High bun? Check. Two sweat towels? Check. Clip in spin shoes? Check. You’re ready for a full body workout courtesy of Zengo Cycle in the Logan Circle neighborhood of Washington D.C.
Zengo Cycle, like most things in our nation’s capital, is compact. I entered the studio on 14th street and went down a staircase leading to a check-in desk. Once signed in, staff pointed out my bike on a map and asked if I needed shoes or water for class. Water is available for purchase (filtered water fountain also available) and shoe rentals are $3 per class (free for the first class). The studio offers complimentary ear plugs and hair ties as well as changing area amenities (deodorant, cotton swabs, tampons) and two showers with hair dryers.
After stowing my bag in the Digilock lockers and putting on my spin shoes (Zengo is SPD and Delta clip compatible) I squeezed through the compact locker room and followed the empowering sounds of Lizzo blasting from the sleek studio. The class is set up like most spin studios with the majority of bikes facing the instructor and two side bars of six bikes each. The Schwinn bikes utilize a manual resistance knob (that goes from 0-100 quickly) instead of an electronic panel. Attendants are in the room to help set up bikes and answer any questions.
Right before 6:00, our spin instructor Katherine entered in a flurry of energy. She went through the hand positions quickly and began class with a comforting comment of “I see you and you are safe.” After a warm up song, we hit the wheel spinning! Katherine managed to be the perfect blend of life coach and drill sergeant. I took a look around the room, and I could tell that the whole class was feeling as energized as I was by Katherine’s words.
During the class we danced on the bike and combined jumps, pushups, and isolations to the beat of the music. Unlike other studios, you could tell Katherine put time into her playlists and found remixes and beats that matched her moves rather than using a standard Spotify playlist. Toward the end of the workout, Katherine informed us we were entering our Zen song – a song during which there is no instruction, but you are encouraged to push yourself. After all the empowering words earlier in the class, I felt like I should I push myself and it looked like the rest of the class did the same.
After our Zen song, Katherine led us through a comprehensive arm workout that made me happy I switched to two-pound weights at the beginning of class. Our focus was on triceps and shoulders and definitely on making my arms burn. After our arm song we hopped right back into a heavy beat and finished class with a final sprint. Katherine then led us through a series of stretches and finished class by instructing us to do one final stretch before “rocking our week.” I left Zengo Cycle feeling strong and indeed ready to rock my week.
Compared to other popular spin studios like SoulCycle or Flywheel, Zengo Cycle has a more laid back and inclusive feel. The focus is more on doing something good for you and your body rather than competing with those around you. The classes are designed around killer playlists curated to help you push yourself to the fullest.
Zengo Cycle offers your first class free, but also has membership-based packages for one to 30 rides, which vary in price based on studio location. Zengo is currently on ClassPass, with studios in Bethesda, MD, Logan Circle, Cathedral Commons, and Kentlands.
THE BITCHES SAY: 4 SWEAT DROPS
If you push yourself, you will be rewarded at Zengo Cycle. This empowering workout is a top-notch example of a spin studio done right.