Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Wednesday Giveaway!

Shanghai is China's most populus city, and at an estimated 23.9 million people, it's the largest city in the world. And I estimate that there are at least that many bikes in this town.
Yet, if you want to ride anything more than your townie, good luck. Between dodging forklifts, electric bikes, motorbikes, taxis, buses, people and other bikes, you are not going to get a decent workout on two wheels in this city. Lots of foreigners give up the idea of cycling in Shanghai entirely!
And unless your bike is held together by rust, then it’s only a matter of time before it gets stolen if you do try to ride (to the Boxing Cat Brewery that is).

After being in Shanghai for 18 months, the Shanghai bike dichotomy was one that was getting me down big time. After all, I’m a girl who LOVES her bike.
And so the night a friend introduced me to Spinback Fitness in the French Concession was a pretty damn good one. I still remember my first class with owner, Jon. I had the best time, and me and the other two ladies I worked out with that night left on a massive high.  We coudln’t stop talking about how great it was to have finally find somewhere in Shanghai with proper instructors, proper bikes and not some Mickey Mouse gimmicky class.

For the sake of non-Shanghai expats, I will explain just a little. Shanghai gyms are not like gyms anywhere else I've been. 
For example, the first gym I joined in Jing An used to have instructors who smoked cigarettes while you were working out. And then the person trying to sign me up tried to use it as a selling point that I’d get a free session with one of those smoking personal trainer if I'd only sign that day.  No thanks!
Another time I was running on a treadmill, and someone came along and started cleaning it while I was actually using the machine. This was despite the fact that the rest of the gym was entirely empty. 
And then there’s the spitting in swimming pools.  So gross.
And so finding Spinback Fittness was such a great thing because these people actually had a clue about what they were doing.
The lovely Jen.

It was a relief to go to normal classes, with normal (actually, better) standards of hygiene than you come to expect outside of China.  But even better than that, there was one crucial difference. The owners, Jon and his fiance, Jen are committed to a high level of personal service. Not only are the class sizes kept small (you aren’t jammed into an underground den with someone else’s butt in your face and sweat running down the walls) but Jon and Jen and all the instructors actually take the time to get to know you. By understanding your fitness goals they better tailor the classes so that you can achieve what you want from your 50 minute workout.
And because Jon comes from an exercise physiology background, he really knows his stuff. But he also knows that we are not all professional athletes, which helps in setting realistic and achievable goals.

Readers, I must come clean with you at this point. I loved the first classes that I took with Jon and then Jen so much, that I applied for a job at Spinback.

Luckily for me, Jon and Jen said yes. And I started working for them.

And it was one of the most fun jobs I’ve ever had. (My favourite jobs that  I’ve had in my life have seemed to involve bikes in one way or another – first at Cheeky Monkey Multisport, now Cheeky Velosport in Randwick as the “bike chick”, and then as a spin instructor. All that money and time spent at law school was a really worthwhile investment… not!)

Finally, working at Spinback, I was able to get my “bike fix” – something I'd basically given up on in Shanghai. Despite living in what has got to be one of the world’s most urban cities, the cycling dream was never too far away.

I love Spinback, where actually, it is all about the bike. The instructors bring a wealth of experience – from National and World Champion (Simone), to crazy ultra-marathoners (Nourredine) to impeccable Dutch cycling pedigree (Dirk). The faciltiies are cutting edge, but the best bit is that even though you are exercising, it’s still about having a good time. They regularly host Spin and Sin classes where you was a hard workout down with a beer. They have heaps of cool events, for example during Halloween,  there were spooky fun spins. And being the phalanthropic types that they are, Jon and Jen reguarlly host fundraising events, such as the recent Spinathon that raised R23.5K for Shanghai Sunrise. You get to workout and feel good for so many reasons! 
Spinning for a great cause!
And if you don't believe me about how this is honestly the best workout in Shanghai (hey, I am a little biased) I dare you to prove me wrong.

Today we have a Special Giveaway here at Dim Sum and Long Runs.....

The first person to answer this question correctly will win a FREE SPIN.

What's the optimal range to get your heart rate for the most efficient fat burning?

Please email your answers with "Spinback Fitness" as the title.

For more details on location, class times and prices, click here.

It's also worth checking out the Spinback Fitness website for tons of Free Fitness tips


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