Spin and Sweat

John Terlingo plays it cool while students sweat it out at his new cycling studio

John Terlingo plays it cool while students sweat it out at new studio

Terlingo Cycle
Terlingo Cycle offers an intense 45-minute workout. Photo by Teresa Rafidi/ Gecko Media
Terlingo Cycle, fitness, spin
Terlingo Cycle is now open in the Oak Lawn neighborhood. Photo by Teresa Rafidi/ Gecko Media
Terlingo Cycle, fitness, spin
Clients can also shop for Farrah Fawcett T-shirts. Photo by Teresa Rafidi/ Gecko Media
Terlingo Cycle
Terlingo Cycle, fitness, spin
Terlingo Cycle, fitness, spin

Just when I thought that Dallas’ darling elite wouldn’t dare break a sweat, I enter Terlingo Cycle.

A mass of sweaty, smiling women are coming out of the studio, miraculously looking pretty in their Lululemon ensembles — a rarity for anyone who just endured an intense kick-in-the-ass. But this is no surprise for the studio owned by beloved John Terlingo, a longtime trainer and man-about-town.

The urban space on Reagan Street boasts white-splashed walls and expansive windows in the lobby area. To the left of the entrance is an in-house boutique with all kinds of workout apparel, including Terlingo's line and Farrah Fawcett tees, which support the late actress' cancer research foundation.

To the right is a check-in area and a wall of cubbies to hold personal items.

About 12 people have signed up for the 10:30 am Saturday class, less than half the size of the previous 9:30 am class.

I am a little hesitant walking into the main room, because the only sources of light are the bike monitors and electric candles. But Terlingo helps us adjust to our bikes. Just as I overcome the fear of riding among a bunch of tiny blonde babes, we begin to cycle in unison.

All of a sudden my waist size doesn't matter, and my choice of workout wear is the last thing on my mind. Terlingo's class is all about riding to the music and surviving. 

Throughout the 45-minute class he fiddles with the tunes — beginning with a cool mixed version of George Michael's "Faith" — and volume like a DJ, driving us to ride faster and harder. From the speed cycling to the saddle jumping, we are all dripping in sweat.

Unlike cycling studios such as SoulCycle or Flywheel — where the music is so loud your ears begin to throb and the teachers talk every 20 seconds — Terlingo plays it cool.

He reminds us to stay hydrated and kept pump-up talks brief, rather than making us feel like pets in training. But that doesn’t mean it is any less of a workout.

I feel the burn my glutes, quads and even my arms, because Terlingo makes us use hand weights during class. I know everyone else feels the same because of the pained looks on their faces.

Bringing our heart rates down, Terlingo finishes with meditative music and stretching exercises. I walk out sweaty and smiling, just like the women I encountered on the way in — only without the Lululemon.


To get your butt kicked at Terlingo Cycle — by Terlingo himself or one of the other trainers — sign up online for a morning or evening class. Each class costs $20.