The music is blasting, the room is dark and muggy, and you are sweaty, sweaty, sweaty! Nope, not in the club. You’re in a Soulcycle class! I’ve fallen hard for the cult, boutique fitness studio; when I schedule a work trip to LA or NYC, I’m booking a bike before I book a hotel room. When we finally got our first Soulcycle in the PNW, I was absolutely ecstatic to try it out. Cameron and I went up to Bellevue last weekend and it was every bit as amazing as I remembered; however, it can admittedly be a bit overwhelming if you’ve never been to a Soulcycle class before – even more so if you are a spin newbie. Never fear. I’ve made a list of my top tips to ease any anxiety and allow you to masquerade as a Soulcycle pro on your first trip to the grapefruit scented, white and yellow studio.
- Don’t wear shorts. I’ve made this mistake before and the seat rubbed my legs raw by the end of the class. Stick with a pair of fitted leggings and you’ll be just fine.Have someone adjust your bike for you. I know some regulars who still have the employees adjust their bikes each class so there’s absolutely no stigma in asking for help! You won’t look like out of place. However, even if you did, it’s incredibly worth it to have the most comfortable and effective ride. Lucky for me, I’m 1’s all the way around (in fact, in Bellevue there’s a “you must be this tall to ride sign”…I hardly made it!).
- Have someone adjust your bike for you. I know some regulars who still have the employees adjust their bikes each class so there’s absolutely no stigma in asking for help! You won’t look like out of place. However, even if you did, it’s incredibly worth it to have the most comfortable and effective ride. Lucky for me, I’m 1’s all the way around (in fact, in Bellevue there’s a “you must be this tall to ride sign”…I hardly made it!).
- There’s already towels on your bike. No need to grab one from the locker room – there’s a fresh one over every bike’s handlebars. That towel, though. It will be your best friend because the class will make you drip with sweat!
- Know how to unclip your shoes. At Soulcycle, you lock your shoes into the pedals which makes for a fantastic spin class but can be pretty frustrating if you can’t get off the bike at the end of the class! Every class I’ve been to, there’s at least a couple people who have to just undo the velcro and leave their shoes on the bike but it’s really easy to unclip if you know how to do it. Simply pop your heel outward in a quick, jerky movement. The shoe will pop right out and you’ll be free, a fab workout under your belt!
- Know how to work the lockers. I know, I know. How silly!? But the first Soulcycle class I went to I ended up having to lug my bag into the studio with me and tuck it under my bike because I couldn’t figure out the lockers! The ones in Bellevue are much easier – simply set the 4 digit code you want, close the locker, and flip the lock. (Don’t forget to mix up the code before you leave!) On the East coast, however, the lockers are much trickier. To set a code you hold down the “C” button until the light flashes, enter your code, close the locker, and press the key button. Boom! You’re an expert now.
- Check your dumbbell size. Directly under your seat is a set of dumbbells that you’ll use towards the end of class. If this is your first Soulcycle class, don’t go beyond 2 lb. Nothing is funnier to watch than a buff guy struggle with the 5 lb weights by the end of the arms track. If you have weights that are too heavy in your bike rack, you can switch them out in a bin at the front of the room.
And that’s it! You are basically a Soulcycle expert now. I hope you enjoy the Soulcycle cult as much as I do and don’t feel intimidated – it’s lots of fun and, more importantly, a great workout.