Spin studios are engaged in a distraction and spectacle arms race- more flashing lights, louder sound, wilder ‘dance moves’, less clothing, more Victoria’s Secret models.
Every day a new studio opens somewhere with some new shiny thing to better entertain you and distract you from what you’re actually doing. With each turn of the ratchet there’s no going back since what was distracting before ultimately fails to achieve the same effect and becomes boring over time. Now you need even more external stimulation to get the same distraction effect.
Sound like a drug addiction to you? That’s because it is.
Our world is already filled with distractions- we’re addicted to our phones and the television and Netflix as a way to avoid being present with ourselves and our thoughts. When is the last time we just sat and observed the world around without checking our phones for a dopamine hit of virtual ‘connection’?
So rather than teaching how to cycle with with good form and tuning into the body we see how the #1 Spin chain in the world brags that rather than hiring certified and knowledgable instructors, they look for actors and models who can put on a good show. They make up dangerous ‘dance moves’, ‘teach’ ‘push ups’ and ‘around the worlds’ on a bike and generally have no idea how to use a bike to get fit. But hey, it’s a performance and we have hot eye candy!
Imagine, if you can, yoga studios bragging that they don’t want any teachers who have, you know, actually studied yoga and are certified in yoga instruction.
As Maria Popova has written in her excellent Brain Pickings blog
“we find ourselves immersed in a culture that increasingly mistakes loudness for authority, vociferousness for voice, screaming for substance.”
There is no better description of what SoulCycle and their many, many carbon copies have done to the culture of Spinning exercise.
Any athlete will tell you, the focus on the movement and the form as a way of quieting the mind is the point….. finding peace and getting into the zone is the payoff.
So what does an ethical studio or Spinning program do? As Seth Godin has so beautifully written…
“Giving the people what they want…isn’t nearly as powerful as teaching people what they need.There’s always a shortcut available, a way to be a little more ironic, cheaper, more instantly understandable. There’s the chance to play into our desire to be entertained and distracted, regardless of the cost.”
Revocycle is teaching Spin culture what it needs. Rather than hiring model and actor performers and packaging it with spectacle and distraction, we go the opposite way. We hire knowledgeable and self-aware instructors who have a genuine desire to teach people what they need in order to get fit- and how to do it safely.
Every day we teach riders-and the culture at large- beautiful form and how to quiet the mind to get into the flow state.