THE BASICS: London Fields fitness, the eclectic, awesome, friendly place beneath the arches in E8 has opened up its very own spinning studio! As a major fan of this gym, I headed down to see how it shaped up. £10 per class, booking by email or by creating an account online. I went to the 7.30pm Wednesday session with Kate, just before Christmas.
THE BITCHES: Carly
THE CLASS: London Fields Fitness opened its spinning studio only a couple of weeks before I headed down, right in the middle of December- so it was a relatively quiet class due to the fact that most people were probably sinking mulled wine and mince pies in the run up to Christmas. I know. Smug did not even begin to describe how I was feeling when I walked into the spinning studio that Wednesday night. This place is going to be heaving in January!
The studio is an intimate little space in an arch right next to the main gym. It was dark with some spotlights, and the spin bikes were actual “spinners”- easy to adjust, smooth to ride, and twinkling seductively in the half-light. Kate was at the front, and I took the unusual decision to join the front row. No slacking for the next 45 mins!
It was quite nippy in the studio so Kate got us started pronto; a nice easy pace with just the right amount of resistance to get us warm. She’d promised that the chill in the studio would quickly pass, and she was right. Within the 6 minute warm up, steam was starting to rise from my body which was looked pretty awesome and was actually rather funny (obviously a testament as to how hard I was peddling…. Or proof of the fact that I sweat like a man. Sexy.)
The session focused on three core activities to keep it varied and our different muscle groups working-this also meant that we achieved a good balance between muscle conditioning and cardio work. We worked on some long low rising flats which got the heart going and the steam rising from our sweaty little foreheads, and then some sprints (medium/high resistance, pumping away at the legs whilst standing, and then sitting back down, maintaining that speed for 30 seconds- this was a KILLER).
Finally we worked on some high resistance standing hills which I tend to find easier than sitting hills, (even if they are at a higher resistance) because you have the extra power in the thighs and glutes to keep you going. Your legs almost get carried along by the spin bike if you get enough power behind you. I mean, don’t for a second get me wrong- this wasn’t easy! The lower half of my body was positively whimpering, and at this point the thought of the Heston’s mini-christmas pud I was going to scoff when I got home was the only thing keeping me going.
Where was I? Oh yes, spinning.
The class itself was 45 minutes long, and Kate gave us time checks after each song, or told us how long a song/section would last. I find this helpful in any class- you know what to expect and can pace yourself to achieve it. It breaks the workout down into bite-sized chunks and keeps you going, even if you are flagging. Kate really was good at this.
She also kept the class in time with the beat, which sounds like such a simple thing when you imagine a spinning class, but having tried a few studios now, it really isn’t something that all teachers manage to achieve. Kate kept interacting with us, explaining, tracking and encouraging- a workout that close to Christmas was going to difficult at the best of times, but Kate kept the levels of enthusiasm high for the whole 45 mins. Don’t get me wrong though, the woman still beasted us!
THE VERDICT: I have a real soft spot for this gym and the people who work in it- a truly lovely bunch and a fantastic, pressure-off gym concept. They treat you like old friends from the first time you step through the doors; something that is pretty special in big old faceless London town. I have absolutely no doubt that this cute new spinning studio is going to be packed throughout January.
Also- it’s TOTALLY worth going in the winter months, just to watch the steam rise off your body as you work up a sweat. Not much makes you feel more like a hot bitch than steam rising off your body, trust me (even if in reality, you are just looking a bit red-faced and clammy under the plume of steam!)
THE EXTRAS: You can also buy blocks of 10 spin classes for £75. Hellooooo January bargain.