Is swearing allowed on here? Because holy f*@k, where do we begin? If you’re looking for the type of ride that changes your life on a weekly basis, in a studio that doesn’t miss a single detail, look no further. From the space and workout to the community and instructor, our experience at SPARKCYCLE La Jolla was top notch, and we can’t wait to tell you and all our friends all about it.
A workout doesn’t even begin to describe the incredible experience we had on our bikes. Shannon got things going fast and kept the energy and the pace up the entire time. Whether it was sprinting or climbing a hill, every single person in that room – Shannon included, which was incredibly impressive – was stomping to the beat in perfect unison. We were all sweating, dancing, laughing, and cheering together and before we knew it, the 45-minute class was over as quickly as it started. You know you’ve had an amazing workout when the time flies and you’re almost sad the experience is over!
As spin class veterans, we’ve come to expect the sprints, climbs, tap backs, and jumps but we were extremely pleased and surprised with all the creative new moves and choreography Shannon was able to work into her sequence. She even took a different approach to the weighted arm section, working in triceps and pulsing moves whereas we feel a lot of instructors typically only focus on shoulders and biceps.
To top it all off, her playlist was EN FUEGO (insert fire emoji)! Girl, can we get a link to your Spotify? The soundtrack to our ride was filled with lots of pop, hip-hop and electronic tracks mixed with house music and layered so well that you could barely tell where one song ended and the next began. The only way it could have been better is if a DJ was mixing our ride live – but honestly, it was pretty close.
We knew we were in for a treat when nearly the entire class started cheering when Shannon walked into the room. People were HYPED UP.
Despite the fact that there were obviously many SPARKCYCLE addicts in the room, Shannon still took a few minutes before getting us into the workout to explain the bike and how the class would go. She also noted that she’d give us instruction the whole way through. It was a small but thoughtful gesture as an instructor because a room full of highly-energetic spin class pros who all seem to be best friends would be an intimidating situation to walk into as a spinning newbie.
Shannon’s instruction was seamless; she kept us all hyped up and sprinkled in just enough inspirational talk for us to know it was truly authentic and not just a motivational script she’d memorized.
What she stressed most was that we ride as one. At the beginning of class, she had us quickly say hello to our neighbors and promise to use our energy to inspire our fellow riders to go just a little bit harder. Before the end of class, she reminded us that while we can each accomplish so much alone, together we create something so much more special – a concept we loved. What sets the good instructors apart from the ones who build cult followings are their abilities to transform our time spent together from a workout into something SO MUCH deeper than that.
Her workout was tough for sure, but what really pushes Shannon into superstar status is the incredible experience and community she’s built and fostered at SPARKCYCLE. Shannon’s energy and attitude is contagious, and the magic that takes place during one of her classes is what keeps people coming back.
SPARKCYCLE La Jolla is one of the few studios in the area that delivers on their premium promises and high-end price point. A drop-in here will set you back $24, but it’s money well spent. At each class, you’re provided with a complimentary shoe rental, a towel that is always perfectly rolled and placed on your bike, and a cool eucalyptus towel brought to you at the end of the workout while you’re still on your bike. There are also plenty of lockers available for use, in addition to bathrooms and showers.
The studio’s equipment is the latest and greatest. Their state-of-the-art Stages bikes are carefully arranged across stadium risers to make sure every rider has a great view. The spin room is kept dark with red glowing light to start, but that quickly changes as there are many dynamic overhead and floor lighting options for the instructor to pair with the thumping, crystal clear audio system.
The staff is always friendly and goes the extra mile to make sure their members consistently have the best experience possible. What we appreciated most was how well-staffed the studio was at a busy after-work time slot. There was always someone at the front desk, in addition to two girls inside the studio to assist with setting bikes up and answering any other questions or concerns. We also noticed that as we cleared out at the end of class, they were coming in to wipe down the bikes before the next class, so you can rest assured that the studio is being sanitized.
