Spin classes are gruelling – physically and mentally.
Riders peel their sweat-soaked body from the stationary bike at the end of each ordeal – yes, ordeal – and wonder how they’ve let the instructor have so much control over their body for an hour.
It’s known for being cult-like, garnering incredibly loyal and intense followers who live for spinning. Some riders crave being yelled at in a dark room punctuated by strobe lights and blaring music each and every day.
We, like many of you out there, were fairly sceptical of spinning. And, if we’re being honest, we were slightly terrified, too. But it is something everyone has got to try at least once.
And few do it better than the team at Psycle, who are leading the charge when it comes to offering high-quality spin classes in London. It’s not only for the hardcore fitness buffs out there either – although you will find a lot of them in the room with you.
What is it?
This collection of boutique fitness studios has perfected the art of spinning by creating a fully immersive cycling experience for people who are looking to burn a lot of calories in a short span of time.
Psycle focuses on the psychology behind spinning, taking riders on a mental journey, pushing their physical boundaries while calling on them to reflect on and escape the outside world.
In every class, there is a moment when they play a slow song during which you can go at whatever pace you want. In this delirious state, they’ll call on you to think about your goals, personal life, and so forth. It’s amazing the kind of clarity you can get in a spin class. Some people even have their own sweat-induced epiphanies.
How does it work?
Spin classes run every day of the week and are either 45, 60 or 90 minutes in length. We recommend the shortest class for newbies.
You’ll be given some clip-on shoes upon arrival (don’t put these on until you’ve made your way to the studio) and waddle into a room full of top of the line bikes. Grab some weights – yes, they somehow incorporate weights into their epic classes: don’t be put off yet. Adjust the bike to your height, clip in and do a few test spins before the class starts.
The pro instructors will then make their way in, pumping up the class like a hype man would a band. They take their place at the front, on a raised platform, and start their music set. They’re like DJs: DJs who mix music while cycling. It’s a very impressive feat.
They dive right into the thick of it, moving from sprints to endurance and high-resistance climbs. The instructor will call for the class to cheer between heavy pants, and everyone will obediently follow instructions. It’s amazing how quickly you submit to their will.
The team at Psycle tap into that strange kind of contagious energy you get in group fitness classes while integrating great music with purposely-timed lighting effects.
It’s a fully immersive workout. Riders pedal to the beat of the song, with each instructor tailoring their own playlist to the workout. This means each class will be a little different and, by taking a few different ones, you’ll find the instructor who best fits your needs. They have it all covered.
What are the benefits?
Spinning has a whole host of body and mind benefits. But the biggest draw is that this form of high-intensity cardio and muscular strength training makes you burn fat at an incredible rate.
You’ll be knackered afterwards, but you’ll almost instantly see the change in your body. And the more you spin, the more benefits you get. You’ll get fitter and stronger after each class.
They call for riders to push their boundaries, being in control of their own resistance. And that’s a huge benefit. If you’re not as fit as the others in the class, you simply don’t have to push as hard. You go at your own rate, pushing your own personal limits.
And as you improve, you’ll just push harder, spurred on by the instructors who come to know their riders personally. It is like a family or the cool clique at high school (not necessarily a cult).
They bring you into the fold, doing all they can to help you improve your own fitness, form and mental state. You’ll feel like one of the cool kids at Psycle.
Sadly, Psycle doesn’t offer a rolling monthly membership. It’s all paid per class. You’ll have to shell out a hefty £20 for each ride, but it’s certainly worth it. It is one of the best in London, and riders can save a bit if they get credits in bundles. The more you buy in bulk, the cheaper each individual class costs.
Get in the saddle in Shoreditch, Clapham, Canary Wharf and Marylebone.