Real Ryder Class

words by Gwyneth Harrison (http://modeleats.com)


After the success of the British cycling team at the Olympics getting on your bike seems to be the fitness choice du jour. It seems like everyone I know is embarking on some mind-blowingly long cycle ride for charity, or choosing to cycle into work. Even weekends now are opportunities for getting out of the city on a wholesome and healthy bike ride.

Basically bikes are in, so here is my confession – I hate cycling. Absolutely hate it, and this even extends to cycling for gym bunnies like me – spinning. I’ve just never got it, I love a class and I especially love a fast-paced, get the blood pumping and the sweat pouring class, so you would think spinning would do it for me. But apparently, my dislike of cycling runs deep.

So when I heard about the launch of Real Ryder classes at The Lomax Way gym in Victoria I wasn’t exactly chomping at the bit to give it a go. However, I was assured that Real Ryder was different from normal spinning and in the interests of trying something new I signed up for a class, albeit reluctantly.

I wasn’t exactly reassured when I arrived and realised that a Real Ryder studio looks, well just like a spinning studio; room full of bikes, instructor at the front, lights dimmed, fast-paced music on. So far, so spinning. But the difference with the Real Ryder class comes when you sit on the bike, because instead of the static spin bike this one moves. Yup, that’s right moves. Not as in you cycle out of the studio but from side to side. The idea being that this more accurately mimics riding a bike in the real world and that by moving the bike whilst spinning you engage your upper body and core as well as your legs, thereby providing a more intense and all-round workout.

It definitely takes some getting used to, and I was surprised by how hard it was to keep the bike veered off to one side whilst also pedaling furiously. My instructor assured me that lot’s of this was technique and I’d get used to it but even with my beginners bad form I could feel it working both my arms and my core. Your core is also worked when standing up out of the saddle in order to keep the bike from wobbling madly from side to side and this definitely added an extra dimension to the workout.

As well as this, the 45minute class involves a variety of different intervals, both time, moving the bike and resistance that get your heart pumping and provide a really thorough workout. I was so ready for the class to end, not because I wasn’t enjoying it, but because I was exhausted. I definitely regretted my decision to run to the class!

In terms of a total-body, intense cardio workout the Real Ryder certainly delivers – it’s fast and furious and torch some serious calories (apx 680kcal per class) with the upper body element adding one third more of a burn than a normal spin class. Those are some impressive stats and I have to admit that despite it still involving, well, cycling, I really liked Real Ryder. In fact I’ve already been back to my second class! It’s a great, intense workout giving a fab and enjoyable way to burn those calories.