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Cool new fitness class


Did you start January with a vow to do something to counteract those 8,000 mince pies? Me too. But breaking out that neglected Lycra is flippin’ hard, especially when it’s cold and dark outside and Netflix is emiting its siren call. Maybe you started your new exercise regime, but aren’t yet convinced it’s the right one for you? Or maybe you’re still looking for something awesome, that’s going to get you in the kick ass shape of your life? Well, side step this way people, because I’m going to tell you all about Popcycle, a cool new class that’s not only a bit different – it takes place in a magnicient country mansion for a start – but one lucky Muddy Reader can WIN a block of 5 classes (worth £75)…

Popcycle is basically an über cool kind of Spin Class that aims to transform the way you look and feel in less than 1 hour. There’s loads of fat-burning cardio, hand weights and exercises that work every muscle, including the all-important core. The sessions vary, but some take place soley on bikes, and some (my favourites) are half on the bike and half mat exercises upstairs in the ballroom. Ballroom? Oh yes. The classes take place in Bayham Hall, a stunning 19th century manor house, that’s been converted into a contemporary space, which includes the Popcycle Spin, Pilates and Strength Studio. It’s a short, 15-minute drive from Tunbridge Wells just off the B2169 between Lamberhurst and Bells Yew Green. Here it is above, this is the view you get as you drive in.


Popcycle Instructor, Jaime Cooke, puts you through you paces

Pictured, above is Instructor, Jaime Cooke, a former Canadian figure skater, yoga instructor, oh and mum-of-three. She’s the perfect mix of inspiring/cool while being fully approachable. When she says: ‘Doesn’t that burn feel goooood?’ I almost forgive her.


Now I never thought of myself as a masochist. But I’m starting to wonder if there isn’t a little bit more Anastasia Steele about me than I’d previously realized. Because this class is tough, and yes sometimes slightly punishing, but boy do I enjoy it. My body has transformed in a matter of weeks. And, truth be told, *whispers it* I actually find it quite fun (oh, the shame). It takes place in a brick vaulted-ceiling basement (see, very Fifty Shades). Well, okay, it’s actually a pretty funky space – with neon sound-responsive lighting, and booming music. Here we are in action, above.


After around half an hour on the bikes we head upstairs to the ballroom for some mat work. This two-part combination gives a head-to-toe workout which should *crosses fingers* tone you all over. Another great aspect of the bike / mat combo is that while it’s high intensity, it’s also low impact, so if you have a dodgy knee, like me, (blame the stilettos) you can still do this class, no problem (although if you have any injuries  I highly recommend you mention it to your Instructor first)… So here’s piccies of the Ballroom.


Classes are also massively convenient and aimed to fit in with your commitments, rather than the other way round. Sessions run 6 days a week and all can be booked easily and quickly online. No contracts, no hassle. Or, if you can’t make a specific class time, and you can afford it, there’s even private 1:1 session’s available.

A Drop in session will cost you £15, or book a block of 10 Studio Classes for £120 (for unlimited sessions it’s £150 per month). And, for the super keen, there’s monthly Live DJ Rides too (these sound a little too hard core for me, but each to their own…) It’s not just the Spin classes available at the Popcycle Studios, there’s also Pilates and Strength classes too such as Barre and HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts for all over toning.


And this is the view of the ceiling, below, I got while doing my tummy crunches. Not too shabby, eh?

There’s not a lot that tempts me off the sofa in this arctic weather, but if I’m going to exercise, a view like this out the window, below, makes it just about worth it. (No, that’s not an instrument of torture, in the photo, I believe it is for the Pilates class).


So, if you’re looking for something that pushes you to your limits, is fun and addictive and takes place in a cellar, then this could be the class for you. It could also just get you in the best shape of your life, as well as help you clear your head. I’ve even met some great friends along the way.


COMPETITION TIME! Popcycle are offering Muddy Readers an exclusive prize – the chance to WIN a block of 5 Spin Classes, worth £75. Click here, for full details on how to enter – it literally takes a few seconds!

Popcycle, Bayham Hall, Lamberhurst, Kent, TN3 8BG, Tel: 0773 958 0932, email

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