Also known as indoor cycling, spinning or soul cycling, cycling is actually a simple discipline: pedal, on a bike, indoor, in a group, with music ! It has been increasingly popular over the last few years in France. The first French studio called Dynamo Cycling, launched a trend that has gained many followers. How did we go from hours of boredom on an exercice bike to passion for cycling classes ?

Cycling was born in the United States. Very popular in New York, it has inspired French people who imported the concept in France. It all began with Dynamo Cycling at the end of 2014, then Let’s Ride beginning of 2016. Now, as much in Paris as in several large French cities, the phenomenon has grown and the choice of studios is getting bigger and bigger.

« With inspirational instructors, candlelight, epic spaces, and rocking music, riders can let loose, clear their heads and empower themselves. » *

A typical class

The key advantage of a soul cycling class is that it is extremely immersive. Rooms are almost in the dark, playlists are carefully chosen and coaches guide you all along with their voices. This allows you to concentrate fully on your own effort without worrying about other people. At the same time, a real group energy is created and carries athletes throughout the class.

A cycling session is very intense. It is a true interval training: you alternate sprints and cool down moments during 45mn without ever stopping pedaling. The real novelty – in comparison to more conventional RPM – is that the whole body is being worked, thanks to push-ups on the bike’s handlebar or exercises with dumbbells (always on the bike!). The mix of cardio and muscle building makes it a very complete discipline, ideal to transform the whole body.

If you want to have a taste of an indoor cycling session, read our experience at Let’s Ride on our blog.

* Quote from Soul Cycle website

What to wear ?

One of the many advantages of cycling is that there is no need to invest in lots of accessories. Find a nice outfit and be ready to ride your bike ! You will not even need shoes since they are supplied by the studio.

Cycling is very cardio and practised indoor. As a result do not hesitate to go for the lightest clothes : shorts (adjusted to avoid any friction), capris, tank tops. You’re going to get hot and sweat a lot! Breathable polyamide materials will be your allies to make you feel comfortable. Avoid cottons and other natural fabrics which absorb sweat without evacuating it and remain wet.

You should choose a bottom with a fitted cut to be free when pedaling. As for the bra, maximum support is not mandatory since you won’t be jumping up and down. Yet, an intermediate support bra is essential to endure the most intense moments of the class when you get up and down quickly on your bike, which can unpleasantly hurt your chest.

Your turn !

To test a cycling session in Paris, you have lots of choice: Let’s Ride or Kiwill are both very good studios.

Outside Paris, you will find Kona Biking in Toulouse or Le Studio cycling in Rennes. We have not tested these studios but if you know them or if you want to recommend others, do not hesitate to come and talk with us on our social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).

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Pictures Let’s Ride © Edouard Nguyen