On a balmy evening in London (What you say?! True, above 30 degrees!) a couple of weeks ago I headed into the city to hit up an intense indoor cycling experience at Cyclebeat. One of the new indoor cycling studios popping up around London, in the wake of the SoulCycle cult pulsing through the States at the moment. (If you haven’t heard of SoulCycle and all the celebs Instagramming madness – it is a combo of music, motivation and you guessed it, indoor cycling! ‘Take your journey. Change your body. Find your soul’).
The whole premise behind studios like this, is to create a motivating and energising atmosphere, with pounding beats, high-energy instructors, and gruelling cycling routines. And Cyclebeat does not disappoint! Coming from South Africa we have the whole Spinning thing, so I knew what to expect. But these new indoor cycling studios have taken it up a notch, more like Spinning on E.
My experience at Cyclebeat
I attended a class led by instructor Andy F (think Mohawk, piercings, tattoos, and London accent) based on a snippet of the Tour de France mountain-leg from that previous weekend. The studio was darkened with a shiny disco ball adding ‘atmosphere’ for extra measure. The bikes were modern and easy to use, and the class was a hill circuit with steep inclines, sprints and recovery. The tunes were a combo of old-school rave and The Prodigy. I. Loved. It.
Exercise, yes should be hard and challenging for sure, but it should also be exhilarating and fun! It should motivate you, push you and generally give you an awesome buzz. And Cyclebeat did just that.
Music and the Beat
At Cyclebeat they take music and exercise seriously (as you should!), and even list sample playlists from their classes, as well as Spotify playlists from their instructors. In their words:
‘You know that feeling, when you’ve given it your best, and your body has nothing left to offer – you are done. Then that track comes on – the one which always gets you going – and suddenly your head is up, you find an energy that you didn’t know existed, and you’re back in the groove, with a smile on your face.
Music does that. Music goes with exercise, we all know that, but it turns out there’s some science behind it. Researchers have found that the right music can make a big difference to our performance.’
A studio after my own heart!
They also use what they call the ‘Beatboard’ – a screen in the front of the class which displays and measures every performance and is linked to a computer on each bike. This is all about biofeedback. The science behind this is that seeing our performance stats almost immediately (feeding back information to us), gives us the ability to control, and as a consequence improve, our performance.
To sum up:
An energetic and enthusiastic instructor, funky studio, good music and a tough but fun class! Give it a try!
For more info: www.cyclebeat.co.uk.