Virtual Cycling - Review

One of our newest employees reviews one of our newest classes

Virtual Cycling - A Spin Class Where You Are In Control

Beckie is an employee at Places Leisure and someone who has used the swimming facilities at the site, but not much else. She has recently realised how much she is missing out on and has vowed to take part in a much more varied exercise routine. She starts with our RPM Virtual Indoor Cycling class... 


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"With Aston Leisure Centre being one of the only sites around to offer virtual cycling classes, I had to try it out. The concept of having a fitness class without an instructor present was very fascinating, yet Les Mills offered a class that seemed intriguingly personal. A spin class where you are in control of the intensity of your workout that is relatively low impact and claims to be easier than riding a bike! 


What is virtual cycling? Just like a regular spin class, you walk in the room, set up your bike to your comfort level and begin. The difference between a conventional indoor cycling class and RPM Virtual, is that we have no fitness member's physical presence at the front of the room. We have a large TV above our eye line, which turns on and off according to the centre's class timetable. No room to be late for this class! The session starts bang on time.


Why did I do it? I decided to take this class, as I liked the idea of doing a spin session in general. Relatively low impact, yet an extremely good workout, great for your heart and engaging your legs, core and building muscle endurance was a very attractive pull. In addition, without having an incredibly chiselled instructor at the front of the class, it made me feel slightly less pressured and self-conscious. However, the attendance at group classes with real-life instructors is significantly higher, so this may be my personal preference.


What did I bring? I brought water bottle. That's it! There was no need for any extra equipment and no need for anything else apart from myself and something to drink. The beauty of this class is that it is a great calorie and fat burner, but requires minimal effort and thought beforehand.


What did I wear? A simple pair of running leggings and a light vest top was all that I needed. By the end of the class, I was not overly hot and sweaty and the air conditioned studio meant that no one who took part in the class was uncomfortable during the session. I wore running shoes that let in lots of air and I was very comfortable throughout.


What happened during the session? Me and the other members were chatting and expressing how intrigued we were with concept of having a virtual class. The lights went dark, the colourful euphoric lights came on and we were all instantly in the zone and perched ready on our bikes. Our group of Les Mills instructors came on screen, elevated up from the crowd of spin enthusiasts that surrounded their podium. There was cheering and applause that seemed to have an encouraging effect on me and the other attendees in Astons' physical studio.

The instructors took us through a brief description of the bikes and how to change our resistance and gear. This was highly useful information, as it's a big part of why the workout is so successful and, as a spin novice, I appreciated this advice.

The high energy music began and we were quickly guided to a slow, spinning pace. Over time, we built pace and were taken through five stages of cycling style by five equally encouraging on screen instructors. Some of these cycling mini-classes included intervals, racing and building climb.


What did I think? It was a challenging workout and, truthfully, I struggled with a couple of inclines while standing. However, nowhere near how much I thought that I would and I coped better than even my co-workers expected! I felt much better after the workout than before, which is a resounding achievement. My recommendation is to stretch for a decent amount of time beforehand and afterwards, as my legs were very wobbly in the initial few minutes after the workout had finished. I felt that the instructors being on screen were able to motivate me and encourage me effectively, yet I didn't feel too embarrassed when I had to take a seated position a few seconds earlier than they did. The music was great for keeping me in time with the instructors and kept the whole class spinning together.


Would I do it, again? I would 100% take this class again, not only because I feel that I would be capable of pushing myself even harder the next time, but because I felt very little after effects of the class. I wasn't sore the next day, I didn't pull any muscles, yet I felt better for working out. Not only that, I would opt for a virtual class, over an instructor led one, as I didn’t feel self-conscious about how well, or poor I may have been doing. However, still felt motivated and ready to battle the next round. The on screen instructors were very professional and tried to include the attendees at every single opportunity." 


Virtual cycling classes are now included for free in all Gym Only membership packages. What's more, is that Graves Health & Sports Centre, Aston Leisure centre and Rotherham Leisure Complex will let you try this out for free with our Free Class Pass! 

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