staying fit

Staying Fit: Les Mills The Trip is a visually enthralling spin

The fitness company’s latest offering features high-intensity cycling combined with an immersive multimedia element

Dwynn Trazo, Senior Infographic Artist
13:09 July 29, 2017
Widescreen imagery is incorporated in this cycle class for an immersive fitness experience
Working hard on the stationary bike and not even noticing it
The screen works as a visual cue and participants look on intently
Class participants with that adrenalin high after THE TRIP

Picture this, you’re cycling through sci-fi environments, exploring elaborate imaginary worlds full of elevations and turns where you power your way with legs spinning and heart racing. You’re dripping wet, cranking your gears up and burning tonnes of calories. The best part is, you don’t even realise it.

Ready to take that journey?

Les Mills’ The Trip at GFX Fitness Club is a spin class like no other. Its key component is a fully immersive audio-visual experience that will make your 45-minute workout fly by.

“It’s certainly no walk in the park … It lies somewhere between Cardio Peak Training and High-Intensity Interval Training, making for a pretty intense challenge.” says Les Mills Immersive Product Manager Chris Richardson.

Oh, no doubt, you have to work hard at The Trip! It’s great that everything about its set-up is conducive to an engaging experience, otherwise you’d be checking your phone.


A good first impression

Upon entering the indoor cycle facility, a large screen engulfs your vision and you’re immediately treated to hi-res CG imagery. This basically provides lighting for the entire room. The visual is coupled with booming sounds which ramp up your excitement and get you ready for a spin (pun intended).

The stationary bikes themselves are state-of-the-art and its pedals equipped with grooves that lock your footwear in place so you’re in no danger of losing grip. But all these are just sprinkles of goodies. The main attraction is the highly immersive workout that incorporates CG technology into fitness and puts it to effective use. Naturally, faultless timing is involved to produce a session. The music, the visual, the choice of tempo and the appropriate workload have to come together all at the same time.

The instructor sits alongside you, not in the front facing you. You hear the instructor shout out commands timed perfectly to the beat of the music and, of course, to the display you’re seeing on the wide screen. The Trip’s visual cues make a world of difference because you add in another level of psychology.

“When you’re looking at the top of that hill, you say to yourself, I’m not going to button off two seconds early, because if I do, everyone’s going to roll past me. Or I’m going to have to jump off my bike and walk it up the hill. Your subconscious really starts to believe the experience, and you can even go harder without realising because of that.” explains Richardson.

The Trip is literally adding a new dimension to exercise. We’re entering the phase of immersive fitness. Forget that it’s also backed by scientific research, what matters is your unique experience in a cycle class that pushes you maybe twice as hard without you knowing.

In the long run, err, cycle, that’ll lead you to much better and faster results in your fitness journey.

The Trip is offered at GFX Fitness Club, Business Bay. Packages start at Dh85 per class. For more info, visit