Monday, April 4, 2016

My SoulCycle Experience

Athlete. Legend. Warrior. Renegade. Rockstar. SoulCycle. Those are the words that you see on the wall of the cycling studio when you first walk in. Prominent and bold standing out against an otherwise white wall. My mother and I decided to try out the treasured boutique fitness line. I had heard about it for what seemed like years now: how amazing the workout is or, in contrast, what a hoax it is. So firsthand, here is my experience with the Manhattan born SoulCycle.

The Layout. We walked into the lobby of SoulCycle, a simple area with a front desk and racks of workout clothes that all display "SOUL" somewhere on it. We were greeted by a strong smell of grapefruit in the welcome area. The front desk contained paperwork, of course, but also hair ties, gum, hand sanitizer, and a candle. With water for guests in a fridge behind the desk, this place was set. We initialed our names on a roll call list (our names highlighted, displaying to everyone that we were new) since we were "first time riders" we had to sign a waiver and then we were off. We were given special clip-in biking shoes before leading ourselves to the locker room. I must hand it to whoever designs these studios--or at least this one. In the small space they have cramped everything into, it works well. Though the lobby is small and the locker room small and the actual workout room small, it all works.

The Pre-Workout. An assistant helped us adjust our bikes (which I will probably never be able to do on my own) before we got on and clipped in. I noticed those around me were already sitting and peddling to warm up and many people seemed to know each other. There were those in the back and those in the front, which I have come to learn is a privilege. One must work up to the front row. And I totally understood why afterwards.

The atmosphere. Initially walking into the workout room though, the very first thing I noticed was that the lights were dim. Disclaimer: I knew literally nothing about SoulCycle aside from the fact that it is a boutique-style fitness spin class before going in. I didn't realize we literally bike in darkness. Not complete darkness though! There are two glowing red exit signs by each door, and an array of candles on the teacher's platform. As the instructor mounted the stage, she asked all the newbies to raise our hands. Three of us. Me and my mother included. It felt very much reminiscent of the first time I went to a Rocky Horror Picture show and had to be outed as an outsider and then initiated into the cult. But...not as, like, sexual. She just shook our hands.

The workout. The first, like, ten seconds of the workout I was thinking oh heck yes this music is pumping me up I am so fit I am so healthy look at me go. After that I was a mess. I was sweaty and gross. My legs hurt, I needed water, and no one else seemed to understand me. There was a lady in the front row who was directly in front of my view, so I had to stare at her the entire time. She used the rag to wipe her face maybe twice. And she never wasn't going to the beat of the music. She was superwoman. Literally superwoman.

The aftermath. My mom and I signed up for the "Evolution of Beyoncé" music class right after. So. I mean yeah. We liked it. A lot.

Overall I'd say SoulCycle is a good and fun workout if you don't like just going to the gym and lifting or running on the treadmill for a half hour. It's more engaging and makes working out fun! If you'd like to see more posts like this be sure to comment letting me know!

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