So we all know what a spin class is, right? And we’ve all hit the dancefloor at a party, right? But have you ever experienced both at the same time?! Didn’t think so. Well, now you can thanks to Auckland’s hottest new workout: Westward Cycle.
The indoor cycling class will get your heart racing and muscles burning as the instructor drops epic beats. Inspired by overseas classes such as SoulCycle and Boom Cycle, Westward is a full-body, cardio dance party…on a bike!
And, if you thought things couldn’t get any more interesting than that, they do! The high-energy classes are…wait for it…held by candlelight! Yep, you’ll be cycling (and partying!) in the dark.
Westward Cycle is the brainchild of wife-husband duo Sarah Fairburn and Shawn McIsaac. Hailing from Canada, the active couple are big fans of the fitness craze that has revolutionised indoor cycling (you would have seen the pumpin’ videos online).
Longing for the unique workouts, Sarah and Shawn decided to introduce the rage to Aucklanders and voilà!—Westward Cycle was born. It’s a natural fit with Sarah having a background in dancing, while Shawn competed in track and field and was an avid American football player-turned-coach.
As a labour of love, they’ve converted a Newmarket loft into a boutique cycling studio. Located at the top of a hidden staircase, you’ll stumble upon a beautiful space—a description not common with gyms!
The area is painted white with pops of light wood. It has a homely feel with a coloured rug filling the space and succulents on display. There are changing rooms, a shower and a ‘beauty bar’ stocked with complimentary deodorant and hairspray.
They’ve considered the little things with hair ties, ear plugs and mints on offer. During your workout, sweat towels are provided and afterwards, you’ll be handed a cooling eucalyptus-soaked towel—just what you need.
Head into the dimly lit studio and the instructor’s bike sits at front and centre, surrounded by 14 spin bikes. Nab yours and they’ll help you adjust the bike so it’s perfect for you and your unique bod.
Westward Cycle also supply you with shoes that clip onto the pedals. These bad boys help to engage your leg muscles and let you pedal more efficiently. You’ll feel secure and ready to dance!
The lights are then turned off in favour of flickering candles. The darkness allows you to focus on yourself—any self-conscious feelings are banished. You’ll find yourself concentrating your breath, moving to the beat and entering a somewhat meditative state.
While no two classes are the same, the 45-minute session will have you spinning like crazy and working your entire body. The instructor will get you working through a series of movements at high-intensity intervals as you adjust the resistance of your bike. They also incorporate dumbbell exercises, crunches and even push-ups on the handlebars. Yep, this is one heck of a full-bod workout!
If your fitness goal is to increase stamina, Westward offers a 90-minute ‘Tour de Force’ class that focuses on endurance and strength. Alternatively, if you’re new to the world of indoor cycling, there’s a free intro class every Saturday morn.
We’re oh-so stoked this trend has (finally) hit Auckland. So, what are you waiting for? On ya bike!
Image credit: Lydia Arnold