I like a good spin class and enjoy a nice movie, but I've never though to combine the two... until now. I jumped at the chance to try out THE TRIP™ by Les Mills, a spin class where you ride the stationary bike while enjoying a virtual trip on a cinema-sized screen. I went there to capture the action on Snapchat (Follow us at handle: TimeOut) and ended up having a blast.
I walked into David Barton's TMPL gym in Hell's Kitchen and was immediately amazed. This is, by far, the nicest gym I've ever been in. It's gargantuan, with three floors and spacious, clean locker rooms I would 100% be willing to live in. I kept expecting to see Carmelo Anthony or, like, The Rock walking around. I did see a lot of really buff ladies.
The spin room itself had three levels of state-of-the-art stationary bikes, like staggered seats in a movie theater, and a looming screen at the front of the room maybe ten feet tall and 30 feet long. TMPL is the only place outside of California you can take this class! We all adjusted our bikes and started to pedal, and I heard riders nearby talking about the last class they took, where they cycled in space, across a lava flow and a world that looked like they were on a great acid trip.
The room darkened and the screen came to life as our very buff and upbeat instructor told us to get ready to cycle through some cities of the future. As we began to bike, a slick road opened up in front of us, and skyscrapers rose into the sky around us. The visual effects make you feel like you're actually on this road—when we headed uphill, our instructor told us to put on resistance, and when we finally reached the top, we flipped the resistance off and flew down the hills, hugging the corners with our entire bodies as we went. Imagine an entire room of people throwing their bodies into a right turn, when no one's actually moving anywhere. It may look silly to onlookers, but it felt amazing. We even tried to catch air when we went over jumps.
We climbed through the city through different tracks and levels of difficulty—doing sprints in a tunnel where red and green stoplights guided our efforts, racing Tron-looking digital bikers then taking a break on calming elevator rides, and, finally, gliding through the sky on endless clouds at sunset. I had a smile on my face most of the class (can't remember the last time that happened when I worked out) and couldn't help but laugh outloud when our earnest instructor yelled things like, "We gotta beat these guys to the top!" or "I wonder what kind of city we're going to next?" Oh, and the surround sound music was amazing—like I was actually working out in a club. I highly recommend this class to anyone that secretly hates working out, like, so you can disappear into a virtual party while getting a sweat on.