I tried SoulCycle and loved it””like a crazy, ridiculous amount!
I was invited to attend a free class at the new Chestnut Hill location along with my friend Kerrie, so we headed there yesterday afternoon for our very first SoulCycle experience… and, boy, was it an experience!
Not surprisingly, the SoulCycle studio in Chestnut Hill was absolutely beautiful””just like everything in Chestnut Hill, right? Even the bathrooms and showers were fancy!
When you walk in, you are immediately greeted by the front desk and a retail space with all sorts of fun gear. I seriously wanted one of everything. Black and white striped pants with a yellow skull and crossbones = LOVE!
Shoe rentals are $3, but first time riders get theirs for free. You can also bring your own from home, but you can’t ride with sneakers because the bikes only have clips on them.
When I entered the “Soul Studio,” I immediately noticed the huge sea of bikes. It was definitely the biggest (bike-wise) spinning studio I had ever been in. The bikes were really close to one another, which made me feel a little claustrophobic at first, but once the class started, I didn’t bother me at all. I guess the close quarters are all part of the SoulCycle experience?
When you register for a class online, you also sign up for a bike. I didn’t realize your bike number was that important, so I didn’t take notice of mine, but it seemed like people took their bike assignment seriously. Not realizing this, Kerrie and I walked in, hopped on two bikes, and got booted off them just a couple of minutes later. Oops. Total newbie move!
The bikes themselves are beautiful””branded with the SoulCycle logo, high-quality, sleek, and brand, spakin’ new. I didn’t have any trouble setting up my bike, but I was glad Kerrie and I got there about 15 minutes early to get all situated with our shoes, lockers, and bikes. I did, however, have a little trouble clipping in my shoes, so one of the (off-duty) SoulCycle instructors in the class, quickly came over to help me. What a nice guy! There was also another (on-duty) SoulCycle employee walking around and helping people with their bikes.
I loved that the room was branded with motivational mantras and slogans. They actually kind of reminded of CrossFit with their emphasis on community, inspiration, and athleticism. “Addicted, obsessed”¦” also reminded me a little of CrossFit!
The class we took was taught by Erin, an instructor who recently moved to the Boston area from New York City, which made me really excited to see what an authentic SoulCycle class was all about. (You never know with new studios/locations, right?) Erin’s instruction, music selection, and energy (holy cow!) totally impressed me. I loved all of the music she played and it fit so well with her choreography. I also really loved moving and grooving all over the bike. We did push-ups, crunches, and side-to-side (oblique) dips on the bike, which might help to strengthen certain parts of your body, but I think it was more to get our heart rates up and simply just to have a good time. The class was definitely intense at points, but you could easily opt out of certain movements or tailor the resistance of your bike as needed.
There was a weighted arm sequence (on the bikes) about 3/4 of the way into class. We used mini dumbbells and worked our upper body””lots of little, isolated movements, which reminded me a lot of barre classes I’ve taken in the past””but it seemed kind of silly to me. Maybe it’s because my bike had 1-pound dumbbells on it (I didn’t realize there were different weight options available), and it wasn’t much of a workout for me. However, I could see how using heavier dumbbells would make it more challenging.
All in all, I loved, loved, loved my first SoulCycle experience. I usually get a little bored toward the end of a typical spinning class, but I honestly didn’t want this one to end! There was so much variety, and we were never doing the same thing for more than a few minutes at a time. I definitely want to go back sometime!
If you’re interested in trying SoulCycle at the Chestnut Hill location, it’s $20 for your first class. After that it’s $30 per single ride, but SoulCycle has some package deals that save you a little money. I realize that SoulCycle is not cheap, but I definitely think it’s worth the money, especially if you want to jazz up or even re-energize your current fitness routine. The class I took was nothing like I have ever experienced. There was SO MUCH ENERGY! And it was incredibly motivating to be around people who were so into their workouts and such active participants in it. Even if you went to SoulCycle a couple of times a week or a few times per month, I think it’s 100% worth the price, simply for the experience and getting a good, challenging, and inspiring workout.
Questions of the Day
Have you ever tried SoulCycle?