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Cycling for a better cause

Fundraising for children with cancer

The focus and main purpose of these TRN bike events is to raise money for children with cancer. At the same time, however, TRN also sets out to create the best indoor bike events possible. That starts with the perfect location: a sports arena with suitable space and service facilities to ensure everything runs smoothly. Then add top-level instructors who create the atmosphere, supported with great sound, lighting, pyrotechnics and confetti.

The idea is to create an event – a show – that feels almost like going to a 12-hour festival or concert. The main difference: you won’t need any artificial stimulants to keep you going for the full 12 hours… just a lot of energy and BIG smiles!

TRN charity event cycling girl

Unsurprisingly it’s hugely popular, as organizer Dennis Marquardt explains: “TRN is a highly acclaimed indoor bike event. Selling all 280 seats in just four hours says it all. We are very proud.”

“No-one delivers a show like this!” enthuses indoor cycling instructor Jesper Skovhave, and fellow cycling instructor Karsten Krause agrees: “I have never experienced an event like this!”

At TRN’s ‘The BIG One’ in Aalborg, Denmark, 1,100 people clicked themselves into those pedals, generated a massive amount of wattage and got their hearts pumping for a good cause, raising €26,000 for the Danish Children Cancer Foundation.

TRN dreaming BIGGER

3 years ago, The TRN organizers where planning their first indoor bike event. At the time they are doing 2 events a year. They have come a long way. Raising money for Children´s Cancer Fund and creating a successful event of a certain scale. But that won’t stop them from dreaming of an even BIGGER event. Let’s see where they will bring TRN Bike Events in 2019?

TRN indoor cycling event

Boutique cycle

Boutique cycling in Australia will no doubt follow a similar trend to that of North America, Europe and now in the Middle East, delivering fitness experiences in much the same specialized yet very individualized way as many of the great brands that have already been established in those markets such as Peloton, Soul Cycle & Cycle Bar.

Three examples of boutique indoor cycling

Australia is both the Earth’s smallest continent and the world’s largest island. The breadth of this land can be captured by three prime examples of how boutique indoor cycling is being done: The CUBE in Brisbane on the east coast; Studio360Cycle in the central south coast’s Adelaide; and Flyrider Republic in Perth on the west coast. That’s 4000km from east to west, yet all very Australian.

All three have their own take on what indoor cycling can be in their market. All are quite different in their approach when it comes to the programing offered. Yet all are underpinned by an identical passion of an owner and staff who believe in what they are doing.

Technology also claims its place in all three centers, though each does it differently.


The CUBE invested in SPIVY software with its 3D visualization system that places riders on a virtual road, with a big focus on delivering inclusive, cycling-inspired classes with a mix of freestyle and Les Mills workouts.

Studio360Cycle in Adelaide has developed its own cycling app, and its cycles have small tablets attached which allow the instructors to coach participants through ranges of cadence and levels of resistance – all done with amazing music booming out from a very high-end sound system. The tiered, circular studio is a first and if the success of the early days is anything to go by, it will not be the last.

Flyrider Republic in Perth has a blend of Freestyle cycle classes of 30-, 45-, 60- and even 90-minute duration. Its technology is capable of everything from simple heart rate tracking through to cycling as an animated competitor within a cycling race. The studio also pairs cycling with boxing to create something truly unique, and a real challenge for those looking to mix things up: you spend time on the bike before dismounting to go toe-to-toe with a wall-mounted punching buddy.

big box fitness indoor cycling

What it takes

Owners of boutiques cycle studios come frommany backgrounds, from former workers from within the ‘big box’ fitness centers – who have left that crazy hustle and bustle in order to, as they see it, do it better than could possibly be done – to ex-corporates looking to use their business expertise and fitness passion to create more than just a job.

But the success of the boutiques is not only down to these inspired owners, who with vision and drive created these businesses from a blank piece of paper. It’s also down to up-to-date instructors who act as amazing role models,
delivering great workouts that offer so much for so many; and to excellent front desk staff, who as the first point of contact can make or break an experience for a customer.

As boutique cycling continues to grow in Australia, the range of what is offered to customers will continue to evolve, with amazingly shaped studios featuring incredible lighting, cinema quality sound, engaging technologies and first-class instructors playing skin-tingling music – all resulting in a workout that will make us all sweat while also making us smile. It will be exciting to see what happens next Down Under….


The opening of indoor cycling studio Campcycle at Fitnesscamp Westerwald on 27 December 2017 was a great success, exceeding the expectations of both customers and the company.

The launch event featured three fully booked indoor cycling classes – two RPM classes and one Sprint class – which were planned in collaboration with Les Mills Classes. In addition, all of FitnessCamp’s indoor cycling trainers worked together as a team to do a warm-up with participants. The members were also provided with free drinks and food to celebrate the special occasion.

