My company held a customer marketing event with Swerve Fitness recently, so as a “gift” back to us, they offered a free Swerve fitness class for any employee who has never done a class with them. I’m not a big cycling fan. I don’t really care for biking, nor did I ever love any of the spinning/cycling classes I’ve taken, whether they were at Crunch or at Soul Cycle. I just did them to vary up my routine. But I figured that since it was free, it would be good to take advantage of this (especially since rides cost anywhere from $21-40 each, and there was no way I’d pay for this given I have a gym in my building, plus I pay for my Aaptiv fitness app, which I love). So I took the 8am class this morning before work at the Flatiron location just a few blocks away from my office.
The first thing I will say about my experience is that I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would, and I like the concept of Swerve so, so much more than Soul Cycle. It didn’t feel like a cult. It didn’t feel overly pretentious or like people were judging each other based on what brand leggings or sports bra she was wearing. I like the competitive team element and how the instructor calls out the top performing bike number in each class. I also like that the volume is not deafeningly loud like at Soul Cycle and that the lights do not flash constantly like a club throughout the entire 45 minutes. It’s also a given that at any cycling class that within that 45-60 minute time frame that Beyonce will eventually come on. I like that about 10 minutes of the class is devoted to upper body with light weights and that there’s an assistant on standby in the beginning of class who ensures everyone is set up properly and safely on their bikes.
I don’t love spinning shoes. I hate that there are actually “spinning shoes” that you wear that “clip in” to the bike pedals. That is just so weird to me. I took plenty of spinning classes at Crunch where you could just wear your sneakers, and you’d be completely fine. Yes, it does feel different, but unless I am a die-hard spinner, I cannot fathom buying spinning-specific shoes. You could not wear these shoes for any other activity on earth; they are a hazard to wear even on flat flooring given the buckle on the bottom of them.
I also did not like the facilities. There were only three showers and limited bathroom counter space to get ready. Plus, some of the lockers in the locker room didn’t work, so I had to drag my stuff from the lockers outside in the entrance area into the locker room to get ready for work. Granted, most of the people taking these classes would live in the neighborhood and likely go home to shower and get ready for work, but I took class near my office, which meant I had to take my change of clothes, makeup, laptop, etc., with me. And then I remembered how much stuff I used to carry with me before I had a building gym, and I feel very grateful that I don’t have to lug all my dirty gym clothes, sneakers, and all my stuff around with me all day during a weekday.
I understand why people like Swerve and why they like spinning. But I do not like spinning or Swerve enough to justify paying these class packages or drop-in costs when I have my own gym and app I enjoy using for daily exercise. I’m a bit spoiled now, and if I were to pay for fitness classes, I would likely do Bikram yoga because I really enjoyed it when I did it, plus there’s value I get out of the class that I could not get in my building gym (there’s no hot room like that in my building).