How indoor cycling helped spin instructor Pia Lopa find a community of her own

Photos by GIAN NICDAO

 

In the many years that I have been active in the gym or fitness studios, I’ve only cried once. And no, not in pain, but in some sort of enlightened feeling. I was having a particularly difficult week at work when I decided to drop by to a random spin class in Electric Studio. The usual routine whizzed by: they tell you to tap back, spin faster, dance to Carly Rae, the works. But during the last sprint, they played meditative music and dimmed the lights almost to complete darkness that you’d only see the electric candlelight shimmering. Our instructor told us to let go of the day thus far and to focus on what’s ahead of us. She told us words of affirmation I hadn’t heard in a long time. Those words echoed and bounced in my head then bam! Waterworks. 

Crying while cycling wasn’t ideal but I’d do it all over again. After the class, I felt at ease and completely drained of negative energy. Maybe that’s why spin instructors always look like they’re bouncing balls of positive energy; they literally sweat out the toxins, including bad juju. This is the exact same energy I got when I talked to Pia Lopa of Electric Studio. She’s the current studio manager of Electric Studio BGC and has been a spin instructor for four years. For her, a class isn’t just a workout but a shared experience with her riders that she wants to improve every time they clip in. They’re dedicated to upgrading this experience each time that they even brought in new bikes. 

We got to chat after one sweaty and enlightening spin class about the magic of spinning and their new and improved magnetic bikes. 

 

YOUNG STAR: What made you decide to become an instructor?

PIA LOPA: I didn’t know that there’s such as thing as indoor cycling. I was a cheerleader back then so I like dancing but I was never the person who would say “let’s do this choreography!” Leading, basically. But I trained for it, and eventually fell in love with it. Being an instructor gives a lot. It’s not just physical, but mentally as well. It’s a good journey actually. 

In my four years of teaching, I realized that a class isn’t a workout. Most of the people in my life right now are people whom I met here in Electric. It doesn’t only help me mentally and physically grow as a person. Knowing that I’m also helping other people — that’s the eternal thought that we instructors have. Being able to share whatever vibe I have. I don’t know what vibe I have but people say it’s contagious. (Laughs)

Studio manager Pia Lopa introduces us to the new and improved bikes of Electric Studio BGC.

What’s the biggest misconception you’ve heard about spin so far?

That Electric is cycling and not spin. Spinning is regular spinning in a gym, like a normal class. We’re cycling in a sense that we try to give you an outdoor physical experience but indoors. It’s also a big misconception the people think it’s easy a.k.a. men. (Laughs) I’m not gonna blame them. Cause there are some men who like gyms and weights. Any workout, whatever workout fits you, right? 

 

Electric Studio recently launched new bikes in BGC. What’s different about them?

Any time with Electric is about growth, innovating and being the pioneers in this country. We always want to give that new sense of feeling. With that in our minds, we were like, “Okay, how can we make Electric for everyone?” Words can just be words, ideas will be ideas if you don’t put action to it. I think having new bikes is one action to making the whole thing better. You can really customize it to your own being. The old bikes, you can only adjust it up and down, left and right. But this one has so many options. The handle bar and the saddle, it has a lot of measurements. It’s easier and it’s more efficient, especially the wheel. Now it’s magnetic and it gives that smoother feel. 

This is how I describe it to people: our roads are malubak right? You know how it feels when you’re on new asphalt? That’s how it feels. It makes you feel less like, “Schucks, will this stay with me?” 

 

“Words can just be words, ideas will be ideas if you don’t put action to it.”

 

The biggest difference between the bikes in Electric and all the other studios is that you guys don’t have monitors on your bikes. Why is that?

The reason we don’t have monitors is because at the end of the day, we don’t see it as a workout. I mean, it is a workout but it’s not what we prioritize. At the end of the day, we want you to sweat, but we don’t see the point of you counting down how far you’ve gone or the meters or the RPM. For us, it doesn’t matter how fast or slow you’re going, what matters is that you keep going and you keep telling yourself that whatever challenge that comes your way, you’ll be able to do it. Every ride, we want you to choose for yourself and not us choosing for you. It really all depends on you. We want you to go through that journey and experience not because of a meter, but because you’re telling yourself that you can go faster. 

 

 

Follow @teamelectricph on Instagram and visit electricstudio.ph for updates.

Tags:
#culture #fitness #sports

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