I remember getting into a discussion with a former colleague a few years back about how much she wanted to take spin classes to get back in shape. She was a cyclist and rode on weekends but felt that it wasn’t enough and was looking for something she could do every night after work. I knew stationary bikes existed but I never knew, at the time, that they held classes using the equipment. In my head, I wondered, “Why would she want to sit on a stationary bike for an hour? That sounds boring.” And BORING was the first word that always came to mind the minute I heard the words “Spin” and “Class” together.
Fast forward to a few years when this viral video broke the Internet:
and the series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt came out with an episode or two featuring “Spirit Cycle”, I was determined to find a class that would shatter my views on Spin Classes. Finally, during my recent trip to Hong Kong, XYZ changed all of that.
The studio is tucked away in Central, one of the busiest and most urbanized districts in Hong Kong and is easily accessible from anywhere via the MTR. XYZ felt like a hidden sanctuary for those looking to detach themselves from the pace and the noise of the city. Just hop on a bike and pedal away…
The facility housed one studio that held 40 bikes, a spacious reception area, and locker rooms.
Rachel Moon, Business Manager and one of the instructors got to tell me a little bit about XYZ before I went in.
The studio offers only three types of classes. Born to Move is an intense workout that played around with the pace and a bit of resistance to get the heart pumping.
Grow Young has a steadier pace but focuses more on resistance and light weights while Joy Ride allows you to bring a companion to ride with for free and enjoy refreshments afterwards.
Nic and I took the Born to Move class with the beautiful Morgan Guth.
It was a party even before classes began in the cycling studio itself. Black lights filled the room, illuminating brighter colors of clothing. A dance track was constantly playing on the speakers as projections of the XYZ logo spun on the walls. This was it. It looked just like the Spirit Cycle studio in Unbreakable.
We were ushered to what felt like the “best seats in the house” and showed how to set ourselves up for the class. We were asked to use special shoes—they’re ones that easily attached to the pedals of the bike giving you a steady grip no matter how fast you ride.
We were given gel saddles to put on the bike seats. These, I assumed were there to make you feel more comfortable which I thought was pretty cool. I got to appreciate them more the following day when my bottoms started feeling real all sore. It probably would have been worse if the cushion wasn’t there. All that soreness reminded me of the rumble rollers they sold at the studio too. LOL
During the class I found Morgan’s energy amazingly contagious and motivating. Her cues also sounded like something a yoga teacher would say. She was all about listening to the “rider” within and drawing the energy out rather than just stepping on the pedal and pushing without intention. We had a bit of a chat and turns out she IS a yoga teacher AND a ballerina (could she be any more perfect?)
According to Rachel, their instructors brought their own personalities into their classes and had the freedom to get creative with their sequences. What I really loved about it was how it felt like dancing. We were led into a rhythm, as Morgan cued and the music played. That rhythm still allowed you to choose your own pace–dark and heavy or light and quick. The whole workout brought me into a trance, making me lose track of time.
The music was great and really helped me get into it. As a teacher, I know that the choice of music plays a huge role in setting the pace and vibe of your class. Morgan’s set was awesome especially with the changing lights in the studio (got me wondering if she was controlling those too). And if you’re riding for the first time, log on to their website ahead and find each instructors selection of music. It should give you an idea of how each class goes. Find someone you can connect with in terms of choice of music and you’re all set. Frankly, I found all their playlists good. I would take a class with any of them at any time.
The verdict? XYZ is up there on my list of health clubs. They’ve set a high standard not just for indoor cycling studios but for any fitness facility. So if you are flying to HK anytime soon, be sure to get on one of their bikes and disappear for a while.
Willing to try a spinning class like this one? Let me know in the comments!
XYZ is located at the second floor of New World Tower II, Queens Road Central, Central, Hong Kong. Book a class or find out more through their website www.youarexyz.com
Manila, you now know what’s coming. 😉 A cycling studio is opening here soon too. Have you heard about it? Comment with the name of the studio below. First to guess correctly will get his/her first ride on me!