way to How we cycled our our fittest selves ever
Why Team Ahlan! is obsessed with flywheel.
Flywheel is a USA-export workout, with 45-minute or one-hour sessions in a dark studio, with a spotlight on the instructor
“New year, new me”, how many times have you uttered that so far this year?
When it comes to calorieburning workouts, we’ve not found many as efficient as indoor cycling. And when it comes to indoor cycling studios, we’ve not found one that we like as much as Flywheel!
Flywheel, in a nutshell, is a USA-export workout, with 45-minute or one-hour sessions. You get a score, based on how fast and hard you’re riding, and the competitive element makes it a much more interesting ride. It’s a dark studio, with a spotlight solely on the instructor, and from time-to-time, the scores flash up on screens, making it impossible not to try and race the person a few points ahead of you.
We will be honest, we love a spin session. But we challenged ourselves to head to Flywheel at the Gold and Diamond Park at least four times a week for a month, just to see how it affected our fitness and honestly, the results were better than we could have imagined.
In just four weeks, we went from averaging around 280 points-per-class to over 320 – smashing the 300 point mark was a week three highlight – and after class we took great joy in checking how many calories we had burned and the distances we rode. An estimated 22 miles and 948 calories were our personal bests.
You will quickly find the instructors that you like the most, and Alex Cox and Clifford Nunley were two of our favourites.
We sat them down to quiz them on the best ways to work-out and stay in shape, the Flywheel way…
Ahlan!: What advice do you have for anyone nervous about starting Flywheel?
Clifford: We’re a family! From the moment you walk in, to setting up your bike, to socialising after class. Our team is here to make sure you feel like one of us from your very first class.
Alex: I mean, its 45 minutes of fun! Awesome music, enthusiastic instructors and plus, we do the dance in the dark.
What are the main benefits of Flywheel?
C: Low impact cardio. For those like myself who have joint pain from treadmill or outdoor running, the stationary bike is an outstanding cardio alternative that has minimum impact on the joints.
A: You’ll get fitter, stronger and more toned without bulking up. Win-win-win!
How should people incorporate cycle workouts into their fitness routine?
C: I like to put my cardio workouts when my muscles after recovering two or three heavy sessions in the gym, I let my muscles recover, and focus on cardio on the Flywheel bike.
Is doing Flywheel alone enough?
A: Flywheel provides the basis of any healthy work-out routine.
If you’re looking to lose weight and feel great, regular Flywheel classes (maybe three or four a week) could be enough to fulfil your fitness needs but I would recommend adding some other variables to it... but not at the expenses of our classes!
What are the biggest changes you have seen in Flywheel clients, from starting to becoming regulars?
A: Over the years, I’ve seen anything from extreme weight loss to people brand new to cycling completing their first Ironman, but often it’s the simplest things that mean the most. When someone is brave enough to go on the board for the first time, when someone first gets that elusive 300 score or simply does better than they did last time out, that’s what counts.
C: Consistency. Countless times I have heard, “I have never enjoyed the gym,” from our members. A big percentage of our members are here after multiple attempts to find exercise bug by themselves.
Our Fly Fam and our product helps take the stress away from exercise, and helps people find the joy.
What made you want to become a Flywheel instructor?
A: The chance to rub shoulders with the best in the business. I taught spinning for a few years in the UK before moving to Dubai, but Flywheel takes the whole indoor cycling game to the next level. I was told about Flywheel soon after moving here and after my first class I knew I had to do it. If you’re going to do something, be the best at it. Flywheel gave me that platform.
C: For me, it was about my background in theatre and a love for fitness – so being a
Fly instructor lets me live the best of both worlds. I create my script of eleven songs and perform it on the Fly stage. I enjoy brining a bit of entertainment and a theatrical performance to my classes. Anything to help my team smile through the sweat!
What does your typical day look like?
C: I wake up and teach the early morning class. I then head down the street to the local gym, then back home for a mid-day meal, and if I’m lucky a nap. I then load back up, and take the train down to teach the night time classes. That’s a hard daily routine to beat, I love my job.
A: Outside of Flywheel I work as a PT, sports coach and rehab therapist so when I’m not in the studio you’ll find me in the gym, in the pool or on the tennis, basketball or volleyball court.
What is your own fitness routine?
C: Well, I’m teaching and taking 10+ cycling classes a week. I’m a sucker for a great Crossfit gym, and I enjoy putting on the headphones and lifting three times a week at Warehouse.
A: Regularly swimming and riding gives me a great amount of cardio and conditioning. I train during autumn and winter for adventure races and I play sports all year round. I head to Barry’s Bootcamp as often as work allows and weight train in the gym at least three times a week.
Do clients ask you for eating and general health tips?
A: I regularly discuss people’s training and lifestyle habits. Food and nutrition is SO important, exercise will only get you so far... so I wish more clients would ask more questions!
What is a typical day in terms of your diet?
A: I have a very early start so prepping is key for me. I’d make myself a protein smoothie the night before and force myself to eat something first thing. Regular snacks, usually protein-based, plenty of greens and complex-carbohydrates. I am exercising most of the day, so eating what I can when I can is important. I have a few go-to restaurants like Poke Bowl, Gourmet by Kcal and Essentially products to stay healthy when I’m ordering my meals.
C: I stick to whatever makes me happy. I try to avoid eating heavy things at night, and drink as much water as I can through the day. If I have eaten ‘healthy’ (low carb, low calorie) six days out of the week, you best believe you can spot me at brunch on Friday!
THE CYCLE BEGINS
FLYWHEEL AT THE GOLD AND DIAMOND PARK
ALEX COX AND CLIFFORD NUNLEY