“It’s a dry heat,” the coach said. Try telling that to the pond of perspiration that formed under one man’s bike at Sweat Cycle inside the Forum Athletic Club at Lenox Square mall. The studio for this 55-minute class ($10 for first-timers and $28 per single session thereafter) is heated to about 86 degrees using the infrared technology that you usually find in trendy recovery saunas. The recessed lamps do more than cast the room into a red darkness that looks like Lil Nas X’s video for “Montero (Call Me By Your Name).” These heaters are said to detoxify your body, promote calm, improve sleep, and raise your heart rate higher so you can burn more calories. I’m a spin instructor, so I thought I’d have this class in the bag; but exceptionally energetic and jacked coach Takeela R.—whose neon nails helped me follow her fun handlebar-dance cues in the dark—wiped the sweaty floor with me, helping me burn about 75 more calories than I would during a “normal” spin session. Given the intensity, I’d recommend newbies find their footing somewhere else first. Then, you can fill up your water jug, sign up, and get ready to sweat—hard.
This article appears in our August 2021 issue.