Spinning, or indoor cycling, is often misunderstood.
Some are intimidated and think it’s too intense for beginners, while others assume that the workout is purely cardio and zero strength training.
Introverts, on the other hand, are overwhelmed by the idea of spending 45 minutes working out beside people they barely know.
But Coconuts Manila found none of those to be true when we visited Perigon, the newest spin studio in Metro Manila, last week.
Unlike most spin studios in the metro which are located in business districts like Makati, Bonifacio Global City, and Ortigas, Perigon’s first branch is found in a residential area in San Juan City. It’s inside Santolan Town Plaza, which is more like an intimate community center than a mall.
In this case, the location makes all the difference. Perigon looks and feels like a hangout spot rather than a gym. It’s easy to imagine meeting up with neighbors for a class then heading down to the cafe below for a cup of coffee and some good conversation.
This probably won’t appeal to those who prefer working out near their office but it’s a treat for people living in the north who don’t want to drive through traffic early in the morning or during the weekend just to exercise.
The San Juan studio launches in February while another branch, this time in the south, will open in Alabang’s Festival Mall in March.
“[W]e’re very grungy, underground, and we’re very community-based as well,” co-founder Bryan Toh told Coconuts.
The space is indeed very grungy; the walls are bare and there’s hardly any furniture, save for the essential waiting benches, lockers, and chairs. It’s ‘grammable, for sure, but is a very unique aesthetic that could have easily given off a cold vibe. That’s not the case, though, as it’s balanced nicely with the very friendly team.
First-timers are guided right when they arrive — from how to use the bikes to lockers to putting on the special cycling shoes with cleats that attach to the bike’s pedals.
Coconuts attended a 45-minute session with their instructor Ytle Cruzado, who performed the choreographed ride while hyping us up with words of encouragement, backed by hip-hop beats.
The studio plans to launch six instructors, all with different styles and music preferences. Those who aren’t fans of hip-hop can try a class with pop music or even EDM, for example.
No lie — workout was intense, and will take some getting used to for beginners. Pedaling really is just the beginning as riders are made to switch the position of their arms and hands, moving from one handle to another. Coordination is key and following the beat of the music will really help.
There’s a lot of cardio involved but we were surprised to find the workout to be more holistic than we expected.
After about 20 minutes of non-stop HIIT (high-intensity interval training), we were asked to sit back down on the saddle for arm and ab exercises with a pair of weights. This was followed by even more cardio and closed with some stretching.
Riders were encouraged to push themselves but the instructor was encouraging and did not fail to remind us that every person’s limit is different.
“It’s not about how fast you spin, it’s about how it impacts your body specifically. So you just have to kind of listen to your body. So if you can’t do the choreography, just sit down but keep your legs rolling and keep hydrated,” Patrick Toh, Bryan’s brother and co-founder said.
Those who think they’d feel awkward will be comforted to know that lights are dimmed during the workout, making it a good opportunity to zone out and focus on yourself.
Right now, all classes run for 45 minutes each, but Perigon also plans to introduce hour-long classes and shorter workouts. They have 28 bikes and plan to have four to five classes a day.
Riders are required to be in the studio at least 15 minutes before their scheduled class (30 minutes for first-timers) to set up. And take note: no phones allowed during rides. No exceptions.
Their packages have yet to be released but the team said that they will have “competitive rates” compared to other spin studios in the city. For reference, other studios in Metro Manila average at around PHP1,200 (US$23.03) per ride.
Like other studios, Perigon will also have a credit system, which will be accessible through their app and website that is yet to be launched. Riders can book rides through these platforms and find more information about the instructors and class schedules.
Perigon opens in February; a specific date will be announced through their social media channels.