Kept under wraps

The new Campcycle studio was kept closed to everyone until the launch day, so it would be a surprise to members: the club team wanted them to be thrilled by the transformation of the room. And so they were, for very good reason…
The first step in creating Campcycle involved coming up with the new concept and planning the purchase of new bikes. The idea was to create a ‘club in club’ concept – a whole new world of experience that stood out within Fitnesscamp, featuring great trainers in an impressive environment.

“The idea to give the room the design of an old factory building came from my wife Alexandra, who joined the company in 1995. She runs the studio with me and is group fitness manager at the Westerwald fitnesscamp,” said club owner Jochen Martin. “Her ideas were supported by HDD Group Deutschland, Les Mills Germany, SOTA STATE OF THE ART GMBH, as well as many specialised and flexible craftsmen from our region. This objective came to life bit by bit over the six weeks of the building project.”

A perfect model

Campcycle is now characterised by its structure and design, the lighting and music system, top-quality bikes and Fitnesscamp Westerwald’s team of highly qualified, motivated employees.

indoor cycling fitnesscamp

“Our many years of experience in the field of indoor cycling have prompted us to choose Body Bikes,” continued Jochen. “We were convinced by the bikes’ quality, durability, modern technology – including the Body Bike app – and easy handling.

“We offer pre-choreographed hours of Les Mills – RPM and Sprint – as well as freestyle hours.

“Having now used the studio for a few months, we can safely say we would plan it again without any changes. Our members are enthusiastic and compliment us with positive word-of-mouth advertising and their participation in the indoor cycling lessons.”

He concludes: “Going forward, Alexandra and I would like to continue our work with passion, enthusiasm and pleasure.”

Welcome to Cockburn Arc!

Modern council facilities tend to be massive. You can expect a gym floor with state of the art equipment, group fitness studios with sound systems to rival most cinemas, basketball, netball, badminton, volleyball and indoor football courts, plus cafés and clothing stores – let alone the pool facilities that now have giant slides that begin high above the building’s roof and twirl their way down to an indoor plunge pool. It is a children’s paradise (mums and dads secretly love it too!)

ARC has it all!

About 25 minutes south of Perth and only a few kilometers from the white sandy beaches of Western Australia, the city of Cockburn opened Cockburn ARC in 2017 – an A$109m community facility that in less than 12 months already has one of the biggest memberships in Australia, with close to 10,000 people signed up to use its facilities.

It features grass fields for Australian Football (AFL), timber court after timber court, a full-size swimming pool, plus many other smaller pools for infants and beginner swimmers as well as a giant water slide that’s visible from the next suburb. A café serving great coffee allows you to order off a sit-down menu – perhaps after you have been upstairs in either the state of the art gym or in one of the many group fitness classes on offer, courtesy of the three studios including a cycle space with 50 Body Bike Smart+.

The bar is high

As amazing as this facility is, it is not especially unusual. Australia is a nation that likes being active, with a population who enjoy the outdoors, the sea, the sun, the fun of fitness.

Facilities like Cockburn ARC are community centers by definition, but ‘community’ is where their strength lies. They say there is strength in numbers, and it’s true that centers like this become an integral part of the community for many people.

When a local government makes the decision to develop something of such a high standard as Cockburn ARC, you can be sure it has raised the bar for all of Australia. Perhaps it will even influence developments in other countries, showing how it can be done. Let’s see if it will catch on….


James Lamb

Because not only is James a good team player, but he also had the drive to jump in and do what not many other indoor cycling instructors were doing: he started to train on indoor cycles that measured power. “It was tough training, but the power profiling allowed me to learn my capabilities from different energy systems,” explains James.

Lightbulb moment

A few months after this, James had a lightbulb moment. As luck would have it, a new facility opened on the northern side of Sydney Harbour with 20 indoor cycles just like the one he rode those few months before. He took up a position as an instructor and that allowed him, he says, “to install a training system from the beginning”. The learning curve was steep at times, relying on trial and error, but as he smoothed out the bumps his expertise was growing – and he knew it.

During this time, he was offered and took up a position as head coach for one of Sydney’s high-end cycling training facilities. Here he was set free to play with all the latest gadgets. He also had the opportunity to work with elite athletes and inspired individuals, all looking for that one-on-one service with an aim to get stronger, fitter and faster. His approach was to use the science of training with power to help them achieve these goals.

“It is so important to test your riders and program their training zones.”

“Power training can be used as a part of any fitness plan,” he says. “Indeed, two riders could be in the same studio, riding next to each other, yet training in a slightly different way for completely different goals – and they would still both enjoy the challenge, the energy, the motivation, the great music and the expertise of their power training-savvy indoor cycling instructor.”

