[workout review] SoulCycle.

1 Jun

I am always skeptical of fad workouts. Good old fashioned running is my favorite form of exercise, and while I enjoy spin classes, I wasn’t sure something called “SoulCycle” would be any better than my standard gym classes. Well, my friends, sometimes it’s best just to believe the hype. This is one of those times.

My roommate Jenn scored a free pass (!) to SoulCycle on Sunset Blvd. in WeHo when she got her hair done once at neighboring Drybar. Jenn isn’t a spinning fan so she handed it off to me. I was stoked. It expired on May 31 and was determined to use it before then. So, last Wednesday, I hopped over to take the 12:30 class with Angela.

(All photos are from the SoulCycle website).

When I walked in, I was greeted by two women at the front counter who could not have been more friendly. They explained the sign-up procedure, offered to rent me spin shoes (no need, I’m a fanatic and brought my own), and helped me pick a bike! No intense racing to the room hours ahead of time to “claim” your bike like at my big-box gym. This was awesome. I also appreciated the fact that they didn’t try and pressure me to buy more classes or lock me in to come back.

I got set up in the spin room and utilized the free lockers. The set-up is very “bougie” – it’s all pristine white and super nice, almost spa-like. The bikes in the studio are all extremely close together. Weird at first, but once the ride began I realized there was a reason for it.

I liked the design of the studio – there were encouraging phrases plastered on the walls that were both motivating and aesthetically pleasing. The studio itself was kept REALLY dark and was punctuated by candlelight. I am the least zen person on earth (literally) and I even liked this aspect. As soon as the music started, the adrenaline was pumping through me in a way I have NEVER experienced in any other class. It was LOUD and didn’t feel unlike being in a Barcelona club (Opium?) during a particularly bass-heavy set from the DJ.

The instructor was SO energetic and motivating, and she literally got off the bike at points and danced and bopped around. It was infectious. Her music selection was top-notch as well. Really house-y and perfect. I’m trying to talk to SoulCycle via twitter to get my hands on that playlist.

The workout itself was shorter than I’m used to – 45 minutes instead of the standard 60 – but it was intense. Light on hills, heavy on jumps and seated sprints. I also liked the incorporation of light hand weights during one song to work out those arms. The class sped by – probably aided by the fact there were no clocks in the room.

soulcycle rules.

I wish my gym would post these.

All in all, I LOVED LOVED LOVED SoulCycle and will absolutely be back. The price is borderline ridiculous though ($25  per class). I told myself I will use these workouts as a “treat” or for a special occasion. Yes, rewarding myself with exercise is a bit of a noodle-bender but it really was that awesome.

Currently, SoulCycle is only located in NYC and in West Hollywood, but they are expanding to other parts of LA (Brentwood, Santa Monica for sure), and hopefully to other major cities soon.

Has anyone out there tried SoulCycle? Thoughts?

P.S. – here’s a NYT article on the craze.

7 Responses to “[workout review] SoulCycle.”

  1. leftcoastcontessa June 2, 2012 at 7:39 pm #

    Interesting. I’ve heard about soulcycle but didn’t really know what it was about. Love the bit about cell phones. I’ve seen people with cells out at my YOGA studio in detox flow class and its annoying.

    • gillian June 3, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

      i wish that cell phone rule was made mandatory for every gym.


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