• myrevstudio

Can you handle this intense workout in the capital?

If you want to take your fitness up a notch, this cycling class is just the ticket

A few years ago, I turned into what some people describe as a ‘gym bunny’, willingly signing myself up to torturous classes that resulted in that amazing release of endorphins that only people who exercise will understand.

Spinning quickly became one of my favourite classes, not just because of the amazing music but because it produced quick results.

But as with many of these group fitness classes, things started to get a bit monotonous and I found myself becoming a bit bored with the same tracks and limited choreography. So when I found out about Spivi, I was eager to give it a try to see if it would encourage me to get back in the saddle and add some spice to my cycling.

What is Spivi?

Based out of California, Spivi is basically a multimedia concept designed for indoor cycling studios. Using stationary bikes, the class revolves around virtual reality where participants’ avatars are shown in different locations on a big screen at the front of the room.

The only place currently offering the class in Abu Dhabi is Rev Studio, a new boutique cycling studio on Al Reem Island – and by boutique, I mean just one door, four walls and 11 bikes.

The studio is the brainchild of Jean-Marc de Montrichard, a 14-year captain with Etihad and an experienced fitness instructor with a passion for cycling and helping people reach their fitness goals while having fun.

What does the class involve?

Before arriving for the class, I’m asked to download the Rev Studio app to book my slot – “We’re entirely paperless here,” Jean-Marc explains – as well as the Spivi app. Using the latter, I set up my profile including weight and height, then personalise my avatar.

After arriving at the studio and checking in on the iPad, I select a pair of clip-in cycling shoes that are provided, set up my bike with help from Jean-Marc and link the Spivi app with the programme so my avatar appears on screen.

As Jean-Marc explains, this class is all about each individual person so although he’s also on a bike in the front of the room, he’s tucked away to the side giving us a full view of the big screen where my avatar coasts along in the peloton with the other cyclists along tree-lined country lanes.

But we’re not coasting for long. After a warm-up, Jean-Marc takes us through the country roads with some pumping music and some pretty intense tracks that work on speed and power with a variety of hill climbing and sprints. With the view on the screen changing regularly, you can see where you sit in the peloton as well as more specific statistics such as your distance and effort, though you can also hide these if you don’t want to share your performance with others. As someone with a slight competitive edge, I find it encourages me to push myself further even when I’m tired – and tired I am, because this class is no walk – or cycle – in the park.

After the class, the app updates with my ride stats – including max RPM, average power, average cadence and total distance. I also receive an email with a summary of my results. It’s a great way of tracking my improvement and has already inspired me to go back for another class to beat my previous numbers.

AED 55 per class. Mangrove Place, opposite Boutik Mall, Al Reem Island. Times vary. Contact: 054 398 7979,

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