As the ABC launches the Your Move campaign, to help Australians explore their health and fitness journey, journalist Marnie Vinall is hitting the road to try out some of the growing exercise trends across the country.
It’s hard to watch any millennial female-centric TV show or movie today without a spin course featured at some point.
- The spinning class is an intense workout involving stationary bikes, with an instructor up front guiding you through it
- While some classes are standard, others involve nightclub-type conditions, with flashing lights and loud music
- Rotation programs were developed by South African endurance cyclist Johnny Goldberg in the 1980s.
Although I took RPM lessons here and there, I never went to a cycle-specific studio to do what the kids call “spin.”
So I contacted Adam Pearson – who has been an indoor cycling instructor for about 20 years – to give me the rundown.
He told me that there are many different styles of indoor cycling classes offered by the industry, including: strength training, explosive training, aerobic training, traditionalist training models and even the more recently popular “bike party” type methods.
However, all of these forms have cardiovascular benefits through low impact exercise, which is great for fitness without putting too much strain on the body.
So good for someone like me with a finicky knee.
Plus, he says, it’s an incredibly effective form of exercise.
“All energy systems can be used – the anaerobic energy system and the aerobic energy system – they can be used in most classes, and most classes are pretty high in intensity,” he said.
And, for those like me who are less familiar with bodily systems, these are the energy systems necessary for, respectively, rapid bursts of energy, say jumping, and for prolonged periods, say running.
He assured me that no matter what type of workout I was doing, there was usually “always good music, so always good vibes”.
As a sucker for the exercise set to dance floors with the volume turned up, I chose the more “bike party” option and contacted Bodhi and Ride, who offered “a traditional spin that’s revolutionized … [in] dark, hot and scorching studios, equipped with high-tech bikes and professional quality lighting and sound systems”.
Michaela Fellner, Managing Director and Founder of Bodhi and Ride, kindly offered me a lesson at her studio in South Yarra.
She told me that newcomers can expect a “really intense” and “immersive” workout.
“We basically crammed everything into 45 minutes,” she said, telling me the time slot meant it was an effective way to do a full body workout, including upper body and core. down.
“The other element is a community aspect that happens before and after the course.”
Noting my intimidation at trying something so new and dynamic, Fellner told me that they were “well aware that it’s intimidating.”
“It’s a very unique experience and it can certainly be intimidating, so we’re well aware of that,” she said, saying the instructors were there to greet you and keep you updated on what’s going on.
Plus, they’re there for motivation and encouragement.
That’s exactly what I found when I found the courage to continue.
The room was dark as promised with flashing lights, loud music and an extremely enthusiastic instructor – who was very kind to help me tune my bike and put on my crampons.
She guided us through the trails, pushing us to go faster and harder, while shouting praises.
And let me tell you that from the warm-up everything went well.
There was a range of different tracks including a meditation track that runners could run at their own pace and dance tracks where my coordination was really tested.
Have you ever had to move your arms to keep a precise rhythm while your legs rotated? Yeah, me neither, but it was a lot of fun giving it a crack while extremely sweaty under a low highlight.
There was also a weight track, where the legs were isolated on the bikes and instead the upper body was targeted with exercises using hand-held weights.
This included repetitive movements, such as bicep curls and shoulder presses in time to music.
My bullying eased as I settled into the rhythm of the class and the attempt to follow along and push harder took over.
Also the darkness of the room aided by the upbeat music helped as I was only focusing on myself and the movements.
The playlist – featuring Skrillex, Denzel Curry and Disclosure – also certainly helped drive.
After wobbling off the bike, I came home to a big bowl of carbs and finally figured out what it was.
It was 45 minutes of intense exercise but I felt extremely good afterwards, covered in sweat and like I had accomplished something. Also, like I attended a very short rave.
What are spin courses?
Originally developed by South African endurance racer Johnny Goldberg in the mid-1980s after he was hit by a car, spin classes were intended for endurance athletes as a replacement for open-air bike training. air.
Goldberg developed the stationary bikes himself and moved to California to increase product and course exposure.
Over the next few decades, spinning classes became commonplace in gyms before taking on a life of their own, with some classes offering nightclub-style environments to get the pulse racing.
How much does a spin class cost?
Classes can cost between $10 and $30 for an individual session, although many places offer packages that include more than one class.
Where can I do spin lessons?
While many gyms offer spin classes as part of their membership packages, spin class studios have popped up all over the place, offering a more dynamic experience.
Some spinning classes have even been offered at local pubs and bars.
Search “spin classes near me” online for the best results.
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