Indoor cycling is unrivaled in the gym-environment for fat-burning. This is pure high-intensity-interval-training, allowing you to attain the most efficient levels of calorie-burning. What’s more, the style of the class allows you to stay at this level for a much greater period of time than other gym classes, meaning you mobilise and release a whole lot more bodyfat. Bikelab is the ultimate indoor cycling studio, equipped with cutting edge tech from the bike itself, the performance-tracker metrics to the audiophile-grade audio and visuals. The vital ingredient though is the instructor, and you’ll only find passion at The Lab with fine-tuned instruction via BPM’s rigorous training method, all generating a magical charged ride, leaving with a huge smile and hearty sense of wellbeing. Sessions vary greatly in style to suit a host of tastes, from straight up fun smash'n'grab interval training, bouncing round to the beatz (man) to strict cycling sessions to spin plus yoga sessions with Zenlab and more!
The Bikelab team are the key to the whole thing. You could have wall-to-wall top-line equipment but it matters not if the instructor doesn’t know what they’re doing. BPM take great care to train instructors on the Lab method to ensure sessions are tightly bound to an effective framework in which you can really let go and get the most from the session, whether it be to work as hard as you can, release stress, zone-out or whatever you choose. You may well have noticed there are no mirrors in BPM Labs, ensuring there are no prima-donna instructors checking themselves out; and certainly no drug-users also.
What is high-intensity training exactly?
Provided you are exerting yourself, indoor cycling generally will get your heart rate higher and for longer extended durations than other forms of gym-based exercise. A study by Battista et al (2008) noted 52% of the duration of the sessions were above the ventilatory threshold. The ventilatory threshold is very closely related to the anaerobic threshold (the terms are, for all intents and purposes interspersable). If you’re not familiar with these terms, just picture that there is a tipping point which, if you exceed this point, you will likely induce fatigue quickly which will cause you to stop exercising (due to metabolites building up in the system). If you can keep close to this point or over for as long as possible, you will exercise the most intensely.
BPM also incorporates other types of high-intensity interval training, such as kettlebell training which can heavily tax other parts of your fitness to get a complete all-round workout routine. Coming soon!
An indoor cycling class uses different ride positions and ride styles to change up the focus on certain muscles to ensure that when a particular muscle group fatigues, you can switch to a new ride style to use slightly different muscle activations to keep the work rate high. The fact that it is primarily the large lower body muscles mean the heart and lungs have to work all that much harder; thus more calories are needed to produce this energy.
Please note, The Lab also offers Spin + Yoga sessions for those seeking to de-stress in a milder, more meditative fashion. For more info on Zenlab, click here.
So What Makes the Bikes So Good?
There are two indoor cycles which are considered head and shoulders above the rest; the Phantom and the Watt Bike, both fabulous bits of kit. Many manufacturers claim to be able to read power effectively but these claims are a little creative. They don’t come close in terms of accuracy, as the underpinning science is extremely complex. BPM also use the leading model of the best of the rest 'spinner' type bikes in the Schwinn AC Performance Plus. For more info on the bikes, click here.
The Lab brings propels cycling into a new era; one where you can take complete control of your health and fitness programme. The metrics on the bikes mean that you can measure the number of calories you burn with much greater accuracy. Before, the readings you would find on fitness machines would be guesses based on algorithms, where the variables can massively skew the results. Not in The Lab though. The Powertap gauges are extremely accurate and can also be used to set clear and precise goals for the session. Data is transferred via either Bluetooth or Ant+ (Apple or Android) to your phone or tablet which you can place on the handlebar. All data can be then be fed into your favourite fitness app for you to monitor exactly how you are progressing, taking the guesswork out of your fitness routine. If you like, you can also opt into throwing the data from your bike onto the big screen so you can see how you are faring against the others in the class (only if you want to of course).
If you are unable to make a class time, or simply just if you prefer to do your own thing, bring a phone or tablet, hook it up (we’ll show you how) and ride a pre-programmed course. This is not a fictional course though; working with GPS and Google Earth, Virtual Training displays any route you should wish to ride, anywhere in the world. The bikes are automatically rigged up too so that if you go uphill, the resistance increases accordingly to the gradient; downhill vice-versa. This is a pretty sensational and immersive experience. Ride through Big Sur in California, the infamous Yungas Road in Bolivia or simply your hometown if you’re away from home and feeling homesick; its entirely up to you. We’ll show you how you can make your own routes with an app, but we also have preset courses from which you can choose. For more info on Virtual Training, click here.
Indoor cycling is driven by the rhythm, and the natural way the sessions organically follow the contours of the music is uncannily hand-in-glove. This is partly why BPM have invested so heavily in the most amazing sound system and professional editing software to set the spinning off. Rhythm is measured in beats-per-minute (BPM) with which we use as the metronome to set the pace. You now have a goal and a target speed to get up to, ensuring you’re pushing yourself and not slacking off. Songs have natural highs and lows too, and the buzz of going-for-it on the peaks is pretty hard to top. The actual beats-per-minute can be viewed easily on your phone/tablet so you know exactly where you need to be and how hard to push. Instructors always choose their own playlists, and you’ll probably gravitate toward instructors who share your tastes. Feel free to email us with suggestions too and we’ll do our best to get them on the playlist. Anything by Goldfrapp is free and highly encouraged; The Wanted are £5; Abba are £100 and Simply Red (make me an offer).
The idea behind the visuals on the projector wall are to give a sense of motion adding to the intensity, so we've got some hi-res car/bike vids through spectacular countryside (Bavaria or Switzerland anyone?) or action sports (who doesn't like a wingsuit vid?) or some funky timelapse shots of exotic places round the globe.