Whenever I travel to a city that has a SoulCycle, I sign up and go, making it part of a healthy vacation. Much more interesting than your hotel gym, SoulCycle is a stationary bicycle workout involving a 45-minute class that includes light weights as well. Founded by two women in New York City in 2006, it has taken off in big cities around the country, mainly on the East Coast, Chicago and in California (though Austin has a really great one, too). I’m no cyclist but I will tell you that I had yet another excellent experience at a SoulCycle Chicago class I took this week. In order to make it a smoother experience for you the first time you attend than it was for me, I’m blogging about SoulCycle: Everything You Need to Know for a Successful Ride!
Designed to be an ‘inspirational workout’ I felt that the SoulCycle experience lives up to what it says it is: motivational, inspirational and team-oriented. Unlike some fitness classes or gyms you’ll go to where the vibe feels very competitive, the instructor says over and over: we do this together, we’re in this together. The entire class cycles together in-sync but of course you can adjust your bike to be as challenging as you want. Students before class often chat and help each other with the bikes and congratulating each other at the end. It did feel very supportive and made my first super awkward experience the best it could have been.
SoulCycle is all about the music as well. I loved it and the whole room brightened up when Taylor Swift blasted over the speakers. Every instructor I’ve ever had is very encouraging to the entire room and with the walls covered in inspirational messaging, even a newbie cyclist feels included and ready to pedal as fast as humanly possible….while doing push-ups on the bike at the same time. Best of all – a lot of the workout you get to do in the dark. I love it.
SoulCycle: Everything You Need to Know for a Successful Ride (and how to be less awkward than me) Click To Tweet
SoulCycle: Everything You Need to Know for a Successful Ride
- Get there at least 10 minutes early to check in and fill out paperwork. You get assigned a bike and when you enter the room, the numbers are posted on the front of each bike. You also get shoes which are easy to put with velcro on but not as easy to clip into the bike. Put them on by the lockers before you enter the bike room.
- Save yourself time and just ask the friendly people at the front desk how to open the lockers. Basically, you find one that’s open by tugging on the handle of as many as needed until you find one. Put your stuff in and close it. Choose your 4-digit code then turn the knob, change the digits and just use the code you set again to get in.
- Seek assistance right away on adjusting your bike and how to clip your shoes in. To get your foot in, you stomp down, toe first and to get it out you twist your heel outwards. There are always helpers in class to make sure you’re adjusted and it will make your ride way better.
- Keep things simple and don’t bring too many items into the room with you. There are towels on each bike for you already. Be sure to bring a water bottle; you’ll really want it during class.
Despite all the craziness of figuring out my first class long ago, I found the workout to be very fun, challenging, and I got super sweaty. I love, love, love cycling in the dark. The instructor changes the lights throughout the class moving from fully lit to candle-light only and at times completely dark. That was my favorite. The time passed really quickly and it is something I would absolutely do again, anywhere I go.
If you’ve been thinking about trying this workout, definitely sign up – I recommend it. I hope you enjoyed learning about SoulCycle: Everything You Need to Know for a Successful Ride. Tap it back, SoulCyclers, and I hope to see you in a class again soon!
Ginger Hultin,MS, RD, CSO
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