You can’t hide your sweaty self from the passersby at Peloton Cycling on 14th Street; its wall of floor-to-ceiling windows facing the sidewalk offers the public a quick glimpse of cyclists huffing and puffing away on Schwinn bikes at DC’s newest indoor cycling studio.
But don’t worry—the view doesn’t last long. At a recent class with instructor Misook Issa, the windows were completely fogged up within minutes, as we cycled and sweated along to tunes by Mega Mania and DJ Speedo.
Peloton Cycling opened this year with the hopes of bringing a health and fitness community to an area desperately in need of one, says Yvette Freeman, who co-owns the studio with her brother Joe Freeman of next door's Praxis CrossFit, Pablo Brown, and Issa. With that goal in mind, the team settled on the name Peloton, which means “pack of riders” in French.
The studio’s programs, designed by instructor Issa, include 75-minute tempo training, a cycling and stretching class, and the already popular All-Rounder, a cycling plus strength-conditioning class.
Although the 1,380-square-foot studio just opened a few weeks ago, Monday night’s All-Rounder class was almost full. Fortunately, with just 20 bikes, there was plenty of breathing room for each cyclist. Issa began the class with 45 minutes of cycling sprints and hills, with little rest time in between. At Peloton there’s a big focus on maintaining one’s RPM (revolutions per minute), a helpful way to make sure the cyclists are actually pushing themselves. “If you’re taking it easy, you’re not being true to yourself!” is just one of many motivational phrases Issa shouted throughout the class.
The last half of the class is dedicated to making sure your arms are just as wobbly as your already tired legs. Unlike at many studios, instead of lifting two-pound dumbbells while cycling, Issa has you hop off the bike and grab a floor mat and a resistance band. After a half hour of bicep curls, tricep pushups, planks, squats, presses, rows, and butterfly kicks, one cyclist summed up what we were all feeling in three words: “I want to cry.”
While no one actually shed any tears, it’s safe to say everyone’s floor mats were drenched in sweat after the 75-minute class. “The reason the classes are set the way they are is because I’m a fan of the total package,” Issa explained afterward. “We want our riders to be efficient and train toward a goal—not just come here to spin and burn calories.”
Peloton Cycling. 2217 14th St., NW; 202-621-7513. First class is free.