"We're going to be really going to the beat of the music, dancing on the bike, incorporating the core and upper body because you're out of the saddle," Thompson explained just before the new class began last month. "Everyone is in sync, and we take people to a different place."
A forward motion video of trail and road rides throughout the world plays during the 45-minute class on a high definition 161-inch-diameter projection screen, with intervals of music videos and clips to keep the riders stimulated and motivated. Otherwise the room is black except for battery-operated candles.
"There will be scents in the room also," Thompson said. "People are constantly saying, 'I can't believe how great it smells in here.'"
Thompson taught a similar class in Newport Beach and remembers its popularity.
"It's been my dream for 10 years to bring it up here," she said. "It's a time to completely escape, to take all your senses and heighten them. When you are done you feel so invigorated it's like an endorphin rush."
"It's addicting," she continued. "People tend to come a lot. I saw people's bodies transformed. And it's so much fun. You're pushing yourself. People drop 10-15 pounds."
It's similar to a spin class in that it uses stationary bikes.
"It's a different take on it," Thompson said. "Our big thing that sets us apart is the video screen. For me, music drives you."
She said she's seen non-cyclists try it once, then rush out to buy cycling shoes, which is key to a successful session. Participants in the class were mostly up to age 45, she estimated.
"But I had a 65-year-old southern belle who sat two-thirds in the saddle," she recalled. "It's great for all body types, all fitness levels. You pull back when you have difficulty breathing."
"People with bad knees are saying, 'I can do this,'" she added.
"We are so excited to premier this unique class in Northern California, it was only offered in small boutique studios in big cities until now," said Channing Azzolino, owner of Club One Fitness.
"This intense cardio workout is done 'out of the saddle' with high energy, choreographed movements to engage your whole body," she summed up. "The use of hand weights during segments will give you a full body workout."
"Think 'dance party on a bike,'" she added.
"Cyclists love it, too," Thompson said. "It's challenging because you are out of the saddle more than in the saddle."
Sexy glow, or whatever you want to call it, people work up a sweat that Thompson likened to a light shining in their world.
"It centers your world, to bring in your mind, your spirit," she said.
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