(Editors' Note: This sponsored article from Wattbike is part of Club Industry's report, "Fitness Trends: Spotlight on 2020.")
The popularity of some workouts waver as consumer interests change, but indoor cycling has long since proven itself a staple fitness trend set to stay. Indoor cycling has been around for a long time. It is a safe known, a familiar environment, which is why at Third Space it is one of our most popular classes, especially for new members. People generally know what they are going to get from an indoor cycling class, so the intimidation barrier is lifted more so than with other classes.
It will always be popular and have a perception of being a less impactful way of raising heart rate than other HIIT-style workouts, but indoor cycling has evolved and innovated in its own way, from the immersive, gamified experiences to the quality, premium smart bike products.
The explosion of accurate data and instant feedback has taken indoor cycling in exciting new directions. What used to be more music and movement based has evolved into an indoor cycling experience that harnesses data, tracks performance and utilizes metrics to motivate the member.
The data has become more accurate and refined, and the members and the instructors have all become more educated about how to train effectively within training zones. Instructors can use this data to become coaches, analyzing performance and technique, using a unique pedalling effectiveness score found on the bikes to assist individuals even within a class setting.
This shift has coincided with the popularity of training like an athlete. The increased interest in training with power and cadence, and the rise of social media and the access and insight it has given us into the lives and training of our favourite athletes and sport starts had brought a whole new audience into the gym and the indoor cycling environment. Those that are looking for a challenging but structured workout with a hint of competition and sports conditioning.
Within a studio, the main pillar is that the environment and consumers now expect an experience from their fitness. We are currently conducting research at Third Space around the psychology of color and light sequencing in our studios. Color is a learned response, and we associate different colors to different emotions.
The studio design and zoning of the bikes we use have also proven to be key elements in the overall experience. It’s important not to disregard the key component of design. Branding an area to make it stand out as a zone can motivate members but also direct them around your gym space, creating a flow to their individual fitness journey.
Technology is undoubtedly driving the innovations within the fitness industry at the moment across all aspects of training, but nothing will ever replace the need for live feedback and coaching from a human being in the room.
Classes can be technology driven or instructor driven. But the technology will always be an aid to the overall coaching of a class. We have seen at Third Space how members buy into our team, their passion and enthusiasm for fitness and their encouraging and motivation attitude and charisma. The technology is a vital additional to this and helps the coach train the class in smarter ways, but coaches are no longer just sit spinning on a bike at the front of the room; they are working with higher levels of EQ and soft skills, ensuring that the data that is now accessible is utilized in the most effective ways to ensure the most individualized positive member experience for each and every person.
Chris Stanton is a Wattbike master trainer at Third Space London, which has six luxury venues that includes Wattbikes. The Wattbike is the indoor bike of choice for the health and fitness sector, the home fitness market and elite sport, including the NBA, NHL and NFL. Today, Wattbike offers the complete indoor cycling solution with a portfolio of Wattbikes to suit every Wattbiker.