Last week, I was lucky enough to be invited to the media day/VIP ride at the BRAND new Zengo cycling studio in Cathedral Commons. I have been looking to try this studio for awhile so I can only assume the cycling gods must have been looking down on me recently…so thanks guys!
If you haven’t heard of Zengo, you are lying…because I’ve already mentioned them once in this post. So shame on you.
Just kidding. Sorry, feeling sassy today.
Zengo is an indoor cycling studio with locations around the DMV area. They advertise themselves as providing a rigorous cardio workout as well as upper body strength training in a 50 minute ride. Actually, I’ll just let them say it, they are so much more eloquent.
“Invigorating and inspiring, the experience is zen but mostly go, delivering hard core cardio and strength training in less than an hour.”
I found that to be completely true! Keep on reading to hear more about my experience!
I arrived at Cathedral Commons around 30 minutes early to make sure I could find the place, get settled and take lots of selfies (fun fact: for every 20 selfies I take, there is usually 1 I can filter the crap out of to make Instagramable. #bloggerproblems).
Cathedral commons is a retail/residence/workout haven. Zengo is located on the second floor of the space and shares the floor with a Solid Core Studio, Pure Barre Studio, and the Washington Ballet. There is no where to run if you are looking to be lethargic; just motivation all around which was GREAT for a Saturday morning.
I walked into the pristine studio and was blown away at how beautiful it was. Adorned with a very fresh, and modern motif, I got a rush of energy from just looking and taking it all in. The friendly staff got me set up with shoes (this studio uses clip-in bikes), some smartwater and a towel and pointed me over to the lockers where I could safely store my belongings (although I didn’t come with too many valuables…I mean I value the gummy bears in my jacket pocket, but I know that isn’t everyone’s cup of tea).
Zengo uses a bike numbering system where you are able to select a bike in advance. When I have the option I always opt for the second row, center, so that I’m not feeling the pressure of the first row but can still see the instructor. On this day, I was too late for my golden spot and had to settle for second row, slightly off to the right…life is so hard sometimes.
These bikes are brand new and were so smooth. They adjust in about every place you’d want: the height, the seat’s distance from the handle bars, the handle bars distance from the seat, which definitely helped with comfort. The correct fit of the bike meant I wasn’t bouncing around or straining unnecessarily. There was a little tummy bounce but that was my own fault. Actually it was pizza’s fault. But I digress. There is also a standard place to put a water bottle (or 2!) and baskets in the back for weights.
Then the lights turned low and the music began. It was ZengGO time.
We started off the ride with a good warm up that really got me in the zone. One thing that I love about indoor cycling studios like Zengo is that I really do let go of all my stress factors and get to concentrate on myself for a solid 50 minutes. This 4 minute warmup we started with was great because it eased me into the right mindset. I was ready to get my spin on.
The ride continued to get more intense with a series of different resistances: we sprinted our hearts out to some remix of Journey and climbed some hills.
Then the beat dropped.
Crime Mob’s “Rock Yo Hips” came on and I went insane. I have never danced/cycled (Dycled? Canced?) so hard. This song always takes me back to college; for those 3 and half minutes that the song was on, I was college student, drinking peach schnapps and getting my dance on at some gross house party. It was great.
Afterward, I laughed thinking about what I probably looked like. It was probably awesome.
As we rode, we incorporated some movement: various pushups that targeted different parts of the arm and some standing/sitting/tap backs. I’m normally not a fan of this as my old back can’t handle the coordination of cycling and properly doing the arm movements. I dunno if I got more coordinated since my last indoor cycling experience, if my bike fit better or the movements were different but the next day, I felt sore in all the right places which made me so happy!
After a few more motivating songs, our ride came to an end, we had a good stretch and then called it a day!
One thing I loved about the experience was our instructor, Katherine. She had the perfect balance of pumping me up and motivating me, but also making me feel really comfortable. Sometimes at these boutique cycling studios, I feel that the environment can seem too intense or make me feel like I’m an outsider since I’m don’t go regularly. This studio did NOT do that. This ride was whatever you wanted it to be and as I took a quick glance around during the ride, I could tell each person was in their own zone and loving it.
After the ride, we got some great swag including Zengo cake pops.
After I try a studio, I always love getting insight from those who know the studio best. Dani, who sent me the invite to try the studio, was kind enough to give me some more of the inside scoop on what she thought the best parts of Zengo were. Check out what she said below!
What makes Zengo different from other cycling studios?
At Zengo – anyone can ride – there is no age-, gender- or fitness-level bias. Zengo also offers an experience they hope will benefit your life. Their workouts are about much more than what you’ll lose, it’s what you’ll gain – and riders have told Zengo they gain confidence, peace, endurance. It’s their mission to wow and delight riders, to welcome people into the family and treat them like their own. The studios are warm and inviting. Classes are generally longer, less expensive, and packed with movement and amazing music. Zengo also JUST WON City Paper’s 2016 Best of DC for Indoor Cycling Studio – voted by readers.
What are the top three reasons for someone to try Zengo?
To get fit. To get happy. To have fun while doing it!
New to cycling? Nervous about going to Zengo? No need to be! Dani wants you to know:
- Zengo loves beginners.
- While the workouts are as challenging as riders want them to be, Zengo makes it as easy as possible from the get-go.
- You never have to fight for a bike. The booking system lets you pick the exact bike you want – and that’s the bike you’ll get.
- There’s a resistance knob on your bike for you to set your own resistance. They like to call it the “honesty” knob, be honest with yourself no need to impress us or the person next to you, it’s your ride.
- They also have special cycling shoes that clip into the pedals (as opposed to cages where riders can wear sneakers), which is safer and offers a better, more efficient ride. This is more efficient, more fun and makes you “one” with the bike. If riders do not have indoor cycling shoes, we offer them to rent. Instructors and hosts are there to help you get set up and answer any questions.
So there ya have it! Straight from the expert’s mouth…well straight from my blog that relays information straight from the expert’s mouth. Blah blah Formalities!
I had such an awesome time with Zengo and I’m SURE to go back.
I’ll be hosting my next blogging event at this very studio on May 21st! Keep an eye out for registration that is sure to fill up!
Thanks again to Zengo, Dani, Katherine, Courtney and everyone else in the Zengo fam that put this event together!
Zengo Cycling Studio
Locations: Check here!
Tips: Come early and don’t be afraid to ask questions! If you’ve never clipped into a bike, it takes practice and the instructor is happy to help! There are a lot of little ways to adjust the bike so don’t be shy if something doesn’t feel right. Someone is happy to help and you’ll be happy you asked! Also, wear clothes that wick moisture away, you’re gonna get sweaty!