Spinning is the trendy term for the recent explosion of classes centered around choreographed group rides on stationary bikes, usually led by an instructor with heavy background music to keep you moving. Each individual rider is responsible for controlling his or her own flywheel resistance, pedal rate and following the intense instructions, but the Twin Cities' best instructors will push you harder than you thought possible, and keep you coming back for more.
The Firm Minneapolis
1010 N. Second Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55405
Price: $25 day passes/from $75 monthly memberships
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Hours: 60-minute classes available daily starting as early as 6:15 a.m. or as late as 6:15 p.m.
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Opening in 1986, The Bangles and The Culture Club were cranking out hits, and the gutsy founders of The Firm decided to capitalize on all of that dance energy to get people moving in the same direction in the same room. Fast forward through the years (and a few bad music and fashion trends later), and The Firm is still going strong. Calling its decorating style modern industrial is putting this wonky studio's decor nicely, but five minutes into a 60-minute spin session and you will forget all about your surroundings as you pedal your way through a list of what's hot. If you don't walk out with one of the best workouts in a long time, it'll only be because you forgot to get on the bike.
The Shed Fitness Studio
2800 Lyndale Ave. South
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Price: seven-day trial available/$15 single classes
Click here for packaged rates
Hours: 60-minute classes available daily starting as early as 5:45 a.m. or as late as 7:15 p.m.
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To get more out of your gym than typical workouts provide, the The Shed might just be for you. It actively posts fitness tips, nutrition hints and schedules updates on Twitter and Facebook, and maintains a pretty useful blog with guest authors discussing their class experiences. Fancy technological hooks aside, it also offers one heck of a fitness experience. Its classes are intentionally kept small, and when the weather turns nice, classes move outside to its secluded rooftop deck. The owners consider spinning classes to be their bread and butter, and they have been so popular that they have spun off (pun intended) variations including Spin 45, Spin & Abs, and Spin & Strength. If you can't find what you need in one of these, they're more than happy to work with you to create just the right class combination to suit your needs.
Shady Oak Center
6409 City West Pkwy., Ste. 107
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
Price: free first class/from $15 for single classes/monthly pass discounts by class quantity
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Hours: 45- to 120-minute classes available daily starting as early as 5:45 a.m. or as late as 8 p.m.
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Billing themselves as the area's premier indoor cycling studio, CycleQuest in Eden Prairie has a little something for everyone. Specific beginner-focused classes aim to make those new to the sport feel at home, while it boasts an impressive list of professional athletes, and even a high school-level national record holder, who call CycleQuest home. Online reservations help make the most efficient use of your time, allowing you to reserve your spot ahead of time instead of showing up to class 30 minutes early just to make sure you get in. Pay-as-you-go plans also help remove the up-front investment some clubs are known for, helping make every athlete comfortable with his or her experience. Large HDTVs, quiet bikes and a small studio atmosphere help round out what can be quite a pleasant, motivating atmosphere.
Minneapolis Downtown YMCA
30 S. 9th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Joining your local YMCA offers you much more than just the regularly scheduled spinning/group cycling classes, and has the added benefit of letting you go to a class in any convenient YMCA location. Personal trainers, like Angie at the Downtown Minneapolis location, will help you set up a personalized plan to get the most out of all of the available fitness options. These drop-in classes require no registration and can include children as young as 10 with adult supervision and 15 without accompaniment. Because riders change positions frequently, instructors recommend hand wraps to prevent discomfort.
Corepower Yoga Highland Park
680 Cleveland Ave. South
St. Paul, MN 55116
Price: free unlimited first week/from $85 multi-class packages/from $124 monthly memberships starting
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Hours: vary by day, with several spinning classes offered per day
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While a studio known for its heated yoga classes might not seem like the most obvious choice for spinning classes, Corepower's Yoga Ryder classes might be just what you are looking for. Boasting RealRyder indoor bikes which allow you to turn, lean and steer, these 45-minute classes might be just what you need to kick your training into high gear. Be prepared however: True to its reputation, the entire series of Yoga Ryder classes are offered in a heated room (approximately 85 degrees and 40 percent humidity). If you really want to kick your workout into the calorie-burning stratosphere, try out one of the combination classes. Corepower Ride & Yoga is 35 minutes of riding and 25 minutes of yoga intended to strengthen and lengthen your muscles, while Corepower Ride & Sculpt is 35 minutes of high intensity riding followed by 25 minutes of CPY Sculpt Yoga.
Related: High Intensity Training: A Full Workout In 20 Minutes
Rich Rein, previously featured in magazines like Midwest Outdoors and Outdoors Weekly as well as a contributor to MyBuckStory.com and covering the Minneapolis fishing scene for Examiner.com, is a Minnesota transplant doing his best to enjoy the state's multitude of fishing opportunities while holding down a career as a software developer by day and a firefighter/EMT by night. His work can be found at Examiner.com.
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