If you had asked me about spinning 6 months ago I would have given you a very definite answer. I hate it. FULL STOP. My previous experiences of it involved feelings of humiliation and utter inadequacy and to be honest I always thought it was a bit of a smug club I couldn’t be part of. Anyway back to the now – February 2015…. not only do I now love spinning I’m even coming round to the idea of cycling in the outside world too! If you knew me well, you would know these are major changes and I can pretty much mostly credit Psycle with this change….. here’s why…
So Psycle wasn’t the first time I went spinning and liked it – it was when I went to New York for work last year and I begrudgingly visited Soul Cycle, and to my surprise – I loved it! The studio was immaculate, the workout was uplifting and sweaty (Despite getting stuck on the bike at the end of the class, unable to unclip my shoes and while everyone else was stretching – I was red faced, twisting about while trying not to attract attention to my novice/stupid status. Eventually I slid out of the shoes, sat on the floor and was found sitting there after everyone had left and shown how to do it. It was all rather embarrassing.) Anyway – despite this mishap, I loved it and vowed to find somewhere in London to repeat this experience.
I found Psycle. A friend of mine had been telling me about it for a while and due to my disdain for spinning had not listened to her advice to try it out, but with my new found enthusiasm was there within a few days of returning from my trip. In many ways Psycle reminded me of Soul Cycle, it is equally as immaculate, you walk in and immediately greeted with the reception desk and I have to say this – everyone at Psycle are all always so friendly. I hate gyms where you walk in and treated like you are an inconvenience… not at Psycle, they are always helpful, friendly and welcoming. I even once forgot my socks and the guy let me grab a pair from the shop and pay after class so I wasn’t late for the session. So, when you arrive, you check in for your class and are given your cycling shoes and head to the changing rooms. (Shoe rental is always included in the class price so this is a great bonus – you have to pay extra for shoes at SoulCycle!) Changing rooms are lovely – all pincode lockers, big white towels and the showers are clean and well equipped with Bumble & Bumble shampoo and conditioner and Ila face and body wash. There are deodrants and cotton wool, hair dryers and hair bobbles. There isn’t much you need to remember yourself other than your workout kit as Psycle has done it all for you! So anyway on to the class….
The studio is dark – grab your chosen hand-weights and head to your bike- they are all numbered and allocated. If you are new then there is always someone from Psycle ready to help you and set it up for you, and, if you remember your settings, pop these into your online account you will then have it set up for you before you arrive in the future (such a nice touch!) Oh and the guy that set up my bike explained, without me asking, how to remove my feet from the pedals at the end of class. You can imagine my relief! (give your heel a quick sharp twist out from the bike and they will unclip… easy when you know how – right!) All the bikes have hand towels on and most importantly – don’t forget your water bottle – you can fill it up just outside the studios but you will, most definitely need it. Classes usually last 45 minutes and it kicks off with your instructor up in front of you on their bike , pumping the music and controlling the amazing flashing light strips that cover the ceiling and walls. It’s the closest I’ve been to clubbing for a while! Because it is so dark it is great for those of us that can feel a bit self-conscious sometimes – you can lose your inhibitions and get pretty lost in the music, the lights and the instructors encouragement. I am yet to go to two classes the same but there are always consistent elements – there is always fast, hard core cardio pumping sections, a hand-weight section and usually a slower ballet inspired section where you focus on core, balance and control rather than pedaling at the rate of knots. You will find yourself doing all sorts of ‘push-ups’ while you cycle and times you are expected to cycle without moving your upper body too much – that is killer. Your instructor will make it clear when to turn your resistance up or down and remember it is your workout so you can adjust it according to your own abilities. One of my favourite parts of class is the free cycling – for one song track you are told to just cycle however you want and use this as your own time – a few meditative minutes – some people pedal like crazy trying to workout the frustrations of the day while others go slower giving their body a well deserved breather during the class. However you wish to spend those few minutes you can and I tend to just focus on the music and try to quiet my mind. There are so many elements to each class and as each track you are doing different things there is absolutely no monotony and the 45 minutes fly by.
In summary – however skeptical you may be – give it a try. I am a complete convert, much to my surprise! However down I feel before I go in, I always leave uplifted – Psycle is the perfect antidote to city life.
Look out for: Classes with Sal or AD (By no stretch of the imagination have I been to all different instructors classes and I am certain there are other superstars to look out for, but these are two I have been to and especially loved)
How Much? Intro offer 2 sessions for £20. Various packages after this.
Where it it? 76 Mortimer Street, W1W 7SA
Find out more: http://psyclelondon.com/