I started going to The Handle Bar about 2 years ago when I was training for my first go at the Pan-Mass Challenge. Consistent spinning really helped my hill climbs on my outdoor long rides. I purchased the unlimited package and went at least 5 days a week! The Handle Bar was my first exposure to indoor cycling and was really the studio that got me hooked.
The Southie location is pretty convenient for me since it is off the red line. I haven’t been to the Fenway location yet because it is a bit out of the way for me. I want to plan a day of workouts and work out in that area some day to try out some of the studios that I don’t typically go to. However, it may be tough for me to do so when they now are expanding to the other side of the river which is MY side of the river in Harvard Square!
I wrote other posts on The Handle Bar that you can read HERE, but I’ll give a quick recap of the teaching style and what I think of this new location.
About Handle Bar Classes
I fully agree when they say that they are all about riding to the beat of the music. You can tell that the instructors are thoughtful about their choreography and music selection. I often find myself listening to their Spotify playlists when I’m doing work!
Presses. Crunches. Push ups. Tap backs. It’s a dance party!
The class is a great workout that is formatted to kind of feel like a dance party with some of the moves (presses, push-ups, crunches, tap backs, etc.). When you look around the class, it does look like a dance party and everyone is having a lot of fun. In my grand opening weekend class, everyone was being vocal and enthusiastic. I was definitely feeling the energy!
Unfortunately for me, my hips are still not 100% healed and these dance like moves tend to irritate my hips because I can only do them with my strong leg leading. I probably look like a weirdo, but I just ride normal (or amp up the resistance a bit) when they group is doing tap backs and push ups.
At first I avoided studios that had tap backs and push ups–the reason I took a break from The Handle Bar–but now I am more comfortable with not looking in sync with others and just riding. Also, I will do tap backs if they are 2 counts or more and the presses because those are mostly done while seated. Sometimes I will even give the instructor a heads up to let them know I’m not trying to be rude but just listening to my body. Even though I don’t do all of the moves, I love the music and also the seated hill climbs that instructors like Elise have you do!
Themed Rides, Community and Fun Swag
The Handle Bar hosts a lot of fun rides, thrives on building a community and also has some really cute swag! I really love my water bottle and tank that I received at the grand opening. They are always having stylish new shirts or Handle Bar branded backpacks and such. When you are in class, you can tell that most of the people are regulars. But don’t let it deter you to going–just say hi or smile and enjoy the class! That’s what everyone is there to do!
About the Harvard Square Location
I like the bike layout in the Harvard Square location because you can view the instructor from any seat that you are in. There is stadium seating and the bikes are in rows facing the instructor. I like to watch the instructors (creepy, I know) so that I can mimic form or monitor my RPMs by how they are moving.
This location has showers! Wahoo! Now I don’t have to worry about having to head home or finding a gym to shower at if I want to head someplace else directly after class. I didn’t shower in them since it was the weekend but I took a peak inside and they looked really nice. I’ll have to give them a try next time and let you know how they are!
Excited to see The Handle Bar coming to the Cambridge-side of the river! If you are new to The Handle Bar, check out their new client specials of $10 first ride and $100 unlimited month on their website HERE!