How did you get into fitness industry? What’s your inspiration for becoming a cycling instructor? Tell us about your journey to this career.
I was what could probably be described as an overweight banker, having worked in finance for 18 to 20 years. I neglected my health badly. I had tried going to the gym and all that did was bulk me up, didn’t help me lose weight and didn’t give me the physique I was looking for. So I tried road cycling and while it was a good cardio, it built really big muscled legs which I didn’t want either. I discovered Rhythm Cycling and found out the technique of riding puts the focus on the right body parts and has the right mix of cardio and heart rate management that helped me lose all the weight and also trim down. So rather than big and bulky, it’s lean and mean!
At the beginning, I was inspired to be a rider because I was into the music and the routines that the class gave; it’s a connection between the rhythm, the breath and the moves. After a while, I thought this is actually something that I would love to do. I saw the way instructors were on the stage, I saw the impact that made on people’s lives. Also, at that time, I was looking for a way out of the banking business. This was something I thought I could be passionate about. So the switch to here was fitness related initially but then it became more of a life goal, more worthwhile than being in banking, so that was the switch. Something that I was inspired and passionate about. It was a total shift! I’d heard about people doing it, but never really thought you could. Then once I discovered that you could – I was in 110%.
How much weight did you lose?
At the peak, I was 100 kgs and then now 80 kgs. 20 kgs – a big change.
Can you please describe the Rhythm Cycling class? What’s it like, why people will love it and what’s the benefit?
Rhythm Cycling is basically different from spinning. Spinning is not very well-connected to the music, the music is more in the background and more focused on what you’re doing on that bike. Whereas, in Rhythm Cycling, the music is in the foreground. The music is the essence of the class – you control the class mood, motion and the speed with the music. Classes here at Absolute Cycle are very structured. We have specific beats per minute for each song in a routine. It’s not random 11 songs pieced together, it’s well-choreographed routines, that aim to train different muscle groups and also swift between fat burn, endurance, metcon and HIIT.
Why people would love it?…
I think because underneath everything we do, people love music. It’s there in everybody’s life – day in, day out – whether you are in the car, shopping mall, club, bar, restaurant, music is always there. I think people have a natural connection to rhythm, even the way that we walk, the way that we talk, there’s always a rhythm to it. So when we bring the music into a group exercise dynamic like this, people adapt to it very quickly and the music pulls you along in class – helping you get through it a lot easier.
What’s it like?…
It’s being in a room with 40 other sweaty people, all working together as one. We ride at the same pace, we all move at the same time. There’s an excellent group dynamic. You’re going to love the music, the moves, the people, the instructors, the lighting, the sweat, and the feeling afterwards! When you get out of here, you will feel so light. And it does take a few classes to get fully used to it. As with anything, you can’t expect to be perfect the first time. So you have to give yourself a chance to get into it. Allow your body to adapt – once you are through that stage, it becomes a magical experience.
What are the benefits?…
Definitely weight loss, serious weight loss. It’s great cardio exercise. It focuses on the abdominals, the core, the obliques and the butt/glutes. A lot of women and some men don’t like the idea of cycling, worried that it will give them big muscled legs. In this class, the focus is not actually on the legs, we don’t use our quads, thigh, calves muscle – it’s all on the core, on the butt. It’s a very good exercise if you are looking to tone up/trim down those areas.
What’s special or unique about Absolute Cycle?
All of our teachers have been trained to a very high level by incredibly experienced instructors, with years of experience overseas. Our training program is the best out there. You are not going to find better. The secret sauce is our methodology and the way we structure our classes – and the science behind that, the physiology – the way we focus on form. Plus, they’re all great entertainment value!
What keeps you motivated, inspired and cycling every day?
Honestly, it’s the riders! The people that come here. The people that come in and have that first experience with Rhythm Cycling, they look at you afterwards and say “Wow, that was amazing!” Also, you have existing riders that have breakthrough moments where they’re pushing themselves further than they thought possible. The people that come up to you with their success stories – weight down, blood pressure down and better mood – and just to see these smiles on people’s faces 🙂 It’s difficult to get that high from anything else.
What advice would you give to people who are trying to be healthier, fitter and getting in shape?
Come and take our classes at Absolute Cycle! Dare to try it! No harm can come from trying. No hurt can come from making a commitment to yourself to come once or twice a week. Even if it’s not cycling, try to find something that you can be passionate about. Make the time, don’t make excuses. Every successful person in the world has the same hours in a day as you – they don’t have the same excuses. They got on and did it. So, my advice is stop making excuses, take a deep breath and let the process happen!
I hear that Absolute Cycle is launching the first dedicated Indoor Cycling Academy. Can you tell us about it?
As we expand within Thailand and internationally, we need to create an academy to produce and train high-quality teachers and then continue to provide support to existing teachers to allow them to grow, develop and build on their own strengths and talents.
Building on our own successful training programs that we already run for Absolute Yoga and Absolute Pilates, we’ve developed a comprehensive program forAbsolute Cycle Bangkok drawing on all that experience we’ve built up over 10 years.
The training typically lasts 6 weeks, and it’s intense, hard work but at the end of it each candidate is left with a new career, and a better, more rewarding, fulfilling role in our community. Demand for places has been high and we have very high expectations of the candidates that are joining us.
We’re starting our third training on May 8th and then we’ll have the next one in October this year. It’s a very exciting time to be part of Absolute Cycle Bangkok.