I was recently invited by New Jersey Mom’s Guide to attend a Soul Cycle spin event at the newly opened Short Hills location. Just what is Soul Cycle? I’d describe it as an intense indoor workout. The kind that once you’re done- your legs literally feel like jello. A super challenging class that you are forced to sit through an entire 45 minutes (because one you will feel like a loser if you walk out and two because your feet are attached to the bike and the doors are locked!) and I swear I think your soul escapes your body for at least a good 10 minutes during class.
When I first got there, we were given special shoes that feel like clogs when you walk. The shoes attach onto your bike to help you cycle faster. You get to pick a seat which is pretty cool (because as a newbie, you can choose to sit in the back so no one sees your mistakes!). You’re also given a towel to wipe off all your sweat. Yes, you sweat tons! The instructor introduced herself and went over our bike functions. She also showed us how to pedal to the music. But once we were told to pedal off our seats, it got real. I really thought I wasn’t going to make it the full 45 minutes. I truly had to push myself and find my inner strength to keep up and get it done.
After the class was complete, my friend and I were challenged. We could not figure out how to get our shoes detached from the bikes! We ended up taking off our shoes and then twisting them off which I think is safer- so you don’t twist an ankle.
If you’re going to test drive Soul Cycle, I suggest bringing a big bottle of water- a 32 oz or bigger, light clothing (a tank and biker shorts will do), and putting your hair up because you will sweat. Also, get there early. It takes about ten minutes to get your shoes, spot, locker, towel and getting help to get on the bike the first time. And you can ask for a padded seat so your bottom isn’t so sore later which it will be.
Soul Cycle was founded in 2006 by Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler. Classes are open to both genders and it is not for the average person. Classes between $34 and $70 per class. Unlike other gyms or health clubs, the fees are by the class and even a shoe rental fee is charged. But once you get hooked, the price won’t matter. To those who can afford it, anyway. Soul Cycle has a following with the upper classes based in New York, California and the Hamptons. Want to buy the apparel? Try $100 for a pair of workout pants. What’s so special about Soul Cycle? For one the studios are nice, modern, clean. Inspiring quotes, lighting to set the mood, awesome music, and instructors that motivate you and get you through those intense 45 minutes. Lightweights are incorporated into the classes as well as yoga flavored stretches. By the end of the class, you got a good butt whipping but you feel connected to your body and, stress relief and just plain good (well, beside the sore buns and legs for a few days).
So you see, it’s very easy to get addicted. Many people need to feel pushed when working out and you truly will feel the burn at Soul Cycle. The question is wether or not it’s in your budget and if not, is it worth the sacrifice?