In New York City’s Harlem, there is an exciting new spin (pun intended) happening in the traditional exercise world. As reported by the New York Times’ Tariro Mzezewa in her article (here), Harlem Cycle is a fitness organization that recently opened in NYC’s famous Harlem district. Harlem Cycle aims to combine the area’s musical and cultural history with spinning classes, as well as other fitness exercises. They are able to combine fitness and culture by playing music that is reminiscent of Harlem’s great musical influence. They even have named certain classes after famous areas of Harlem, like its popular class “Striver’s Row”.
As well as providing historical perspective on the are of Harlem, Harlem Cycle endeavors to provide a community atmosphere in its gym, located on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard. Another unique aspect of Harlem Cycle its actually its lack of something which most gyms have in abundance: mirrors. The founder of Harlem Cycle, Tammeca Rochester, does not want the fitness center’s members to constantly focus on how they look, but rather focus on how they are feeling. This is a bold shift away from the conventional, nation-wide gyms which are usually overflowing with mirrors.
Harlem Cycle is also getting involved with the community by participating in events like Harlem Week. The studio also plans on hosting theatrical performances this month, which is well in line with its Harlem roots.
All in all, Harlem Cycle is a unique fitness center, which focuses not only on the fitness and well-being of its members, but also the history and culture of the community which it is situated in.