The penchant for rave-spinning is continuing to spread across the capital with dedicated studios like Psycle achieving cult-like status. As a seasoned Psycler I therefore couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try a similar class that focuses on dance movements whilst spinning in a full-body workout that promises to burn between 700 and 1000 calories per hour.
GrooveCycle is currently based at the magnificently sleek and impressive Reebok Sports Club in Canary Wharf and is the brainchild of Sarah-Jane Aboboto. Sarah-Jane has spent 12 years as a dancer and choreographer, appearing alongside Kylie Minogue and Gwen Stefani, meaning that she has enough experience of being whipped and whipping others, into shape.
She greeted me warmly and encouragingly led me to a bike right in front of her, in full view of the other class members and the full-length studio mirrors – no pressure to perform well here then. However, she assured me that I could take the class at my own pace by adjusting the resistance of the bike to suit my ability. Being the fitness freak that I am and motivated to burn I knew I wanted to ramp up the resistance and make the workout as challenging as possible. Thankfully, as the class started the lights switched off and on went dim colourful lights to give the illusion that we were working out on our own (and therefore without pressure), and in a nightclub.
What followed was an hour-long workout where I was pushed to my absolute maximum. I was put through my paces with muscle shredding push-ups on the handlebars, weighted shoulder and arm dance movements (think ballet, hip-hop and R&B style dance here), interval pedalling and the dreaded ‘rave’ section. Rather than shaking ma thang to the beat of the music, I was encouraged to pedal moderately during the verses of a dance song before the beats kicked in and the ‘rave’ was on. To ‘rave’ for Sarah-Jane, is pedalling as fast as possible for the whole chorus, which lasted for about 30 dreadful seconds. However, as my legs switched up a gear (or 20) I felt like I was flying, almost knocking myself out with my knees as my upper body collapsed towards my legs with the effort. I couldn’t quite believe how fast I had managed to go, and felt like I could give Laura Trott a run for her money.
By the end of the class I was swimming in my own sweat, safe in the knowledge that I had worked the hardest I could whilst having a brilliant time. GrooveCycle aims to motivate people of all levels without the pressure to compete with fellow riders. The darkness of the room helps to achieve this, as does Sarah-Jane’s infectious personality. She sings, she dances, she encourages you to “get your groove on” and she hollers motivational mantras throughout the ride. She even had the city-slick workers, the bankers, the managers, the CEOs of Canary Wharf “woo-ah, wooing” to some brilliant and cheesy tracks.
For that, Sarah-Jane, I commend you.
words by Lucy Marshall
Available to non-members of the Reebok Sports Club for £10
To find out more visit: Groove Cycle