Meet at the Barre to Get in Shape: FlyBarre at FlyWheel

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By Emily J Weitz

Summer is on its way to Sag Harbor, and with it come the chiseled bodies that have come to belong to 60-year-olds as well as 20-year-olds. This new species of humans: the strong, the quick, and the aging, owes much of its physical prowess to newly established exercise technologies, one of which is FlyWheel, an indoor cycling program that has droves of devotees. On Saturday, May 14, FlyWheel in Sag Harbor will launch FlyBarre, which rounds out the fitness regimen with core work and stretching.

FlyWheel is a precisely crafted method of indoor cycling developed by a team of fitness professionals including Ruth Zukerman, who is widely acknowledged as one of the leaders in the indoor cycling movement. This is not your parents’ stationary bike. Each participant has the option of utilizing the Torqboard, a technology developed by FlyWheel to track speeds and mileage in real time. Participants can compare their own stats to those of the rest of the group.

They can even set up races with other members of the class. This optional competitive angle helps those who are really driven by competition to feel that challenge without making everyone feel the pressure.

Cycling shoes are available on loan (at no additional cost), and water bottles and towels are also supplied free of charge.

“We know boutique fitness is expensive,” says Jay Galuzzo, co-founder and president of FlyWheel, “so we don’t nickel and dime people. Everything they need is provided.”

Each of the studios that FlyWheel operates has a slightly different slant, but the design of the studio itself is integral to the experience.

“Our studios have stadium seating and climate control. There’s a sense of space to the studio,” says Galuzzo. “Our studio at the Sag Harbor Gym has a check-in area with views of the bay. All of our studios have something unique and cool.”

When he says “all of our studios,” Galuzzo is referring to the growing empire that is FlyWheel. It started only recently, in February of 2010, in New York City, when Ruth Zukerman parted ways with the other two founders of SoulCycle, which also has locations in the Hamptons. By last summer, FlyWheel had opened in Sag Harbor, and another studio opened up in Boca Raton to serve the snowbirds. This past winter, FlyWheel acquired another popular boutique indoor cycling company, Ride the Zone. With that acquisition it picked up new locations, one on the Upper East Side and another in East Hampton. The East Hampton location is right next to East Hampton Bowl on Route 27.

In addition to expanding the locations of FlyWheel, the company also added a whole new dimension when it created FlyBarre, which is a bar-based class that comes from the Lotte Burke lineage.

“FlyBarre is the perfect complement to FlyWheel,” says Galuzzo. “Where with FlyWheel you’ll get a strong cardio workout, FlyBarre is core work and stretching. We isolate muscle groups, take each group to exhaustion, and then stretch.”

In FlyBarre, participants will use the bar, exercise balls, mats, and resistance bands to work their muscles. A lot of people will go straight from one class to the other, guaranteeing a full-body, comprehensive workout.

Both FlyWheel and FlyBarre utilize music as a key component of the workout.

“Everyone has a little bit of exercise ADD,” says Galuzzo, “and music helps to motivate and inspire. Every class is set to a playlist of 10 or 11 songs from hip-hop, classic rock, songs from the 80s, and pop. It makes it fun!”

And fun is one of the founding principles of FlyWheel. Ruth Zukerman is known for her emotionally-charged teaching style that gets students to throw their hearts into it. Other instructors have been known to dance down the aisles, and to “sweat along with you,” says Galuzzo.

“Our classes are challenging, but they’re also supportive.”

FlyWheel and FlyBarre have set up their homes in the Hamptons just in time for summer, but they are planning on serving the community year-round.

“We love being a part of two different villages in the Hamptons,” says Galuzzo. “We have really developed a community of riders out here and the participation is terrific.”

A drop-in FlyWheel or FlyBarre class costs $30. Memberships are available, and include benefits like reservations and discounted rates. Check out www.flywheelsports.com for more information.

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