Pedal to the Metal: Joining the SoulCycle Craze

A rut, a slump, a plateau — call it whatever you like, but it’s something that happens to every active person at some point. Whether you’re a yoga devotee, a weightlifting champ, or a long-distance runner, if you practice the same workout long enough, it will begin to feel stale. When that happens, it helps to change things up. Of course, that’s easier said than done, especially when you’ve already tried a range of workouts. However, if you’re looking for a fun, efficient way to break out of your fitness rut and get the most out of your workout, look no further than SoulCycle, which has a location just a quick jaunt from the EVGB East Village apartments.

Chances are, you’ve heard of the SoulCycle phenomenon. Since its inception in 2006, the indoor cycling class has garnered something of a cult following, attracting urbanites ready to shake up their fitness routines and get a next-level workout. And while every SoulCycle class takes place entirely on a stationary bicycle, the workout is much more than a spin class. According to SoulCycle, “it’s a powerful mind-body experience.” SoulCycle’s devoted followers don’t just come to sweat (although most leave the studio soaked), they also come to work through the mental stress and demands of modern living — whether that means letting go of the frustrations of a rough workweek or conquering a roadblock to the next level in life. In fact, there are stories of SoulCycle helping people pass the bar exam, get over a bad breakup, and even prepare to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

It’s no surprise that SoulCycle riders tend to finish classes feeling clear-minded and energized. The sessions are specifically tailored to encourage breakthroughs, with carefully curated music playlists, choreographed routines, and an intimate, encouraging atmosphere. When you enter the studio for the first time, you may be surprised to find it is nothing like the fluorescent-lit gyms you’re used to. Instead, there’s candlelight. And the bikes are close together, in order to encourage connection and a pack mentality; the idea is that you’ll feed off the energy of your neighbors. Each class is different, depending on the instructor, who choreographs the speed, intensity, and various movements to a specific playlist. The music is often an appealing mix of old-school and modern. The result? A class that feels “a lot like a dance party: It’s dark, loud, sweaty, and fun!”

So, we’ve established that SoulCycle is fun. But does it produce results? The short answer is “Yes.” The workout is extremely efficient. SoulCycle instructors pack intense cardio and upper-body toning exercises into a breathless 45 minutes, and thanks to the lively and fun choreography, the time flies by. Some of the signature moves your instructor might incorporate into the workout include transitioning among various hand and seating positions on the bike, engaging the core with what is known as the “tap back” move, and working the arms with a modified push-up. These moves result in a workout that will likely engage new muscle groups, bringing a much-needed jolt of vigor to your workout.

After a few classes, you may just feel ready to climb any mountain, figurative or literal, that lies ahead — even if it’s just decorating one of the East Village luxury rentals at EVGB.