Alright, so I’ll admit this wasn’t my first time doing a Soul Cycle class. I’ve done about three classes prior to this one, and I loved it. I loved it because it was so easy, I was spinning so fast, bouncing around with my ponytail, and thinking to myself: “Wow I’m like… in better shape than I thought… Must be my dance background.”
Then I realized there is this little thing called a “resistance knob”: a thing that I only became aware of by the end of my third class, when I swallowed the harsh reality that I had been cycling – with an obvious bravado – on a resistance-less bike for not one, not two, but three classes. My facade had been shattered. All this time, I had been masquerading as a Lululemon-wearing, chia-pudding-for-breakfast-eating Soul Cycler, when all I was doing was wearing leggings on a stationary bike.
In the end, I gave it another go, and while my chakra and soul are still open from the ah-meez-ing class, do yourself a favor and read this guide before you take your first Soul Cycle class.
- The water is not free. This one is hard because there are a lot of elements working against you: the smell of Jonathan Adler’s Grapefruit candle, the LED sign glowing the words “Find Your Soul,” but you must remember: when she asks you “Would you like a water?” she’s not offering you a free water, she’s asking for permission to charge you $4 for a Smart Water.
- The people riding in the front row are really good and they’re not going to let you forget it. In case you do forget, the instructor will likely shout them out a few times throughout the class: “Yes, Megan! Yes, Ethan.”
- Speaking of the instructor… she/he is going to moan into the microphone like an indie pop singer. If you take a class from my instructor, she actually might just start singing or even screaming into the mouthpiece at any moment’s notice.
- Recall aforementioned resistance knob. When they say “Reach down and give it another turn,” just pretend to turn it. Spare yourself. Just kind of reach down and act like you’re totally going to make this already incredibly difficult workout even more excruciating. Like, duh, that’s not happening, but just pretend.
- You’re going to hear a lot of platitudes. Be ready for “You are free,” “You are limitless,” “You have no boundaries so don’t create them for yourself,” “You are never alone,” and my personal favorite, “You can do anything – the only thing stopping you is yourself.” Hmm… what about the lactic acid in my quads? What about the Domino’s garlic bread bites from last night? Those are definitely stopping me.
- By the end of the class, though, you will have submitted. You are probably going to feel like the blood running through your very veins is infused with the nectar of the Soul Cycle Gods. You’re definitely going to head straight to Sweet Green, get the Earth Bowl, with “really light dressing.” You’ll come back and tell your Soul Cycle virgin of a roommate:
Before you freak out over the cost of classes ($30 a pop, not including shoe rentals) just remember: you have two kidneys, and you only really need one.
Photos/Gifs: giphy.com, milkandbookies.org