A Salad with a Side of Spin: Exhale’s Noon Core Cycle Express

Most people scarf down calories over their lunch breaks — but I’ve found a convenient new way to do the opposite. Welcome to Exhale Atlanta’s lunchtime cycling class. (Exhale is located in the Loews Atlanta Hotel but is open to the public.)

Core Cycle Express is a quick and sweaty 45-minute version of the hour-long Core Cycling class that the gym offers. The class is offered a few noon hours a week, as well as on the occasional weekday morning. (Disclaimer, kids, I did get to take the class for free — but remember, you're getting my honest opinion here.)

Part of what makes this class convenient for me is that it’s a less-than-10-minute drive from my office at Georgia Tech. Parking is available in the garage next to the hotel, and is validated and free when you visit Exhale.

I opted to try the class on Wednesday at noon and arrived about 15 minutes early so I could fill out the paperwork and stash my stuff in the locker room. Speaking of the locker room, it receives an A+. The showers and other areas are stocked with any products you might need, and there’s a steam room (one of my favs).

The spin room is tucked into a corner of the large Exhale gym space. (BTW, the treadmills have an awesome view that must be seen.) I hopped on a bike and started moving as others filtered into class. I would say that by the time things got rolling, most bikes were taken.

And FYI, you don’t need any fancy cycling shoes to take the class — your regular workout kicks will probably be fine, except I’d avoid any of the lightweight tennies that have soft, flexible tread. Those aren’t the best at buffering the soles of your feet from those cycling pedals.

Brandy Drinkard, the instructor, rocked — I loved her music, which was a made-me-want-to-sing-along mix of pop, Michael Jackson, and other motivating tunes. More importantly, her cuing was spot-on, and she did an excellent job of going over correct form while riding.

Before I knew it, I was drenched in sweat, and it was time to head back to work. (The only downside to this class is that the room seemed to be a little hot. But what does that matter when you're intent is to sweat?) Thankfully, I was able to re-beautify myself in the lovely locker room before heading back to the old 9-to-5 job.

The verdict? An absolute fit — especially with my schedule. I look forward to heading back to this lunchtime burner in the future.

Until next Tuesday — stay FWABulous!

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