Updated 27 October 2015

Exclusive interview with Nichelle Hines of Hollywood Cycle

Cycle House’s Chief Riding Officer and Lead Instructor Nichelle Hines is intense, unapologetic, direct and always gets her way… no matter what it takes. Health24 chatted to her about cycling, motivation and intensity.


You either love Hollywood Cycle, or you hate. Or maybe you simply don't watch TV and haven't heard of it.

But, if you have, and you love it, you're no doubt hooked onto the drama and energy that the cutthroat American TV series has brought straight out of Los Angeles to our homes.

The series, presented by Nichelle Hines, centres around the famous LA studio, Cycle House, and introduces viewers to their top instructors and devoted trainees, who keep riders tapping it back on cue.

The six, hour-long episodes have given viewers a prized front row seat in the dark, rhythm-filled studio as well as an inside look at their high drama, and always complicated, personal lives.

Amy Froneman, a kettle belle instructor from Cape Town, asked the Chief Riding Officer, Nichelle Hines, what makes her fitness tick:

1.       How did you get started in spinning?

One day at the gym I was attending in late 2008, an instructor didn't show up and the manager of the gym ran in and asked me to teach the class.

I had never taught before but I had been a student for several years and I just jumped up there and said yes and that's how it all started.

2.       What is it you love most about the cycle classes?

The thing I love most about teaching cycle classes is the students. Their energy and passion, how hard they fight and the fact that they show up every day and they give everything they have is by far my favorite thing about teaching. Also helping them reach their goals.

There's nothing better than watching someone progress over time and they lose that 5 pounds or they feel so much better or they look so much healthier or whatever it is that they wanted to achieve- you can see it in their face and they've achieved it and to know that you helped out in whatever way with that is the most inspiring thing.

Read: A beginner's guide to spinning class

3.       Do you do any other form of training yourself or just spinning classes?

Absolutely. I lift weights. I like to do light weight high repetition for tone. I'm also certified in kettle bell so I do that and I hike sometimes with my dog Bella.

Image: Aaron Hines, Nichelle Hines and Nick Hounslow from Hollywood Cycle.

4.       What is it about spinning classes that keeps people coming back for more?

I think people love indoor cycling classes because it's one of the only ways you can burn as many calories as you do in as little time as it takes.

Also the music is amazing there's great energy having all those people in one room and one space really creates a Wolfpack affect that make people keep coming back for more.

I think that combination really makes it the most fun and interesting way to burn calories quickly

5.       How do you maintain the intensity of your classes?

I maintain the intensity of my classes by constantly being present. Every time I walk in that room it feels new because there's never been the same set of people on the same day and same time with the same energy with the same people.

Everything is different for me every single time the playlist is never the same so for me constantly engaging with my students is the one thing that keeps me motivated and able to replicate what I do over and over again without ever getting bored. They never bore me their hard work and the fact that they took time out of their day to come and see me that is what keeps me maintaining the intensity.

6.       How often a week do you recommend people take part in spinning classes in order to get the most benefit from spinning?

3-5 times is great

7.       Can anyone do your classes? What advice do you have for first-time riders?

Anyone can do class. I say show up with a water bottle, a smile on your face and a willingness to learn! 

8.       What is the best gear to wear for cycling classes?

For men compression shorts are very helpful I've been told. Other than that I think fitted workout clothes that you're comfortable in is the way to go. 

Image: Nichelle's preferred gear, from

9.       How well does indoor cycling translate to outdoor road/mountain biking?

I think if it's done correctly it's night and day. Outside you're dealing with the elements, cars, other riders, etc.

Inside the room you can really let go and really run, really climb, really jog without risk of injury so it opens things up if you let it.

Then you can translate those things once you're on the road to make your ride better. 

10.   What other sports are you passionate about?

I love basketball and American football. I'm really into the competitive sports. I also like rugby which I know is big in your country. I spent some time in New Zealand years ago and got into it.

I like the South African team a lot - the Springboks right??? They're awesome!

Watch Nichelle in action on Instagram

Read more:

7 ways to make workouts fun

The 10 most popular workout songs

Spinning vs. training on the bike


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