The Sweat Shop Goes for a Spin

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As the weather nears a ghastly 60 degrees here in San Diego, I urge all you cyclists out there not to panic – The Sweat Shop has found your solution: Crank Cycling. This new, downtown indoor cycling studio allows you to continue your ride – inside.

I’ve always loved spinning (indoor cycling), and this particular studio impressed me for a few key reasons.

1.  The bikes. I’ve seen regular spin bikes at gyms and other studios, but I’ve never seen bikes like these. SarisPT300.Saris is a company that specializes in making top of the line bike equipment for cyclists, and their indoor cycling bike comes equipped with something called a Cyclops Power Tap.

Sean Burke, who owns Crank Cycling and is also a cycling coach, explained that the power tap equipment is designed to allow you to measure your watts (your speed vs. the resistance on your bike) and your heart rate in real time, giving you a more accurate measure of calories burned. Also, during the class I took, Sean used the numbers on the screen to make sure you were continually working at your highest level – no cheating!

However, just like other spin bikes, you ultimately control your workout with access to the resistance knob, allowing you to increase the tension on the pedals, or back off.

Bonus: A 50-inch plasma screen TV behind the instructor playing music videos to draw you back in if you find yourself zoning out too much.

2. The studio itself. Crank Cycling is located inside Aire Urban Performance, a new workout co-op downtown. There are several different mini-studios located inside Aire, each offering different workouts.

The mini-studios – which include rowing, pilates, TRX classes and yoga – share space, clients and amenities. They have a coffee bar, locker rooms and towel service – which as any of you other gym rats out there know is pretty darn nice.

Bonus for the ladies: the locker rooms are stocked with Kerastase hair products, blow dryers, curling irons, lotions, and all sorts of other goodies if you forget something (which I always do).

3. Free Parking. Need I say more?

    One of Crank Cycling's Spin Classes Hard at Work

    One of Crank Cycling's Spin Classes Hard at Work

    Crank Cycling offers classes throughout the day, and their prices are fairly reasonable. A single class is 20 bucks, but, typical of most studios, when you buy in bulk, the classes get significantly cheaper, coming down to 10 bucks a class if you buy 20. Also, currently Sean is offering one week of unlimited classes for free – which includes an hour long half-spin, half-yoga class called Cy-Core, so you can mix a little toning in with your cardio.

    The class I took was definitely a workout, and even though the equipment and instructors are impressive enough for some super-fit professional athlete to get a good sweat in, the class is more than accessible to the average person looking for a fun new way to burn calories and tone up.

    The deets: Crank Cycling, 1014 5th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101.

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