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Health: Recharge your muscles with this spinning workout

High-tech imported bikes, amped up music and an ambiance to match the groove — recharge your muscles with a high-intensity, and surprisingly fun, spinning workout at this new South Mumbai studio

With loud, foot-thumping music and colourful lights dancing off the walls, it felt like we had sauntered into a discotheque, when we stepped into the spinning studio, Revolution. Started by fitness enthusiast (and a lawyer by profession) Annie Khan, the three-month old studio packs in 20 high-tech Spinner Blade Pro bikes in its indoor cycling facility, the only studio in India to house these imported stationary bikes. It also offers a separate space where Zumba, kickboxing and yoga classes are conducted. The spinning classes are conducted twice a day — morning and evening — by various in-house instructors and we signed up for a morning session.

Exercise

Ready, steady, go
With the seat mounted higher than the regular cycle seen at a gym, we got on the bike with assistance from the certified-spinning instructor, Sandesh Dhoke. We strapped our shoes with the pedals (it’s best to wear cycling shoes for this routine, we were told) and slowly began to cycle. A round, tap-like lever in the middle of the equipment helped increase or decrease the resistance levels, thus, regulating the effort required. However, the lever didn’t have any numbers on it, so a beginner can only gauge the level he/she is on based on the pedal-pushing effort.


The hour-long endurance spinning session at Revolution comprised different routines on the stationary bikes. Pics/Datta Kumbhar

We were also briefed about three basic hand positions — the first was holding the handlebars with arms stretched out (like we do on regular cycles), the second was gripping the middle portion of the bar with both hands and the third was holding the top curved part of the handlebar. In position, we braced ourselves for an hour-long endurance class.

Playlist perfect
Since most of the other patrons were beginners too (an all-women class), the trainer started with a 15-minute easy warm-up session. We began with Seated Flat — the most basic movement of spinning — where we had to cycle without any resistance. A playlist, carefully curated by the instructor, blared from the speakers. Music played an integral part of the routine; as the tempo of the music increased, so did the intensity of our workout. The strobe lights added to the groove.

Instructor Sandesh Dhoke (right) conducting the class
Instructor Sandesh Dhoke (right) conducting the class

In sync with the beats and the instructor’s number counts, we were constantly asked to change the resistance levels, shift our hand movements and transition in and out of the seat to try hill-climb kind of biking. The instructor also pitted one section of the bikers against the other, trying to see who could cycle the fastest. All this, without a minute’s break! A bit dehydrated, we even had to sip water while continuing to peddle. A few patrons were wearing heart rate monitors (the instructor sells them at the studio) and they were constantly asked to check if their pulse was between 75 and 85. We, however, couldn’t check ours since the equipment didn’t have an in-built one.

Annie khan
Annie khan

Though drained out, we definitely preferred this high -intensity, full-body workout to running on the treadmill. After all, even post a gruelling morning session, we survived a long day at work with our stamina intact.

At: Ground floor, 95-B, Meghdoot building, Marine Drive.
Call: 22812425
Log on to: www.revolutioncycle.in

Cost: Rs 6,000 for a month exclusive of taxes  (unlimited classes)

Our take
With peppy music and a cool setting, we preferred spinning over treadmill. The studio scored in terms of their equipment and trainer, who paid individual attention and helped when we got stuck. We wished there was a way to scientifically monitor our pulse during the session.

The checklist

>> Beginners can sign up for spinning four to five times a week. You can also alternate spinning with yoga or other strength-building exercises through the week.

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 Those with knee or lower back problems, high or low blood pressure or diabetes can also sign up for spinning. However, it is best to consult with your physician first-up and inform the instructor before the class.

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 Never head to spinning class on an empty stomach. Ensure you eat food with complex carbohydrates and proteins before the workout. Post the workout too, consume fluids or proteins to recover the calories lost during the workout.

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 Stay hydrated through the class.

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 Ensure that you’ve had a good night’s sleep for six to eight hours if you’ve signed up for a morning session.

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 Wear cycling shoes and comfortable clothes for the workout.

Information courtesy Sandesh Dhoke

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