A few weeks ago I finally was able to try out the latest spinning fad – SoulCycle. I’ve always enjoyed spinning class so I was pumped to finally be able to take one when I went home to New Jersey (since there are no studios here in Vermont).
I’ve been wanting to try this class out for a while now meaning I had no problem shelling out the $20 it costs for first time riders- this included a free shoe rental too! After that, it’s $30 per class plus $3 for shoe rentals (unless you buy a package where you save some money). If you don’t have your own cycling shoes then you are required to rent a pair because the bikes only have clips on them. I had never clipped into a bike before this class so it took me a bit to figure out how to get out of it when it came time to stretch at the end.
My friend Sandy and I went to the studio in Short Hills, NJ. We booked a Saturday afternoon class and it was packed! As soon as you walk in, you’re going to want to buy everything they have on display… at least I did. The staff was super friendly. Sandy’s water bottle ended up not fitting in the bike’s water bottle holder so they gave her a free smart water. There are free lockers for you to put your stuff in including your phone. You must leave your phone outside of class or else you get called out.
Once class began, the dark studio is lit only by candlelight. I’m not gonna lie, I was nervous thinking about the candles tipping over & catching the room on fire. The room is packed with bikes just inches away from each other. I’m glad we were in the back row. Since everyone is so close, there are even rules are posted about side conversations and personal hygiene.
Side note- I LOVED our instructor. He was so into it and so fun! I’m not kidding when I say that I hear his voice in my head at other spin classes now. He really pumped me up!
To warm up, we started pedaling with a light resistance and lifted up our butts to hover above the saddle (bike seat) while the instructor called out the beat to get everyone to move in the same groove. SoulCycle classes are all about the beat which I found out very quickly. To be honest, I had a hard time finding this groove. It’s definitely different from a regular spin class.
About 30 minutes into the class, we slowed down, added some resistance and picked up the small hand-weights which were on a little rack behind each bike easily accessible from the seated position. The weights are 2 lbs but you can choose for the three-pound weights. This is when the upper-body weighted portion of class began. With the weights, we did small tiny pulsing holds, larger rows, tricep extensions, and bicep curls. We didn’t put our arms down the entire song and I was absolutely feeling it by the end. It’s hard to imagine that 2 lb weights can cause that kind of burn but they definitely did. We did a few more sprints after this before class ended with a three-minute stretch on the bike.
Overall, I enjoyed my first SoulCycle experience even if I had a hard time finding my groove. I’m glad I was finally able to cross this off my bucket list. While we did sweat a lot during the class, we came to the conclusion that it was because the studio was too hot.. I didn’t walk out of the class overly exerted so next time I think I will need to work even harder. If I lived close to a studio, I believe this class would be one that I took every other month or something due to the price… but it was fun!