When my younger sister first encouraged me to go to Soul Cycle with her, I was fully against the idea. The idea of any cycling class, in general, intimidated me more than I had realized. When I thought of cycling, I thought of being stuck in a room on this small bike for hours on end, being yelled at by an instructor and inevitably comparing myself to others in the class. I didn’t mind working out at the time, but the idea of this superficial and impossible workout was very discouraging.
Despite my judgments, I went.
Being the persuasive girl she is, my sister somehow got me out of my comfort zone and convinced me to attend the class with her. It was only an hour, and apparently a great workout, so I figured why not give it a chance. After finally deciding to push my judgments aside, and partake in this terrifying experience- the next thing I knew, I found myself nervously entering my first Soul Cycle class. I was fully expecting to hate the experience and never return again- but I could not have been more wrong.
It was far from my expectations.
Walking into the studio, I am greeted by the bright yellow logo and smiling faces of the front desk. I also noticed plenty of trendy Soul Cycle merchandise which I could see my self soon sporting. The studio has a very upbeat and optimistic vibe, making it somewhere you won’t mind being. The employees are not only welcoming but understood everyone’s different fitness levels, which was crucial for me to enjoy the experience. Memberships are offered here, for those who want to come more regularly.
But since they are not required and a bit pricy, it was clear that most people did not have a membership there, so it made for a pretty welcoming environment for a new-comer. I could tell that other cyclers seemed more nervous than me, and some seemed as if this was second-nature. With ranging experience levels, I found it easy to be comfortable there. After checking in, I strapped on my shoes and clicked on my bike. Here we go, I was finally experiencing THE Soul Cycle, time to see what all the hype is about.
Each class is unique
An especially enthusiastic group of people entered the room and an even more enthusiastic instructor headed to the front of the class. The lights went off and a spotlight shone on our tour guide of this 45-minute journey to sweat. I found comfort in the dark classroom, where I could not see the girl next to me working harder or looking better, I could only focus on my own workout and what I needed to be doing. Our instructor played her customized playlist, which was sure to lift my mood and excite me to endure this dreaded workout.
Before signing up for a workout, Soul Cycle’s website informs you of each instructor’s taste in music, to ensure that you pick a workout with music you will enjoy the most. This aspect is especially smart on their part because the key to enjoying your workout is listening to a great playlist. It also ensures that every class is unique, in the teaching styles and musical choices. As a person who likes change, but not too much, I loved this aspect.
The actual workout
Throughout the hour, the upbeat instructor guided us and cheered us on to make the most of this workout. Although this class was not a walk in the park, I found the moves easy to follow and still challenging. Working out at Soul Cycle feels like attending your favorite concert. The music is comfortably loud, the colored lights gleam around the room, and the instructor is like your personal DJ- with your fitness goals in mind. Also, Soul Cycle is not only a cardio/leg workout- ab and arm exercises are also incorporated.
For this reason, Soul Cycle has become one of my favorite full-body workouts. It doesn’t feel like you’re attending a dreaded cycling class, it feels like an uplifting and exciting addition to your day. Besides the great music and instructor cheering you on, I can guarantee you will sweat. Not like a pilates class sweat, or working out with your super-fit friend sweat, but actually, sweat-like you never have before. If you truly give your full effort and push your self during this hour, you will leave feeling accomplished and sore.
It’s great for your mentality
One of my favorite aspects of a Soul Cycle class is the immense encouragement the instructors spread to everyone attending the class. She managed to make even the sourest people excited and fully present in the class. One phrase that I always hear at Soul Cycle and has stuck with me since is, “the only person stopping you from your goals is YOU.” It may sound cliche, but it could not be truer. Her words of encouragement and enthusiasm truly pushed me to complete a full 45 minutes of my most dreaded part of my day.
Not only did I survive the class, but I gave every last effort I had and enjoyed every minute of it. My sister and I left the studio sweating harder than we ever had and feeling immensely proud of ourselves for enduring this high intensity work out together. Now every time I’m home, I find myself begging my sister or anyone to come with me to what I feel is the toughest and most enjoyable cycling class ever.