Each January it’s the same. My New Year’s resolution to stick to a punishing exercise regime is undone by the sheer tedium of whatever new workout fad I’ve signed up to. This time round, a friend and I had pledged to do more interesting exercise classes.
Picking a Friday night slot, we head to Psycle on London’s Mortimer Street. The reception is decked out in cool concrete with low-slung industrial-style lamps. It’s packed with sporty looking types and it’s pretty hard not to succumb to the positive vibes that they’re all exuding. Inspired by Soul Cycle in America, the Psycle brand has taken London by storm since it launched in 2014.
We head downstairs to the studio and take to the back row as a helpful assistant straps our feet in to the bikes. We’re clamped in and initial thoughts of escape seem less feasible now.
The promise is a high-intensity, low-impact workout. There are 52 sessions a week. We’re in the 45-minute class (there are 60- and 90-minute options available, too) and our US instructor, Katherine, has a great playlist to get the energy up in the room. We start off fast — perhaps too fast after a long week — but there’s no chance of not keeping up. The energy is infectious. The room is dark, the coloured strobe lights are flashing and my legs are whirring round the bike faster than I thought was possible.
Unlike a typical spin class, you get a whole body workout at Psycle. There are handheld weights and halfway through the class we’re twisting and waving them about while working biceps, triceps and obliques as well as our poor glutes, which, in my case, are shaking as I grit my teeth and power through. Katherine shouts “Left, right, left…” to keep us in time and is the motivation we need to get to the end of the session. My weary legs march back up to the changing rooms, where Bumble & Bumble hair products, hairdryers, straighteners and other complimentary products ensure that by the time I emerge back onto Mortimer Street, no one is aware of the dishevelled sweaty mess I’d been 20 minutes earlier.
Details: Classes from £20 (cheaper if you bulk-buy credits)