LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — At Powerhouse Gym in London, it’s not at all unusual to hear the occasional grunt, yell or groan combined with barbells and dumbbells falling to the floor. It’s not unusual to hear equipment whirring, vibrating, starting and stopping in conjunction with heavy breathing.
However, on any given Monday, Wednesday or Friday at 5:30 a.m., members can also hear a series of exhilarating and challenging commands combined with the typical whirs and shouts. While one would expect these to come from a boot camp class – Powerhouse has those too, after all – the exuberant commands actually come from an indoor cycling class.
“When the song kicks in, we’re goin’! Now’s the time to take a drink,” shouts instructor Ashley Barton to a crowd of 14. “Here we go!”
Powerhouse’s indoor cycling classes – commonly known as spin classes – meet three times a week in the early morning and five times a week in the evening. Instructors Ashley Barton, Debbie Baker and Morgan Hunt take participants on a cycling crash course at each 45-minute session, typically riding between 10 and 12 miles and burning 400 to 600 calories in the process.
While classes can accommodate up to 14, an average of 8 to 10 gym goers typically take part. All cycling positions are taken advantage of, including seated heels, standing heels, seated sprints and standing sprints. Different levels of resistance are also explored, often dictated by the various instructors’ commands.
“We like to keep it entertaining. It’s a great workout in a short period of time,” Barton said. “We tell everyone to go at their own pace, and we have a lot of fun. I’m addicted to it.”
Like aerobics classes, Barton and her fellow instructors set the pace of the classes to music. Barton claims she’s careful to have a little something for everyone, ranging from Creedence Clearwater Revival to more contemporary hits from Robin Thicke and The Far East Movement. Watching Barton dictate four counts and two counts to the beat of both “Proud Mary” and “Fly Like a G6” is nothing short of poetry in motion.