I once heard someone say that spin class is what hell must be like- dark, hot, sweaty, you’re pedaling but going nowhere… all while someone is screaming at you. That’s not quite the feeling I get when I take a spin class (even though… confession: I hate cardio, as in haaaate!), but I can see why one might feel that way.
Spinning is the one type of cardio I can tolerate and would even say enjoy. I’ve taken lots of spin classes, but I never did a “serious” one at a studio like SoulCycle. Nervously, I decided I would try one. Would I kick butt or get my butt kicked? Would I “find my Soul” as the website promises?
My friend, who is a spinning addict, somehow convinced me to try the Saturday 7:15AM class in Roslyn. Class sign-ups begin on Mondays at noon. I signed up online four days before the class and narrowly escaped being wait-listed. Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd, right? Warning: registration here is the kind of thing where people set alarms on their phones and stop doing whatever they are doing to sign up ASAP, or else they are shut out. So if you see someone swerving (guardrail to guardrail) on the LIE on Monday, they may be a Soul-Cycler pulling over to sign up for a class.
Once there, we were surrounded by the way-too-put-together-for-7:00am crowd: cycling junkies. Check in was fast and the space was clean and new. They lend spin shoes the way you would borrow shoes in a bowling alley, except these are slightly cooler.
For newbies, they provide a great service of sending an employee over to your bike to set it up for you, and in my case, help click the shoes into place since I never used spin shoes before. There’s no time wasted- classes seem to run like clockwork here. Actually, the theme seems to be: get in, spin, get out. Our instructor was very professional and enthusiastic. He introduced himself and got us riding immediately. And ride we did.
Class takes place in a large room, which was a bit on the warm side, temperature-wise. They squeeze in about 50 bikes so it’s tight quarters. SoulCycle puts their own spin (womp… womp…) on spinning. There are hand weights under each seat which we used for a little upper body toning during class. The music was awesome (although super loud) and the ride kept changing which is great for those of us who get easily bored with cardio.
The room was dark for the most part, except for a couple of candles in the front. There are a few spotlights used occasionally throughout the class for effect. Darkness is good for us newbies who may or may not have trouble getting their shoes unlocked from the pedals when it’s time to dismount. I loved that the bikes and shoes are cleaned by the staff after each use, so the gross factor is kept to a minimum.
There are no locker rooms, just two bathrooms and a wall of lockers, so this isn’t the answer if you like a pre-commute-jump-on-the-train type of workout. You’ll be tempted to add some pieces to your workout wardrobe here. There is a lot of SoulCycle merchandise for sale- so you can get your Soul on and let everyone know you did. That’s kind of the point, isn’t it?
I recommend giving SoulCycle a shot. It may not be for everyone but there’s no commitment. The first class is only $20 and it’s $35 per class thereafter, plus a $3 shoe rental fee. There is a little bit of a Starbucks factor here with the premium price- but for some people, it’s worth it. Spin on!
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