Written by: Natalie Atkins
Editor: Kimberly Atkins
Many of my friends are raving about the benefits of indoor cycling classes. The weight they are losing, the energy they gain, and the amazing feeling of finishing a class. I took it upon myself to try some of the bigger cycling brands in the Los Angeles Area. This is everything you need to know about a Soulcycle experience.
To take a Soulcycle class you will have to purchase your classes by going online to Soulcycle.com, in the Soulcycle app or though the studio. To reserve your spot in a specific class you can call the studio or use the soulcycle app or website and you can choose your class based on things like; studio, instructor or date & time. After choosing the class you would like to attend you will see a page with the cycle room bike layout and much like choosing a seat at a movie theatre you can choose what specific bike you would like to ride from the available bikes. Apparently, people who request a studio like to use the same bike from class to class and tend to position themselves front and center.”
If you are new to Soulcycle you will want to get there early. Check in with someone at the front desk and they will be able to show you around. This is where you would rent shoes, purchase a water bottle or checkout a seat cushion.. The Soulcycle shoes are in european sizes but someone at the front desk can help convert your US size to a close european size. If you have time, I recommend trying the shoes on while waiting for the cycling room to open. You want your cycling shoes to fit your foot well without being able to wobble your foot side to side, or slide your foot forward and back. These shoes will be anchoring you to the bike by a LOOK Delta cleats, so you want a shoe that holds your foot comfortably. If you have your own cycling shoes with a LOOK Delta cleat on them, you can bring your own shoes.
Just past the front desk and entryway you will find a large room lined with lockers and benches to sit. This is NOT a changing area since it is open to all students taking classes. You do not need to bring your own lock to use their lockers. Just remember the 4 digit code you use. There are mens and womens changing rooms available equipped with toilets, sinks, 1-2 showers, towels, and basic amenities like shampoo, conditioner, Q-tips and a hairdryer. In the event your clothes are too sweaty to put back in your gym bag, they have plastic bags available to put your wet items in. You will want to lockup everything you don’t need for the class. The only things I bring into the class with me are my workout tracking watch and 2 water bottles. (1/4 ice, filled to the top with water.)
Classes run consecutively throughout the day at a typical Soulcycle studio, so do not be surprised if you have to wait a few moments for the previous class to finish and the cycling room and bikes to be cleaned. When you enter the cycling room expect a dimly lit room with multiple rows of bikes. The instructors bike will be raised at the front of the room and the wall behind the instructor has a giant wall to wall mirror on it. Someone from the studio can show you which bike you will be riding, how to adjust the bike, where the weights are attached to your bike (start with 1-2 lb weights) and how to clip in and out of the petals. You will be about elbow distance away from the people on either side of you and bikes are placed one in front of the other. You maybe looking right at the back of someones head. There will also be a towel laying on the handlebars of your bike for you to use during class. When the class starts the lights go low, the music gets loud and the instructor takes the lead. The instructor can dim and brighten the lights on the stage and change the volume and the soundtrack during the class. Some instructors are better and giving the details needed for a first timer so if you feel lost your 1st time… So did I! Your instructor will lead you through a warm-up, your ride, an upper body workout, a cool down and a stretch. 45 minutes later you are covered in sweat, breathing hard, your legs might feel a little wobbly but you have a feeling of accomplishment. There are bins for you to deposit the used shoes and towels into before you leave the studio.
Different studios and instructors have different vibes, music and teaching styles so before you make a decision if this type of group exercise is for you or not, I highly recommend trying at least 3 classes with different instructors or even at different studios. Your experience can change drastically from class to class and instructor to instructor. Especially as you become more comfortable with the workout and your surroundings. If you download the Soulcycle app there is a section of videos for 1st timers to learn how to prep the bike, set up the bike and more
To read about my Personal experience trying Soul Cycle and my feelings on my 1st 3 classes Click Here.
How to support Geekout Your Workout?