Tech-directed workouts at Abingdon’s new True Cycling Studio
By LAURA BARNHARDT CECH
For Harford Magazine|
Oct 14, 2016 | 12:25 PM
Diana Pinargotte and Linda Bealefeld look like they're playing a cross between whack-a-mole and Twister.
As they step on colored circles flashing on the floor, they’re quickly working up a sweat — and showing off the latest in high-tech fitness.
The Pavigym floor that displays numbers and shapes to create exercise activities is just one of the features at Abingdon’s True Cycling Studio, which was opened in August by husband-wife cycling and fitness instructors Jorge and Diana Pinargotte.
“It is hard to explain,” says Diana. “You have to experience it.”
The floor works along with integrated LED lights controlled by a touch-screen computer that also synchronizes music and measures progress.
“The flooring is very important,” says Diana. “It’s cushioned, which is good for recovery. But it’s also like playing a game.”
The middle section looks a bit like an elaborate hopscotch court. In one corner, there’s a spider web of shapes and, to the other side of the room, a rectangle of shiny material used for sliding.
From the ceiling, TRX suspension straps hang to create various exercises. Bealefeld and Pinargotte do lunges, squats, and tricep pulls. At one point, they pick up two large ropes attached to the floor, waving them up and down Double-dutch style.
It’s anything but dull, says Linda Bealefeld, who used to gym-hop to keep workouts interesting.
“I get bored,” says the Bel Air dental hygienist who was attracted to the combination of small, instructor-led classes and state-of-the-art equipment that distinguishes the new space.
Next to the “functional training room,” the cycling theater features Spivi, a smart training system that uses avatars on screen to motivate clients and “Sufferfest” videos to give the illusion of being part of a professional race such as the Tour de France or Giro de Italia.
Filled with Stages indoor bikes, the cycling theater’s walls light up and flash disco-esque colors, while dance club music booms on the surround-sound speakers. Individual monitors on the bikes sync to cyclists’ heart rate monitors, and show data including distance, cadence and speed. It can also display information — depending on the class — on the three theater-size screens.
“People are competitive,” Diana says. “It can help spur their goals.”
The facility also has a GURU Fit System, a robotic bike that adjusts riding positions andis not available in most gyms.
The Pinargottes researched the latest in cycling and functional training systems before opening their facility.
“We love it so much, we wanted to help other people enjoy it,” says Jorge, who also works as a government contractor. “We wanted our space to be more of a boutique, focused on the individual needs.”