INDOOR CYCLING: it’s the hot workout that the fitness crowd loves to hate. There’s pumping music, sweat dripping on the floor and a screaming instructor – you better believe that indoor biking classes are not for the faint-hearted. Yet indoor cycling remains a mainstay on most gym class schedules. Our guess is that’s because half an hour of stationary cycling burns a whopping 210 calories*. But calorie burn isn’t enough – fitness fans want toned arms, a good time and a revived mind to boot.
Enter the latest breed of cycling classes, where the biking meets dancing, sci-fi and much more. Think part cycling, part dance or part exercise, part meditation – these bike combo classes offer Spinners more fitness bang for their biking buck. ‘It’s an exciting time for studio cycling,’ agrees Becky Duffy, Psycle instructor. ‘There are a lot of different boutique cycling classes out there that are now offering something different. It’s changed a lot since I started teaching indoor cycling classes in gyms a few years ago.’ Ready to get your Spinning style on? Welcome to the brand new biking world…
BIKE + BEATS: PSYCLE
WHAT IS IT? Psycle is all about the music, and the positive effect that it has on your mind. Expect to move from left to right or up and down on the bike, in time to the rhythm. And when that’s over, you’ll do weighted upper-body moves, which are said to burn even more calories. This boosts both body and brain.
WHY DO IT? It boosts coordination, thanks to the unique movements on the bike. Psycle classes also re-focus the mind. ‘The movement on the bike works your whole body and gets your mind in the right place,’ says Duffy. ‘You get a natural high after a Psycle class that comes from the positive energy.’
TRY IF: You want to be part of a highenergy biking crowd.
BIKE + ALTITUDE: MY RIDE
WHAT IS IT? A bike class like no other. My Ride takes place in a hypoxic (low oxygen) environment. Similar to cycling at 2,000m above sea level, the cycle classes, which are held in the new Apex Altitude Studio at Virgin Active Walbrook, can increase your exercise capacity, as the maximum amount of oxygen you can transport to your muscles improves, which helps your body to compete at a higher intensity for longer. Wow.
WHY DO IT? My Ride is the class for those who want more performance-orientated results. When training at altitude, heart rate increases to get more blood around the body and muscles work doubly hard. ‘Doing a 30-minute workout in the altitude studio stresses the cardiovascular system in the same way that a 60-minute workout in a normal (normoxia) environment would,’ explains James Trevorrow, product innovation manager for Virgin Active.
TRY IF: You’re an athlete who wants to improve your biking performance.
BIKE + BOOTCAMP: EDGE CYCLE
WHAT IS IT? Grab your bike shoes, mat and dumbbells because this cycle class is half whizzing and half bootcamp-style exercise. You pedal away in the first part of the class, then unclip from the bike for burpees, push-ups and weights moves. Expect the biking to focus on lower-body muscles (helping hone those cyclist calves!), while the resistance exercises take care of your core and upper body. Perfect.
WHY DO IT? Because you want it all – legs like Victoria Pendleton and arms like Cameron Diaz. And you’ll burn more calories to boot. ‘Our Spin classes are performed at a much higher intensity than many workouts, aiming at burning the biggest number of calories possible – not only during the class but over the entire day,’ explains Jono Woodward, expert at Edge Cycle. ‘Edge Cycle Bootcamp is a full-body workout. It contains all of the benefits of a normal cycling class – but the bootcamp-style moves (such as burpees) ensure we deliver an extra-challenging workout to everyone.’
TRY IF: You can’t decide between cardio and weight training – do both.
BIKE + DANCE: GROOVECYCLE
WHAT IS IT? This groovy class seamlessly blends on-the-bike dance moves (think handlebar push-ups and arm movements) with interval cycling. Created by dancer and choreographer, Sarah-Jane Aboboto, this class is rhythmical fun. The studio is dark and lights are low, so pedal and dance like no-one’s watching!
WHY DO IT? You’ll burn 1,000 calories per class and enjoy it. ‘You work your full body, while improving co-ordination, rhythm and finding your own personal groove,’ says Aboboto.
TRY IF: You’re a dance enthusiast who wants to have fun on the bike.
BIKE + TECH: LES MILLS IMMERSIVE FITNESS
WHAT IS IT? Spinning just got sci-fi. This unique cycling studio at the David Lloyd Leisure Raynes Park club in London boasts a cinema-style screen that gives riders the sensation of cycling up steep glaciers, around digital velodromes and alongside virtual cyclists.
WHY DO IT? You’ll be having so much fun cycling around the virtual world that you won’t realise how hard you’re working (you’ll burn around 600 calories). ‘It’s like being inside a computer game – a complete virtual reality that changes with each song,’ explains Dave Kyle, Les Mills UK head trainer.
TRY IF: You’re a sports tech pro. n