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indoor cycling


CYCLE


The enthusiasm for indoor group cycling continues to grow. Kath Hudson talks to a selection of operators who are reaping the rewards of putting cycling at the top of their agenda


Targeting the commuting cyclist, London-based H2 offers bike storage and a repair shop at its clubs, alongside a plethora of Spinning® classes run throughout the day. According to Sarah Morelli, who runs H2’s cycling programme, a successful cycling experience relies on a great instructor, great programming, great environment and great equipment. “Our club is a relaxing place to be – it’s very urban cool. We spent £80,000 on the Spinning studio alone, investing in the best bikes as well as amazing sound and lighting. “One of the things which differentiates us is the fact that


we have invested a great deal into being a registered Spinning studio,” she says. “We have strict instructor codes and all coaches are STAR level two or three Spinning instructors. In addition, we have a quality control programme and adhere to that with regular audits. We make sure our instructors aren’t just popular and motivating, but that they also teach safely and provide a true coaching element to our clients.” To tie in with the Tour de France and the Olympics, H2 has been running Spinning’s eight-week programme, the Grand Tours. This combines Spinning technique and cycling skills and focuses on techniques used by the world’s top cyclists. Participants can train for endurance, hill climbs, time trials and sprints.


New York-based SoulCycle has people raving online about its classes, and reportedly even spilling into the street to put their shoes on after their workout as the classes are so busy. Even the price tag – the 45-minute sessions cost more than US$30 a time – doesn’t dent the enthusiasm of the devotees. There are a total of eight studios across the country, each offering eight to 10 packed classes a day. “It’s more than just indoor cycling,” says PR director


Gabby Etrog Cohen. “We’ve made it a full body workout by incorporating a fi ve- to seven-minute section using free weights, which works the upper body and core.” Unusually, a spiritual element has also been added. Rather


than yelling at participants to push them to feel the burn, the classes are conducted in a serene candlelit atmosphere, with instructors trained to give the type of inspirational coaching most commonly seen in yoga classes. The club is discerning about who it employs: instructors fi rst have to audition, then undertake a 12-week in-house training programme. “We’ve tried to make our classes a cathartic experience,” explains Etrog Cohen. “Some see it as an escape, some like the cardio party and the amazing music, others simply like exercising in a group.”


 The H2 interior is described as ‘urban cool’ august 2012 © cybertrek 2012


 SoulCycle offers a full body workout Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital 47


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