I mentioned yesterday that I went to SoulCycle in Union Square (NYC) but did not go into details. Since people ask for my opinion on many fitness classes, I decided that regardless of my experience, I should probably just do it now. That being said, I think a class depends largely on the instructor. Having a good or bad instructor can make all the difference.
Since this was my first class, I was able to take the class with shoe rental for $20 (shoes are normally $3 on top of the $32 for a single class). Although you cannot reserve online as a newbie, you can call and do it over the phone. The class I attended was 45-minutes long and started at 9:30 am. I’m curious what jobs these people have where they can walk in to work at 11 am but then again, look at me… I always think this when I’m running at 10 am as well. The studio in Union Square has enough bikes for 57 people. I think there were maybe 4 that went unused.
My instructor’s build reminded me of a more muscular Kelly Ripa. She was ripped and had what looked like a 10% or less body fat percentage. This is always a good sign, I think even though as a trainer I know, is not what defines a good workout.
I forgot to bring a water but one of the front desk girls was nice enough to grab me a complimentary bottle! I really appreciated this. The shoes were comfy and the instructor helped me get set up. I told her I was new to spinning so she grabbed me a seat cover. This was amazing because I typically hate the seats. There were 2 3-lb dumbbells set up in one of the bottle holders on the bike. Most members were decked out in Lululemon. I was glad I opted to bring my lulu uniform so I’d fit in (hint, I’m being sarcastic).
The first 35 minutes were pure spinning. The music was loud and I didn’t recognize any of the songs except the J.Lo/Pitbull song “Get On The Floor” which I hate. I couldn’t really hear the cues so I just kind followed the girls around me. There were men too, just not in my eye sight. We did a lot of out of the saddle riding, which I like. We also did these “push-up” things. The movement is supposed to come from your core and abs but I’m not sure everyone got that but judging their form. It was confusing and I’m glad the instructor told me before class started how to do them. My heart rate was crazy high the entire time. After 35 minutes, I had burned about 400 calories! I have no sweat that much in a long time.
We then grabbed our weights for some arms exercises. The reps were not high enough for me to really feel anything. I wish the had given us heavier weights or suggested doubling up like my instructor did. I thought the arm moves were pointless but I enjoyed the break from the cardio so I’m not complaining. We finished with another quick burst of spinning.
After the class, my face was beet red and stayed that way for about a 1/2 hour. I would have liked a bit of air circulation in the studio. There was also an earthy smell, maybe lavender that was distracting every time I’d wipe sweat from my face. In the end I burned 550 calories in 45-minutes, the most in 45-minutes I’ve probably ever burned.
The locker rooms were tight quarters! With only 5 showers, I can’t imagine what it’s like at the before work classes. You have to wait your turn to shower and use the mirror space to get ready for the day.
Although I liked the class, I think $32 is really steep for a spinning class that likes to throw in weights during the last 5 minutes. Again, other instructors may make this class more spiritual and strength driven but I primarily just got a fabulous cardio workout. I guess with all the hype surrounding Soul Cycle, I expected to fall in love like I was when I took Barre Method in Boston. Gyms are obsessed with creating the latest fusion workout, combining what every one loves into one class. I think Soul Cycle sounds great on paper, but I’m not sure I understood the translation.
I think I may need to start giving spinning another chance at my Equinox. It really is an amazing workout and out of my comfort zone. Have you taken a class at Soul Cycle? Was my experience similar to the other classes or no? I’m curious.
Today’s giveaway is apparel from tasc Performance – Bamboo Performance Technology. Super comfy and airy I recently wore this exact outfit as on the model to the tabata class I go to on Mondays at Equinox. It looked and felt great. I did not look like a sweaty mess that I usually do at the end of class. It’s also made from Bamboo which makes it eco-friendly and is 100% UV protected for when it’s time to wear tank tops outside again!