Fitness: My first Boom Cycle class

Boom Cycle Shoreditch
Boom Cycle Shoreditch

“This isn’t indoor cycling, this is BOOM Cycling! BOOM Cycle specialises in dynamic classes in a friendly, high-energy and approachable environment. BOOM Cycle aims to empower the rider and provide support on their journey to fitness domination.”

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With my feet firmly/shakily stepping foot in London only three days ago, I’m still quite bewildered that I’ve already managed to fit in a London-centric exercise class that is not currently available to Scottish natives.

After hearing one of my favourite Youtubers/bloggers, Anna @ViviannaMakeup, talk about attending a Boom Cycle in Shoreditch, the chance to give it a try due to my new location gave me the motivation to book in for my first class out of an introductory 3 classes for £20 offer.

Whilst waiting in the reception basement prior, the loud music from the previous Boom class resonated throughout the room. Coupled with my nerves at the impending spinning bike-set up anxiety, there was a notable buzz as we prepared for the class. Whilst others nonchalantly pedalled slowly on their bikes to warm up, my preparation involved stumbling blindly into a darkened room with rows of white towels on bikes guiding my path.

Boom Cycle Shoreditch Studio
Boom Cycle Shoreditch Studio

After notifying all available staff and other riders in close proximity of my newbie status, I was fortunately assisted by the lovely instructor Naomi H (@naomi_heff) who made sure that my bike suited my height and that my specially rented clip-in shoes were firmly in place before the class began.

It is amazing just how much of a difference altering the darkness of the room affects your workout. With each rider shrouded in shadows and a candle lighting up the instructor, it feels like how fast or hard you ride is truly up to the individual- it’s too dark to compare yourself to how others are getting on!

What truly made this a standout experience from your typical crowded spin class at the gym was the epic soundtrack that blasted throughout the room. Whilst the Boom Cycle website promises that each instructor brings their own unique music mix to their class, Naomi’s hour-long playlist was perfection in my eyes.

From warming up our legs to Sweet Female Attitude’s classic tune Flowers, I could already tell that me and this playlist were going to get along. From this smooth introduction, the class were immediately hit by some Major Lazer who made multiple appearances throughout the session. The track ‘Bubble Butt’ involved plenty of rising out of the saddle and bouncing along to the beat, with ‘Pon de Floor’ securing its place as Boom Cycle’s track of the week.

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The inspirational tracks throughout worked to keep the pace up, with Rudimental’s ‘Not Giving In’ offering some slower pedalling with building resistance.

Next, Missy Elliot’s ‘Get Ur Freak On’ reminded me of the recent Sport England campaign ‘This Girl Can’s motivational video about encouraging female fitness.

This was a great segway into one of the hardest tracks of the workout, the 6 minute 14 second long ‘Antidote’ by Swedish House Mafia. This song introduced me to the technique of ‘surging’- initially taking the resistance on the bike down to pedal as fast as you can for extended periods of time before building the tension back up. I found that I actually obeyed the majority of times that Naomi challenged us to reach down and turn up the resistance a little bit more- something that other spin instructors have failed in the past as I practically fell of the bike.

With our legs at breaking point, Imagine Dragon’s cheery wee track ‘On Top of the World’ helped take our heart rates back down and stretch out the legs. With 11 songs to go, this session was about to get a lot harder!

My personal favourite songs to ride to were the ones that made me feel like I was on a dance floor back in Glasgow or Newcastle. Martin Garrix’s ‘Animals’ was a welcome kick-start to my Saturday morning, whilst ‘No Problem’ by Chase & Status just had me wanting to break out my dancehall and raving moves.

Naomi’s playlist built up the tension alongside the resistance, as each track rose to involve more strength and tensing on the bike. Whilst my legs were screaming by this point, this mix of music so early in the morning kept them moving.

The highlight of the session came when Naomi jumped off her bike and turned down the lights completely, leaving only a singular candle as ‘End Credits’ by Chase & Status played out. At this point, every rider was pushing themselves to their limit (motivated by some instructor delivered high fives). I’m not sure whether it was the combination of the song (part of the soundtrack for the Michael Caine film ‘Harry Brown’), the atmospheric darkness of the situation, or the realisation that I am only just starting to experience some of what London has to offer- but I felt quite emotional during this track. Maybe it was just the rush of exercise endorphins talking…

Jamie Woon’s ‘Street’ helped to ease us into the end of the session, as we clambered off our bikes to do some stretches. After walking out of Boom Cycle, I found that my feelings of apprehension at being new in London were briefly forgotten as I appreciated the chance to experience this incredible exercise class.

Now I can see where they get their ‘Boom’ from.

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