Mind-body devotees often slack off when it comes to cardio, says Timea Presley, head Pilates instructor at Mint Fitness. So when Mint added a cycling studio earlier this month, she took the opportunity to launch Spinlates, a class combining revolutions and the Reformer.
What It Is: Presley leads 20 minutes of high-intensity indoor cycling, followed by 35 minutes of moves on the Stott Pilates Reformer. “Every time I walked out of a cycling class, I felt like my muscles were melting,” Presley says. “So it seemed like the best time to stretch out with Pilates.” During the heart-pumping ride, Presley asks you to visualize trekking through Berlin, San Francisco or another locale, with music to match. Then, you’ll “arrive” at the Pilates studio. So it’s time to hop off your bike and onto the Reformer.
Moves: The Spinning segment includes a warm-up, hill climbs and sprints. Since Presley’s training is rooted in posture-centric Pilates, expect to focus on correct alignment. “Keep your shoulders back but not stiff,” she tells one student. “You want to stabilize your core and back, but don’t go rigid.”
Presley then guides students through a series of stretch-and-strength combos on the Reformer, including Hundreds (ab pulses with legs extended at an obtuse angle); triceps presses using weighted cables; and Elephants, sort of like downward dogs in which you push backward with your heels on the spring-loaded base.
Workout: “The Pilates moves felt great because I was so warmed up,” Amy Gregowski says. That’s the point, explains Presley, who finds students are more flexible and ready to tackle trickier exercises after the bike ride. So the two parts add up to an effective full-body routine.
Crowd: Although there are a dozen bikes in the cycling studio, Mint’s intimate Pilates studio holds just five Reformers, which limits the class size to the same number of people. Already, classes are filled through the middle of March, so be sure to sign up ahead of time. It’s not an exclusive club, however; non-members of Mint are also invited to come along for the ride.
Mint Dupont Circle, 1724 California St. NW; Thu., 7 p.m., eight sessions for $272; 202-328-6468, Mintdc.com.