Last weekend, I took the 10 am Swerve class in New York City at Swerve Fitness in the Flatiron district with a bachelorette party. Upon arrival, I was given a pair of shoes included in the $30 1 class fee.
The studio was very bright and had tall ceilings. There were men’s and women’s locker rooms as well as lockers outside which made it feel big. I counted at least 48 bikes in the studio and couldn’t tell before class that is was going to be nearly full. The space is 2 floors, a total of 3,500 square feet with the studio on the bottom level.
Also upstairs where the front desk is located is a smoothie bar. We were going to brunch afterwards so I passed and didn’t really examine the options but according to the website they also offer fresh pressed juices and snacks. I spy Chia Bars below.
Once I made my way down to the studio, I was impressed with how large it was. Similar to FlyWheel, there are small screens attached to your bike. At Swerve, they were located right above your hands if you were in second position. There were people helping get beginners set up on their bikes as well. We were given specific bikes that were connected to our email so switching was not recommended if you wanted your stats.
Our bachelorette party was seated together on the left side of the room. Swerve’s schtick is that its workout is team based. Your team is made up of who sits where. If you have zero men on your team, good luck. The instructor played a mix of house music with upbeat popular remixes.
Unlike many spin studios however, the workout did not go to the music really. Instead it was very much time and team focused. We did lots of sprints that were 1 minute long to start. The board flashed our “score” as we competed against another bachelorette party and the “singles” in the room. Once the minute was up, the board went dark or showed the cumulative score. After a few one minute sprints, we reduced the time to 45, 30 and 20 second intervals. We also bounced around between 1st, 2nd and 3rd to the beat of the music but without choreography. Think “recover 30 seconds in 3rd position, now sit in 1st for 30 seconds, now 1 minute sprint, GO! ”
Things I liked:
- I like sprints, and I like to know when the end is in sight. The countdown was flashing on the screen with our current score. I pushed myself harder than usual trying to get my “team” to win the races.
- The bikes and shoes are new and in good condition.
- I also liked being able to see how hard I was working in real-time on my bike without straining my neck. The monitor was positioned so you can look straight ahead to view it. At the end of class, my score was emailed to me so I could compare myself to the class or my team in my own privacy vs plastered up in front of the entire class.
- The studio was pretty and had great amenities including L’Occitane products. Some studios do not have a shower and they had 3. Their locker areas felt well designed in my opinion, too.
- Lastly, the instructor was motivating and I felt like I got in a sweaty great workout.
- The arm portion of class was performed with 3 lb weights but was manageable surprisingly!
Things that could improve:
- The studio was hot as hell. I wore a t-shirt and wanted to take it off within 2 minutes. There were fans that were not used until the cool down. I could have used a breeze or 45. The studio encourages riders to instagram their red faces after class which they call “#swerveface” but I’d rather have the fan.
- The instructor was never on the bike. I thought this was odd, but since it was time based verses choreography, the studio gets away with it.
- The instructor didn’t give too much direction about resistance on the bike. I think I was between a 4 and a 6 the entire time and wasn’t sure when I was supposed to go heavier. It seemed like beginner cueing, which could have been the case, since there were lots of Swerve newbies in attendance.
I’m not sure if I liked the following but these items are worth noting:
I felt defeated losing every single race. The class regulars I chatted with after class said that when the men are evenly distributed among the 3 teams, the races are closer. Since it was two bachelorette parties vs class regulars with men, we ladies lost every race by a landslide. I ended up with the second highest score in the class because I kept trying to get my team to first, damn Aries’ traits.
They also had some pretty bright lights flashing to show the teams what color they were throughout the sprints. I didn’t mind them, but I know some of my team members thought they were too much.
Overall, our bachelorette liked the class and that is all that counts! I too liked the class but it was different than most cycling classes I have taken. It was like a team version of FlyWheel but music and timing was like Barry’s treadmill workouts just on a bike. I wish I wore a heart rate monitor but did not. The email with my stats said I burned 784 calories and pedaled 17 miles which I feel like can’t be right for a 45 minute class given my size but whatever. I’ll take it. It was a good studio to visit for the weekend since it was so large.
Have you been to Swerve? What did you think? You can also buy 2 classes for $30 if it’s your first time. (not an affiliate link, I promise).