Functional Treshold Power

FTP is the highest average power a rider can sustain for an hour, measured in watts. It’s used to set training zones when using a power meter and allows improvement to be measured.
James gives really clear advice for people who are thinking about training with power: “It’s so important to test your riders and program their training zones.”
He continues: “Training with power throws up as many numbers as it does opinions on what’s important, but I believe the starting point is the same: Functional Threshold Power. FTP will now program your training zones and quantify your level of fitness. That is the best starting point in my books.”

Hammer or nail

When people are interested in the numbers – perhaps they have read about FTP, seen it or been told about it – there is, says James, a responsibility to help them understand the basics as soon as practical, so they build a level of competency and instructors feel they have some buy-in from the participant.

Once that has been achieved, the path riders will take will be an interesting one. James smiles as he explains: “Training with power will create as many lightbulb moments as it will pose questions. It’s a real ‘hammer or nail’ experience training with power meaning some days you will feel amazing and be on top of your training goals (the Hammer), while other days you will wonder why you even bothered going to the training session because nothing is going to plan (the Nail). You need to enjoy the days you are the hammer – and good luck when you are the nail!”

cycling training road

He also recommends re-testing every few months to see the gains that have been achieved – but even more importantly, so you can make adjustments to your zones so you continue to get the most out of every session on the bike.

Last word

A good coach with knowledge of how to train with power will help riders see improvements in their fitness and that will excite people as they feel and look better. Yet a great coach with expertise will also educating them on how and why it is happening and that gives riders that extra reason to keep going, knowing even more improvement is just around the corner.

The HIIT man

He has truly found his niche, led by his passion for all things health and fitness – and especially group fitness, where he’s spent years getting his hands dirty, working at the highest international level in two fitness programs for Les Mills, as well as at a national level for a third program. Not only that but he’s also a local, community-minded manager of a fitness facility in his home town on Australia’s Sunshine Coast.

Over the last few years, Dallas’ real strength emerged as a leader of all things HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). Les Mills SPRINT and GRIT are the programs he heads in Australia, and he does this leading from the front, appearing in two international Les Mills SPRINT educational DVDs and 2 RPM DVDs.

Dallas describes HIIT as being “as beneficial as it is simple – an opportunity to absolutely test your individual fitness in real time, with the benefit of some excellent fitness gains”.
He empowers his members to find their limits in order to self-assess and self-measure. He is also a believer in allowing his participants – who range from competitive athletes to people getting back to exercise to shed some excess body fat – to make their HIIT experience as serious or as fun as they like, and he sees his job as a HIIT coach as one of engagement, information sharing, educating and motivating.

Dallas blacklaw cycling group

HIIT mass appeal

When HIIT on a bike is mentioned, his eyes light up. As much as HIIT can be done within many different spaces, using any number of fitness tools – from body weight to rowers, treadmills, kettlebells, slam balls, battle ropes, plyo boxes, barbells and the like – it is the use of an indoor cycle in his chosen program, Les Mills Sprint, that he believes will give this form of training a broader, more mass appeal. This is, he says, thanks to the minimal impact of riding a cycle when compared to the high demands placed on the body with any repetitive impact, as well as through any exercises in which movement patterns can suffer as fatigue grows.


The reward for Dallas, as a Les Mills Sprint Coach, come with the victories his participants experience when they begin to reach levels of intensity on the bike that they could only have dreamed about at the start of their fitness journey.

The physical benefits of Les Mills Sprint are well documented, including improved leg strength, body fat composition and cardiovascular health markers. From Dallas’ experience, another benefit is a boost in people’s confidence and ability to take more control over their own health and fitness.

Dallas Blacklaw HITT Group

How about technology

When asked about technology, Dallas notes that heart rate tracking is a powerful tool for a good number of his members. In addition, tracking energy expenditure is viewed positively – a good tool once members leave the gym, allowing them to later reflect on how they performed.

Technologies that can showcase data – like a rider’s power and heart rate on a screen – is something Dallas also sees as an evolving part of the way HIIT will be delivered. “Watch this space!” he adds.

Get the best you can

In asking Dallas for any advice on what makes a great HIIT space, he is quick to note that great equipment makes a huge difference. From flooring to racks to kettle bells to bikes, you need to get the best you can.
This is especially the case when it comes to bikes, he says, with more power and load and wattage being applied to cycles than ever before. Bikes need to be strong. Don’t compromise. It is only through providing high quality equipment that you can help your members get the most out of every HIIT session they do.

He finishes with this comment: “HIIT rarely gets easier, but you will most definitely get stronger, leaner and be more mentally aware of your physical capabilities.

“Oh, and remember to have fun as you HIIT!”

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