Certified Schwinn Spin instructor David Finnimore has opened rhythm riding studio Cycology Club in Sydney’s Surry Hills. Finnimore created the concept and club in response to the proven correlation between cardiovascular activity and mental health and wellbeing. “I wanted to create a space where people can disconnect from their daily lives and shift the focus inward and invest in their own personal goals amongst a like-minded community,” says David. “I believe we’ve created a program, and hopefully a lifestyle habit, that unites health, happiness and mental wellbeing”.
We caught up with David to discuss what Cycology is all about.
You are a Certified Schwinn Spin instructor – what does that mean?
It’s a specific indoor cycling accreditation that is recognised globally. I was certified in Toronto, Canada.
When did you become interested in the connection between cardiovascular activity and mental health and wellbeing?
When I was living in Hong Kong. As an expat living a rather hedonistic life my mental health and overall wellbeing began to suffer. Through my training I quickly learned that many of my mental health concerns could be managed through intensive cardiovascular activity and I quickly became fairly passionate about the topic.
Is this how Cycology began? What inspired you to create this initiative?
Yes and no. I had a fairly tragic set of circumstances while in Hong Kong where my apartment burnt down while I was inside and I was fairly lucky to survive. After that experience, I knew that life was too short not to pursue what I was passionate about so I moved back home to Sydney to start Cycology, and hence the name.
Cycology combines cycling with upper and lower body routines and muscle-building exercises. Is a full body workout like this the best way to improve mental health and wellbeing?
Any type of physical activity can only be of benefit to one’s overall health. Intense cardiovascular activity like we do at Cycology Club stimulates chemicals that improve your mood and the parts of the brain responsible for memory and learning. It’s my personal experience that there are many elements that occur while exercising that improve health and overall wellbeing. A sense of community and training in a group fitness environment also adds to the equation in addition to the exercise itself.
What is a good alternative for someone who requires less intensive exercise?
Any type of cardiovascular activity preferably in a team or group environment will do the trick. Failing that, it could be as simple as a daily walk, swim or run – anything that gets the blood flowing and mind active for a regular, sustained period of time.
What are other benefits of Cycology?
The collective sense of our community “off the bike” is something that we take great pride in. Our riders are mostly like-minded individuals and when they are on the “high” that we generate in class there is nothing that they can’t achieve. While we focus purely on the way our clients feel after they ride with us, when you burn between 800-1200 calories per session this does have an impact on your physical appearance as well.
How often should someone do Cycology or similar forms of cardiovascular exercise to get the best results?
We recommend anywhere between 3-5 times a week depending on your goals and other elements of training. We have some clients who realise the benefits of riding by only attending once a week. It’s often more about when you need that time back for yourself to disconnect and ride the high.