Weekday Workout: Soul Cycle

Time to put a little soul in your workout!

I finally jumped on the Soul Cycle bandwagon (or bicycle??) this week! Most people have been shocked to hear that Thursday night was my first ever ride and quite frankly, I understand why. I can’t believe that THIS is what I’ve been missing out on! One of my girlfriends, Katie (who also happens to be my ‘big sis’ from my college cheerleading team!) suggested we take the class and I’m so happy she thought of it. While my arse and sit bones are hurting at the moment, I’m already looking forward to my next spin class at Soul Cycle!

So what makes this different than any other spin class? Honestly, I’m not a spin connoisseur. I used to be an avid spinner back in my early college years, but my interest waned. I still think I’m qualified to pass some kind of judgement on this, though! What stood out to me the most at Soul Cycle (as I tried not to vomit or collapse over my handle bars) was the emphasis on staying mentally grounded and focused. I guess that’s why they call it SOUL Cycle, huh? It’s very similar to yoga in that you begin by setting an intention for the class and you use that intention as a guiding light through the class and beyond the studio doors. I love the emphasis on being present in the moment. I feel like I could have done a much better job at sticking with my intention and I’ll have to work on that in upcoming classes. It just so happened that I made a minor blunder at work, which I discovered literally as I was walking to my bike. It was hard for me to “leave it at the door” and I couldn’t help but feel really distressed. I tried to shift my focus away from it as best as I could, but it kept creeping up in the back of my mind. Next time I know I’ll be more focused!

Onto the physical nature of the workout. This class was really hard for me! The instructor, Olivia, is actually and old friend of ours, which made it more fun (both while on the bikes and while out for recovery food and wine after!) Olivia is BAD ASS. She leads a tough workout, but her attitude is awesome and her enthusiasm radiates. You can tell that she truly loves what she does. She guided us on runs in the saddle, then various climbs and some sprints out of the saddle. The class incorporated a lot of up and down from the saddle, a lot of pulsing on the handle bars and a lot of hovering just above the seat. I actually felt super awkward sitting on the bike. I had absolutely no rhythm at all. Once we got into 2 and 3 and added some weight, I felt a little better and a lot more stable. I think it’ll probably take a few classes for me to really get into a comfortable groove. I’m also not used to doing extended periods of cardio like that. Sometimes I got a little too confident and overdid it, which nearly resulted in projectile vomiting and the strong urge to catch my breath outside. I stuck it out, though, because I’m NOT a quitter!!! Olivia’s house/electronic playlist was awesome and it definitely helped me power through the 45 minute. Every song has such a great beat, which kept the pace for the ride.

I also really enjoyed the arm workouts at the end. The cycling meets barre combination is unlike anything I’ve done before! While we were still pedalling on the bikes, we did some basic lifting moves with 2 lb weights (which are already on the bike!). We did exercises like shoulder presses, tricep kick backs and bicep curls among other moves. It was a great way to give my poor legs a break for a few minutes.

In all, I really liked this workout! I’m used to strength training and HIIT, so it was nice to break up my routine with a spin class. I’m looking forward to taking another class and if you’re planning on heading to Soul Cycle soon, make sure you try Olivia’s class!!! You’ll leave feeling refreshed and detoxed from whatever kind of day you had.

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