Sure, Sweat & Co.’s spinning class looks like a fun game of Mario Kart without the mushroom guns, but trust us, it’s no Mobike ride in the park. Tough and cheat-proof, the aim of iCycling is to engage in your own virtual world through a projector screen, which simulates how well you and your fellow bikers do throughout the 60-minute journey. First-time trial coupons for RMB50 are available, and the iCycle unit price is RMB98 per class. For more information on scheduling, other available classes and pricing, contact the gym directly.
Located on Xikang Lu in the heart of Jing’an, Sweat & Co. has an industrial décor with a feel of urban decay, and is sufficiently equipped with electronic lockers and clean showers. The most distinctive feature about this gym? Their love for motivation slogans. Walk through the main entrance and you will be greeted by a massive “NO PAIN NO GAIN” sign (if letters of the Roman alphabet could be muscleheads hopped up on ‘roids, this is how they’d look like) and the instructors walk around with shirts that remind you that “Sweat is the new sexy!”. Dripping winter nostrils was last year's sexy.
Each bike is numbered, so the trainers can see on screen if you’re slacking off (or an overachieving teacher’s pet). This is how the cheesy pop techno remix thumping through the speakers can actually be a good thing. Not only are they distracting enough to keep you from blacking out from the pain of exercising, pedaling to the rhythm of the repetitive bass drums can help you reach that virtual destination (and leave the other riders in a trail of cyber dust). Our instructor Rain, although only Chinese speaking, was extremely good and personally motivated each of us to keep pushing. Since spinning is a form of exercise that focuses on endurance, strength and high intensity, it was very important to have someone there to stimulate you continuously. Perhaps the sign at the entrance would be more accurate if it had said “NO iCYCLE, NO LEG LIKE JELLY”.
Where: Sweat & Co., 99 Xikang Lu (near Nanjing Xi Lu) 西康路99号 (近南京西路)
How much: First time trial RMB50, RMB98 per class
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