Zouk Singapore x Absolute Cycle review: What it’s really like to attend a spin class at a club
Feels like home
After nearly a year of not stepping foot into Zouk Singapore, entering the club again — for a spin class, no less — was a strange amalgamation of trepidation and nostalgia. For those still unaware, Zouk Singapore has now been transformed into a spin class by day, and cinema club by night. This comes after converting their Capital lounge into a dining space dubbed Capital Kitchen, following pandemic restrictions on clubs and night spots. The new spin studio concept is in partnership with leading rhythm cycling studio, Absolute Cycle.
The adaptation from club to spin studio starts from outside Zouk, where snaking lines were once formed by eager clubbers raring to hit the dance floor. In stark contrast, queues are now formed under broad daylight, and instead of asking for identification cards, the bouncer-like guard (no change there, I guess) was asking me to scan my TraceTogether app. Perhaps what's even zanier is the fact that everyone stepping through the doors of Zouk were fitted out top-to-toe in workout clothes, bare-faced, instead of the usual dress-to-impress get-up.
The sense of old and new is no less different inside the club. Gone were the large dancing spaces where you'd spot the dance floor crowd squeezing and destroying any notions of personal space. In its place — around 50 bikes that were spaced apart and spanned both upper and lower floors. The intention, however, is synonymous as before. The main goal: getting you to sweat it out on the dance floor.
For spin class novices like myself, any sense of apprehensiveness will dissipate once the class starts. You'll be led through each and every step, from knowing how to alter the resistance levels to adjusting the bike for your individual needs and preferences. And if, like me, you have the memory of a goldfish and fail to retain the instructions, instructors around the room will come to your rescue. Upon clipping your spin shoes to the bike, the session kicks off with intense fervour, accompanied by upbeat music to spark your adrenaline. The familiar dance floor music adds on to the nostalgia, except this time you aren't awkwardly swaying your hips to the beat — you're riding it out on your bike. Sprint intervals aside, the class contains a mix of both lower-paced sitting cycles and higher-intensity standing cycles.
But don't be fooled into thinking that the spin session is solely for your legs. Just when I let my guard down, I was introduced to a rather effective distraction from the burn in my quads. At Zouk's spin class, the pedalling is mixed with an intense workout for your arms. Besides on-bike handlebar push-ups, weights are also provided for drills like bicep curls and tricep extensions. Of course, you're encouraged to go at your own pace throughout. Your instructor will guide you on when to crank up the bike resistance level and when to dial it down, and you can essentially go at your own speed whilst pedalling. Before you know it, the high-intensity session lasting 45 minutes will come to an end. Perhaps the only gripe is that due to the number of bikes spanning both upper and lower floors, it's difficult for the instructor to help you correct your form on the bikes, especially for spin class beginners.
Make no mistake, this spin class might take place in a club, but it's no less intense than a regular spin class at a cycling studio. The pulsating lights and heart-pumping beats might disguise the session with similarities to a dancing night out, but the muscle aches and wobbly legs that you'll have leaving the club (sans any alcohol) is enough proof for that.