Edge Cycle: The Review

I'm writing this in the early morning of Saturday whilst cosying up with a hot cup of Sunshine Milk and recovering from a bad case of the cold. Right about now, I should be out of bed, in my sportswear on a spinning bike in Chancery Lane, sweating my face off and hating to love that pain of an intensely vigorous workout, knowing that tomorrow evening the struggles with sore muscles will come about. I bring to you Edge Cycle.

I know, I know, I'm a little late on the current fitness trend with spinning (or indoor cycling). There are so many spinning studios that have opened across London over the past year or so, which put me off a little. How do you even choose which one to go to?

How I came about Edge Cycle was a little random. I hadn't met one of the girls in a long time, so we planned a catch up. She's really into the gym like me, and she had this bright idea of catching up and then both of us going to a spin class as I was kind of hitting a very major plateau at the gym lately- she followed it with a warning about the insane level of intensity as she's been going there for a few months. 

Edge Cycle, located a 1 minute walk from Chancery Lane station, run two different types of classes; bootcamp classes (involving on and off the bike) and purely spinning classes. There is also the opportunity to get your your first class free, which is something I don't think any other spinning studio in London offers. It's great because you get a real taste of the class and really helps you to decide whether the spinning studio is the right place for you. Also, you can choose any of the classes as your first free ride. 

My first class was the Saturday morning bootcamp class, run by Belinda. Of all the classes I've tried, hers is the most insane, the most intense, the most brutal. She will break you piece by piece, and help you to rebuild piece by piece a newer, leaner, stronger, fitter person. 

That first class I went to was one to remember. "Hi, my name is Belinda, and I will break you" as the lights dimmed and the music got louder. "I will destroy you," she continued. I may have nervously looked to my left at my friend who may have mouthed, "I told you so."  Everyone else looked relatively calm, this was so normal. 

The bootcamp started with a pedalling warm-up. Then the intervals; derrière on the seat, pedalling slowly, resistance high. Derrière off the seat. On. Off. On. Off. And then we were sprinting for what was probably 30 seconds, but felt like a lifetime. These continual intervals and hill climbs were already making my legs sore. 

Before I knew it, we were hopping off the bikes for floor work (push-ups etc and dumb-bell work) and then we were back on the bikes. 

I've tried out some of the classes led by Jono, Pasha, Jamie, Paola and Gary. If Belinda's bootcamp sounds too intimidating then Paola's classes are a really great alternative. You will get a full body workout but you are left with some life left in you! 

Gary's spinning classes are worthy particularly for those days when you've finished work and you're tired, but you want to workout but not so intensely. His class was fun and animated, and involved each of us choosing a workout on the bike that everyone had to do (like push-ups on the bike or hill climbs). It was that little nudge in the early evening to say, hey don't get sleepy yet. 

If you're after better glutes and legs, then Jamie is the man for you. His bootcamp class is a full body workout but there was an emphasis on the legs - I don't know about you, but I'm so over skinny legs and the whole 'hot dogs' leg fad. I want my legs to be strong and I wouldn't mind a Kim Kardashian derrière, with or without a champagne glass! 

Pasha's class was a bit of daze for me. I hadn't been working out that hard in the previous 2 weeks, nor had I been to an Edge Cycle class in a while. So when I went, boy did I feel unfit. It was the perfect smack in the face for me, the perfect wake-up call from my body, saying hello don't forget about working out. This class was slightly different from the other bootcamp classes I had attended. It was a jam-packed class incorporating spinning, bootcamp floorwork but also zumba and I definitely felt the burn. If zumba's not for you, from 11th Januay, Edge will be running classes for the first time, on Sundays, and there will be themed classes- whose up for some Yoga-Spinning?

Yes, you will get hot and sweaty in any of the classes and you will be pushed to a certain degree. There is no room for cheating. If Belinda sees you bopping your head or thinks you're not sweaty enough, she will increase that resistance. If you look like you're having an easy time, Jono will increase that bike's resistance. They will all increase that resistance.** But hey, think about that fitter, stronger you that will come as a result of this hard work. 

I've recently quit my gym for a number of reasons, including the fact the classes weren't challenging enough. Edge Cycle's classes push you, and make you push yourself beyond your limit, which is what I love. More importantly, these classes make you sweat and burn like no other (don't ever, ever wear cotton, instead wear moisture-wicking tops) and are suitable for all fitness levels.

Don't be phased by the prices, this is worth it. Before I quit my gym, I used Edge Cycle alongside the gym as a way of varying my workouts but equally to help me get out of the plateau. Each instructor's method is different and each have a very slight emphasis on a different body part; Jono slightly more on shoulders and the back, Belinda on those abs, Jamie on those legs. With that in mind, plus with the sheer intensity of the classes and the use of weights, you could easily just go to Edge Cycle instead of the gym so the monthly price is even more justified.

I've encouraged some of the girls to come to some of the classes with me, and they've really liked them. The only thing that we all agreed upon that we didn't like about Edge, were the open showers in the ladies changing room. In any case, once you've changed, Prufrock Coffee is round the corner, so you can catch up with friends over coffee and laugh about the Edge Cycle class.

Booking your place in a class is very simple, and there is a range of types of passes available and the variety of classes at different times is something else I like. The very early morning classes are less busy (as expected), with about 10 people in them whilst the afternoon/evening ones are much busier. They do provide towels for both during the workout and for showers as well as lockers. They do say you can bring a padlock for the locker or buy one there, but really, I don't even use a padlock. The lockers are in the spinning studio and no-one hops off their bike mid workout to go to a locker so it's pretty safe. They also have a water station, which I recommend to use. You will get thirsty and because you sweat a lot, Nuun tabs will be your best friend. 

Personally, I love the gym far too much to quit it. The new gym I've signed up with in March does have a spinning studio but they don't run bootcamp spinning classes and for that reason, I will continue to use Edge Cycle. I'm always on the look out for classes that really do push me beyond the limit, pushing me so that almost every muscle in me burns and all that sweat is fat crying. So that when you're wearing black during a workout, it's like a funeral for your fat, so that the next day every part of you is aching, so that you can grin to yourself and know you worked out hard. You can tell I get a weird thrill out of this!

So, if you've hit a plateau in your current workout regimen like I had, or you want to achieve your new year's resolution of losing a bit of fat and maintaining that loss, then I'd honestly recommend going to Edge Cycle.   

This year, I want to try out the most insane of the insane type of classes. I want to experience different types of sports. Edge Cycle has ticked all the boxes. So, come on, join me this year and let's get sweaty, fitter, leaner and stronger.

Let's make 2015 the year where strong really is the new skinny. 

Mara xxx
Disclosure: I have written this review purely because I have really enjoyed the Edge Cycle classes. No compensation was given and all opinions are honest and my own. 

**Obviously, if you do look like you're struggling, they will tell you to decrease your resistance!

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