The Glorious Return of Indoor Cycling

RIDE FOR YOUR LIFE – Indoor cycling is experiencing a strong revival and it’s more exciting, fun and exhilarating than ever

Indoor cycling

Riding a bike is one of the simplest exercise options. Weather permitting, of course. And traffic, unless you’re lucky enough to live in an area with biking lanes or tracks, or just areas where cyclists can ride safely. Then there’s also pollution to contend with, traffic and so on. More importantly, however, there is also the simple fact that unless you’re looking at some serious, pro-level cycling, a leisurely bike ride outside isn’t likely to help you lose weight. But indoor cycling can.

Of course, when we think about indoor cycling, we tend to think about either a lonely stationary bike at home or rows upon rows of those bikes in a gym. The former is definitely not fun and will likely have you looking for other options. The latter, however, is making a strong comeback all around the globe.


Gear Up

Indoor cycling, sometimes called spinning, is obviously not new, and has been a staple in gyms and households all over the world since a long time ago. More recently, however, its popularity—especially as an organized activity—has become risen dramatically.

A big part of the trend is the trainer aka spin instructor. Some, particularly in the United States, have basically reached celebrity status. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, there are more than enough people who pick classes based on who’s teaching them. And these same people will likely follow their favorite instructors if he or she moves from one gym to another. There was even a reality show about spin instructors, titled “Hollywood Cycle,” that aired in the U.S. back in 2015.

These instructors can usually be found in studios operated by the likes of SoulCycle and Flywheel—fitness companies with a big focus on indoor cycling. Closer to home, we have RIDE Jakarta, founded by Gita Sjahrir. This is Indonesia’s first boutique indoor cycling studio, with the premise of redefining the indoor cycling experience and offering an intense cardio workout for everyone.

Interestingly, RIDE Jakarta’s studio is designed to look like the inside of a nightclub, except with rows of stationary bikes instead of a dance floor. While it might come as a surprise to the uninitiated, this actually a great example of what the new trend of indoor cycling is all about: An exciting group experience with fun ambience and great music to cycle to.

The music of choice for spinning is house or rock music set to a dance beat. While there’s the obvious function of helping participants keep cadence, the choice of music can also provide an extra motivator to help cyclists keep their tempo and have fun. As such, an instructor’s playlist of songs becomes just as important as his or her training routine—both in terms of creating an effective exercise regimen and in maintaining a fun atmosphere where participants can focus on enjoying the experience instead of simply sweating it out.


Burning Calories

Despite the focus on fun and ambience, modern indoor cycling is an extremely effective exercise option. The most obvious benefit of spinning is that it helps accelerate your metabolism while strengthening your calves, quads, hamstrings and core muscles. While the focus is on your lower body, spinners can also expect a more toned physique overall.

Another major benefit of spinning is that it helps build endurance. In a single 45 minute session, prepare to burn anywhere from between 400 to 600 kilocalories. Moreover, cardio exercise like this also helps improve your overall cardiovascular condition.

Finally, despite the intensity and tempo of a typical spinning class, it’s still a low-impact activity that’s gentle on the joints. So, in a way, indoor cycling also lacks some of the major drawbacks from running and other high-impact forms of exercise, which is definitely a welcome plus point.


To The Beat

A stationary bike left collecting dust in a forgotten corner has long been a stock joke about exercise goals that are never reached. With modern indoor cycling, however, the modern urban dweller has an option that is fun, social and, above all else, actually effective in building endurance and shedding weight. So, if those are part of your long term goals, start cycling.