OMG! Cycling, Atlanta style!

KTX indoor-cycling lives up to the Internet hype



I just … ugh. There’s so much wrong with that caption that to press “play” on the accompanying video felt sacrilegious, like I’d be offending my patron saints, Strunk and White.

But because I’m an indoor-cycling instructor and have a weakness for time-wasting Internet videos, I clicked anyway.

What I saw was a cycling class unlike any I’d ever attended, avoided, observed, or taught.

The students were on traditional stationary bikes, but as they pedaled to high-energy music, they were following instructor Keith Thompson’s lead and incorporating hip-hop dance moves into the routine.

Thompson used to teach at a gym chain in Atlanta, and people would show up forty-five minutes early to get into his classes.

So five years ago he founded his own business, KTX Fitness, which offers step, Zumba, and cycling classes at Adamsville Recreation Center, MLK Jr. Recreation Center, and Grant Park Recreation Center. Classes are $35 a month or $5 per class. Or, if you want a guaranteed seat, you can pay $10 per class.

And a guaranteed seat is a must, as I soon learn when I show up to try Thompson’s most popular cycling class, the 10 a.m. on Saturday at Adamsville Rec. In the small studio, located behind the pools, every one of the twenty-five, low-tech bikes is accounted for and numerous hopeful students are turned away. One of Thompson’s regulars is kind enough to give me his spot.

Though I’m a woman of words, I know I can’t do the class any justice. I can’t put into prose Thompson’s infectious energy, and the front-row riders whose legs flew while they dipped their shoulders side to side and swung their towels overhead.

I’m unable to truly capture the friendly and non-competitive spirit of the people who took Thompson’s class. And I’m pretty sure I can’t adequately describe how awesome it was when two little kids got up in front of the class and danced while we worked out.

So here is the resulting video* I put together—without the grammatically confounding caption.

*special thanks to Crystal Furlonge for shooting this video on the fly.

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  • Renee

    I am a member of KTX Fitness classes, for 1 1/2 years and can testify to the Keith’s spin class methodology. The goal of the class is to work out both your upper and lower body at once, creating a serious cardio workout!
    I started with Keith in May of 2012, weighing 260 lbs and today I have lost over 60 lbs. As a diabetic this has been the heaven sent workout experience for me! I no longer take diabetic medication and my sugar levels have dropped dramatically. The class is high energy and refreshing!

    Go Keith…Go Keith!!

  • Jere

    Great article and great classes but the classes are held at Adamsville Rec Center, not Andersonville

  • Jennifer

    While this is a great article and the people participating in the class are having a great time led by a passionate instructor, I have to say, that this is not SPINNING. I have been a licensed SPINNING instructor for 15 years and this is not the way a SPINNING class is led. First of all, SPINNING is a brand. SPINNING is the very first indoor cycling brand. So, this article misrepresents the SPINNING brand. Not sure why SPINNING is even mentioned in the article. Nowhere on the KTX website is SPINNING mentioned. We as SPINNING instructors are very protective of the brand and it should not be used in this way.

    • JDub

      Semantics. They are on bikes and you are on bikes. What makes their class different than yours? Sounds a bit elitist to me. Maybe if they weren’t brown folks listening to hip hop they could call it spinning? Sorry, but I’ve been to a lot of different “spin” classes and each individual instructor puts their on spin (sorry, no pun intended) on their classes. This class though significantly different than the other ones I’ve been to should be included in the spectrum of spin.

    • KC

      Yes “Spinning” is a brand. ONLY fitness professionals know these words! Honestly who really cares? This guy is fun motivating and LOUD!!!! Im so bored in the typical snobby stuck up “cyclist” spin class. If you took time to know gym members you would realize this style is preferred!!!! You Go Keith! You should teach your style to instructors!!!!! People would LOVE IT!!!!! I’ve taught spin for over 5 years. Happy Spinning! KC

    • Charity

      awwwe you cant read. NO WHERE in the article does it say the word SPIN or SPINNING.

      Go have several seats……………over there————->

  • King

    Mr. Thompson is an exceptional motivator and teacher. To say he is not a SPIN teacher would ordinarily be an insult, but he is truly more than that. KTX changes lives and instead of criticizing people need to come be a part of a positive life changing experience! Keith Thompson is a blessing!

  • Deanna

    I’m not in Atlanta but I have heard of this class. I wish Keith Thompson would create a DVD. He could make a fortune and I would be first in line to use it on my spin bike at home.

  • Maria

    Your class is riveting. I ran out and bought a bike after watching on you tube. I reside in Texas, but my friends and family would purchase your video if it was available, Think about it.