Fitness Fridays: The Cult of SOULCYCLE
Guys. I joined another cult.
My "spin journey" started at Flywheel in January. I hated it. Loathed it so much. I didn't like the music. I didn't like the scoreboard, I didn't like the numbers on the bike. I'm competitive, but pretty much only in running and sometimes at work. I wanted to spin as a good way to get in a speed workout that doesn't make me hate my life, and to be honest I hated Flywheel more than my NRC Speed Workouts. Not what I was after, so I just figured spin classes weren't for me.
Fast forward to one fateful day at Real Good Juice in Old Town, where I was handed a free pass to Soulcycle Old Town. Free. I can handle free. Definitely worth a try. I poked around the schedule and tried to schedule a ride with a friend for a bit, before it became apparent that our schedules weren't going to sync up, so I decided to go alone for a Prince tribute ride, right after his death. Funnily enough, a blogger I have followed for a while, Hallie Williams of Corals and Cognacs, was teaching that class.
The vibe upon walking in was already 1000x a better fit for me than was Flywheel. It felt clean and modern and more like a yoga studio than a gym. It's a good example of "you get what you pay for" for sure. (Each class runs you at hefty $30, plus $3 for shoes.) The facilities were clean and everything was in working order. They have the nicest toiletries I have ever seen in any gym or health club, ever. Period. But enough about the exterior facilities. I loved the actual studio itself the most.
It's a tight-knit room of bikes on three sides forming a square around an instructor. The room is dimly lit and feels very...comfortable, weirdly. I won't lie, it was intimidating at first. Clipping in and out of the pedals are a struggle for me, and I still can't adjust my seat properly, but luckily that's another perk of SOUL: the staff members are amazing, kind, helpful, fun...so many positive adjectives! That was a key difference between Flywheel and Soulcycle--the Flywheel staff made me feel like an idiot, like they were annoyed. I have never once gotten that vibe from Soulcycle.
My favorite aspect of Soul Cycle is that there are no numbers. You pedal to the beat of the music, not to a specific RPM. You turn the wheel to adjust to the resistance that challenges you most based on your guide's instruction, rather than being screamed at to hit a certain number resistance. The guide will have you be up "out of the saddle" (off the seat) but if you get tired (or if you're like me and occasionally get knee pain) they won't scream at you to stand back up. It's all about encouragement to compete with yourself at Soul Cycle, and to be your very best.
Bottom line: When I leave my rides SOULCYCLE, I always feel amazing. I get a serious mood boost, I'm sweaty and I'm sore. I always call Stephen after to gush about how amazing and happy I feel, and honestly, that's why I run and do yoga in the first place. These reasons are why I'm replacing my usual speed workouts with rides at OLTN every other Thursday night. It is expensive, but narrowing it down to twice a month helps me still get the rides in I want, while on a budget! I highly recommend SOULCYCLE and Hallie to anyone who is interested! Get out there and find your SOUL!