Why is seeing a movie on the big theater screen so much more fun and thrilling than watching it from your couch at home?

Is it the larger-than-life images, or the surround sound, or the darkened room? It’s all those things—and more. It’s the immersive experience—being completely surrounded by the look, feel and sounds of the film.

What if I told you that you can find that same immersive experience at the gym and burn calories in the process?

With Les Mills’ The Trip, you can.

This immersive cycling class is like walking into a dark movie theater—just add motivating music, an inspiring instructor, a bike and sweat running into your eyes. (You will sweat, a lot!)

Thanks to the colorful, ever-changing image on the screen, this 45-minute class will fly by. While each release is different, you may find yourself biking through the jungle—passing giant jaguars and hippopotami as small as ants—or up and into a bubbling volcano, or up into the sky to a palace in the clouds.

Here are the top three reasons I would definitely take The Trip again over an average cycle class.

The ability to “see” my workout

Typically, when a cycle instructor cues me to increase my resistance and get ready to climb, my mind immediately wonders, For how long? How long is the hill, how steep is it—more important, when will it be over?

With The Trip’s immersive screen experience, I can see the hills and the distance I am “climbing,” taking the guesswork out of my workout and encouraging me to push just a little harder to reach the top in sight. You set the intensity and let the screen and instructor cues guide you through your workout. Plus, you’ll get a bit of a stability and core challenge as you find yourself leaning into the “turns.” (Just be careful not to lean too far!)

The movie-esque quality

Underwater, in the heart of a volcano, through the jungle—The Trip takes you through larger-than-life movie-like scenes. You’ll feel like you’re actually biking down waterfalls or through the jungles, without the bugs or heat. Every scene is more vibrant and colorful than the next, making this workout feel like more of an interactive movie than a sweat sesh.

The sounds

While most cycle classes have super fun, motivating music (hello, we need a distraction from the difficulty of the workout), The Trip tunes are a mixture of modern remixes and bumping beats—all timed to the visuals on the screen. This timing is super helpful, giving you a beat to follow as you get lost in the sights and sounds of the class. You’ll never actually be lost, though: Between the music and the “movie,” you’ll always know where your workout is headed, whether it’s a hill, a drop or a sprint.

Find a Les Mills’ The Trip class at 24 Hour Fitness Santa Monica.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Les Mills