Last summer, I ran into an old friend who told me that she was heading to a spin class at Evolution ByCycle. She bragged about how great it was and then invited me to join her. I drove home, changed into sweats and within 30 minutes was on an exercise bike in a spin class at Evolution’s East Brunswick studio.
It’s now over a year later, and classes at Evolution have become a part of my regular routine.
Each bicycle in the studio is 100 percent controlled by the person using it, so classes are appropriate for beginners, intermediates and experts. This is a group exercise with a lot of camaraderie, and for me, this helps to alleviate the challenge of finding the motivation to show up both physically and mentally.
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The mixture of expert instruction, good tunes, creative lighting, group atmosphere and cutting-edge technology at Evolution combine to make this an exceptional workout for me. The studio also offers classes with music video, body sculpture, holiday and other themes.
My favorite class is the “s4w/spin-4-wine” class, which is held every Thursday evening at 7 p.m. S4W is cool because it’s a heavily attended workout followed by a fun social mixer that allows you to mingle with the instructors and other class participants.
One of the neat trends occurring in the fitness world is exercise enhanced by technology, and it’s everywhere that you look. There are data-projecting wristbands, smart watches and mobile apps for every type of exercise that you can think of. These smart devices report on mileage, pace, calorie loss, heart rate and the like.
Unfortunately, most of these cutting-edge technologies focus solely on the individual user. This is what’s most interesting to me about cycling at Evolution. Each bike is equipped with a console that reports your performance data to you in real time. The data is also collected by and projected onto a scoreboard that is displayed on large monitors in the front of the class in plain view of everyone participating.
The scoreboard takes the concept of fitness tracking and places it into a group format. This is exciting for me in that I am able to see how my workout is going as compared to the other people in the same class. The information is displayed anonymously, so if I am performing poorly, I am the only one that is aware of it.
Perhaps the best feature of all is that following each class the Performance IQ software that powers the studio’s scoreboard automatically sends each participant an email message documenting their final personal stats for each ride. Attending class at Evolution allows me to quantify where my strength has been historically, where it is currently and in what direction I am progressing.
Classes at Evolution are reasonably priced and the studio has a “pay-as-you-go” pricing model. This works well for me as I dislike being pressured into the types of long-term, long-winded contracts required by most gyms. The studio schedule currently offers 16 classes a week, at varying times. The studio is kept meticulously clean and also provides its patrons with bottled water, clean towels and other amenities.
New Jersey residents Jenn Costa and Alison Wirth own the business. Jenn, an NASM Certified Trainer, is the studio’s lead Instructor. What is most striking to me about Evolution’s staff is the level of humility that they operate with and the great appreciation that they pay to their customers. In my opinion, there is a combination of qualities and features here that are rarely found in gyms today.
Evolution supports charitable causes. Recent Evolution fundraisers raised awareness and funds for the Ronald McDonald House, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Rett Syndrome and other important causes. Evolution also prides itself on having a street biking club that has seen over 20 spin studio bikers advance to road eventing.
Here are some other compelling facts that Evolution suggests be considered about indoor cycling:
- A spin class is a virtual “endorphin factory” and you are nearly guaranteed to leave a spin class in a better mood than when you arrived;
- On average, 400 to 600 calories or more can be burned during a 40-minute class;
- Cycling is a nonimpact form of cardio that almost anyone of any fitness level can participate in. Many knee rehab protocols include cycling as a key component;
- Cycling improves cardiovascular health;
- Studies show that without strength training exercise, after age 40, individuals typically lose 8 percent of their muscle mass each decade.
Trying a class here is simple and the first one is always free with no catches or hard sells. The studio offers a unique, exciting indoor group cycling experience. Whether you’re looking to try something new, seeking a low-impact component to add to your exercise mix or simply trying to find a good workout for those rainy days where “outside” is not an option, Evolution ByCycle is worth a visit.
Evolution’s studio also offers split fitness and cycle training, self-defense classes, mixed martial arts conditioning, parties and team-building sessions. The studio is inside the Fields Sports Complex at 8 Cornwall Court, East Brunswick. For information, call Evolution at 732-850-2927 or visit http://www.evolutionbycycle.com.