Cycling Contemplations

Spinning Needs Human Company

24/7 spininng classes via an endless stream of Cyberobics, in fabulous locations, from Malibu through Las Vegas to Miami. That’s the allure of McFit, my fitness studio of choice. But while human-led spinning classes elsewhere are bursting with people, I’m usually sweating in this dark room on my own.

It’s not that McFit itself is unpopular. It’s wildly popular, mostly, I guess, due to its aggressive pricing—costs half of what other mainstream studios charge. Weekday evenings there are apparently queues for the men’s changing room. Still, nobody’s attending these cycling classes, and for the record, the room with on-screen general workout classes next door is also empty.

The reason, I think, is the lack of a human trainer. A screen is a screen. Even toddlers realize that on-screen faces are not real, and if you want them to learn language and social skills, they have to have live humans talking to them. Same here. The recorded trainer is not nearly as engaging as a live one would.

I personally find it hard to stay focused during the session. I do the training alright, but my mind’s often wandering elsewhere and I need to make a targeted effort to get it back on track. It doesn’t help that there are only so many videos available, and by now I know most of them by heart.

The two previous winters, I went to classes elsewhere, with a fun, engaging trainer. He would crack jokes, keep us motivated, help where we needed it, tipped off where we could have improved. And he always mixed and matched music. Sometimes it was Electronica, other times it was Rock. It was a personal, personalized experience.

I guess I’ll stay put this winter. The 2019 cycling season isn’t far away now. But for next year, I’ll have to look for a different place to ride indoors. Somewhere I can have other people for company.