Spinning in Nova Scotia


After several years of visiting Nova Scotia and not getting round to it, tonight I went to a spinning class in Dartmouth. I’ve been going to 7Cycle in Singapore for over a year, but I’d never been to any other spinning class, so I was interested to see what the differences were.

First off, it’s a lot colder in Nova Scotia than in Singapore. Even with the air conditioning up full in the 7Cycle studio and a room that isn’t packed with people, I’m drenched with sweat by the end of a 45 minute session, puddles forming around my bike. Tonight, with just a few fans blowing air around, I had a damp shirt but the rest of me was quite dry.

Second, it feels more ‘normal’ in some way. With 7Cycle, the entire room is painted black and often the lights are turned off so you’re alone in the dark with the pounding techno and the shouting of the instructor. The Revolution Fitness room is better lit and has a wooden floor rather than something resembling a black hole.

There’s also nobody shouting encouraging things about your mental state and trying to make you feel like you’re a better person for cycling on a stationary bike for half an hour, and making you deeply question your existence. I have no opinion on whether this is a bad thing or a good thing.

The music choices were different. There was a lot more 1980s/1990s pop, rather than contemporary loud R&B/techno. There was also the horrible exercise of riding to Roxanne by The Police, where every time Sting sang the eponymous name you had to stand up and then sit down again. The actual exercises were also a bit different. No tabatas, which are beloved of the instructors at 7Cycle, and lots of sprints where you were pushed to drive up your calories, rather than your distance. It all comes back to the same thing in the end.

Oh, and the bikes were different; LifeCycles, rather than Schwinns, and the main difference was that you increased and reduced tension by flicking a lever up and down, rather than turning a knob. That confused me a bit.

I’ve also never had an hour long class in Singapore. Perhaps I’d have succumbed to dehydration if I had. At the time, the Revolution class felt easier than a 7Cycle class, but that may have been the lower temperature and humidity. I’m certainly feeling it now, my legs and arms both a bit sore from what I’ve put them through.

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