Photo: Absolute Cycling
What is it: If you think that this is just like spinning, you’re absolutely wrong. Absolute Cycle is a rhythm-based indoor cycling studio from Thailand that gives riders an immersive workout experience. Classes are one hour - 15 minutes of foundation class to teach you the basics of cycling and 45 minutes of actual cycling.
Each class features a curated playlist (by the trainer) of 11 songs with various beats per minute. Here’s where it differs from spinning. Each song has a different routine that trains different muscle groups and switches between fat burn, endurance, metabolic conditioning and HIIT. The exercises on the bikes are also designed to produce the “afterburn” effect - allowing your body to continue to burn calories long after you’ve finished your ride.
Our experience: Initially, I was hesitant to sign up for the class as I haven’t been working out for quite a while (quite a few months to be honest). But I decided to give it a try after seeing so many friends around me going for spin classes.
Upon reaching the studio, the friendly staff passed me my cycling shoes and showed me around. I have to say, the amenities were pretty awesome. The changing room was clean and hairdryers, towels and lotion were available too.
The session started with a foundation class where we were taught how to adjust the bike for optimum comfort and how we should adjust the resistance level. Getting onto the bike was fairly simple but clicking the cycling shoes into the pedal was tough. Thank goodness I had help from a trainer.
Now here was the daunting part - cycling. The songs we cycled to were mostly fast-paced music with slower songs slotted in between them. When the faster songs were playing, we were told to turn down the resistance level and cycle faster. While the slower songs were on, we cycled at a slower pace so that we could get a sip of water and wipe away our perspiration.
Honestly, it felt like I was cycling in a club with the flashing bright lights and music blasting. The movements we were told to do like bouncing up and down and going side to side, made it feel like I was dancing on the bike too.
For a person that hasn’t worked out in about five months, I wasn’t surprised when I had difficulty keeping up. I was afraid that the trainer would call me out for slowing down, but she was kind enough not to do that. Instead, she continued with the class and I simply had to catch my breath and get back into the action whenever I was ready. The class then ended off with us lifting small hand weights to the beat of the music and stretches to loosen up our muscles.
Overall, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Did I sweat buckets? Yes. Did I get a muscle ache the day after? Yes. But it was a good experience and I had a lot of fun. Although you’re cycling with a group of people, there are moments when the light totally dims down and you can focus on yourself. And at other times, you’ll get a boost of energy just by looking at how others keep up with the class.
If you’re planning to join a rhythm cycling class, here are a few tips for you. Don’t have too high expectations of yourself. You might not be able to keep up with the class, but it’s okay. Just enjoy yourself and go at the pace you’re comfortable with.
What to wear: Sports bra, tank top, gym leggings.
What to bring: Water bottle to keep you hydrated. Cycling shoes and towel are provided.
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