Rave Cycle at Reebok Sports Club, Canary Wharf

April 21, 2015
Reebok Spin Studio

I was offered the chance to try a Rave Cycle class at the renowned Reebok Sports Club in Canary Wharf. Ohhh errr.

The concept ‘rave cycle’ had me thinking disco lights in time to the beat, team whooping and an immersive 45 minutes that felt more like a party than a workout. Maybe a disco ball if I was reaaalllly lucky. Excited.

So, I made the trip to the City (aka the foreign land where an office dress code exists and expensing a £2000 night out on the company credit card isn’t unheard of) resisting the urge to wear my rainbow headband a la this:

Jen Grieves Spinning

Eternally cool…

Behold, the promised land of gyms.

Reebok Reception

We ain’t in Kansas anymore

Christ. Billed as ‘one of Europe’s largest and most luxurious health clubs’, it certainly lived up to that at first glance. Gleaming and polished and positively reeking of wellness. Upon taking in the rather imposing entrance with high ceilings and lots of light, it occurred to me that the receptionist wasn’t in casual gym wear, but a full, crisp uniform. Just to give you some context, my gym doesn’t even have windows.

I was shown to the changing rooms, which I’m pretty sure were bigger than my entire gym. Carpets and soft furnishings and coat racks and TWO TYPES of straightener and more towels than any new born could ever wish for. I felt like I was in the gym equivalent of Willa Wonka’s chocolate factory. Though obviously, not a choccy bar in sight. Dewberry shampoo though? Sure. I mean, what exactly is a dewberry?

I hurriedly got changed, eager to see what else the gym had to offer. It was pretty much an oasis laid out in a labyrinth; a glass-fronted Crystal Maze if you will. Combat Zone, Free Weights Zone, Resistance Zone, Power Plate Zone, climbing wall… GOLF LAB. When I finally made it to the spin studio it was – unsurprisingly – a huge, sleek affair, with dozens of glistening bikes all waiting expectantly for you to hop on in your quest for those lean, toned arms/legs/abs that despite my best efforts, remain out of reach.

Reebok Spin Studio

Pick a bike, any bike…

Not knowing exactly what was to come from my imminent 45 minutes of raving, I took a fairly central bike a couple of rows from the front so I could get fully involved. The class was only about a quarter full when the teacher came in, but this was a biiiiiig room on a sunny Friday evening, so no judgement there. I was ready and PUMPED.

Then… it just fell a bit flat. No introduction, no excitement, no sense of being in a class with anyone else. It was, in the end, a very average 45 minute spin class with slightly louder music. At my tiny gym, the spin instructor I favour takes you through peaks and troughs, makes you feel like you’re part of something, and has you pushing until the very end when you eventually fall off the bike, chest heaving and dripping head to toe in sweat. In my mind an instructor like that is entirely integral to your motivation and grit, otherwise you really are just sat in a dark room, pedalling furiously to nowhere. Which is essentially what I did.

Don’t get me wrong I worked up a sweat, but with the expansion of more conceptual, dedicated spin centres like Psycle, SoulCycle and BOOM Cycle popping up all over the place, I felt that a class in such a well-conceived gym such as this might have just a little more to offer. Reebok need to pay attention because they certainly weren’t holding mine; I was in the room for the class, sure, but I wasn’t present. I was busy thinking about how much I wanted to go out and try the rest of the equipment. In fairness to them, they are currently promoting a new ‘Groove Cycle’ class which seems entirely designed to address this. I’m also impressed by the ‘Learn To Lift’ class on the timetable – with more and more females (rightly) appearing in the weights areas, this sort of provision is SO important for ladies who want to build strength, but perhaps don’t know where or how to start. The weights rack can be very intimidating, and I’ve certainly never been shown how to lift anything in the decade or so I’ve been paying some sort of membership fee in various gyms.

If I worked anywhere near Canary Wharf I would absolutely see the appeal in a gym like this. Every aspect of the experience has been thought of, and with prices starting at £128 per month for an individual membership, you certainly see why. Alongside the gym, pool and spa is an entire health centre, offering everything from hypnotherapy to laser treatment, all in one convenient, luxurious place. If you so desire, you can even have a healthy meal waiting for you post-workout, crafted by the restaurant next door. The very experience of being in a place like this would serve as enough motivation to get out of bed and go. But if when you get there the workout doesn’t encourage you to give it your all for 45 little minutes, is it worth the money? Perhaps, but I maybe need to go back and give another class a try. Even if it is just so I can bathe my fingers in the exclusive root ginger hand wash once more.

