Every tuesday I run around south west London with a group of girls at a running club set up by The Telegraph as part of the Be:Fit London expo campaign. Along with the runs, they also put on fitness pop-ups in the run up to the three day festival, one of which took place at BOOMCycle in Holborn.
I’ve always been intrigued by spinning but never actually tried it out, so when it came up as part of Be:Fit it would have been rude not to give it a go. Classes are usually about £16 a pop, so I was glad to be able to try it out without feeling like I’d wasted money if I didn’t like it.
I really liked it.
I was a bit worried about how hard it would be having heard horror stories of people passing out, sweating from head to toe and not being able to walk for days afterwards, and this was only made worse by seeing the girls in the class before our coming out wearing almost nothing, bodies to die for and them looking like they were about to faint.
Thankfully our instructor, Naomi, was as friendly as she was feisty, and made sure everyone was alright with the pace, level and work rate – although I’m pretty sure everyone in the class was lying a tiny bit when they said they were. I was definitely not telling the truth.
With spinning, I guess you get out what you put in, and if you do it half-heartedly you’re not going to reap the benefits. It’s super hard, and it was tempting to only pretend to turn the resistance dial up when told instead of actually doing it, but I felt guilty the first time bcos I didn’t feel like I was working hard enough and so stayed honest for the rest of the class. It also meant that the caramel protein bar from our goodie bags I inhaled on the tube home was deserved!
I seemed to lose my mind at BOOM bcos the very next day I did another spinning class, but this time at my gym. Going from a swanky studio decked out with neon lights, candles, complementary baby soft towels and house beats played on a macbook to a room the size of my first non-halls bedroom in London with a cd player and lights on a dimmer switch that didn’t work was jarring to say the least. If it hadn’t had been included in my membership the class would have been half the price of the one at BOOM, but BOOM was more than twice as good. At BOOM I’d snaffled a bike at the back so noone could see me struggle (I do this in every single class I do, no matter the discipline) but the only one left at my gym when I arrived was on the front row, and the clips were broken. For the first 10 minutes of the class I honestly felt like I was dying, and that my legs were made out of cement. I was so angry at myself for having such a hard time with it I nearly left straight away in tears, but stuck it out, even if that meant only really being able to nail the seated parts of the class for the first part. Once my legs had warmed up and stretched out from the day before’s session I got back into it and finished the cycle as well as anyone else did, but it did put me off spinning outside of a dedicated centre. The instructor also went nowhere near a bike at any point during the class which I wasn’t crazy about, especially bcos the session Naomi led us for the day before had been her third class in a row that morning, and it was only lunchtime. Every other class I go to at my gym, the instructor is right amongst it doing everything with us – whether thats yoga, circuits, boxing, whatever – so being
shouted at encouraged to work harder by someone who wasn’t working themselves wasn’t very inspirational.
I think this was the first real experience of ‘you get what you pay for’ that I’ve had with fitness so far, but it also made me see why people are so eager to throw money at things like BOOMCycle and Psycle and 1Rebel when you get so much out of it. Next up on the Be:Fit list is Rumble @ 1Rebel, so I’m hoping for more of the same!