On an otherwise sleepy, slow Sunday morning I found a brilliant dose of energy inside the Saratoga Cycling Studio located downtown at 24 Hamilton Street. A group of excited devotees waited outside the door eagerly as the class inside finished up. Inside the studio the bikes filled up fast for the full class and I chatted with instructor Angela Amedio, who owns the studio with her husband Gerard, who is also an instructor. Angela aptly describes the studio as "a comfortable space that anyone from a triathlete in training to a mom trying to get back into shape can appreciate and enjoy". First, a few tips to know before you go:
- Beginners are welcome! They offer a specific beginner class once a month but all of their classes are appropriate for all levels of fitness. Their instructors will guide you through proper bike set-up, form and technique. Even if you can't make a beginner class, if you arrive 10-15 minutes early to your first class their team can help you get set up and ready to ride.
- What to bring: Saratoga Cycling Studio provides towels and has a cold, filtered water dispenser for your convenience, just bring a bottle to fill up. Their bikes are compatible with special cycling sneakers or with regular sneakers, so no special footwear is required to try it.
- Wear comfortable workout clothes, sturdy sneakers or SPD compatible clip-in shoes (special shoes just for cycling). There is a changing room and a bathroom in the studio.
- To sign up, use their easy pay-as-you-go online reservation system where you have the option of taking as many or as few classes as you would like. If you get addicted, you can choose one of their package or unlimited deals to save you more money per class. A single class is $12, package rates and online reservations can be found by clicking right here.
- Classes at Saratoga Cycling Studio are popular and can get booked up, but you can guarantee your spot in class and reserve up to 1 month in advance with their online reservation system so that you can plan the rest of your day with no worries and no disappointment.
In the class I checked out there was a new mom, a very soon to be new mom and people of all ages and all fitness levels. Angela got on her bike on the little stage in front of the class, started the music and you could just feel the positive energy of the room rise as it kicked off. It was upbeat, vibrant and motivating, and everyone in class was giving it their all. The great part about the class is that indoor cycling is only as hard as you make it. The instructor has a preset workout that she or he will lead the class through, but you are in control of the resistance and pedal speed so you do NOT need to ride outside your comfort zone! Take it at your pace, make the workout your own, and there is no need to feel like you're competing against the other people in class. The vibe was definitely one of helping to motivate each other, not one of competing. The lights got turned down nice and low so everyone could really focus on their own space, the disco ball got going (yes, a disco ball, it's awesome) and the nice hum of the bikes spinning was like a little electric buzz keeping the room going.
I got a chance to chat with some of the students, here's what they had to say about Saratoga Cycling Studio:
"In May of 2011 I started the track of a healthy lifestyle started on a diet called 17 day diet, not really a diet, but a way of eating better.. I lost 18 pounds in 4 weeks.. I soon started thing I needed to introduce some fitness, I started running 2-3 times a week, but didn't feel like I was accomplishing much! Several years back I did a spinning in a gym and loved it...I didn't want to join and be committed to a gym, so I felt stuck. When I heard the studio was opening up I was thrilled. I went to the open house, and new I was going to be hooked! I signed up for a couple classes to see if it was going to be a good fit, the biggest thing I find is the instructor needs to be motivating and uplifting and the music has to be good for a good class! I took two classes and then found myself signing up for the unlimited package, I now spin probably 4-5 times a week and currently down 30 pounds and maintaining! I am not on any strict diet, I eat well during the week and pretty much eat whatever on weekends! As for Angela and Gerard and the rest of the Saratoga Cycling Studio they are all great and very motivating! Angela and Gerard are always accommodating to their clients, the last two weekends both morning classes were booked, with waitlists. Last Saturday morning Angela taught an unplanned class, and this weekend Jerry taught an unplanned Sunday morning class, for more options for the clients. With that being said I would recommend Saratoga Cycling Studio to anyone!" -Katie
"As a new mom to baby boy born in October and spin enthusiast I can tell you it's a great workout before, during, and after pregnancy. It's very low impact and its exercise that can be easily adjusted for fitness level and ability. So, while I couldn't go all out when my belly grew I could still work out. I had hyperemesis with my pregnancy (think Kate Middleton Windsor) and when I started to feel better spinning was the first thing I went back to when I had the energy! As for SCS, Angela and Gerard, and all of the instructors are great. They make it fun and bring a lot of love and energy to their classes which makes you forget you're working out. I'd call myself an Angela groupie and have actually followed her to several locations to take her classes. We 're so fortunate to have SCS in town and its a welcoming environment for beginners and experienced riders." -Megan
"As a soon to be first time mom, spinning has been my primary form of exercise throughout my entire pregnancy. I usually attend class twice a week, my due date is 2 1/2 weeks away, and I'm still at it. I'm hoping that it will definitely help with labor and getting back to normal afterward. I have been fortunate enough that I haven't gained too much with this pregnancy, and I think the spinning has definitely helped. I do use a heart rate monitor, and listen to my body when in a class. After my daughter is born, and when it is time to jump back into it, I want to continue as much as I can. SCS is great! The facility, the instructors, as well as the online sign up system are great motivators to get to class." -Chris
Stay tuned for many more posts in my Mamatoga Total Fitness Series, an exclusive look at all the different classes our area has to offer. Spinning, yoga, Pilates, Zumba, aerial yoga, dance, ballet, personal trainers, core, boot camps, stroller aerobics, Bikram, Barkan, barre, gyms, fitness studios, mommy & me classes and much more! Know before you go with Mamatoga! Want your class to be featured in the series? Email Jenny at firstname.lastname@example.org today!