Group indoor cycling classes (also referred to as RPM classes) are one of the most popular indoor exercise classes for women. The class usually involves an extremely motivational instructor cycling at the front of the class paired with intense dance music. However, a new trend has hit the indoor cycling scene and is gaining momentum for both men and women who may or may not be avid outdoor cyclists.
The lure of this new ‘cycling revolution’ is in the use of visuals to elevate the act of pedal pushing into a whole new realm.
This past April a company called IMAXshift located in Brooklyn USA launched a cycling studio that utilises a massive 12-metre wide 7-metre tall IMAX projector screen, which displays a variety of videos in sync with both the fitness instructor and fast-paced music.
Another globally active company based in New Zealand, Les Mills, has implemented 8 video-based cycling programs into their facilities within the last year, which feature a computer-generated alternate reality called “The Trip”. The Trip is displayed on a curved 9-metre wide 3 metre high screen that requires the cyclists to follow the imagery as it twists and turns through a futuristic landscape. It is so immersive that people report experiencing vertigo if they do not turn their head along with digital path’s direction.
With this new innovative technology, indoor cycling and indoor fitness in general has been taken to a new level. The visual element will add a sense of fun into a potentially mundane activity by offering scenery such as realistic mountain ranges, bright bustling forests and or abstract digital scenery. This extra visual stimulation is not only beneficial and rewarding to existing class participants but may be responsible for encouraging a whole new wave of cycling enthusiasts. As we all know, we are far more likely to stick to a fitness routine if it’s FUN.