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An honest review of Vienna Supercycle classes from an unfit spin-class newbie
There was sweat dripping down the mirrors, heavy breathing and darkness surrounded me, layered with a thumping techno beat, and I was pretty sure I was going to die.
Ok, maybe not die, but this 7am spin class with Ally was definitely pushing me to my upper limits. It was my 5th class with Supercycle Vienna, but the first time I felt genuinely uncomfortable. Up until that Thursday morning, my spin classes had been a fun, challenging delight.
But let’s back up a bit here….what the hell is Supercycle Vienna?
What is Supercycle Vienna
Supercycle Vienna describe themselves as a ’boutique indoor dance cycle class’. Think dancey aerobics, but on a bike, (so when you get tired you can sit if needs be. Kidding. Or am I?) The workouts include moves for your upper body and arms, but the big appeal here is that the classes are super fun with different themes and music depending on which trainer is running the class.
Supercycle is a cycling spin class but incorporates different paces, intensity and dance moves so you can adapt depending on your skill level. For my initial class, I was really nervous that I would be revealed as an unfit, uncoordinated mess, but was happily surprised that it didn’t play out that way!
Our trainer that day, Steph, was a bubbly, friendly, welcoming ball of energy who was basically bouncing off the walls with excitement to welcome me into class. She patiently talked through how to setup your bike, where your seat should be in relation to your height and how to adjust all the levers and settings on the bike. It was the perfect, reassuring introduction to the Supercycle world.
Once the class got started, the first 5 minutes were spent introducing you to the standard ‘moves’ that would be used throughout the class – a bike pushup, where to place your hands when cycling standing ‘up’ or pushing back but elevated over the bike seat.
Each move targets different areas of your legs and core (if you’re doing it right) so even though you’re on a stationary bike, you’re getting a full body workout.
What’s it really like? Will I survive if I’ve never been to a class before?
Before joining Supercycle Vienna, I’d read and heard stories about cult-like spin classes in places like New York or London where superfit, terrifyingly dedicated class goers raved about the benefits of spin class.
Being a brunch addicted, red wine loving regular woman, with definitely average fitness, who never really committed to aerobics classes, I was skeptical if a spin class would be for me.
But I have a wedding in April, and the winter snack attacks are real, so I was looking for a way to replace the exercise of my daily cycle into work during the rainy snowy cold months of winter.
Besides which, like all good millenials, I kept seeing mention of SuperCycle on Instagram stories and from a handful of friends on Facebook, so was curious to see what all the fuss was about.
The good news? It was nowhere near as scary as I thought!
While the New York or London SoulCycle classes may be elitist or expensive, SuperCycle Vienna was really welcoming, friendly and seemed accessible for anyone.
The classes are €16 a pop (€12 for your first class), or €150 for a ten class pass – so not cheap, but not extortionate prices. Walking into my first class felt like joining a community, albeit an English speaking, exercise focussed one, but layered with fun because of the music and dancey nature of the classes.
Basically, like all of my favourite sports, I could convince myself this wasn’t ‘exercise’ with a scary capital E, but instead a fun group of people spending an hour ‘dancing’ in a small dark room. That sounds creepy when written down like that, but I swear, my brain and body respond better if I convince myself I’m doing something fun, not just a boring, painful exercise routine.
(Other ‘trick sports’ I love; skiing, regular bike riding, ice-skating….anything fun disguised as exercise, so you’ll never ever see me going for a run!)
With classes only 45 minutes to an hour long, you normally have 1-2 warm up songs, 2 more intense ‘hill climber’ songs, an arms workout song, 1-2 ‘sprint’ songs and then a cool down. The trick is to make sure you book a class with a music style that you like, because then you get happily distracted singing along and motivated by the music.
Which brings us to that terrifying 7am techno class I mentioned before….
How to choose your first class at SuperCycle
With sweat dripping down my back and dubstep techno dance music screaming from the speakers, I was dying – not just from the exercise, but because my ears were bleeding trying to work out to music that I haaaaaate.
