How do you like to wake up on your birthday? Most people would probably like to be woken up to a glass of champers and their favourite brekkie (lightly peppered scrambled eggs on rye with a side of tomato and avocado if you’re wondering), I decided to try one of London’s latest indoor cycling studio experiences – Edge Cycle Bootcamp. Start as you mean to go on and all that.
Based just on the Chancery Lane end of Leather Lane (which has an awesome market during the day if you ever have the chance to visit), this indoor cycling studio aims to get your heart going with some low impact cycling and then throws some off-the-bike moves into the mix. The ultimate aim of the class is to make you sweat and burn up to 1,000 calories in a 45-minute session while also working on areas, which I am the first to admit, I ignore. Yup, I’m talking about strength and core work.
In theory, it’s a great idea – combine a heart-pumping, sweat-inducing cardio cycle with HIIT-inspired strength training but does it work in practice? Here’s what I thought of the Edge Cycle Bootcamp:
- The indoor bikes are top-notch
I’ve tried a fair few indoor cycling bikes in my time but I have to say that the Matrix cycles at Edge Cycle Bootcamp definitely come in top. When it comes down to it, the bikes do not really matter all that much but perceptively a good indoor bike can help, especially if you’re new and nervous about indoor cycling. Perhaps it was the smooth, soft knobs (I know what is sounds like but if you try it, you’ll understand what I mean) or the way they were so easy to adjust, whatever it was, these bikes were definitely the cream of the crop.
- You can work at your own pace on the bike
It doesn’t matter if you’re a diehard sportive rider or a bit of a novice, indoor cycling is a real leveller. (If you are competitive, try Cyclebeat – it’s awesome.)You can both work at your own pace and adjust the toughness factor accordingly. If you want to go hell for leather then it’s your choice. On the particular class that I participated in, the instructor did come round during the class and adjust our speeds if she thought we were not pushing ourselves. Personally, I didn’t mind as I wanted to be pushed in that particular session but the whole concept of Edge Cycle is that you can go as fast and hard as you like during the timed cycling sessions.
- Weighted HIIT workout for cardio fans
As I said above, I tend to be rather lax when it comes to any kind of workout involving weights or my core so the fact that this was integrated into the 45-minute session is definitely a positive. It was a bit cumbersome having to climb off the bike and go into some plank-style exercise, and lifting weights repetitively is not exactly my idea of fun, but when incorporated into a HIIT format – one minute blasts of different exercises – it didn’t feel monotonous in the slightest.
- Focus on your posture
Another point that I should mention is that by having a section of floor work focused on your core in the midst of a class makes you more aware of how you are sitting on your bike. I found myself sitting up straighter and slouching less than I would during a normal indoor cycling session. By awakening my muscles during the ab session, I was made more aware of sitting up straight and pulling on my soft middle during the latter stages of the workout.
- A fast cycle to glory…and run to the shower
THe HIIT-inspired training was then followed by a fast cycle until the end of the class so there was never a dull moment. The studio was also well-decked out with discotheque-style lights (to borrow a phrase from my dad) and an urban feel. I did feel wide awake after the class and ready to face the day but unfortunately, due to the queue for the showers (all participants are given a clean towel and there’s REN skincare on offer to wash yourself with, NICE!), I had to run to my local council gym to take a shower.
All in all, I really enjoyed the class and came out raring to go, which is the way I want to feel everyday, not just on my birthday.
As well as Edge Cycle Bootcamp, the studios based in Holborn, also offer classic spinning classes known as Edge Rider. If you’re based in the area, it’s worth trying one of their classes to see whether it’s for you. And if you’re a total beginner, don’t worry because at Edge Cycle they ease you in gently, thanks to their beginner riding classes – a good shout for building your confidence in the saddle.
- The indoor bikes are top-notch