Saturday, August 23, 2014

Review: The CHS Revolution indoor cycling studio in Charleston, SC

Tired of the same boring workout on the treadmill or the elliptical at the gym? Well read on, my friends. 

I had the pleasure today of visiting the CHS Revolution indoor cycling studio in downtown Charleston, SC.  I was contacted by their fantastic PR person Demi Bean and asked to bring my friends to try out their studio and write a review.  This is my review.  

The studio is in a new building, located at 441 Meeting Street. My biggest concern when I got there was where on Earth I was going to park.  This is downtown Charleston, after all.  But my concerns were immediately alleviated when I was told I could park for free at the Bi-Lo grocery store next door.  This is a huge advantage for this studio because parking is always a problem downtown.  It's also a good arrangement for Bi-Lo (more on that later.)

The facility is very clean and new and I was greeted at the desk by the front door by a courteous, welcoming and smiling staff.  It sort of felt like being in an Apple Store. Very fresh interior, very well-designed.  I got signed in and was assigned a bike to work out.  They're numbered.  We had a group of less than 10, but I could imagine this numbering system is crucial in a full class.

You don't need to bring cycling shoes, as they are provided.  The facility also has a very state-of-the-art locker area and you don't need a lock. The lockers all have digital keypads on them.  A very nice touch.

I was introduced to Katie, our instructor for our workout.  Katie was upbeat and positive and an all-around fun person. This is exactly what you want for a spin instructor.

Only this isn't your garden variety spin class. Not by a long shot.

My group was 8 people strong, including my friends, myself, Demi and Katie.  We were all set.  They took us into the workout room where all the spin bikes were.  Katie took her place up on the platform in front of the room with her headset and tablet, which appeared to control the music and lights. It's all very state-of-the-art.  Katie explained how everything worked and Demi helped me set the height on my spin bike. We were off and running.

Once the music started and the workout began, it became clear that I was going to sweat - a lot.  You want a full body workout? This is it.  Katie had us speed up, slow down, increase the resistance using the knob on the bike ("a quarter turn!") Stand up.  Sit down.  Katie worked us hard and I loved it.

Then she had us do push-ups of sorts on the bikes as we were pedaling.  I love this.  Make it harder! The 45 minutes went by in a flash and then, near the end, something I loved: resistance training.  They had 2 small weights (5 pounds maybe?) sitting on the bike to use.  You can get an incredible workout lifting small weights repeatedly and Katie worked us out good.

The whole workout was a real rush. In addition to revving up your metabolism, you're getting an intense cardio workout as well as arms, legs and upper body. I've never sweat so much during a workout in my life.

So what does it cost?
So the big question is this: how much does it cost to join? CHS Revolution has a breakdown of their pricing online.  I was very happy to see all the pricing is without contracts.  You also just sign up online using a Mastercard, Visa or Amex.  A lot of health clubs are very high-pressure and I was glad to see CHS Revolution doesn't operate this way.

They offer two kinds of sessions: The 45-minute "Rev Ride" and the 60-minute "Revival Ride," which is only held on Saturdays.  The Rev Rides are $20 each, with the Revival Ride coming in at $23. You can buy the rides in packs of 5, 10 or 20.  Student pricing is available at a discount.

The real deal I think is the $99 for unlimited rides the first month.  This is a great way to try out the studio with minimal investment and learn how the classes work.

My workout group

The bottom line
If you are looking for an intense, full-body workout, look no further.  If you live in downtown Charleston, look no further.  This is the absolutely perfect solution to a boring workout.  Even if you live further out like I do, perhaps grabbing the once-a-week Saturday ride is an idea.

The pricing is reasonable, the facility is fantastic and the people are great!  I could see them almost holding a beginner class to explain how it all works with the adjustments, the bike and the movements.  I've been to spin classes before, but not one like this. But Katie did a great job explaining everything and keeping us on track.

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

How to go: 
CHS Revolution Indoor Cycling Studio
441 Meeting Street Suite A (link opens Google Maps)
Phone 843-737-5330
Website for information and to join
Facebook Twitter Instagram

But back to Bi-Lo for a minute....
When I got done with the workout at CHS Revolution, I was STARVING.  So I figured you know what? Bi-Lo provided me with parking while I was working out, I will go in there and buy lunch.  And so that I did. Perfect post-workout lunch!


  1. Great review Bryan! I've promoted it and you here

    I interviewed Nick Oram from CHS Revolution - sounds like they have an awesome place there.

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  12. All class packages and memberships are valid on both cycling and yoga classes. We currently offer classes in both the morning and the evening Spinning Class.