An article about the merits of spinning that I wrote for The Ultimate Edit, including a code for a free class in London.
Looking for a tip-top, all-over workout? Here are seven strong reasons why spinning might just have your name on it…
1. Boutique, c’est chic
Spinning, which first gained popularity in the early 80s, has emerged from its once-a-week slot in a dank, dark back room of your local gym, to boutique, dedicated spin studios that are popping up all over the UK. Many have hailed 2015 as the year of the “indoor cycling revolution” as popular American spinning brands like SoulCycle have crossed the Atlantic to peddle their pedal wares… and us Brits are hooked.
2. Blood, sweat & tears
Now call me crazy, but I’m a fan of really feeling like I’ve worked out after a workout. Gone are the days when women were meant to just “glow” rather than perspire, or even – whisper it – sweat. Strong is the new skinny and spin is a great way to build and tone those muscles. Yes, spinning can be a pretty intense workout but if you’re giving up your precious time and your hard-earned cash, wouldn’t you rather do a form of exercise that actually pushes your fitness levels? In my own experience, I’ve done 8 classes over the last month, and I’ve already seen a vast improvement. My first class left me feeling sick, tearful and like I was the least-fit person in the entire room. Or – possibly – the entire country. But I quickly found that I got into the spin of things on class two and now I can’t get enough!
3. Made in Chelsea made me do it
Anything the Rah Brigade touch turns to gold. Just a matter of weeks ago, the current Made in Chelsea series (series 9) saw a group of the gals venture out of SW3 and hit popular Oxford Circus-based spinning studio, Psycle.
Except Mark Francis, of course, darling
We weren’t privvy to seeing them actually break a sweat (I think it’s in their contracts that they always have to appear Barbie-blow-dried-perfect), but if the Sloanes are doing it, you know spinning is back. It was just a matter of time before it trickled down from Chelsea to the rest of us lowly peasants.
4. Pedal power: more than just your legs
Repeat after me: spinning doesn’t just work out your legs. And again: spinning doesn’t just work out your legs. A good spin class will have you sweating from your head to your toes, and feeling the burn across your whole body.
“When you work out on an indoor exercise bike, your heart works harder to supply the rest of your body with oxygen-rich blood. Upon repeated workouts, your heart becomes stronger. A strong heart is excellent for your cardiovascular system and greatly lowers your chances of heart disease. With regular exercise on an indoor stationary bike, your metabolism will increase. Not only will you be burning calories, but you will digest foods more quickly and use energy more efficiently, which helps with weight loss and weight maintenance. A better metabolism helps your body regulate energy and can help prevent diabetes. Exercising on an indoor stationary bike also increases bone density and works out muscles, and is a great way to get your cardio workout without being hard on your joints.” – Spinning.com
Some studios also incorporate exercises with dumbbells while you’re on the bike, and lead you into deep stretches afterwards. Spinning also engages your glutes and core and, let’s be honest, who doesn’t want a perfect booty and abs you could grate organic cheese on?!
5. Let me hear you raw!
The raw food movement isn’t new (it’s hard to term something as ‘new’ if it hails from man’s earliest prehistoric ancestors) but in our modern, hyper-health-conscious times, raw food is gaining a cult-following. London spinning studio Ride Republic has teamed up with “detox and raw food experts” Tanya’s Cafe – which, incidentally, also featured in this series of Made in Chelsea. With their shared cafe/studio space, you’re able to complement your sweaty workout and “nurture your cells” with a top up of nutritious vitamin goodness from an array of jewel-coloured juice bottles with enticing names such as ‘My Sugarfree Fix’, ‘My Alkaliser’ and ‘My Doctor’.
6. Surround thyself with fitties
Looking to meet other Sweaty Bettys and Fit Franks? A workout class is a great place to make new friends and meet like-minded people… perhaps you might even nab yourself a first date with the hottie with the man bun on the next bike. The great thing about spinning is that it has a true cross-gender appeal and isn’t seen as “too girly” by blokes, unlike some other more classically female-focussed classes like step aerobics or your local community hall’s Legs, Bums & Tums. Even the adonis David Beckham himself has been frequently papped leaving LA spinning studios. Let’s face it, if it’s good enough for Goldenballs, it’s good enough for the rest of you chaps.
7. Party while you burn
Struggling to juggle work, exercise, friends and much-needed party time? Spinning is like a manic, calorie-burning rave, and Ride Republic even has a special Happy Hour Redefined Friday evening class where riders are encouraged to splash on the neon face and body paint. Talk about multi-tasking – that’s intense exercise, seeing your friends, an evening out and dancing (well a special seated kind of dancing) to your favourite floor-fillers, all in one activity.
Give it a try! The Ultimate Edit readers can enjoy a free 45 minute spinning class – worth £20 – at Ride Republic in London’s Parsons Green.
Just book online or call 020 7736 7495 and quote “EDIT2015″.