Spin class review: Virgin Active RPM

Where and when

Virgin Active, High Street Kensington, every Friday at lunchtime. The perfect end to a hard week/beginning to a weekend of indulgence. 

What’s the drill:

A 45-minute spin class staged under dim lights with intervals, climbs and sprints. 

The skinny

This is a tough spin class but it’s not to be feared — you’re invited to challenge yourself to make lasting changes to your fitness but you can also opt in or out of climbs as suits. 

Sweat count 

A lot. But it really depends on how much work you put in. You’ll definitely need water (lots of it) and a towel. 

The social network 

The lunchtime rush includes record-label execs and media types. There’s a steady stream of Kensington pensioners too. 


The very energetic Melissa. She’s motivating and really thorough when it comes to technique. 

She took time to explain positioning, which proved really helpful. 

What to pack 

The usual gym kit plus a pair of cleats if you want to look like a pro. Trainers are fine too. 

The sounds 

Everything from jungle to country. Plenty of variation.

Locker-room chat 

This Virgin Active has recently had a makeover so it’s all very clean and perky. There’s no need for a retro padlock as the wristband (used to sign in to the building) does the job. Products are Molton Brown and there are useful additions such as cotton pads to remove the mascara that streamed down your face during your workout. GHD straighteners and hairdryers are on offer. There’s also a sauna and steam room and a snazzy café offering healthy snacks and a place to catch up on emails.

Tips for first-timers

Arrive early and ask your instructor for help setting up. 

The afterburn

You’ll have jelly legs after your first few sessions and a bit of an ache in the derriere. Be sure to stick around for the cool-down. You’ll need it.


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