Revolve Fitness, Area’s First Indoor Cycling Studio, Opens in Arlington

We tested the Barre Ride class, a grueling combination of spinning and barre-based exercises.

Revolve has one studio room with 40 Schwinn bikes. Photograph by Melissa Romero

Cycling enthusiasts, you’re in luck. Revolve DC, the first indoor cycling studio in Arlington, is now open and ready to whip your butt into shape.

The boutique studio, located at 1025 N. Fillmore Street, opened its doors on Sunday to a class of about 15 cyclers, who tried out Revolve’s Complete Body Ride class, a hybrid of cycling and upper-body weight training.

But plenty of cycling studios and gyms in the area offer that very same class. I decided to look into Revolve’s Barre Ride class, which incorporates arguably two of the most popular fitness classes out there: cycling and ballet-barre training (designed to give you long, lean dancer’s muscles).

Problem is, I’ve never taken either type of class. I walked into the one-room studio with much trepidation, but fortunately, my lack of experience wasn’t a problem at Monday’s session.

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“We know that each cyclist is different,” says the company’s president, Sylvan Garfunkel. “You’ve got triathletes, long-distance riders, or dancers in every class, so we designed each class with that in mind.”

The creator of all three classes is instructor Christianne Phillips, who is also a deejay and a former dancer. “If this is your first time, don’t worry,” Phillips told the 15 or so participants Monday morning. “It’s my first time teaching this class, too.”

With dim lighting and artists like the Gorillaz, Mika, and M.I.A. blaring from the speakers, Phillips took us through a 35-minute cycling session. Just like with most cycling instructors, Phillips pushed us to pedal hard to the beat of every song. “Right, left, right, left, right, left!” she shouted, like a drill sergeant stuck in a petite dancer’s body.

Immediately after the cycling session (don’t expect much rest time), we stepped off the bikes and removed our clip-in shoes to begin the grueling barre-method section. Using the bike’s handlebars as the barre, we pliéd into a 90-degree-angle squat position using small plastic balls and holding lightweight dumbbells, repeating the movements until my legs wouldn’t stop shaking. It wasn’t far into the session before there were audible groans of pain from all areas of the room (my pathetic whimpers included).

The class ended with a short stretch, focusing on the triceps, quadriceps, and hip muscles.

“As a former dancer and someone who enjoys getting a hard workout, I wanted to include both cardio and toning mixed into one class,” Phillips said afterward. “With barre-method classes, you don’t get that cardio warmup beforehand. After those first 30 minutes in this class, your muscles are loose and ready for the next session.”

Once Revolve finds its groove, Garfunkel hopes to expand to more locations in DC and New York. But there are still some improvements planned for the Clarendon outpost, including the addition of audio panels to the walls to prevent the instructors’ voices from echoing and getting lost in the music.

Until then, Garfunkel is happy with the possibilities of the Arlington location. “There are just so many young people here who are into fitness. It’s a booming community,” he says. “I hope the studio can be a place for people to make friends and build up that community.”

Sign up for a Revolve class through the studio’s Web site. Walk-ins are also welcome—you can sign in on one of the three iPads stationed by the front entrance. Now through January, classes are discounted at $14 for one class, $66.50 for five, $126 for ten, and $238 for 20.