Listen up all my soul sistas (and bros) who love a good sweat session: you need to go to a SoulCycle class.
It seems like everyone who has tried the class raves about it, and now from experience, I know exactly why.
SoulCycle was made for cardio lovers. It’s the type of class for those looking to burn some serious calories (Vanessa Hudgens revealing that going twice a day helped her drop 20 lbs.) and sculpt a summer body.
It’s perfect for those who have hit a plateau in the fitness or weight loss goals, or for someone looking to try something different to keep their muscles guessing.
And you don’t need to have done any type of cycling beforehand to master this class. I just took my first SoulCycle class this past weekend.
Here’s what it was it really like to take a SoulCycle class.
Getting My Feet Wet
If you aren’t pumped before walking into the studio, you will once the music and mood is set—but I will get into that in a minute. You might also feel a bit nervous being a newbie among the sea of seemingly seasoned Soul cyclists—especially if you heard how tough it is.
Fear not, because you will find your groove.
I went to the studio location in Short Hills, NJ, and the staff and instructor made me feel right at home. They showed all newbies the ropes, including how to adjust the bike for their body and how to snap on their shoes to the pedals (I still couldn’t figure out how to get out).
Once everyone got on their bikes, it was show time.
The Main Event
The SoulCycle class started off with the instructor (ours was named VJ) introducing himself as he starting his playlist and attendees started pedaling.
There was a warm up (which will have you feeling the burn early on), followed by a more intense middle section with faster speeds, with more resistance and more movements, a hill climb and decent, an upper body section, more cycling like the beginning of the class and finally the cool down which was optional to stay for. This included stretches, and it was a great way to slow the heart rate down after the intensity of the workout.
A First Time Riders Take: How It Felt Physically
There were times when I thought to myself this isn’t as bad (meaning hard) as I put in my head, but I have to admit that there were times I didn’t turn the knob and there were times I sat back and needed water.
But no mistakes about it, I was dripping in sweat.
The instructor advised the new riders to go at their own speed, just feel like music and go with the beat. If anyone needed to sit back down, they could at any time. Just take a breath, regroup mentally and get back at it.
This is exactly what I did towards the end, jumping right back to the steady left foot, right foot rhythm to the beat. This just goes to show that it is no walk in the park. In fact there were times when I wondered when it would be over. SoulCycle really does push you, and challenge the body in ways I haven’t gotten from a workout in a long time.
But anyone can do it, and when you do and finish the class, you will feel empowered, energetic and maybe even now addicted.
My legs sure felt it, but I did not expect a SoulCycle class to really be a full body workout. You have to tighten your core, and there is also a focus on your arms. For example, we were instructed to drip down doing like a push up on the handle bars throughout the workout, and there was even weight portion that had my triceps on fire.
How It Felt —Emotionally
I was impressed with myself when it came to putting in the hard work and acknowledged this multiple times after the more intense moments. And this had me feeling emotional similarly to the feeling of finishing a half marathon by the end of the class.
I think the power of the class all has to do with who is teaching it. Our instructor VJ knew how to motivate the crowd with not only the things he was saying, but also his hip hop playlist that got everyone in the room into the zone regardless if this is your music genre of choice.
The lights were dim and candles were lit, setting the ambiance.
And while there was this calming effect, the room was bursting with everyone’s upbeat energy that mirrored the music blasting through.
It was through the motivational messages and that feeling of accomplishment a tough workout gives that was really moving on an emotional level. SoulCycle has you digging deep into your soul to really find that inner drive to keep you moving forward no matter how tired you get. It also shows you that you can handle more than you think and that you can do anything you set your mind to.
You will leave this class feeling good.
Even though you will sweat, sweat, sweat, SoulCycle at its core is just really fun. The music, combined with the moves and the right motivator, and you got a recipe for a really great fitness class.
As for the day after, I wasn’t as sore as I thought I would be, but this could be because I wasn’t as out of shape as I thought I was for this class and the level of resistance I applied throughout the workout.
This fitness junkie just found her new fix and can’t wait for the next class.
Have you tried a SoulCycle class? What did you think of it? Share your story in the comments below.