Anyone who’s ever thought you can’t achieve much in thirty minutes at the gym has woefully underestimated the power of a Gymbox instructor.
Cyclone is Gymbox’s half hour Cycle Club class, and believe me when I say they do not waste a single minute. If you’re looking for efficiency served up with a ton of endorphins, this might just be the class for you.
I’d never been to Cyclone before, so instructor Raquel came over to help me get started, checking my bike set up and talking me through the display screen. The class uses Power Training, with the bike using your reported fitness levels to measure how close to your threshold you’re working. Levels one and two should be pretty easy, while level five is cycling flat out – it’s these levels that you use throughout the class to make sure you’re squeezing everything out of the thirty minutes.
With everyone’s bikes set up, Raquel turns down the lights, cranks up the music and after using the first few minutes to work up to a decent pace, we just. don’t. stop. Raquel tells us the RPM (revolutions per minute) to aim for, and we dial up the resistance to get into the level three zone. You know you’re there when the light on your bike turns green - keeping it there is incredibly good motivation to keep going! After all, who wants to be the first to have their light switch back to blue?
As the class continues, the speed rarely dips for long but the resistance keeps stepping up, taking us up to an effort level four (yellow) and occasionally, a red level five. We never stay at a five for more than a minute or so – but that minute feels like an age! Seeing everyone else’s lights change colour as you all power through turns the class from a solo effort to some kind of high energy group spin-disco. Being part of the pack and putting in that collective group effort makes for an amazing atmosphere, with everyone pushing flat out to keep the right light on. Raquel keeps that energy up, shouting her encouragement but also reminding us that it shouldn’t be comfortable! When she assures us she’s finding it tough too, it’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one ready to collapse off my bike the second the music stops!
And speaking of the music, it’s so good. Even for the rhythmically-challenged it’s really easy to follow the RPM for every track which helps you keep up, and I appreciated the volume so that I (and everyone else) couldn’t hear my raggedy breathing. And with everyone from the Foo Fighters to the Prodigy making an appearance, you could feel the buzz in the room as every song pushed us harder. I might have felt like I was pedalling through treacle at times, but at least I could lose myself in the music.
This is pretty straightforward spin class in that there are no weights, no special movements to follow and no jumping up and down from your seat. You just get in, pedal as fast as they tell you and make the lights turn the right colours at the right time for half an hour – it sounds so simple, and that’s why it’s so effective. I came out of there completely shattered and feeling like I’d done a brilliant cardio workout – but I’d only taken up a tiny bit of my day with it.
I’ve always wanted to get into spinning because it’s such an amazing workout, but I’ve never quite managed to get to the stage of loving it – I like an easy life, and spinning is hard. But you just can’t argue with a class as efficient as this one, and I can handle thirty minutes of discomfort in return for a massive fitness boost, not to mention feeling invincible when you finish. More results in less time is definitely my kind of workout.