With so much buzz surrounding the latest craze in the US fitness scene, Soul Cycle – founded in 2006 by Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler and quickly taking over America – on a recent trip to the US I made sure I was booked in to trial a class in NYC.
I’m fit and active but my gym‘s stationary bike is about as close as I’ve come to a spin class. So why Soul Cycle? I’d heard so much about the cult cardio workout, its celeb following and its ‘mind, body, spirit’ decree that I wanted to experience my own Zen riding moment… if indeed it existed.
So, I braved the snow and rocked up for my first Soul Cycle class in Soho. The crew at the front desk were more than helpful in showing me around the locker rooms and the bike – which you have to clip your shoes in (spesh riding shoes from Japan) to the pedals and control the speed with a spinning disc on the frame. There are three positions on the handle bars, and weights nestled in behind your seat – all very important stuff for the first-timer.
I’d interviewed Mel B in Los Angeles the week before, she’s a big SC fan, and she’d given me the run down of all the ‘Woohooing’ and general camaraderie that goes on when you’re sweating it out and cycling for your life. Everyone gets involved (Mel mentioned she’s ridden alongside Charlize Theron and Vanessa Hudgens!) But what I wasn’t prepared for is to absolutely fall in love with it! I mean, I am now addicted to this disco workout on wheels. Not only is it a fantastic workout, but it’s a community and for everyone involved, something seriously special happens on those bikes.
The class involves a lot of stand-up riding, ducking and diving and general bouncing around to the bass-heavy beats. My instructor, the gorgeous Emily T, encouraged us to ‘ride hard and reach out for your dreams’ and to ‘close our eyes and race to the finish line’. I experienced an array of emotions as my legs let lose and I embraced the universal motivation that permeates the studio. It was wildly empowering!
Despite being in pain, well my quads and glutes were, for several days after, I booked another class at the Tribeca studio (having heard Bradley Cooper is a regular) before I flew out. Unfortunately, it was Oscars night so no BC in sight, but Tribeca is conveniently located next to a mammoth Wholefoods so I couldn’t have been happier about all the guilt-free food I stocked up on afterwards.
Classes are $34 and worth every penny. Check the Soul Cycle website for new locations.