Classes are typically offered on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at 6:30 p.m. but are subject to change. 22400 Davis Dr., Sterling. For reservations, call 240-498-4714 or e-mail . www.rebounderzsterling.com. $12.
Best for the jaded exerciser in search of excitement: ZenGo Cycle at ZenGo Fitness
“Pretend your back tire is stuck in mud? There is no mud!” jokes Marc Caputo, the owner of ZenGo Fitness, about the one major difference between conventional indoor cycling and ZenGo’s version.
Where for decades indoor cycling classes have required participants to ape racing up hills and “feeling the wind” on their faces while riding in dank gym studios, ZenGo’s goal is to help riders pass the zippy 45 minutes by engaging the whole body — not just the imagination.
Once the lights are cut in a recent Sunday morning class, the 45 cyclists begin to pedal furiously, keeping time with the blasting beat. Nothing new there. Then, just five minutes in, instructor Melissa Kullen calls on riders to perform the first of several unusual rituals: push-ups, on the bike. The class dips in unison, leaning on the handlebars to perform a series of push-ups. We keep right on pedaling as we engage the next set of muscles — the abdominals and obliques — with a series of side-to-side sways (to prevent spills off the bike, ZenGo requires special shoes that clip into the pedals; newcomers should take care because they’re awkward to walk in). And then, with just a few songs left to go, the class picks up weights slipped into a nook near the handlebars and begins to pump iron. Our wheels never stop turning, but without strenuous hills or sprints to endure, it isn’t impossible to get through.
Caputo’s inspiration for ZenGo came from classes he had taken on the West Coast, where instructors seem to have advanced beyond traditional cycle classes and added their own twists. He opened his Bethesda studio, which also offers ballet-inspired barre classes, in October. Combined with the dim lighting and the upbeat tunes (the studio enlists DJs to create mixes just for its classes), the moves do seem to make the workout whizz by.
“It’s so much fun,” says Jennifer Okun of Washington, who has been taking the classes since October. “It really is like dancing on a bike.”
Good to know: Sign up for classes in advance with an online registration system that’s much like booking a plane ticket; you can pick your own bike. Registration for the week ahead opens Monday at 1 p.m.
Class times vary. ZenGo Fitness, 4866 Cordell Ave., Bethesda. 301-312-6658. www.zengofitness.com. The first class and shoe rental are free; classes are $21 apiece, and shoe rental is $3 thereafter. Packages available.
Best for folks easing into exercise at any age: Aqua workouts, available at various locations