Traveling through Europe for a month can be an exciting and exhilarating adventure. It can also be mentally and physically taxing – especially if you are like me and find comfort in routine. So two weeks into my European Freedom Tour (yes, that’s what I called it), I was getting the itch.
While I was in Paris (see Paris Spinning post here), I was able to spin almost every day. When I ventured into Belgium, however, there were no spin classes to be found. Now don’t get me wrong, running around Belgium was incredible, both Brussels and Bruges are electric cities, but there’s something about sitting next to strangers in a dark room and sweating your ass off while someone guides you one, two, one, two.
Arriving in Amsterdam was just what I needed. Not only did I have friends that live there (yay familiar faces!) but one of them was a regular spin goer. AMEN! Through my research leading up to my trip, I had heard that Rocycle was a good studio not far from where I was staying. To have someone who frequents the studio affirm it is the best in the city (thanks Gabriella!), made me even more excited to try it.
With three studios in Amsterdam (and one soon to open in Utrecht in 2019), Rocycle is a spin haven with an endearing origin story. In what started in a KITCHEN (that’s right!) in 2015, has grown to a prominent fitness establishment in one of the most known cities in the world. See Rogier’s story here.
While in Amsterdam I attended classes at the City Center location. You can get your first 2 rides for only 18 Euros and individual classes are only 12 Euros each! This beautiful studio sits right along one of the city center canals AND it has a juice/smoothie bar where you can order drinks ahead of class and they’ll be all set for you when your sweat sesh is crushed.
Vibe: Classes are structured very similarly to SoulCycle; beat-based, motivational, choreographed – and in English. Shoes are provided and they have Stages bikes which are top quality! The locker rooms have all the shower amenities you need with yummy Zenology products.
Class: My first class on Monday with Luuk was fine. He used a lot of quick movements with significant speed and cuing was a little off. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of 80% being balls to the wall speed – but it may work for others so this is just my opinion. Aside from the style, Luuk was absolutely lovely. His attitude and motivational cues were PHENOM. He can really hit you to the core and make you feel the ride. Fun fact, he is also a stage performer outside of teaching spin, something I learned chatting with him after class – if anything, he’s a wonderful person to know.
Tuesday I woke up early and crushed an 8AM class with Rowen. Oh. Em. Gee. SHE F’ING ROCKS. Motivation, counting the beat, “stage” presence – whatever it is, she had it. She introduced me to this AWESOME new drill called a Pyramid. Think alternating between a push in 3rd and a shift back for 8, 4, 2, 2, 4, 8. For those of you who take my class…you can thank her for this heart pumping move ;)! Lots of high energy movement and all the feels. If you are ever in Amsterdam…GO TO HER CLASS! I promise, you won’t be disappointed.
I obviously took advantage of the juice bar both days and was quite impressed by the guidance I received from the nice gentleman manning the bar. I explained what flavor I was looking for and he provided wonderful recommendations. Monday was the “Pro Juice” which had apple, fennel, lemon and probiotics. Great post-sweat fuel. On Tuesday, I was looking for something with more zing so went for “The Reset” which included grapefruit, cucumber, lemon, ginger, cayenne, and orange…YUM!
While I did not attend any classes at this studio, I wanted to give it an honorable mention. Vélo Amsterdam is located in De Pijp, a very cool neighborhood bustling with restaurants and coffee shops.
Classes run similarly to Rocycle in that they are choreographed beat-driven rides with an arms set. With each class, you receive complimentary spin shoes to ensure the ultimate riding experience, and in the fresh white & wood locker rooms you can find all your post-class shower needs.
I truly appreciate when studios have an intro pack that includes two classes because honestly, you may not love the first instructor you take. But that doesn’t mean the studio isn’t great! Having a multi-intro pack allows the rider to experience the studio more like a regular and Vélo has not skipped a beat. Offering your first two classes for only 14 Euro (!!) and single classes for 12 Euro. I must say, the affordability of Amsterdam spin is ON.POINT.
Coffee Sidenote: If you do find yourself wandering De Pijp, please do yourself a favor and stop into Coffee & Coconuts. This coffee shop is a little slice of Heaven on Earth. Multiple floors with comfy seats for gathering with friends or working. Try the Lavender Coconut Milk Latté – it was divine.
In love and health.