OMG! Cycling, Atlanta style! - Health & Wellness - Atlanta Magazine

OMG! Cycling, Atlanta style!

KTX indoor-cycling lives up to the Internet hype


I just ... ugh. There’s so much wrong with that caption that to press “play” on the accompanying video felt sacrilegious, like I’d be offending my patron saints, Strunk and White.

But because I’m an indoor-cycling instructor and have a weakness for time-wasting Internet videos, I clicked anyway.

What I saw was a cycling class unlike any I’d ever attended, avoided, observed, or taught.

The students were on traditional stationary bikes, but as they pedaled to high-energy music, they were following instructor Keith Thompson’s lead and incorporating hip-hop dance moves into the routine.

Thompson used to teach at a gym chain in Atlanta, and people would show up forty-five minutes early to get into his classes.

So five years ago he founded his own business, KTX Fitness, which offers step, Zumba, and cycling classes at Adamsville Recreation Center, MLK Jr. Recreation Center, and Grant Park Recreation Center. Classes are $35 a month or $5 per class. Or, if you want a guaranteed seat, you can pay $10 per class.

And a guaranteed seat is a must, as I soon learn when I show up to try Thompson’s most popular cycling class, the 10 a.m. on Saturday at Adamsville Rec. In the small studio, located behind the pools, every one of the twenty-five, low-tech bikes is accounted for and numerous hopeful students are turned away. One of Thompson’s regulars is kind enough to give me his spot.

Though I’m a woman of words, I know I can’t do the class any justice. I can’t put into prose Thompson’s infectious energy, and the front-row riders whose legs flew while they dipped their shoulders side to side and swung their towels overhead.

I’m unable to truly capture the friendly and non-competitive spirit of the people who took Thompson’s class. And I’m pretty sure I can’t adequately describe how awesome it was when two little kids got up in front of the class and danced while we worked out.

So here is the resulting video* I put together—without the grammatically confounding caption.

*special thanks to Crystal Furlonge for shooting this video on the fly.

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  • 13
  1. Renee posted on 01/29/2014 12:17 PM
    I am a member of KTX Fitness classes, for 1 1/2 years and can testify to the Keith's spin class methodology. The goal of the class is to work out both your upper and lower body at once, creating a serious cardio workout!
    I started with Keith in May of 2012, weighing 260 lbs and today I have lost over 60 lbs. As a diabetic this has been the heaven sent workout experience for me! I no longer take diabetic medication and my sugar levels have dropped dramatically. The class is high energy and refreshing!

    Go Keith...Go Keith!!
  2. Jere posted on 01/29/2014 12:17 PM
    Great article and great classes but the classes are held at Adamsville Rec Center, not Andersonville
  3. Jennifer posted on 01/29/2014 05:29 PM
    While this is a great article and the people participating in the class are having a great time led by a passionate instructor, I have to say, that this is not SPINNING. I have been a licensed SPINNING instructor for 15 years and this is not the way a SPINNING class is led. First of all, SPINNING is a brand. SPINNING is the very first indoor cycling brand. So, this article misrepresents the SPINNING brand. Not sure why SPINNING is even mentioned in the article. Nowhere on the KTX website is SPINNING mentioned. We as SPINNING instructors are very protective of the brand and it should not be used in this way.
    1. JDub posted on 01/31/2014 01:49 PM
      @Jennifer Semantics. They are on bikes and you are on bikes. What makes their class different than yours? Sounds a bit elitist to me. Maybe if they weren't brown folks listening to hip hop they could call it spinning? Sorry, but I've been to a lot of different "spin" classes and each individual instructor puts their on spin (sorry, no pun intended) on their classes. This class though significantly different than the other ones I've been to should be included in the spectrum of spin.
    2. KC posted on 02/01/2014 08:32 PM
      @Jennifer Jennifer
      Yes "Spinning" is a brand. ONLY fitness professionals know these words! Honestly who really cares? This guy is fun motivating and LOUD!!!! Im so bored in the typical snobby stuck up "cyclist" spin class. If you took time to know gym members you would realize this style is preferred!!!! You Go Keith! You should teach your style to instructors!!!!! People would LOVE IT!!!!! I've taught spin for over 5 years. Happy Spinning! KC
  4. King posted on 01/31/2014 12:27 AM
    Mr. Thompson is an exceptional motivator and teacher. To say he is not a SPIN teacher would ordinarily be an insult, but he is truly more than that. KTX changes lives and instead of criticizing people need to come be a part of a positive life changing experience! Keith Thompson is a blessing!
  5. Deanna posted on 02/11/2014 08:33 PM
    I'm not in Atlanta but I have heard of this class. I wish Keith Thompson would create a DVD. He could make a fortune and I would be first in line to use it on my spin bike at home.
  6. Maria posted on 05/16/2014 02:42 PM
    Your class is riveting. I ran out and bought a bike after watching on you tube. I reside in Texas, but my friends and family would purchase your video if it was available, Think about it.
  7. Angela posted on 06/23/2014 07:43 AM
    Van Dusen's article was condescending. I'm happy to know that Mr. Thompson does not feel the need to critique you and your patron saints.
    1. Mike posted on 06/26/2014 03:27 PM
      @Angela I'm not sure if you read the WHOLE post.

      It starts with Ms. Van Dusen stating her own misconception and apprehension, then she's speechless as to how great it is. It lived up to the internet hype. It left her wordless and physically breathless (in the video).

      I think Mr. Thompson would like more of her patron saints to come to his class and be revitalized and enthused to teach in a more organic and free flowing way.

      ...but that's just what I got from reading the whole artice.
  8. Angela posted on 06/23/2014 07:52 AM
    Van Dusen's article was condescending. I'm happy to know that Mr. Thompson does not feel the need to critique her and her patron saints.
  9. Squirley posted on 07/07/2014 12:57 PM
    Why don't they have classes like this in the UK? If they do, can someone let me know where abouts?
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