William’s ActiveLife: Cycle Express Class (Spinning)

William’s ActiveLife: Cycle Express Class

(Spinning) with Katie 0715 – 0745 in Studio 2, Pickaquoy Centre

I rose early and headed to Picky with some trepidation as although I’ve had my own turbo-trainer (a normal bike mounted on a frame with rollers) for some years, it hasn’t been part of my programme lately so I’m not the world’s best cyclist.

With these classes I’m always unsure of the best time to arrive.  I decided to walk in boldly about 10 minutes before the session was due to start and was surprised that the Studio was already busy with people warming up with slow spinning along with a bit of early morning banter.

The whole Studio was full of stationary Spinning bikes and I decided to go to the front and choose my mount.  Katie helped me to adjust the saddle height correctly – an important adjustment with my short legs.

The Studio quickly filled, and we started promptly with Katie out-front on her bike all miked up so we could hear her instructions while she did the session with us, backed by a booming sound track.

Her guidance mainly related to when to sit and stand, how fast to pedal and when to tightening and loosening the wheel resistance knob which makes the cycling feel relatively harder or easier.

We packed a lot into the half hour session. It was hard work and I was pouring with sweat by the end. The structure of the session is simply a series of high intensity bursts of various durations and cadences combined with recovery periods.

We alternated between standing on the pedals and sitting down, although Katie made it very clear that everything could be done sitting if desired.

Glancing around I could see that there were all shapes and sizes taking part and everything could be done at your own perception of effort.  There were no gauges or dials on the bikes so you had no idea how fast or slow you were going and the resistance knob also had no numbers on it.

Consequently, the class was completely non-judgemental with everyone operating at a level that was comfortable for their own level of fitness.

We were too busy to chat during the class but there was plenty before and afterwards.  Katie told me that her first love had been football, but the injury risk was too high for a Fitness Professional and she now enjoyed a wide range of fitness activities including these classes.

Nearing the end Katie instructed us to slow down, really loosen the resistance and finish with slow pedalling to warm down and allow our heart rate to return to near normal. We then dismounted and she guided us through a series of stretches to end the class.  We wiped down our sweaty bikes before heading off.

Because the nature of the exercise is so much under your control, I can see how these sessions would appeal to those just starting their health and fitness journey as well as those wishing to maintain or improve their condition and it’s all done and dusted before heading off for the rest of your day.

Why not give it a go?


ActiveLife – Get more people, more active, more often

ActiveLife is Orkney’s exciting leisure scheme offering unlimited access to 12 different sports and leisure venues across the county. The scheme by the Pickaquoy Centre Trust gives members access to Picky and 11 Council-owned fitness facilities. This includes access to health and fitness classes, swimming and health suite, kids activities, climbing wall, usage of the track and much more.

There is also ActiveIslands, a membership that gives islanders access to gym facilities and fitness classes on their specific island at a low monthly rate. You can find out all about ActiveLife and its benefits by visiting www.pickaquoy.co.uk/activelife.