Author: Jackie Thomas; Lead Health Writer
So, is SoulCycle a cult or what?
Maybe. Walk into the dark room filled with bright yellow stationary bicycles, a podium with four lit candles and you might expect some type of ritualistic sacrifice next. I’m kidding, sorta.
SoulCycle is definitely not a cult, but it is a super addictive, high-energy workout that is taking over. The 45-minute total body spin workout can torch 500-700 calories per session. The best part is that you won’t even realize you’re doing all that work.
Co-founders, Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice decided back in 2006 that working out shouldn’t feel like actual work (amen to that!). They opened their first SoulCycle studio in the Upper West Side of New York City. It emphasized motivational workouts that empowered and engaged riders. Forty-seven studios later, SoulCycle is taking over my Facebook feed with check-ins and “killer workout” statuses.
Self-proclaimed yogi, Nicky S., shared with me what got her hooked and eventually attending multiple classes a week (and sometimes per day!). The recent college grad explained that, “It’s very different from spin class. It works your whole body and it’s not about the numbers. Most [riders] don’t wear heart rate monitors and there aren’t screens on the bike or numbers on the knob. It’s all about feeling and the music.”
Nicky isn’t wrong. SoulCycle is attracting yoga enthusiasts with the promise of a mind and body workout, just kicked up a gear, no pun intended.
Okay, you’re in. Now, what should you expect from your first ride?
Answer: A lot of sweat, a sore bottom, exerted muscles, immense motivation, less stress, killer trainers and a supportive community.
The first class will carry you from climbs to sprints to arm workouts. If you’re a first timer, make sure to grab the lighter arm weights. As someone with self-proclaimed toddler arms, don’t be afraid to grab the 2 pound weights for your first session. Seriously, don’t be a hero.
Although all classes are along the same lines (killer music, total body workout and great trainers), each trainer offers something completely different and brings something unique to the bike. The variations and personalities will keep you coming back for more!
Find a complete list of how to prepare for your first ride here.
Okay, you sold me. It’s a crazy fun workout, but what are the benefits of SoulCycle?
● Pay As You Go. You can’t put a price on a great workout. Actually, you can. It’s hard to drop large dollar amounts a month for classes you may not get to (ahem, enter holiday season). SoulCycle is a pay per class studio, so you don’t have to waste money on classes you don’t attend.
● Support. SoulCycle isn’t just a workout studio, but a community. Even after the first class, riders begin to feel a connection to one another.
● And, of course, all those Health Benefits. SoulCycle prides itself on giving riders a mind and body workout. Full body cardio spin classes strengthen your muscles, stamina and mind which is why it attracts so many yoga fans.
● Motivational Trainers. Group classes start and end with a trainer. I have avoided certain classes at my gym because the teacher just didn’t motivate me. This won’t be the case at SoulCycle. Every trainer will answer your questions and help you get the most out of your workout.
What are you waiting for? Find a SoulCycle Studio near you here and let me know what you think!