The Wall Cycling Studio Visit and Interview

By Janelle @ Run With No Regrets | fitness

Oct 13

Is spinning a good type of cross-training for runners?

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit The Wall Cycling Studio, located in the Manayunk area of Philadelphia.  I had a really fun time!

Learn more about @thewallcycling with this interview and workout recap! #fitness Share on X

Ever considered trying a spinning class? Check out my experience at The Wall Cycling Studio and interview!

The Wall Cycling Studio – My First Workout


I’ve been spinning a few times, but I’ve never been convinced that it’s the right workout for me.  In the few classes I’ve attended, I’ve been intimidated by the hard-core cyclists with their special shoes and assigned seats.  Then there are the classes that are so trendy that I feel out-of-place before I even get started.  Thankfully, The Wall Cycling Studio is NOT that kind of place.

I dropped by The Wall Cycling on a Wednesday night right after work.  After luckily finding a parking spot close by (quite a feat in hilly Manayunk!), I entered the small and cozy studio.  I could quickly tell that The Wall is more like a community.  There was no pretentiousness or flashy neon lights.  I was welcomed inside by Julie, the owner of the studio and instructor for the 5:30 pm class.

I quickly asked if there were assigned seats and she said no, not at all (another great sign!).  I picked a seat in front so I could easily see what I’m supposed to be doing.  Julie helped to make sure my seat was properly adjusted.   There were a few other women in class, but there was no more than 8 or so.  That really put me at ease – large cycling classes scare the heck out me!

The class went for 45 minutes and was very easy to follow, thanks to Julie’s instruction.  The time went really fast!  There was great energy in the room and I really pushed myself.  The music was great, even including songs from the Empire TV show. I looked around to see if I was “doing it right” and I seemed to fit right in.

Overall, the class itself was challenging, but fun!  I have always been very iffy about spinning based on my past experiences,  but it does seem like it could be a great complement to running.  After this class, I went for a 4 mile run and I was surprised that my legs were able to handle it!  I need to try to go spinning more often to see if it’s right for me!

Interview with Owner, Julie Sabella

juliet sabella

Before and After – image from

What inspired you to open The Wall Cycling Studio?

I had been laid off from my job and saw a need for a spin studio in Manayunk. I enjoyed the activity so thought it would be a good fit for the town.

I understand you lost 100 pounds by spinning.  Can you tell us more about your weight loss journey?

I was close to 200 pounds and needed to make a change. I found a love for running and spinning and loved how it made me feel when losing weight.

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There are so many types of spinning studios out there.  What makes The Wall different from the rest?

The Wall is different because we consider ourselves a community and not a studio. We make sure everyone is comfortable when they walk in our doors no matter what level of fitness.

What’s your favorite type of music to use in a class?

I like all different types of music but it’s not about what I like  – it’s what the riders like. We get to know people and cater the workouts to what will get them through.

What keeps your members coming back?

I think people come back because they like how we treat them. They’re not a CC statement, but an important member of the community.

Is spinning a good cross-training exercise for runners?

Spinning is incredible for running. It builds cardio capacity and gives you a break from the pounding on the knees.

What other workouts go well with a spinning program?

Spinning pairs well with anything, really.

What are the biggest mistakes you’ve seen beginners make in a spinning class?

The biggest mistake I’ve seen beginners make is getting upset with themselves for not being able to keep up. It takes a couple of classes but they get better every time.

What do you like to do for fun, besides spinning?

I love to run and box. When not working out, I am the coordinator of the Philadelphia chapter of the National Canine Cancer Foundation.

Do you have any funny stories to share from one of your classes?

Yes. One time someone wore a hydration backpack to class.

Congratulations on your upcoming new studio in Phoenixville!  Can you tell us more about that?

Thanks! I’ve been looking for over a year for a second location and had actually been inside he studio before I opened the Manayunk location about 4 years ago. When I saw it online, I had to check it out again in person and the location opened up within a month.

Thanks so much to Julie for taking time out of her busy schedule to chat with me.  I had such a great time in her class.  If you’re in the Greater Philadelphia area, The Wall Cycling Phoenixville had its grand opening on Saturday, October 10.  Hopefully, if you’re in the area, you’ll be able to check it out at Phoenixville or in Manayunk!

Have you ever gone to a spinning class?  Do you include spinning/cycling as part of your cross-training?

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