Mixing up your workouts is always a good thing. Our muscles, unlike our brains, work better when they are confused and Del Ray (a cute neighborhood in Alexandria, VA) has two great options that local Northern Virginians should check out. Owned by the same folks but set in two different buildings near each other are a spin studio and barre studio. A friend and I used coupon codes to try a few classes to see if we like the instructors, the classes, times offered and the physical space. Thumbs up to all of the above in my book.
The spin studio–Swēt Ride–is a great little cycling studio. I attended three classes and was pumped that the classes provided clip shoes. I was very excited given that it was my first time using clips. Yep, haven’t quite graduated yet. It did take me some time to get one to clip in and one of the assistants had to help me, but the next few times were easy (and what a difference it made with the biking). At your first session you get fitted for your seat and handlebars and the studio sends you a postcard with the information written down (not sure why they don’t just give it to you on the spot, but mail can be special so there may be some marketing rationale to that practice). Post-workout you get an ice-cold towel infused with peppermint oil–it’s amazing! For the barre class it also doubles as an antibacterial so you can use the opposite side to wipe down your mat. And the last cool feature about this place is that you get your ride stats emailed to you post-workout (I posted one below). I was getting competitive with myself in just the three classes I attended trying to outdo the session before. Genius idea!
The barre studio–Barre Tech–I really loved. I had only taken one barre class prior at another studio but felt that it was too easy. My sister-in-law raves about the one she attends in Los Angeles, so I knew I had to give it another shot. Well, I was impressed. As a runner I often overlook smaller muscle groups and these classes find ways to work those little muscles we forget exist. It also focuses on stretching and balance. My core feels stronger after taking these classes and I’ve found that incorporating routines from both the mat and the barre provide greater variety to keep me engaged throughout the workout. I also love the incorporation of ballet moves–even though I’ve never been a dancer–as it makes me feel beautiful and strong all at once.
So all in all, success with these two gems and I will be returning to them both.