THE BASICS: Clifton Revolution is a high-tech spinning studio in Clifton – you wear heart rate monitors and can see your progress on a big screen (along with everyone else’s) while you get your sweat on. Drop in classes, packages and available on MoveGB.
THE HB: Carly
THE CLASS: I first waddled up here between Christmas and New Year, and I can tell you, even the cycle up the hill was enough to make my Christmas dinner repeat on me. Lovely. I’m not quite sure what I was thinking, hauling my ass onto a spin bike at such a time of year, but my body was crying out for something other than chocolate and prosecco, and so I made my pilgrimage up Park Street.
Up the stairs and straight into the studio, I was pleasantly surprised to see it wasn’t just me who was doing a bit of post-Christmas meat-sweating. There was a decent group of us! I was welcomed enthusiastically by studio manager and instructor Emma, who kitted me up with a My Zone heart rate monitor. It’s a strap that goes around your ribs, just tucked under the sports bra – with a little device that presses against your heart.
My name for today was “demo 13” and I immediately popped up onto the screen. I could already see that walking up the stairs to the studio had basically resulted in me having a heart attack.
Emma helped me set up my bike and my heart rate box on the screen started to be joined by others, as people popped on their straps and started to pedal. I sluggishly forced my legs round until it was time to start… when I continued in my sluggish manner, only now shamed by the fact my heart rate box was languishing in lazy green rather than creeping up between the oranges, yellows and reds of my spinning companions.
The class was well balanced in terms of structure – Emma talked us through each section as we worked our way up to a long period of torture (sorry, hill sprints) but thankfully our upbeat teacher and the music helped us along. It was actually really motivating to see your heart rate on the screen – if you were on orange and were only a couple of beats per minute away from getting up to red, it gave you a visual goal to aim for. Often, spinning classes are like “um… am I on the right resistance?” (well, I spend a lot of time feeling like this, anyway!) so it was great to have that information there in front of you.
It was also excellent to have the workout represented as a long line of little colour-blocks that we were working our way through, while the session proceeded. It REALLY helped motivate my post-Christmas, gravy-drunk body to see when an active recovery session was coming up.
THE VERDICT: A really friendly studio with excellent staff, using a heart rate monitor concept I’ve not seen anywhere else in Bristol. I liked it a lot, and enjoyed the studio disco lights, too! I’d definitely encourage the Clifton Revolution instructors not to be afraid of using even louder, more pumping music in a studio like this, but then I do like my spin studios to resemble a Ministry at 2am, so I appreciate that might not be to everyone’s taste up in Clifton!
THE EXTRAS: There aren’t toilets, a water fountain or changing rooms at the studio – you have to walk down the road to use the ones at Clifton College instead. It’s about a 3 minute walk each way, so just bear that in mind if you turn up and need to change or nip to the loo. They do sell bottles of water in the studio, though!
I was kindly gifted a class from Clifton Revolution but all views above are my own.