Hooray! We have a new contributor, in the form of Kate Robinson. We decided to break her in by sending her into our Wattbikes spin studio at Gymbox Covent Garden.
If you’re not completely averse to the idea of cycling in a dark room while going nowhere, then jump on a Wattbike and give this a go.
Set up like a standard indoor cycling room, you could be forgiven for thinking this is just your average spin class. Think again. Wattbikes are indoor bikes 'used by World and Olympic champions' on which you train at intervals of different revolutions per minute (RPM) with varying resistance, dependent on how masochistic you are.
The bikes are attached to monitors that display your RPM, watt output and polar graph - a fancy chart that shows the angle at which your feet are cycling and the force they’re applying. So if you’re slightly lopsided, like moi, then you’re in a constant battle with your lefty to pedal harder to keep the optimum 50/50 balance.
It was Helen taking us for a ride on Tuesday evening. Thankfully the music packed enough beat to keep the legs pumping round even when they just didn’t want to push. Any. More.
Over blaring music, Helen shouts the average RPM to reach and for how long, changing it up every minute from 85 to 110, then back down again. You can manually alter the resistance too to better feel the burn but after a few minutes you’re instantly regretting it, as then you’re ordered to crank it up a notch after every minute.
After exhausting sets of varying resistance and RPM, you see a hazy clock through the sweaty fog and notice there’s 10 minutes to go. Nice, I always love a long stretch. But alas no, say hello to Tabata, the High Intensity Interval Training that has you sprint-pedalling for 20 seconds, resting for 10 (recovery time that’s over in a blink) before manically going at it again like Wiggins in a time trial.
Surprisingly these hardcore intervals pass by so quickly that soon you’re stretching out whilst trying not to slip in your puddle of sweat. Word of advice: stretch those quads before the class, or else you’re not getting out of bed the next morning.
Go on! Get some Wattbike action in your life.