Virtual Cycling Review
Group Cycling with stabilisers
Like group cycling with stabilisers
Once we got over the shock that Suzie one of our Regional Marketing Managers was going on an Indoor Cycling course we decided to get her to do a write up about what she learnt. Following the session with expert Les Mills Trainer Lucy Ferris this is what she had to say.
I haven’t done studio cycling in years, I’m more into running, but following a hip injury have had to cut back on that and needed to try something lower impact. The RPM virtual class was just the thing, high intensity cardio but low impact. I was shattered at the end but enjoyed it. I’m not going to lie, I did have butt ache the next day but apparently you get used to that 😊 and I have already scheduled my next session.
Indoor cycling is the UK’s most popular group exercise and is still on the rise. For anyone that works in the fitness industry this will come as no surprise but for those that don’t here is why:
- it’s easily accessible
- there is more class availability
- it’s a known entity – most people have cycled at some point
- it’s trendy thanks to the likes of Chris Hoy, Bradley Wiggins and Laura Trott
- it’s a great calorie burner
- it’s easy
- it’s fun, and
- our instructors provide an excellent class experience
Knowing all of this I was interested to find out how the Virtual version compared to the instructor led classes.
First on the agenda was a 30 minute Virtual RPM. To give us the full experience Lucy from Les Mills took us up to the cycling studio and then said nothing. Quite odd at first but the point was to experience exactly what the customers do, and in a Virtual class that means no instructor in the room.
Instead you set up your own bike, jump on and start pedalling. The screen bursts into life at the class start time and you just follow the instructions on the screen. If you’re not sure about how to set up the bikes there is a quick demo at the start, then it’s straight into the warm up.
There are a team of instructors to follow on the screen, each taking it in turn to take you through the tracks. The music is upbeat and motivating and they encourage you to pedal in time with the beat which makes it easier. Just like a traditional instructor led class they will guide you through changing the resistance to make it easier/harder to pedal and take you through a variety of hill climbs and sprints on your journey.
Top tip – they mention increasing/decreasing a gear, this just means adjusting the resistance. If in doubt turn the dial until you reach a resistance where you can pedal at the same speed as the instructors you are following. You’ll soon pick it up 😊
30 minutes flew by and before I knew it we had crossed the finish line. I was exhausted but happy I’d made it. Next came the theory bit. Lucy explained the theory behind virtual cycling and why it was the perfect addition to our programme.
Contrary to popular opinion, it’s not there to replace the instructor led classes and save costs. In fact it’s the perfect entry into virtual cycling. It’s great for beginners for many reasons including
- smaller class sizes
- no pressure to go fast, you can take it at your own speed
- you can do as long as you like, start with 10 minutes and then build it up. Just stop when you want to
- less intimidating environment
- it will give you the confidence to move into the instructor led classes further down the line.
- wide choice of times available every day
There are 2 virtual class options. RPM is probably the best for beginners it’s a fitness based product designed to build calories and build stamina. Sprint is a more intense experience, HIIT on a bike, designed to push you to fatigue and not for the feint hearted. Check out the timetable for class times and to book.
So, in summary we all enjoyed the class and are ready to share our experiences with our customers. Big thanks to Lucy from Les Mills for coming down and sharing her knowledge, much appreciated.
Here’s some quotes from other team members on their experience.
Zack, Customer Advisor
“Normally I am a big gym person and have never really tried out classes, especially one as daunting as a cycling class. However, the Les Mills RPM Virtual has completely changed my outlook on group workout classes. The on-screen instructors give you regular, clear instructions all while pushing and motivating you throughout the whole class. I will definitely be doing RPM Virtual classes more often, as it's a different type of exercise than my usual weight training in the gym. I am also very excited to try out the Sprint Virtual in the near future as I think I will enjoy that even more”
Alex, Duty Manager
“This week I sat in on a RPM virtual cycling class, unfortunately I was unable to participate due to being heavily pregnant, but I thought the concept was really good and felt motivated by the instructors on screen. The instructors kept a good pace and took lead for small sections of the video, which kept it interesting. I am very much looking forward to actually participating in these virtual classes once I am able to get back to exercise, and really like the idea that the videos change a regularly to help keep me motivated”.