I decided to see what all the fuss was about and try a SoulCycle class. After reading the reviews and testimonials I found online, I was expecting to walk into a spin class cult meeting. One review that stood out to me was a woman who professed that she had a loving husband and great life, but SoulCycle was her true “happy place.” I thought she sounded nuts.
The first thing that struck me when I go to the SoulCycle Studio (The 19th Street location in Manhattan) was how sleek everything looked, from the lockers to the studio itself to even the bathrooms. The studio reminded me a bit of those dark, dingy nightclubs where I frequently busted moves back in the day. The bikes and mandatory shoes you had to wear were kinda futuristic looking, and the instructor’s bike was up a candle-lit podium kinda like a Shaman/DJ.
The shoes you wear actually lock you to the pedals, which eliminates the possibility of your feet slipping off the pedals (or sneak out of the class unnoticed if it gets too intense). That was what I thought was the most obvious difference between SoulCycle and other spin classes I’ve tried. The instructor for my class was Anthony F (pictured below in black and white), who had more energy than maybe anyone I’ve ever seen. It was infectious, and really helped me keep going. The music also played a big part as Anthony played some of the sickest beats you’ll hear anywhere, much less during an afternoon fitness class. Good Job, Anthony.
The workout itself is equal parts amazing and brutal. I was hurting during the early, leg-centric part of the class that was pretty much all pedaling, with your ass on and off the seat during different intervals. After toughing through that, we got to the arm part of the workout which incorporates dumbbells. You can choose dumbbells ranging from 1 to 5 lbs. I was tempted to grab the 5’s since I roll like that, but settled on the 3’s, thinking I should ease into this. You end up throwing what felt like 1,000 punches with the dumbbells, along with various pressing motions. When the class finally finished, I was ready for it to end, lol, but I really felt like I got my money’s worth. SoulCycle is definitely one of the best workouts I’ve tried, as well as one of the most fun. I suggest going with some friends so you can motivate each other (or abuse/shame one another into not giving up).
Just in case my review hasn’t convinced you to try SoulCycle, know that Schmidt from “New Girl” (funniest show on TV) not only does it, but apparently teaches it as well. SOLD