I’ve never really given spinning a lot of attention if I’m honest. Bridget Jones always kind of put me off, and as I cycle everywhere in London, I struggled with the idea of cycling to a spin class. For a long time, I was also that person who was of the mind-set “I’m in to running, so I just need to run more”, 'til I got injured and realised there’s actually a lot more to keeping up running than just running.
I’ve got lazy glutes (like, the laziest, snooziest, haven’t worked a day in their life glutes) and recently, when I asked a PT for advice, he suggested giving spin a go to wake them up and strengthen them — the idea being that in spin class, you spent a lot of time up off the saddle so it’s a pretty different practice to your daily commute in London. Cue, me, a total beginner, booking into Ride at Psycle Shoreditch one miserable Monday evening. I went in there thinking, ‘ugh, dunno if I can be really bothered with this’, and left feeling higher than a kite, glowing with sweat, and actually bursting at the seams with endorphins. Short summary: Psycle’s Ride class is amazing. Electrifying, sweaty, exhilarating, exhausting, and even as a total novice, I really don’t think it’s possible to leave the class without a mile-wide grin. I loved it.
Regular classes are 45 minutes long but they whizz by in a sweaty, steamy frenzy. You sweat buckets. Beads were literally dripping off my nose and off my elbows, and at one point, I even nearly slid off the bloody handle bars. You catch glimpse of yourself in the mirror, everyone pedalling left, right, left, right, and even if you’re a first-timer, you feel like you’re a badass in a serious music video shoot. It’s weirdly empowering and the atmosphere is electric!
You spend a LOT of the class pedalling up out of the seat (which is tough but gets your glutes real good) and though sometimes I couldn’t keep up with the sheer speed of riding to the beat, you kind of get into your own groove, do what you can, and I’m sure with practice, improve pretty quick. It’s all about the legs, though there’s a small arms section of the class using free weights, which guarantees to leave you with every muscle in your body shaking. As much as it’s a seriously tough workout, you feel like you’re there to have fun. It’s clubbing on bikes: the speakers are loud and bass-heavy, light strobes fly around the dark room, and the spinning itself is orientated around the beat and the drop of the music.
Course, spin classes are very dependent on how good the spin teacher is (and Sarah Elliot was fantastic, nothing short of my new idol) but Psycle sets the bar high for guaranteed great classes, with its slick studios, banging sound systems, strobe lights, and strong cult following, who ain’t gonna settle for second best. Shoes and towels are provided and everything feels very fresh and clean. Changing rooms in the Shoreditch studio are pretty tight and it’s a bit of a squeeze to find a space to change, but they’re super modern and clean, well-stocked too with amenities and deodorant too.
I loved Ride at Psycle. As a total newbie to spinning, it left me drenched in sweat, muscles all shaking, and grinning like crazy. Serious endorphin overdrive.
CLASS TIPS: don’t forget to pick up a towel (my god, you’ll need one) and definitely bring water. Shoes are provided but go minimal on clothing. It’s hot and sweaty.
£22/class (rates reduce if you buy in bundles)
Psycle has studios in Shoreditch, Marylebone, Clapham and Canary Wharf.