RACING AT NEW YORK HEALTH & RACQUET CLUB
Most spinning instructors are content to press “play” on the sound system and let their students pedal furiously to nowhere. Pablo Toribio, a professional cyclist with a Lance Armstrong–size personality, carefully choreographs each beat of his endurance-test rides. He’ll take his charges on a hill ride in Vermont, simulating the ups and downs in the road by increasing and decreasing the bike’s resistance, or keep them focused by narrating an imaginary bicycle tour through Central Park. Each week, he mixes a CD to match, say, the speed of a sprint or a methodical hill climb. There is no slacking in Toribio’s class—he spends half the time on the bike and the other half walking amid the ranks, checking positions and heart rate to ensure the best workout and prevent injuries. One 56-year-old regular has lost more than 40 pounds. Should you wish to emulate her, there’s a 90-minute marathon on the first Tuesday of every month.