Searching for Soul

The cult classic, Soulcycle; started in 2006 in New York City it needs no formal introduction. Popular among millennials and trendy moms it was no surprise that my mom took to it. My mom has always been up on the latest trends ranging from Twilight (when it was all the rage) to listening to the EDM music my middle brother enjoys- I know, I know I don’t have a regular mom, I have a cool mom.

But we’ll get into my mom and her fitness journey at another time… back to me and my journey. I have never been a big spin class person, I have always mocked people who get their exercise from spinning a bike in place. As a life long runner, I’ve been like why spin when you can run outside? I have now tried Soulcycle 3 times (clearly I’ve gotten over my snobbery, mostly) and say while not 100% for me I can see the appeal. I have also now tried it on both coasts, my first time with a good friend of mine in New York and twice out here in Seattle with my mom.

If you live under a rock and don’t know what Soul is, here is the basic concept: It’s a candlelit spin class ( I seem to have a theme with taking classes in the dark), you move to the rhythm of the beat with an instructor telling you to adjust resistance and speed based on the move. You’re in a dark room filled with about 40 other people sweating it out with you; no there aren’t boards that post your speed or resistance, which is a blessing. Full disclosure I can barely figure out how the bike works and am perpetually worried that I’m going to fall off a la Amy Schumer in “I Feel Pretty”. This isn’t my first spin class but it’s definitely the one I have liked the most. I have taken classes at the gym where they yell “turn your resistance up to 22/24” and I’m like hey soo I can no longer make the bike move and have to use my hands to push my legs- not encouraging. Soul is different, you set your own resistance and pace. It’s all about you, how hard do you want to push yourself, which is great if your new and have no clue WTF you’re doing or if you’re advanced and want to really crank it out. The instructors are encouraging and are right in there with you. This morning in class she came by and said “you’re doing amazing”- honestly it was what I needed to push me to finish the last bit of class. I finished the class thinking damn straight I am a bad ass. Yet I cannot get my feet to unhook from the pedals; I’m that person who has to leave their shoes behind. My mom and I didn’t ride next to each other today, and now I’m starting to see why….

Soul is a great workout, it gets your heart rate going and as far as the actual biking portion it’s relatively easy to keep up with the class. Where it gets tricky is you do push-ups on the handlebars and other abs moves, and you’re supposed to move at the same flow as the rest of class. My first class I was very confused and I think I asked my friend post class if I was missing something. Short answer, yes. You use various handlebar positions to do different pushups to get your upper body engaged in class. As I was doing the pushups on my bike this week, I thought is this going to support my weight? Or am I going to pitch forward into the person next to me? My mom informed me that the bikes are nailed into the ground, but I’m still a little worried.

All in all it’s a fun workout, it’s challenging without being overwhelming and the instructors are friendly. Their goal is to create a community, they ask you your name and have you high five your neighbor. I could definitely feel the community vibe coming out of class again. While I’m still not a spin person, I would definitely do class a few more times

My mom and I are wearing matching Soul shirts, she’s the real deal. I’m just a poser

Have you tried Soul? Or other spin classes? Let me know what you think!