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Psycle: Four Months On

Christina is famous for creating lovely A-list legs, and what better way to sculpt those pins than spinning? Blog post originally featuring on That Girl London, Christina’s intern tries out the much-lauded spinning class Psycle near Oxford Circus. The press went crazy for the class at the time of its launch – but does it still live up to the hype?

Psycle London

It’s nearly midnight, my palms are sweating, and I’m logged into my gym class booking app. The clock strikes twelve and I click to book my spinning class in record time before it inevitably gets fully booked. That’s right – like so many city-dwellers, I am a spinning addict. From the sprint-rush, to the high-resistance burn, to the sweat dripping off the end of your nose; I love it all.

So it’s surprising I’d never tried Psycle, a phenomenom that swept London’s press and fiterati four months ago. Could it really be that much different to the spinning classes I take in my normal gym? Spinning is spinning, right?

I couldn’t have been more wrong. Sunday lunchtime I gave Psycle a spin with the electric instructor Reynold, whose positivity and energy was contagious despite having taught the previous Psycle class too. As a newbie I was encouraged to take it at my own pace, but Reynold’s attitude made me want to work hard to please him and I found myself inching the resistance up more and more.

Wearing cycle cleats for the first time was daunting though I needn’t have worried – fellow instructor Becky came to get my feet into the pedals and adjust my bike. This isn’t something that had been done for me before and the set up was different to what I was used to – but I found it to be much more comfortable and I got more from my ride! Becky told me that if I were to visit again my bike would be set up correctly for me to save me having to work out the seat and handlebar heights again. Top marks for service.

As our bikes began to hum, the small space and cool music made the class’s effect all-encompassing and I felt almost meditative in the warm-up. Because of the club-style lighting our reflections in the studio’s mirror became one; rather than working alone on your bike, like a normal spinning class, you were part of a team. Normally I am a fitness wallflower preferring to get on with the workout rather than being involved in claps, whoops and shouts, but there was something about this class that had me cheering encouragement that seemed to come from my soul.

As with most spinning classes, the different tracks had different focuses, whether sprint, resistance, or steady-state, although I tried moves in Psycle that I never had before; the core moves were especially difficult and it was highly satisfying to have them down pat by the end of the track. The class also involved the use of hand weights, which were provided at the start – slightly offended I’d been given 1kg dumbbells at the time (normally I bench-press grown men. Well, almost) though very soon into the arm track it became clear the moves were harder than I anticipated.. then I was grateful for the instructor’s foresight! The track involved working your arms to fatigue, and the small weights mean it’s tough but worth it for the long, lean muscles it will create.

Before I knew it we’d reached cool-down. As clich├ęd as it sounds I enjoyed the session so much that I barely felt I’d exercised – though my body told a different story and I had in fact received a full-body workout, targeting my glutes, core and shoulders particularly.

Many workouts hit the capital, only to jog back into obscurity mere months later. Psycle lives up to its hype and is not a flash in the London pan: its energy, positivity and party atmosphere means it is here to stay, and I for one am psyched for my next Psycle!

Text by Sarah Harradine

Sarah is a marketing graduate, fitness obsessive, and That Girl intern, aspiring to work within sportswear. You can view her blog at That Squat Bot and follow on Twitter at @sjharradine.

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