The Balance Team recently visited BOOM Cycle to test drive the workout spearheading the capital’s indoor cycling revolution. What we were looking for was a new way to exercise, but what we discovered was a party, a social club, a full body workout, and a whole lot of fun - all rolled into one. It’s like exercising in a nightclub, minus the booze but with a serious endorphin high.
Co-founder of BOOM Cycle
Hilary Gilbert discovered indoor cycling in 2002 in New York City on the Upper West Side. “I was modelling at the time and I got hooked on indoor cycling because it’s quicker, more convenient and burns calories faster than anything else I had tried. Most importantly though, it was fun. I feel like I’m just dancing to all my favourite songs and having a great time. When I came to London, I couldn’t find anything like the studios I was used to in NY, so I knew I wanted to start my own.”
Today Hilary is known as the Queen of Spin, combining fun with fitness and spreading the BOOM Cycle
method around London.
A full body workout
The BOOM Cycle method is based on HIIT and combines cardio and resistance training to reach every single part of the body. “It is essentially a bunch of simple moves put together and repeated to music, which may sound easy, but crank up the resistance and add a few weights and even a triathlete would feel the burn!,” says Hilary.
Expect to get sweaty as by the end of the class you will be glistening all over. The bright side is you will learn to embrace the sweat as Hilary shows you how to wear it with pride: "We celebrate the sweat, sweat is sexy and something to be proud of!"
Key to the BOOM Cycle style is the high energy levels in each and every class. “Our main aim is to inspire everyone in the class. We do the whole workout with you and only ever jump off the bike to offer assistance, encouragement, and for a bit of dancing of course,” says Hilary.
Expect high fives all round, h2o cheers, and regular whooping. Your instructor/personal cheerleader will push you to places you’ve never been before and the sense of accomplishment, combined with a rush of endorphins on completion, will make you feel invincible. While you may feel like you’ve been raving instead of exercising, prepare to avoid stairs for the rest of the week as your aching legs the next day will remind you how hard you’ve worked.
A private affair
The studio is completely dark, with only enough light to find your bike and be able to see your instructor. “This is your time to push yourself and do more than you did yesterday. There is no room for judgement or comparison here. If you need to take it easy because of an injury, or if you just get to a point where you need to chill, it’s fine. No one is looking at you and you can just do your own thing,” says Hilary.
It’s a perfect environment to focus on your own training and push yourself with no distractions (or if you're anything like us, sit still, take a break, and gasp for air without anyone noticing).
While BOOM Cycle isn’t interested in promoting quick fixes and before and after transformations, Hilary will say this: “It’s for everyone, anyone can do it. You will feel a difference from day one, even if it's just a change of mood, attitude or both. Each time you come back into the studio you’ll feel stronger.”
Because it's a workout you can look forward to, you're more likely to keep going back, meaning you'll see results from exercising regularly.
A healthy habit
Get ready to replace your after work drink with an after work ride as BOOM Cycle becomes your new local. Once you discover the BOOM effect, you’ll be dragging along your work mates to the studio on Friday night instead of (or at least before) the pub.
Turn it up
The music is almost as important as the workout itself. “The music format for each class is built like a DJ set. It takes you along in waves - lifting you up and bringing you back down to match the moves. We have Funktion One sound systems which bring the night club sound quality and it is completely intentional as the blasting music allows each rider to be completely in the moment. It’s like meditation – the music is loud enough so it takes away any distraction. You can’t possibly think of anything else,” says Hilary.
BOOM Cycle will be bringing their unique workout style to Balance Festival with a speciality studio running classes over the three days. Sign up
to be the first to know when the timetable goes live to book classes.