Friday, February 20, 2015

ClassPass Review #4 - The Shed

ClassPass Review #4 - The Shed
2800 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis/Uptown, MN 55408
(612) 720-2121,

As you already know, early February I signed up for a ClassPass account.  You can read about that here.  Below is a recap of my fourth class using the "pass".  If you'd like to read other studio recaps, use the search bar above and the search term: ClassPass.


My husband was supposed to go on a business trip to Nashville starting this past Monday night.  No big deal; as he was flying down I was going to be at my normal cycle class, etc., ect.  Life goes on.

Or not. 

Imagine my surprise when I got a call from him Monday at about 4:50pm saying that there was a huge ice storm down there, and it basically shut down the city, so his trip was cancelled.  Translation: impromptu dinner out together on his way home from the airport, and no cycle class for me.  What a trade off ... burning calories versus putting a bunch MORE calories in my stomach.  *sigh*

Since I'm still trying to tick off the Lazyman miles, and I had a quiet day at work the next morning, I decided to make up for my loss and find a lunch cycle class again. 

Boo - CycleQuest didn't have one on Tuesday, but The Shed did. 

Off I go!





Unfortunately, I got to the studio well before it opened.  Soap box unrelated to this studio: I'm really starting to get annoyed by the ClassPass policy of arriving at a studio 15 minutes before class starts.  Why get there so early?  Half the time no one is even there yet to greet me!!  GRR!

Anyway, on top of being early, I apparently went to The Shed's unofficial back door.  Yeah, that was nice.  I ended up waiting on a second floor wood patio in sub zero wind. 


If you can't tell, I'm pouting.  Yes, I'm being a baby.  Whatever.

Finally, not even 10 minutes before class was going to start, the instructor came, and luckily she came to the back entrance, so she could let me in there.  Thank goodness, since my fingers were so cold at that point that they wouldn't bend anymore!  Once inside, she gave me a mini-tour as we walked towards the front desk, and she showed me the proper entrance so I wouldn't have to wait in the cold again:


At first glance, things looked fairly nice.  Not fancy, just basic, but ... ok.  There was a separate room for cycle versus TRX, and a third very large studio for other classes.  But by this point I was more concerned about getting changed and onto my bike, so I didn't look that close at anything.  I just shoved off to the changing area and geared up as quick as I could.



Feeling rushed, I hustled out of the changing room, threw my things into the cubby in the back of the bike studio, and grabbed the nearest bike.  But when I hopped on, it felt ... well, it felt just weird.  I'll call it grindy, almost like there was sand in the wheel track.  Even adjusting the tension up or down didn't resolve the issue.  I knew it was definitely not right, since I've done cycle in a handful of studios, and the only time I'd felt a bike do that was when it needed repair.  Dumb luck, I figured.  So I hopped to a second bike. 

But, the second bike did it as well.  So, I started listening to others who were already pedaling.  It sounded like their bikes were doing it, too.  Yikes!!  I'm way too OCD for this kind of stuff.  If the bikes were in this rough of shape (and yes, I had other issues like wobbly handles despite being at full tension, loose pedal clips that I felt shift when I did speed intervals, etc.), I knew I was going to be in for a rough class.  Trying to snap myself out of it, I just decided to focus and get to pedaling. 

But ... that's when I saw it.  The Band-Aid. 

Yes, Band-Aid.  As in peel and stick bandage to cover a wound.

There was a fricking used Band-Aid in the front of the studio, just off to the side of the instructor's station, chillin' with it's underside staring up at the ceiling.

I almost lost it.  But since I was already there, and I needed those damn bike miles, I sucked up the puke feeling, forced my brain to shut off, and just committed myself to the 45 minute session.


Now, this is the part of the review where I start to feel bad.  I'm not trying to rip this place apart, and the instructor teaching when I was there seemed very nice, but this is the honest to god truth:  this class was not good.

First, when the instructor started teaching, she immediately dimmed the lights to almost black out conditions.  I figured - well, makes sense, she needs to distract us from the fact that there's used Band-Aids floating around the studio and our bikes don't work right... right? 

I mean, what the hell!!  How are we supposed to see what the instructor is doing to get the moves right, and how the hell is she supposed to see us to make sure we're exercising safely?

But, Natalie ... the disco lights, though!!

Yeah, I'm not kidding.  The bike studio needed a fresh coat of paint, the window near me had a hap-hazard shade starting to fall off, the bikes needed maintenance and there was a used Band-Aid sitting right out in the open ... but we.  Had.  Disco.  Lights.  Or rather, three 3-4' long LED light bars that were tied into the sound system so that the instructor could change the colors and light intensity as we pedaled.

Because - shiny things.  And we are raccoons.  Or something.

Add in some unsafe bike moves (like super speed intervals out of the saddle while letting go of the handles at various points), and I was set.  Good thing the music was so loud that I couldn't understand the instructor's directions, and the lights were so dark that she couldn't tell what I was doing, because I basically said to myself "yeah, I'd rather NOT throw my back out or dislocate my hip today" and made up my own intervals by just cranking the resistance and pedaling as fast as I could.

At the end when the instructor lead stretches that had us clipped in to a pedal and doing a figure four stretch with the other leg up on top of the handle bars, I promptly unclipped, safely did the exact same stretch from a much more stable position on the floor (and got a deeper stretch than I ever would have on the bike, btw), and just shook my head.

As soon as I could politely do so, I hauled ass out of there to shower, and tried to leave as fast as I could.


If the above wasn't obvious enough as to my thoughts on this class ... well ...

Cycle classes are what YOU make it. Since I figured out how to set my own resistance and modify the intervals into safe drills, I was sweating just fine.
DIFFICULTY - medium/high

That being said, I would never recommend half the moves we did in this class, and certainly would not teach a class in the dark.
SKILL - not recommended for anyone who wants to exercise safely

In regards to staff and environment...

Again, I want to emphasize that the instructor was VERY NICE, but I just really have to question the safety of the format in which this class was taught.

And I just couldn't get over the fact that the cycle studio was in the condition it was in, especially since the other open floor studio looked so beautiful and well maintained.


And of course - the most important part: would I do it again?
WOULD I DO IT AGAIN? Definitely not. 


So now, what class is next?!

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