Where: Equinox, 97 Greenwich Avenue, New York, NY
Where There's a Wil, There's an Awesome Class!
There's nothing about Wil that gives any clue as to what's to come. He doesn't wear one of those tight bike uniforms; he's a blue-eyed blonde with an expression that doesn't reveal any real excitement. He starts by casually asking if anyone is "sick, injured, pregnant, or not feeling well"... and then he warns us in a nonchalant tone that the ride today is going to be ridiculously hard. He is not kidding.
[Click here to review Wil's class yourself, or check out his RateYourBurn profile here.]
It was the week before Thanksgiving and Wil made sure to take advantage of it: "On Thursday you'll all be eating like cows" he says in his dry-humored voice, "so let's make sure to burn off extra calories. This class is going to be so hard, you're going to come out of it hating me". But of course, the opposite happens. I LOVE YOU WIL ASHLEY.
- Unlike the first impression he gives, Wil is very involved in what's taking place in the room. He has a "no excuses" attitude, and unless you are injured or pregnant, Wil will make sure you work the hardest you can.
- He walks around and occasionally looks at our bike panels to see if we are keeping up with the RPM values he specified.
- Very big on having the class ride in unison, which I LOVED. Twice he turned the music off to reproach us and remind us there's no room for interpretation: "individual work is NOT OPTIONAL!"
- Wil keeps a very serious face the entire time and yells at us to motivate. The only time he smiles is when he gets confused and loses his count. That happened once. It's working. You give him your best, not because you're scared, but because you know that anything less is simply unacceptable.
On the class:
- One of those classes that are built like an actual outdoor ride. No jumps, hardly any breaks in intensity.
- Very few "flat roads".
- Wil is on point with cadence and RPM numbers. You are given an exact number and are expected to keep it for the duration of the time specified. Very challenging.
On the crowd:
Serious people who come to work. We were all equally red-faced and sweaty when the class was done, and I loved looking around during class to see everyone doing their best, dripping over their bikes like fluffy shorts-wearing rain clouds. You know when you're in such a class... you can feel the intensity.
That's another thing about Wil...he is very picky about his music and refreshes it very very often. It was an excellent selection of dance/pop. Most of the stuff I didn't even know but it was all really really good.
The bottom line:
the epitome of what a spin class/instructor should be.
One last comment:
This is one of the worst, if not THE worst, spin rooms Equinox has. It's small and the bikes are very close to one another, side by side and front to back. How shall i say this politely? It would not just be unpleasant if someone farted in this class... it would be life-threatening.
From the Equinox website: Wil Ashley is a graduate of The Annenberg School of Communication at USC where he completed his BA Communication. He later founded and still owns A Squared Design Group, a NYC Entertainment Advertising and Design Company. Although he loves fitness in the big city, he is originally from Eugene Oregon, Track and Field Capital of the world and home of Nike. He began his cycling career while Spinning with Johnny G in his private studio in Culver City California. Now he enjoys distance cyclist on trips of 350 miles or more in between his cycling classes. He also makes time to participate and head various charity events for Cancer, Aids Vacine Research, Project Angelfood, Genetic Disabilities and Natural Disaster Relief.
Find out more about Equinox at www.equinox.com
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