Don’t get me wrong, I know dance music is a requirement for most workouts, but for a 7am class, it was way beyond my comfort zone, I don’t even go to clubs at 1am that play that kind of music.
On top of which, our trainer that morning was a serious athlete. Like, I was in awe of her fitness and enthusiasm level, but damn I will never be that fit. Allie pushed the entire room to our limits that morning, which in hindsight, when I was still aching two days later, was a good thing, but I had not been mentally prepared for a workout that intense that morning.
So my number one piece of advice is – choose your class based on your preferred music and workout style.
It’s worth trying out a few different trainers and class styles to find the one that you like best.
My first class with Stef was R&B/Pop which was a lot of energetic fun and Stef might be the cheeriest, smiliest person I’ve ever met.
I also tried the Sunday Indie class with Felix which I loved – mostly ‘cos the entire class was one big #thisis30 moment. As class progressed I realised it was all the songs I used to get tipsy and dance to on sticky floors in Melbourne, late on Saturday nights were now the same songs I was exercising to earnestly on a Sunday morning. Sans hangover. Early twenties Carly would be shocked!
But my favourite class so far has been the morning 80’s classes with David on a Thursday. Something about starting my day with a workout, singing along to cheesy 80’s tracks and being able to go straight from the cycling class to work just got my day off to the right start.
Yes I’m that annoying smug person in your office who turns up at 9am cheery, having been awake since 6am and already taken an exercise class.
What do I wear? Most people are in tights and a loose workout t-shirt or singlet.
There are one or two hardcore looking workout types with Lululemon outfits in each class, but the majority are just wearing regular workout gear. I’d recommend some 3/4 tights, sports bra and a loose fitting singlet because it gets sweaty as hell in those small studios.
Where do the classes take place? SuperCycle has studios in the 7th and 4th district, so you can choose the one that best suits you.
I’ve tried both and prefer the studio in the 4th, just because it’s a bit bigger and for me, easier to get to from the office. Both studios are designed in funky monochromatic style, with white walls, black motivational signs, and very modern style benches and storage for your valuables available.
What about the bikes and cycling rooms? The actual cycling studios themselves have disco balls, club lights and are completely black within.
There are about 20 bikes in each workout room, so I can imagine a completely full class gets quite cosy but so far there’s always been plenty of space for everyone.
There’s also giant fans and some windows that will get cracked open so that you get some air movement once the intensity of the class begins. Your trainers are on a small elevated stage and have headsets connected to speakers so you can always see and hear what’s coming next no matter where you are in the class.
How do I book a class? Do I need an assessment? The awesome thing about SuperCycle is that there’s no scary ‘induction’ or trainer assesment of your level of fitness before you begin.
You can just turn up and give it a shot. All the trainers speak perfect English, are really motivating and give you options to adapt the moves to your skillset.
What if I can’t make the class? One of the best things about SuperCycle is their booking platform. You can book your preferred class time online, you get calendar and email reminders, and if you need to you can re-schedule class up to 12 hours before your scheduled class.
So when I got sick in early January, I was able to re-arrange my class to another day, meaning I didn’t have to lose any money. Plus I did it from my sickbed, on my phone, no awkward conversations needed. I absolutely love their booking platform (yes, I geek out about those things #nerdalert).
What if the class is too hard for me? Honestly, I was freaking out before I started, worrying I’d collapse or not be able to keep up.
But the truth is, you set the intensity – you are in control of the resistance dial on your bike that changes how easy or hard it is to pedal. So you can ultimately make the class as easy or difficult as you need it to be.
Because it’s so much fun, you’ll probably get caught up in the energy and find yourself doing more exercise than you thought you were capable of!
So if you’ve been thinking about taking the class for a while – do it now. When the weather is shitty, and you have the time, and it’s still months until summer so you can get fit, for your own sake.
SuperCycle is a really fun way to get fit, and the community around this small business in Vienna is incredibly welcoming. I can’t wait to try my next class – would you try it?
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