Flywheel’s Victor Self On Why Cycling Should Be A Part Of Your Workout

Victor Self
Victor Self

It’s never too late to start something new and if you’ve just gotten back from vacation and noticed that you’re body is a little more flabby than desirable, we highly recommend you sign up for a cycling class. But not just any old class, Victor Self’s class at Flywheel Sports downtown—the brand’s first San Francisco location, which opened a year ago. Self is a master instructor and the West Coast creative director at Flywheel. His fast-paced energetic class was the best—and hardest!—indoor cycling session we’ve ever taken. Self has a way of motivating the stadium to stand up and move those legs faster—even when you think you can’t push any harder. Although he is based in Los Angeles, he teaches several classes a month in SF and we highly recommend you seek out one of his time slots. We chatted with Self to find out why cycling, and Flywheel in particular, is so great for the body, mind, and soul. Here is how our conversation went down.

Bikes awaiting riders at Flywheel
Bikes awaiting riders at Flywheel

Tell me about your motto, “Comfortable being uncomfortable.”

Victor Self: My motto is “comfortable being uncomfortable,” and it’s to really sort of how you make change in your life. Change is never comfortable, it’s always a little bit uncomfortable and if you just embrace it, and you just say, ‘This is going to last for a really short period of time and on the other side of it, what I get from it, is going to be permanent, why not?’

What do you say to people who are a intimidated by coming into this sort of class?

VS: I completely understand that. I remember way back when, when I took my first cycling class I was intimidated to come in also, but one of the things that we really focus on here at Flywheel is community, and it’s a place where everyone belongs. Also the room is dark, so no one really knows what you’re doing. You get in there and you have a great time. You sweat and you’re doing something amazing for your body. You let your doubts, fears, and judgements about yourself at the door.

Why is cycling such a great workout?

VS: It’s a great workout because it’s appropriate for anyone, so you can have a mom, a dad, a grandfather, a grandson, all doing it together. It’s low impact so it’s not impacting your joints, which means that you can do it for a really long period of time. And it’s also something like I said, that’s fun and in the dark, so no one is looking at you. The focus is not on you. It’s about just doing things that make you feel better and make you feel stronger and make you empower your own body.

Self takes center stage in the Flywheel stadium
Self takes center stage in the Flywheel stadium

What’s your own personal workout routine?

VS: It’s flywheel. Really, it’s basically all I do. I teach a lot of classes. Then I try to also incorporate stretching daily, after every single class I stretch. A couple times a week I’ll do some resistance training, but mainly it’s Flywheel, Flywheel, and more Flywheel.

How do you keep your clients motivated?

VS: To me it’s all about making a personal connection, like I actually want to know the people that are in my classes. I want to know what they’re working towards. I want to know what them in the door and it’s usually not what people tell you. I really want to dig a little bit deeper and find out, “What makes you come in and sit on a bike that’s going nowhere, in the dark? What is it that got you here? What do you want to get out of it?”

What do you love most about Flywheel?

VS: Indoor cycling is like we talked about, something that’s great for everyone. Flywheel puts a number and a metric behind it, which makes it take all the guess work out of cycling, which is something that people go to class and they don’t really know what they’re doing. At Flywheel, we make it very clear for you what the expectations are. We make it easy for you to track your progress because we just live in a society now where everyone wants to know how they’re doing. Everyone lives by their phones and we’re sort of completely in line with that.