This post is a bonus continuation of my 2017 New Year’s Resolution to try every group fitness class offered at my gym, The Equinox in Chestnut Hill. See the full list of reviews here. Maintenance goal: leave no class untaken!
Today’s Class: Anthem with Cora Waring
Class length: 45 Minutes
Description from the Equinox: Turn your cycling up to 11 with a music-fueled indoor ride. Bike to the beat of our hand-picked tracks in a sequence tailored to take you on a journey that’s as challenging as it is thrilling. Get lost in every moment—forget the metrics, shift with the rhythm, and let the power of the playlist drive your performance.
What Class Was Like
A cycling class that matched our cadence to the beat, guided by effort and feel instead of wattage.
We turned our consoles on but then covered them, allowing people to track the class and see their stats after class if desired, but not look at them during class.
I highly recommend unplugging like this sometimes, whether you’re running, cycling, or timing your laps in the pool. It can be really nice to let go of the metrics for a while, work your heart rate up, and go based on effort without thinking about results. Seeing my stats during the ride can help give me the confidence to push farther because I know what I can typically average in a class, but it can also take some of the enjoyment out of the ride. It’s a bit therapeutic to let it go, not worry about it, and let your legs and lungs guide you. You may also find yourself working harder because there’s no wattage displayed telling you that you’re doing the best you’ve ever done (which can occasionally de-motivate us.)
One signature song was a 6-minute Equinox curated blend of songs designed to increase cadence at one-minute intervals. Keep your resistance the same, and speed up your pedal strokes to follow along to the beat until your heart is pounding and you’re just hanging on at the end. I loved it. It is hard not to adjust the resistance; I ended up adding a little more on partway through because it wasn’t hard enough. Taking the class more frequently would help me choose the starting resistance better.
Another song had us using the resistance shifters to add brief spurts of resistance, 8 counts hard, 8 counts medium, 8 counts hard, 8 counts medium.
Each Anthem class will also include a chill-out song, where you ride your own ride with no instructor intervention, eyes closed optional, and recover or recharge at your own pace.
Upper body stretching.
Who would love it?
I think anyone who enjoys indoor cycling should try the class. If you’re super competitive and love The Pursuit, it might be good to compete blindly against yourself and see what you can do if you let effort guide you and don’t have numerical feedback. (You might also benefit from taking a break from trying to push yourself, and just enjoying a heart-pounding ride to the music.)
If you want to chill out and ride with less pressure, this is definitely a great class for you, because the only feedback you’ll get during class is how you feel. (Keep in mind that you can throw your towel over the console during any class.) Cora was welcoming and energetic, making this a ride that’s all about enjoyment and feeling good.
Amazing class for someone coming back into indoor cycling after a hiatus, or who used to be stronger than they are now. No need to stare at your wattage while sweat drips down your arm thinking about what the numbers used to be. You don’t need that. Effort is truly what matters when it comes to health, so let it go!
Know before you go
Cycling shoes really help you get more power for the full foot-stroke when you’re cycling indoors. Bikes at the Equinox are SPD clip compatible and Look/Delta compatible, but they also had cages so you can wear your normal shoes. (Don’t be afraid to do that before investing in cycling shoes.)
At the Equinox you reserve your specific bike in advance; look for the numbers on the front of each bike to find your spot when you get there.
I recommend earplugs for most indoor cycling classes.