The Experience: If you haven’t been to a SoulCycle class before–or a formal spin class for that matter–your first class will definitely be a new experience. Dim lights, loud music, and candles all help to create an oasis away from everyday life. Each class runs for 45 minutes and includes a short warm-up (usually 2 songs), a 3-minute arms section (using 2, 3, and 5 lb. weights), and a short stretch at the end. While it’s a full-out cardio workout, instructors also aim to make the class fun and inspiring, and set all of their moves to a unique playlist. Don’t be alarmed if you see a lot of combo moves, like crunches, push-ups, and tap-backs to get your heart rate up–do you, and over time you’ll work up to moving with everyone else in the class.
What should I bring?: Expect to sweat–a lot. SoulCycle also provides special shoes that clip into your bike (free for your firs ride!), so make sure to bring socks, and wear moisture-wicking clothing since classes can get very hot. Also, make sure to bring water with you (!) or buy some at the front desk.
Power up: Like any HIIT or intense cardio workout, try not to eat a large meal within two hours of class. Go for a light carb one to two hours ahead class, like oatmeal or a banana, and after class recharge tired muscles with a balanced meal containing protein and complex carbs. Make to drink plenty of water before/after to class to stay hydrated, and go for some electrolytes after class if it’s especially hot!
Facilities: While SoulCycle can be a bit pricey, one of the best perks is their amazing facilities. SoulCycle locations have a fully stocked locker room with showers and all the amenities you’ll need, including everything from shampoo/conditioner to lotion, razors, and hair ties.
Instructors: Love Taylor Swift? Or are you more into hip-hop? Each instructor brings their own flair (and playlist!) to class, so I recommend checking trying several different instructors to find the style that’s best for you.
How do I sign up?: Ready to try it out? Great! All sign ups go through the SoulCycle website, where you get to reserve a specific bike. For your first ride, I recommend avoiding the first row, which is usually best for more experienced riders who can follow all of the instructor’s cues and “lead” the rest of the class. On the day of your first ride, make sure to arrive 15 minutes early to sign a consent form, put your things away, and have ample time to set up your bike and weights before class. Good luck!