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THE TRIP by Les Mills

I’d ask you to imagine an RPM class crossed with IMAX cinema.

But there’s no point, because Les Mills have ALREADY MADE IT HAPPEN!

I was lucky enough to experience it for myself at the launch of THE TRIP in Melbourne on the weekend.

From the brochure…

THE TRIP ™ IS A COMPLETELY NEW CYCLING EXPERIENCE THAT USES DIGITAL PROJECTION ON CINEMA SIZE SCREENS TO CREATE NEW WORLDS.
You might climb the side of an impossibly steep glacier, chase futuristic riders, sprint across lava flows or ride through a space age city. THE TRIP creates a visual sense of purpose to your workout. By suspending belief, you stop thinking about the workout and push yourself further.

In front of our bikes was a screen that curved from one side of the room to the other (like two small cinema screens next to each other). On to this enormous screen, two projectors brought to life different ‘worlds’ that we were to cycle through. If you think that sounds impressive, in Singapore there’s a spinning room with FIVE projectors on a screen that wraps most of the way around the room!

I won’t attempt to describe the worlds (the video above shows those that we passed through), the key was in the way the class progressed. At all times, you could see what was coming – steep climbs, small hills, downhills, steady pace, whatever. And, in some cases, you could see these things well into the distance, which gave a real sense of anticipation.

When you were on a climb, and I mean seeing and feeling like you’re on the climb, the ability to see the top of the hill encouraged you to keep going – even though there was no connection between your effort and how fast you got to the top.

Like any RPM class, you’re still responsible for creating your own resistance. Even so, it was crazy how the mind continues to try and over-ride what the body was feeling. At one point, I actually had a sensation of my (stationary) bike moving over a dip in the road!

At the extreme end of this sensation, in worlds that included full loops and curling courses, I had an occasional sense of mild dizziness.

A big part of the experience was the leadership of Chris Richardson. He took an inspiring class and, along with the music, reminded me what I loved about taking classes all those years ago.

What I find most exciting is not so much what it adds to the current indoor cycling experience, but what it has the potential to become. After-all, once the hardware is in place, the software will develop rapidly. There is no limit to the nature of the worlds that can be created. And I look forward to seeing where that takes us.

If you experienced THE TRIP over the FILEX weekend please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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