Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Thrive: An Out of the Saddle Workout

Mecka Fitness has you going places with a virtual-reality bike ride.




photo by John Altdorfer

There’s a moment when you know you’re committed to a workout routine.

For me, that moment came when I arrived for a spinning class at Mecka Fitness and was asked what size shoe I wore.

“Seven,” I replied dubiously. “Why?”

“I’ll get you some SPD Cleats,” said manager April Jackson. “They bolt you to the bike.”

Admittedly, I’m late to the whole spinning craze. I vaguely remember someone telling me that the instructor screams and calls you names the whole time. But bolting me to the bike? Sadistic.

I’m told the cleats that will lock me into Bike No. 18 for the next 45 minutes will engage a far greater muscle mass, because not only will I be engaging my center of power to push down, but I’ll also be engaging them to pull up.



“Your butt is going to hurt tomorrow, but you’ll feel great!” Jackson adds.

Inside the space are rows of Schwinn spin bikes on tiered risers. There is a video of a virtual road projected onto the wall. “Your bike is attached to an avatar, and you’ll also get to see your stats,” Jackson explains.

After she locks me to my bike, certified instructor Jill Gates comes over to say hello.

“The big key is to watch the monitor and keep your RPMs between 75 and 80, which is your baseline,” she explains as the lights dim and music comes on.

I can already see my avatar slacking behind the pack, so I pick up the pace.  

“OK, let’s mentally prepare to get out of the grey, green and blue. We’re aiming to get into the red. Give me one half turn of resistance and get out of the saddle,” Gates calls out.
 

“Five, four, three, two, one… turn up! Everyone stand! Stand!”

If the avatar is the bait, I’ve taken it, refusing to allow No. 18 to fall out of the race. As my heart rate jacks up, Gates makes her intentions known.  

“I’m gonna get a 40-second sprint out of you!” she says. “Give me 95 RPMs. Off the saddle! Three, two, one… go!”

Hunkered down, sweat beading, legs flying, quads ignited, I imagine hundreds of calories burning. Glancing at the monitor, it’s more like four. I keep up, though, eventually burning my way through 285 calories, to which I gladly bid adieu.

“I’ve seen people come two to three times a week, and the fat just melts off,” Jackson says.

Verdict: The energy spike you feel for the next 24 hours is ridiculously addicting. Good luck trying to resist it.  

Mecka Fitness  •  439 Washington Road, Mt. Lebanon; 412/206-0941, meckafitness.com
First class: $10. Monthly packages range between $99-$149.
 

Eat This Month


Vitamin K2
Along with calcium and Vitamin D, Vitamin K2 has proven to be essential for bone building, assisting with placement of calcium in the bones and teeth, says registered dietitian and holistic health practitioner Jessica Marshall of New Directions Counseling Services in Wexford. Most diets are lacking in Vitamin K2, but it can be found in fermented foods, dark chicken meat, hard cheeses and eggs, she says.
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

Pirates Can Be Show Stoppers if They Follow Brault's Lead

A Broadway musical about the life and times of the Pittsburgh Pirates? The idea might not be as farfetched as you think.

Pirates Pitcher Steven Brault has Pretty Good Pipes Too

The Pirates reliever sang the national anthem Tuesday night before the Bucs hosted the Brewers at PNC Park. It's worth watching, especially for his teammates' reaction at the end.

Crime in the South Side Has Fallen Dramatically

Illegal activity plunged along East Carson Street following several new security measures.

Fired by City Paper — Charlie Deitch Won’t Be Silenced

The former editor of the Pittsburgh alt-weekly is creating his own "more inclusive" publication.

Czechoslovakia was Forged in Pittsburgh

Rick Sebak details how the establishment of the European nation began with a meeting Downtown.

Brick by Brick: Legos Go High Art

Made entirely out of Legos, the sculptures on the display at the Carnegie Science Center’s new Scaife Exhibit Gallery range from the whimsical to the otherworldly.

Mike Chen, Dean of the Chinese Kitchen

The owner of Everyday Noodles looks to encourage more regionally specific Chinese food in Pittsburgh restaurants.

MultiStories: Real Estate – The Machesney Building

Visitors can still ogle the lavish marble and bronze interior crafted to appeal to the original owner's banker and stockbroker tenants.

The Other Moving Documentary About a Curious Pittsburgher

In "Will Work For Views," the video artist and musician Weird Paul is a little bit Dr. Demento and a little bit Mister Rogers.

Pittsburgh Might Mow Your Lawn for Free

The city is launching a free grass cutting service for the elderly, disabled and veterans.