2835 Perry Rd, San Diego, CA 92106 La Jolla Spin $$$
SPARKCYCLE La Jolla
La Jolla Spin, $$$
2835 Perry Rd, San Diego, CA 92106
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Sean gave us an upbeat welcome when we walked into class, somehow making us excited for him to kick our asses. It was his third time teaching that day, so we expected him to be a little tired, but of course he proved us (way) wrong. If you have a love for choreography, Sean is the guy for you! It was one of those classes where you were constantly doing moves, legitimately feeling like you were having a dance party on a bike. He kept us all motivated and encouraged by reminding us “you’re okay” throughout class. We don’t know about you, but little reminders like that really help us when we feel like we might die (bit of an exaggeration but you know what we mean). He was sure to throw a few heavy climb songs in there, giving the class an overall perfect balance that left us feeling inspired, motivated, and dead all at the same time. Let’s be honest – isn’t that the mix of feelings we all hope to feel when leaving a good workout class?!
Vanessa is a cheerful and spunky ball of energy. Not only are her sequences and playlists top notch, but she pairs them with an enthusiastic attitude and wide smile that instantly elevate the vibe of her class and riders. The best part is that we can tell it’s all completely genuine too and that she’s not just putting on a peppy, positive instructor face to motivate her class. This is truly how she steps out into the world every day! If there is one word we could use to describe her class, it would be FUN! At the beginning of class she ran through the “welcome to spin class” basics, but as we got into it, she had us clapping and dancing all over our bikes. Despite our class that morning being strangely half empty, we could tell the few people in the room were thoroughly excited to be there. Her sequencing and choreography were definitely challenging, but the type of tough you walk away from feeling accomplished versus defeated. We loved kicking off our weekend with Vanessa and can’t wait to ride with her again. She’s a great instructor for riders of all skill levels and anyone who likes to crack a smile during their workout.
Katie, also the studio’s manager, is a friendly and down-to-earth instructor. She’s the type of girl you met and instantly become friends because she keeps it “one hunnid” percent real; her class is no different. Her instruction style is the too be expected adjectives of thoughtful and encouraging, but what we really enjoyed about riding with Katie was that she broke the instructor persona often, joking with the class and making very relatable comments. We love when instructors show us that they are humans too! The cherry on top of this real ride sundae was that her playlist was a fire compilation of electronic and hip hop remixes. It was obvious the class was feeling it too as every person it the room was stomping it out in unison like a total badass. Our only minor critique is that a tiny bit more variety in choreography would have been appreciated. Otherwise, if you are looking for a heart-pumping workout with a no pretenses instructor, Katie P. is your girl.
Breanne is a friendly and approachable spin instructor who takes the time to make sure her class-goers feel comfortable. Before class got going, she took a few brief moments to explain the bike’s functionality and the concept of riding to the beat. She knew that there were no new riders in our class that morning, but just because it isn’t your first time on a bike doesn’t mean you aren’t nervous or haven’t forgotten a thing or two. This simple gesture immediately created a welcoming atmosphere. We found her class structure to be the perfect middle ground; she provided us a sufficient warm-up, then got us into sprints and climbs before bringing us down the hill and into arms. One thing we especially enjoyed was during her second to last song where she gave us the freedom to ride however we preferred. She turned off the lights and encouraged us to close our eyes and feel into what our bodies needed that morning. While we like Breanne and enjoyed her class, our only request is for slightly more variety in the choreography and a bit more soul and passion from her.
McClaren brings a tough loving sort of energy to her classes. She’s the type of instructor that has a cool nonchalance about her. But, while her class was tough, and she continually hyped us up, we feel her sequencing lacked structure and an understanding of how to optimize her rider’s energy output. We appreciated the time she took at the beginning of class to welcome new riders and to explain the bike’s functionality. She also reminded us that if the choreography got overwhelming then to just focus on riding to the beat, which we think can be a huge sigh of relief for new riders. But, as class got going, we found ourselves confused with how the ride was coming together. We seemed to continuously add resistance, even during sprints, but we never actually climbed a hill. The class structure seemed to lack an elegant crescendo and decrescendo and left us feeling depleted. We did love, however, how McClaren added triceps to her arm section as we feel that most instructors heavy up on shoulders and miss other arm muscles. We’d recommend riders with a bit of experience and endurance take McClaren’s class.