The setting at Zyn22 at The Shops at Park Lane is not typical for the average gym. Lights are dimmed, candles are lit, and the destination is both fitness and peacefulness.
Equipped with one classroom, 20 instructors, and 50 bikes, Zyn22 provides 45-minute rhythmic spin classes, full-body workouts, and a space to clear your mind with a community of riders. The company harps on the belief that when combined with consistency, the ride will be life changing.
For myself, the experience was quite a ride.
A virgin spinner, it was awkward trying to figure out how to clip in my shoes. In that moment, I couldn’t have been more thankful that the room was almost completely dark — and that there was a staff member close by to adjust my seat for me, post clip-in.
“When the lights are up, everybody looks around. And not only do they look around, they look around and focus on everybody else,” said co-owner Denis Morton. “When we drop the lights, it really allows them to work harder because they don’t think anybody else is looking. It becomes a really personal experience.”
Morton, the certified “Zynsei” of the operation, said each of the instructors underwent a rigorous training with him before they were placed in the saddle. Trainers include a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, a drill team director, and a TCU honors student.
“I specifically looked for candidates with some dance or cheerleading experience,” Morton said. “So much of what we do is rhythmic, so dancers have a big advantage coming in the door because they know how to move with the music.”
From beginning to end, Morton led my class in a non-stop spinning frenzy. Previous expectations that it would be a ride to the death had actually become the speediest dance party I had ever experienced. Sprinkled with ab exercises and a smooth weight workout, the ride allowed my body to work every muscle well and enjoyably.
“I try to bring a yogic feel to cycling, and I’ve always loved to dance,” Morton said. “I never wanted to be yelled at, I wanted to be told I was stronger than I was. I try to bring that to this.”
While the first class is free, prices range on the number of rides a patron wishes to purchase starting at $22 for a single ride. Morton said he and his team want to expose the power of the workout to anyone who wants to put in the work.
“If you can’t get out of [a tough situation], get into it,” Morton said. “Think, ‘You’re in this difficult spot, can you make it fun? Can you find the joy?’ We put ourselves into intentionally difficult situations so we can practice serenity under duress. That’s what puts ‘Zyn’ on the door.”
Morton explained it was totally normal to fall behind on the first class if it’s not something someone is used to performing on a weekly basis.
“It’s a huge learning curve,” Morton said. “But it gets easier the more you work with it.”
Founders Mark and Melissa Page decided to open this second location of Zyn22 last September after having a successful first ride in Fort Worth. They plan to open more Dallas sites early this year.
With one planned for Southlake and another for Turtle Creek, it’ll be a wonder if Dallas doesn’t become the fittest city in America by next year.
“Exercise can be more than work; it can be fun and transformative and build community,” Morton said. “People expect cycling to be a lot of work, but we make it really fun and they tend to forget about the work they’re doing. It becomes way easier that way.”