BOOM is Blooming | Eclectic Cake: BOOM is Blooming

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

BOOM is Blooming

Not content with burning up the legs of only East Londoners, BOOM Cycle has now expanded to a central location that boasts being the UK's largest standalone indoor cycling facility. So with plenty of room, the people of Holborn can experience their unique sweaty spin classes. One thing that makes BOOM different is it's nightclub atmosphere. You spin in the dark with only mirror balls for light and big beats pumping in your ears.

If you're lucky enough, those tunes will be DJ-ed live. Marcus was the first DJ to christen the decks at Holborn, I asked him just how you create a clubbing environment for a room full of sweaty lycra fans.

1) What are the main differences, if any, between DJing for a room of sober spinners and Saturday night revelers?
It’s different in some regards – I’m less likely to have a vodka red bull spilt over the decks when in the gym! But as Boom aims to create a bit of a ‘nightclub vibe’ for its classes, I can get away with playing more or less the same songs which I would normally play in a club. That said, in some ways I prefer DJing a spinning class, as I don’t have to worry so much about being uber-cool and trendy. The focus is much more on playing tracks that are great to exercise to. So I can play a few older tracks, or club classics, as well as a wider range of genres.

2) A normal DJ set has time to build over the night but a BOOM class is much shorter, how do you keep everyone going without shocking them with huge beats at the start or leaving them not quite satisfied at the end?

That’s a good point but it actually works perfectly with a spinning workout. Both require a warm up at the beginning, small sections in the middle incrementally building up to a big climax at the end. Most classes finish off with a really big hill, which means I can usually finish on a massive, high-energy song, just as a DJ normally would in a club. I usually DJ the BodyBLAST classes, which incorporate upper body workouts into the spinning session, and this mix of exercises means I can change the energy and tempo of the music to create movement and progression across the mix. I typically DJ the 1 hour classes, but Boom has regular 2 and 3 hour classes too, and I’d be really keen to have a go at one of these. Each segment would be a lot longer, which would give me more opportunity to play longer, deeper and more progressive tracks.

3) I imagine the greatest feedback you can get in a club is when people flood the dance floor. Are there any tell tell signs that spinners are really into the set?

Oh yeah totally! You can tell people are getting into it when they are following the instructor really closely and doing all the exercises in sync, it looks awesome. Plus people here really like to yell out “whoop!" and “boom!" when the music drops. I’ve had a few people dancing on their bikes too, but for safety reasons I can’t recommend doing that.

4) How does it feel to DJ to people strapped into their bikes rather than crazy dancers? Do you still get a buzz from it?

It’s actually a bit more intense. Although I don’t really get nervous for gigs, I feel more nerves playing here than I would at a club. The music is much clearer in the studio, and people are (rather counterintuitively) much more focused on the music. The heavy focus on music is one of the aspects of spinning which people find so attractive, and also why I enjoy DJing in classes. 

One of the great things about DJing in a club is that you can really let your creativity flow, and mixing tracks from your collection on-the-fly is a great feeling. With DJing a spinning class, the tracks have to be pre-arranged so that the instructor can structure the workout, which makes it less exciting for me. However I’m pretty confident that if an instructor and DJ have a really good connection, then it would be totally feasible to DJ a class on-the-fly.

5) Who sweats the most – spinners or ravers?
Haha, that depends on how good the air conditioning is. I’ve been a sweaty spinner and a sweaty raver plenty of times myself. But it is usually spinners - make sure you all stay hydrated, people!

If you fancy experiencing the Holborn BOOM atmosphere yourself, you'll have to wait until the last week of January but then you'll be treated with two weeks of free classes! Keep an eye out here for how to book.


  1. I always love the playlists at Boom! so it's great to see things from the DJs point of view.
    I can't wait to try out the Holborn studio ... looking forward to those free classes!

  2. I had such fun that evening :)

    ...great perspective for your write up!