I am sure you have heard it by know, "SoulCycle is more than just a workout. It’s a sanctuary." That classic tagline has been circling around the inter-webs for time-and-time again, becoming increasingly popular between fitness gurus, millennial, and avid gym fans a-like. SoulCycle prides themselves as being a place where everyone can "ride together as a pack in candlelit studios to the rhythm of one-of-a-kind playlists." This elite gym is coached by legendary instructors who motivate and challenge their instructees! With the popularity of the SoulCycle movement, there are now more than 93 studios (and counting), with their indoor cycling class available across the U.S., Canada, and the UK. It is said that their riders come to experience breakthroughs and unlock their full potential in a workout geared to target their full bodies. If you are curious about how SoulCycle works, look no further! We have the guide for you - here is everything you need to know about SoulCycle. Let’s get you ready for class!
What is SoulCycle?
SoulCycle is a branded indoor cycling class where one uses choreography on a stationary bike. Classes are held in a candlelit room (that apparently smell like grapefruit) where words like "Renegade" and "Warrior" and "Obsessed" are written in gigantic letters on the wall to keep you motivated and inspired! The moves on the stationary bike vary from crunches (while riding, you drop your elbows and support yourself through your abs) to tap-backs (the act of thrusting your hips backward while riding out of the seat), and are designed to work all the muscles in your body so that you're exercising more than just your legs. Your instructor will tell you to position yourself in different ways as well (hips back, arms tucked close to your body, shoulders down, etc.), ensuring that you're getting a good workout. Each session also incorporates a brief weight series of bicep, tricep, and shoulder exercises.
What Kind Of Classes Are Offered?
When it comes to SoulCycle, there are actually different classes that fluctuate between the skills levels of those attending. Here are some of the different classes that are offered.
- SOUL 101: This beginner class is occasionally offered, but all regular SoulCycle classes can be tailored to any fitness level and there have been beginners in almost every class I’ve ridden in.
- SoulCycle: The classic “cardio party” is a 45 minutes long and combines dance moves, upper body workout with weights, and classic interval cycling set to upbeat music.
- Soul Survivor: A 60-minute version of the classic SoulCycle class.
- Soul Challenge: A 90-minute version of the classic SoulCycle class.
- Soul Warrior: This SoulCycle class gives participants their own chance to ride at the podium and lead the class.
- Community Ride: Every Fall, SoulCycle hosts free classes given by future instructors who still need a little practice.
What Should You Wear?
Wear comfortable exercise clothes! If you are a woman, it is suggested that you wear leggings to prevent any chafing and a tank top or sports bra because you definitely underestimate how sweaty you will get. As for guys, it is suggested that you wear runner's leggings and shorts with a tank as well. In some classes, instructors have been said to keep the studio at 90 degrees to ensure that you get the most out of your workout. If you have cycling shoes with SPDs or some sort of cleats, be sure to bring those as well to ensure you have proper grip on the bike. If not, don’t worry, you can rent shoes from the studio for $3. If you have long hair also be sure to put it in a bun instead of a ponytail to keep your hair from whipping you in your face during class.
Other Tricks and Tips
While these might be the basics when it comes to SoulCycle, there are a few other things that newbies should be aware of to ensure they get the most out of their experience:
- The Clip-In : To clip into your bike, slide your cleat forward over the pedal until it catches, then push down your heel. (The click sound means you're secure.) Flick your ankle away from the pedal to un-clip. The un-clip is probably the hardest part of the whole experience, and the best advice one can receive is to twist your ankle out away from the bike and don’t worry if you can’t, just un-velcro your shoes and leave them there.
- The Set-Up: To ensure a safe ride during your practice, ask any member at the front desk once you arrive for help setting up your bike. Some general rules of thumb are seat aligned with your hipbone (while standing) and handlebars arm length and two fingers away from your seat.
- Weights: When picking weights (start with 2-pounders if you are just starting off your SoulCycle routine) for the arm series before class starts — they're in bins by the instructor's podium.
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