I have been meaning to go to a spin class for months. Back in the good old days when I was a member of a gym five minutes away from my office I’d often be found sweating away in the spin studio during my lunch break. Sadly the closure of the gym and the fact that I no longer really have a lunch break have put the halcyon days of thrice weekly spin classes behind me. I used to love those classes, the sweat, the music, the fact that it all took place in a darkened room so no one could really see me huffing and puffing during the climbs. As it’s been a while I decided it would do me no harm to brush up on the basics and finally learn the proper way to set up the bike at the monthly Beginner Cycle Class held at Good Vibes Fitzrovia.
I talked Mr WorkoutLife into coming along with me and this is what we discovered.
A 35 minute class designed for beginners or improvers looking to brush up on their indoor cycling skills. This class runs on the first Wednesday of every month at the Fitzrovia studio.
The description on the Good Vibes website states that this class is for beginners or anyone wanting to sharpen their technique. The website also says, in bold, that “everyone is in control of their own ride … nobody but you will control your resistance dial or your pace”. This was very reassuring for a lapsed indoor cyclist like me!
Our cycle coach Nadine was brilliant. She came round to every person, introduced herself, asked about our cycling background and helped set up our bikes correctly while explaining what she was doing and why she was doing it. She was super patient during this stage, I was one of the last to get their bike checked and I kept thinking “oh no, I’m too late, she’s going to have to start the class before she gets to me” but she did come to me and helped me get the right set up that was both safe and comfortable. I’ve never had proper personalised guidance on how to do this during a spin class and to be honest, as this was one of the main reasons why I took this class I didn’t think that I would have much to learn (ha!) once this had been done.
She also explained about the cadence (RPM counter) on our bikes, how to adjust the resistance, keeping good posture during the class, how to safely come out of the saddle for a climb and what the different stages of the ride should feel like. This isn’t a full indoor cycling class, but it is a great primer for moving on to those classes (there is one straight afterwards, if you fancy it). Nadine gave me lots of pointers on my posture while cycling and which felt a lot more efficient and targeted my glutes much more effectively when compared to my previous collapsed across the handlebars posture.
What I really, really like about this class is that it focuses on cycling. It sounds obvious but there are so many cycling classes out there that promise to deliver a full body workout by shoehorning in upper body workout sections that it is becoming quite unusual to find an indoor cycling class that doesn’t do some half-arsed moves with 1kg dumbbells or “push ups on the bike”, let alone a studio that actively promotes their purist attitude to indoor cycling. Good Vibes gets a huge tick for this!
Nadine was the perfect instructor for a beginner’s class – she delivered everything I hoped for and some things that I didn’t know I wanted before class! I would go as far as to say that Nadine is the best instructor I’ve had in an indoor cycling class.
The Fit Crowd
Including us, the class had 10 people (7 women and 3 men), which made it a “very popular beginners class” according to Nadine. Everyone was friendly and chatty, there was a distinct “we’re all in together” vibe in the room and if people were a bit nervous we helped each other through it.
Pretty sweaty. This isn’t bright-red-and-dripping-sweat-on-the-bike class but it’s definitely more than a quick-babywipe-and-go-back-to-work class.
This class is excellent for beginners (or might-as-well-be beginners like me) and I think that more advanced cyclists would get something out of the class. I’m thinking of going back in September for a skills tune up and every few months thereafter to make sure I haven’t slipped into bad habits.
I’m really keen to try Nadine’s other classes and some of the other classes on offer at Good Vibes as I had a really positive experience of the studio. However, this would be more of an occasional treat rather than a regular addition to my workout schedule. Fitzrovia isn’t the most convenient location for me and I’d have to make a concerted effort to get there more than once every couple of weeks which wouldn’t make any of the money-saving membership options viable for me.
Know Before You Go
The bikes have cages not clip-in cycle shoes so bring trainers.
You’ll be given a small towel free of charge if you are doing an cycling class and you can hire large towels from reception for £1.
You’ll need a £1 coin for the lockers and I found the locker rather small. I managed to fit my backpack in one locker but if I had a winter coat or anything bulky, I would have needed two lockers.
Bottled water and healthy snacks (I spotted Bounce Balls and Pip&Nut sachets) are available to buy from Reception. I discovered you can also use account credit to pay which was great because I didn’t bring any cash and actually had £6 credit on my account so I could buy something to scoff on the journey home.
Good Vibes operates a 6 hour cancellation policy. I think that this is really generous, if I realise I’m going to be swamped with work and there is no way I’m finishing on time, I’ve got until lunchtime to cancel the class. Much more forgiving than 24 hour or 12 hour cancellation policies at other studios.
This class was £16 and there are various memberships and block class packs available. If you are new to Good Vibes, you can take advantage of their Intro Offer which applies to both the Fitzrovia and Covent Garden studios both studios and all activities (Glow Yoga, Pilates and Power Plate classes in addition to Indoor Cycling). At the time of writing, the Intro Offer was £45 for 30 days.
Last tip, save a tiny bit of energy to stagger up the stairs afterwards (and try to avoid the temptation to stagger straight into the fish and chip shop over the road!)