Cycling like a Pro at Fitness First

Sunday, 22 November 2015  |  Interviews + Features


Now that it’s off-season for me, I feel like a kid again at the gym. Instead of sticking to a strict running program, I get to try out new activities to work out other parts of my body and also to keep things fun. Last week, I finally got to try the ProCycling classes, which are exclusive to Fitness First.

ProCycling classes are 30-minute high intensity interval cycling sessions based on the training programmes, techniques and events of 9 times World Champion and Double Olympic Gold Medalist, Victoria Pendleton. The sessions are short but intense so it’s perfect for busy people or competitive athletes who want to get a good workout in a short period of time. There are 3 kinds of ProCycling classes: Keirin focusing on improving endurance, Team Sprint for strength and power, and Individual Sprint for raw power.


Our instructor, Cristina, was dynamic, poised, and strong! (How did she manage to speak the entire time while I was huffing and puffing?! She didn’t even look like she was breaking a sweat!) She guided us through the session with ease. After the warm up, we went for sprints with recovery intervals, and then a quick cool down.

Most of the time we were in a basic riding position, which is the type of spin class that I prefer. Some people prefer spin sessions where the rider stands often and even does arm exercises for a full body workout. That’s good too. But, personally, I enjoy classes that have me seated on my bike as if I was in a race… just like this one.


As promised, the class was quick and efficient. The 30 minutes gave me a good workout; it wasn’t too exhausting nor was it too easy.  It was just right.  I actually felt like I could hop on the treadmill or join a yoga class after.

For experienced triathletes and fitness enthusiasts at an advanced level, I highly recommend ProCycling for a good heart-pumping, sweat-inducing yet quick workout.  If you want a tough workout for the day and you have the time to spare, try running on the treadmill for good 5k to 10k before the ProCycling class for a nice indoor brick session. By the way, these classes are not recommended for beginners.

Here are a few riding tips and techniques I learned from Cristina:

  1. Make sure you have the correct bike set up before starting. Ask your instructor for help if you have any concerns.
  2. For standing start, your butt and hips should be out of the saddle and pushed back. Place your hands at the end of the handlebars with your wrists rolled in so that your palms are practically facing up.
  3. For sprint, rest your forearms on the handlebars with your hands at the end. Push your butt until the back end of the saddle where it is widest.

Check out ProCycling sessions at Fitness First! Let me know how it goes for you.