metrics in these classes, and resistance was somewhat up to the riders to decide. Luckily it’s fairly easy to find a resistance that matches the beat of the music, but a little more guidance from the instructor wouldn’t have been such a bad thing, just to keep us on track. Now let’s talk about these music video projections. Our feelings are mixed. First of all, we don’t think we’ve actually watched a music video since 2000, so that was a fun throwback. But what if you look away from the screen for a few seconds, only to look back at a giant projection of some girl’s booty? Let’s just say things can get alarming. A distraction from the work being put in? Perhaps. But does it make the workout mindless, like eating dinner in front of the TV? Also a possibility. Either way, it’s an interesting addition to what would otherwise be an average spin class, and definitely gave us something to talk about post-class.
If Monster Cycle is a church, Danielle was the preacher, leading the class with confidence and high energy through her curated tracks. Her music was a selection of club-type beats, with a sprinkling of Iggy Azalea and Beyonce (Beyonce is always appropriate). Danielle was clear in her directions, though at times unclear with how much resistance we should have on our bike (“Turn it up”..but how much? We have questions!) Overall though, it would be an understatement to say we entered this ride feeling groggy after a long day at work, but Danielle managed by hype us up in 45 minutes, and we left feeling bright, shiny and accomplished.
The Monster Cycle space, where to begin! First of all, it’s in a church. Not a small church, a massive, looming church, pretty awesome if you ask us. Step inside the doors however and enter a dungeon. All black everything, dark, and gloomy. This place is NOT boutique chic. The locker situation was stressful, it took a few minutes of waiting for a locker to open up, and we wondered if at times there aren’t enough lockers if a class is full. The “locker room”, if you will, is a cramped co-ed space that was pretty traumatic to navigate in the post-class sweat bath. There are two showers hidden behind curtains, but honestly we think it would be terrifying to get nude in this place. Come for the workout, do not come for the amenities, shower at home.
47 W 20th St, New York, NY 10011 Chelsea Spin $$$
The Monster Cycle Limelight – Chelsea
Chelsea Spin, $$$
47 W 20th St, New York, NY 10011
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