All club images courtesy of Reebok UK

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  • Reply Reebok gym member May 10, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    I have been a member at the Reebok Canary Wharf gym for 5 plus years and I was not surprised to about your comment that you felt neglected and lost concentration in the class. Unless you pay for a personal trainer don’t expect special treatment or anything more. You get the VIP treatment and friendly smiles when you sign up after that management simply don’t care. Reebok rarely have floor instructors and if you ask an instructor to assist you he will and they are very friendly but they check over their shoulders as management would rather have them pack towels or answer calls at a desk. And when you ask for help at the instructor desk even though you pay £128 per month they make you feel like they are doing you a favour. I have so many times seen members using a machine incorrectly so badly it can lead to injury and o have no issue giving a little advise where gym staff would just walk by. And then there is the closing time! They are so afraid you don’t leave on the minute when the gym close they actually disable the elevator 30 min before the gym close. And why do they close 7 pm on Saturdays and Sunday’s? Does not seem to me like we are valued customers when Virgin Active closes at 8:30. Reebok has the best facilities and equipment in the area but they can work on their people skills. The receptionists though are always friendly.

    As long as Reebok don’t get another gym offering the same or better I don’t see them changing their attitude.

  • Reply Emily Collins August 11, 2015 at 1:32 am

    dear Missjengrieves!
    I read your in depth review of the your Reebok Rave cycle in horror!- as these classes are two of my most beloved sessions that I teach at Reebok!
    – I was so concerned infact that I went back and checked my diary over the dates I think you may have attended class (I’m guessing it was the Friday before 21/04/15??- when you published your review?
    – if this is true- then I was away in Argentina for 2 weeks at my BF family Wedding! – and I’m so so sorry that you felt you didn’t get the ‘rave’ experience. That you hoped for.
    I did wonder when you wrote ‘the class was a 1/4 full’ – as usually my 17.45 fri session is full (ie- 88-92 & my second session about 50-60.
    I DJ house music& my family produce too(2 of us work in the music industry)
    I do a Nu- DJ mix each time I teach& pride myself on carrying all my participants on a total musical journey, using a wide selection of deep house/ breaks/D&B/African rhythms/Latino beats& twisted disco with- not to mention some hands-in-the-air rave classics! – all are delivered by me- with constant encouragement/drills /posture alignment reminders& a lot of laughter& banter too! I work with my mixes/drops/crescendos/light changes/vol changes constantly& I work with the music down to the last beat! All my classes are pre choreographed by myself, so creating a slick ride.. My nickname(not coined by me, I will add!!, is the ‘Annie Mac’ of Reebok! Infact my DJ name is E=MC2!
    If you would like to come back& try one of MY rave sessions- please do get in touch with me& I would be happy for you to come& review any of my class! – I created the rave- cycle idea on Friday nights. I am just about to run 4 Ibiza themed Friday eves(2 planned in Aug& 2 in Sept. SPACE/ DC10/PRIVILEGE& AMNESIA – maybe one of these fun nights would suit& Im planning a coloured dress code for each& a prize for the best dressed!!
    As I said before- I so sorry that my class didn’t come up to your expectations that evening& I will feed back this info to my bosses too, to ensure this situation never happens again.
    I will admit occasionally it can be very hard to find another specialist instructor to cover (especially a rave- cycle- as this is my creation& therefore my ‘baby’ so to speak..
    To add- I worked for Boom in Shorditch since it first opened its doors- a few years ago!!
    – I dropped my busy classes there over a year ago, as am just too busy& had to drop a few balls, I miss it so much tho, that I may well be back at some point!?- it’s a great place& Rob& Hilary (owners& friends of mine)have gone from strength2Strength! – I used to run regular Ibiza rides there/as well as live DJ rides& hip hop rides! I’ve done these at Reebok too! – another creation of mine has been my ELECTROSWING SPIN! And that will be returning this Autumn, as it was a great success!
    So, I hope to meet you soon!& sorry this comment is so long! (Music& teaching& my clients happiness is paramount to me tho, so I had to get in touch!
    In rude Health,
    Emily Collins (DJ/cycle instructor/road biker/triathlete/yoga teacher& all round nice girl for 23 years and counting!)

    • Reply missjengrieves August 11, 2015 at 9:30 am

      Hi Emily!
      Firstly thank you so much for commenting and replying – I almost felt like I’d missed something to be honest, I really felt excited for the class and the way it was billed, I did check after the class that I’d gone to the right room! I’m so pleased you’ve got in touch to explain this, as it seems I wasn’t experiencing a rave cycle at all which would make a lot of sense. I completely appreciate that you are very proud of your class and the concept – it sounds like you have put a lot of time and effort into curating it and I apologise for not accurately reflecting your class – although the instructor did not say it wasn’t the normal class. I would love to come along to a rave class and experience it as it sounds entirely wonderful and everything I could possible hope for from a rave cycle! Especially having just come back from Ibiza! If you drop me an email I would love to come and do an alternative review.

      Thanks so much, Jen xx

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