Last week I went to my first SoulCycle class. Whenever I’m up north I contemplate going to a studio because it’s all the rage in the blog/fitness/celebrity world. Well, now there’s one 2 miles from my apartment.
Located in a beautiful, upscale outdoor mall, SoulCycle fits perfectly with the mall’s exclusive vibe. I went the class with my cousin and we were ready for a unique experience, as I had heard rumors about holding hands, chanting and praying.
The studio itself was immaculately clean (everything was so white it hurt my eyes) but very small. The front desk attendants were not as friendly or competent as I expected, but got us signed up and gave us shoes. For the first class the spin shoes are free; after that, they cost $3 to rent. I purposely didn’t bring my own spin shoes because I knew they would be free.
The class was packed. 28/30 bikes were taken and everyone looked like regulars, which is weird because it opened 3 weeks ago. The room was dark when we entered but I did my best to snap a few pictures.
There are maids (yes, they call them maids) who clean out the room in-between classes and place new towels on every bike. That’s a feature I’m not used to. The bikes road very smoothly and had a spot underneath the saddle to hold small dumbbells. Part of the Soul-Cycle difference is the incorporation of non-leg-focused movements such as crunches, push-ups and upper body weight lifting.
SoulCycle contradicts many of the classic Spinning “rules.” Not that either one is right or wrong, just my observation. For example, in this class we did a lot of “popcorn jumps” which means transitioning very fast from seated to climbing in 3. Those are not advised in Spinning branded classes. We used the hand weights for a song and did some push-ups on the handlebars, which again, is not suggested by Spinning.
Part of it felt like yoga on a bike. The instructor, Allison, had a zen-like voice but was still empowering. She chanted spiritual mantras and read inspiring quotes during the ride. Don’t get me wrong, the music was loud and upbeat! It felt weird to “namaste” after the ride.
If you aren’t familiar with Soul-Cycle, you should know that it is very expensive, at least I think so. Your first class is $20 but after that, it’s $35. Not including shoes, if you rent those. Plus it costs $3 for me to park at the mall so it adds up to an expensive form of exercise.
One thing I will always say about spinning/cycling: you get what you put in. It can be as hard as you want, or as easy as you want. You control the resistance no matter which studio or class you attend so a fancy membership doesn’t equal a better workout.
I’m very glad I attended a class, and my wallet is glad I don’t have a newfound obsession. I suggest taking advantage of the first time fee and experience the “journey” for yourself.
Have you attended a SoulCycle class?
What’s the most you’ve paid for a workout class?