PPG Paints Unveils 2019 Color of the Year: Night Watch

Paying homage to the restorative power of nature, this deep green shade is one to watch in the coming year. Here’s how to use it on your walls.

Influx of Red, White and Blue Coming to City of Black and Gold

The National Flag Foundation is bringing the Star Spangled Banner’s history and colors to the Koppers Building –– and on some nights, it will be visible for miles.

Toppers That Take the Cake

Over the traditional bride and groom standing on top of your cake? Try some of these different ideas for cake toppers.

Renting in Pittsburgh? You're Getting a Great Deal

The Steel City ranks first in Zillow’s 10 Most Affordable Markets for Renters list.

Iconic Pittsburgh Meteorologist Joe DeNardo Dies at 87

DeNardo was well known in Pittsburgh long before a series of promotional TV spots cemented his place among the city's broadcasting icons.
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Pirates Pitcher Steven Brault has Pretty Good Pipes Too

Pirates Pitcher Steven Brault has Pretty Good Pipes Too

The Pirates reliever sang the national anthem Tuesday night before the Bucs hosted the Brewers at PNC Park. It's worth watching, especially for his teammates' reaction at the end.

Comments

Crime in the South Side Has Fallen Dramatically

Crime in the South Side Has Fallen Dramatically

Illegal activity plunged along East Carson Street following several new security measures.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
What Anthony Bourdain Meant to Me

What Anthony Bourdain Meant to Me

Reflecting on the loss of a person so many of us admired.

Comments

Northeast Kitchen Brings Northeastern Chinese Cuisine to Pittsburgh

Northeast Kitchen Brings Northeastern Chinese Cuisine to Pittsburgh

Chef You Shan Pei comes to Pittsburgh after cooking in Flushing, N.Y. restaurants for 18 years.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The Five Best Spots to Get Pittsburgh-Themed Merchandise

The Five Best Spots to Get Pittsburgh-Themed Merchandise

Looking to show off your Pittsburgh love? Get your favorite city printed on basically anything at these local shops.

Comments

7 Best Pittsburgh-Area Places You Should Try for Doughnuts

7 Best Pittsburgh-Area Places You Should Try for Doughnuts

When you're craving the real deal, these local spots consistently churn out the very best.

Comments


The Other Moving Documentary About a Curious Pittsburgher

The Other Moving Documentary About a Curious Pittsburgher

In "Will Work For Views," the video artist and musician Weird Paul is a little bit Dr. Demento and a little bit Mister Rogers.

Comments

Man, There's a Lot Going on at Zone 28

Man, There's a Lot Going on at Zone 28

The relaunched entertainment complex in Harmarville is casting a wide net, with some success.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Pirates Can Be Show Stoppers if They Follow Brault's Lead

Pirates Can Be Show Stoppers if They Follow Brault's Lead

A Broadway musical about the life and times of the Pittsburgh Pirates? The idea might not be as farfetched as you think.

Comments

Olczyk Embraces Awareness, Understanding to Fight Cancer

Olczyk Embraces Awareness, Understanding to Fight Cancer

Olczyk found out last August, in the wake of a six-hour surgery that removed 14 inches of his colon and “a tumor the size of my fist,” the severity of what he was suddenly confronting.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
The 400-Word Review: Won't You Be My Neighbor?

The 400-Word Review: Won't You Be My Neighbor?

The documentary about Fred Rogers' work and philosophy inspires even more wonder about the television legend who called Pittsburgh home.

Comments

The 400-Word Review: Ocean's 8

The 400-Word Review: Ocean's 8

The spinoff to the early-2000s heist series is nothing if not mediocre.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Toppers That Take the Cake

Toppers That Take the Cake

Over the traditional bride and groom standing on top of your cake? Try some of these different ideas for cake toppers.

Comments

Couple Shares Photo Spotlight With Four-Legged Friends

Couple Shares Photo Spotlight With Four-Legged Friends

This Pittsburgh couple is using their engagement photos to raise awareness about one of their most passionate causes.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
PPG Paints Unveils 2019 Color of the Year: Night Watch

PPG Paints Unveils 2019 Color of the Year: Night Watch

Paying homage to the restorative power of nature, this deep green shade is one to watch in the coming year. Here’s how to use it on your walls.

Comments

Five Pittsburgh-Based Etsy Shops You Need to Know About

Five Pittsburgh-Based Etsy Shops You Need to Know About

From furniture to wall art and beyond, these local makers created one-of-a-kind pieces for your home or office.

Comments