Everyone has heard of SoulCycle by now and if you haven’t you’re living under a rock. SoulCycle is an inspirational workout experience on a spin bike. The workouts are what you make of them. You can coast through or you can take another turn on that dial and get uncomfortable. The resistance wheel is all on you. You control your own destiny which is empowering and at the same time if you don’t know how far you are capable of pushing you may walk away wishing you had pushed a little harder.
SoulCycle ain’t cheap and it is a scene. See and be SEEN. We like to think of SoulCycle like a dessert. It is a great treat every once in awhile but eat a pint of ice cream every day and you start to…not like ice cream so much. It is a good workout don’t get me wrong and it is cheaper than therapy but it isn’t realistic as an everyday fitness routine. So when you want a little Soul in your life to do “you” indulge.
For the most part all SoulCycle classes follow the same formula, and SoulCycle Chestnut Hill is no different. Saddle up, warm up and then a combination of sprints and climbs. Throughout the class will do a lot of tap backs, sometimes even a double tap. You will do push ups and sit ups on the bike. Get ready to engage that core. Your hands will bounce between 1st (near handle bar), 2nd (middle bar) and 3rd position (side bars) and sometimes you will even go around the world. 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 1st, 2nd, 3rd. Good luck with that one.
After you are tired out you slow your legs and work your arms with small dumbbells (1, 2 & 3 lbs available). After arms the music slows down the candles are lit you just ride. No words, no rap music, quiet songs with only sounds of the wheels turning together as the “pack” becomes one. It’s your moment to breath, relax and be one with your thoughts. After one song of therapy the music kicks back up and you finish the class out with one last push.
Looking to fit into a dress in the next two weeks? Then Jeff’s interval-packed class at Soulcycle Chestnut Hill is for you. Speeding up and slowing down is done with intention, and twists are thrown in by way of fun cardio “tricks,” such as fast jogs while switching one hand on and off the bike. As unique as his class was, we felt lucky to even keep up given many other class members were struggling. Jeff didn’t seem game for conducting one-on-ones to correct form, so cyclers had to go it alone. Tons of intervals–and the sore legs to prove it–left us feeling like we survived the impossible workout, but we admit to missing the “soulful” aspect of SoulCycle. No putting our head down, zoning out and finding that meditative state with Jeff’s class. Instead, soul came by way of fun dancing on the bike and a great cardio workout. While different, we’d definitely do it again.
From the moment you walk in the doors of any SoulCylce studio you are greeted by mantras on the walls along with smiling front desk staff and the space just takes you in. The studio in Chestnut Hill is by no means large. It is only one studio with 52 bikes, 2 bathrooms and 2 showers with not a lot of space to move around. The hallways are tight and you are always going to have to wait in line to use the bathroom or shower (sound familiar?).
200 Bolyston St, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467 Newton Spin $$$
SoulCycle Chestnut Hill
Newton Spin $$$
200 Bolyston St, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
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A dimly lit SoulCycle studio littered with glow sticks set the tone for the most LIT Rave Ride of all time. Disco ball in tow, Maddy brought serious rave hype to the burbs. In case disco lights, incredible beat drops, and glow sticks were not enough, she also had light sticks that shined all different colors strategically placed and given to riders throughout the room. Are we in a spin studio or a club? Tough to say, and we’re not mad about it. Maddy took the rave theme seriously. Mad respect Maddy- you know how to do the damn thing and we loved every second of it. More please!?
This 45-minute Rave Ride was like a regular SoulCycle class on a bender. Runs were faster, elbow drops were sharper, and the energy was berserk with the bass bumping the majority of the time. Despite all of that, there was still ample recovery time to find your breath and climb some hills but the choreo was never too far behind. Our hands down fave was the headwhip/body roll right and left while jogging. The class was hard, but the energy surpassed any difficulty. Sass was served. Maddy made sure to give us options on the bike rather than demanding the super-fast pace which made this class an amazing experience for everyone. Honestly, the whole thing felt really athletic – it was a solid and well-rounded workout. We left the joint on a high, that’s for sure.
Maddy is known for her love of all things sparkly and unicorn themed. She was decked-out in unicorn leggings and a sick pink crisscross front sports bra (need one asap!). Maddy kind of embodies those things in a genuine and fabulous way. From the pre-game pump up, to the options allowing us to attack the beats in a way that worked for our own bodies, to the end of class where she wrapped things up yogi style, we realized there is just no one like her. She’s a wild, smiling blur of blonde on the bike and we dig it. Thank you your sharing your energy with us!
Staring at Johnny for 45 minutes in and of itself does NOT burn calories–but what a wonderful workout that would be. But enough with us swooning; we came to sweat! Fresh out of instructor training, Johnny brought us back to the SoulCycle basics. Choreography is low key at best, and instead the class felt more structured than off-the-cuff. He pumped up fun music that pretty much everyone in class knew, which was perfect for rhythm riding and adding on tons of resistance. Choreography and maintaining the rhythm can be quite difficult, so Johnny’s class is a solid chance to challenge yourself and improve. Despite Johnny’s tough, strong exterior, his personality and witty dry humor shined. While the class was fun, and we’d definitely go back for the eye candy alone, we didn’t feel as if we really broke any fitness barriers by the end of it. But as Johnny continues to develop from a newbie instructor to a veteran, we’re interested to see what his future classes have to offer.
We have a mild obsession with Charlotte. We may even stalk her from time to time (We don’t think we are the only one). She is a wind up bunny on a spin bike. Not only does she bring the heat to the workouts; she has an inspirational way about her too. Her words and mantras have the ability to push you to a place that makes you stronger not only physically but mentally as well. (Added bonus! Her music is a solid A+)
Speed is the name of Dani’s game, with a serious dose of cardio in store when she’s in the lead. We “ran” for our lives for 45 minutes, and crawled out of class with our hearts still racing. Dani’s fast–real fast–so just trying to keep up is quite the workout. The fun, upbeat music helped and was perfectly matched to Dani’s peppy personality. Even when called out to correct our form, she says it with sweetness, so we didn’t even mind. Her classes are packed, and given that she’s easy on the eyes, it’s no surprise that there are a lot of guys riding along. And while it has nothing to with her mad instructor skills, as we pedal through her heart-pumping style, we can’t help but be in awe of the girl’s glowing skin. She’s the total package!
Whatever this guy is taking – we want some too! James’ class is a straight up party on a bike. James is absolutely hilarious and we love him for that. He slides across the room, jumping up and down, and screams at the top of his lungs. You literally do not know what this guy is going to do next. He screams motivational words, but don’t get us wrong he’s not just yelling to yell. He is motivational to the point of pushing you past where you might think you can go. He combines lots of fast running and large heavy hills. James takes a different approach then your typical SoulCycle class – his goal is for you to have fun and work you ass off in the process. We were laughing and smiling the entire time but that didn’t deter from us getting a killer workout. But just remember between all the laughs and partying if James sees you slacking off (maybe putting your hair up a few too many times) he isn’t afraid to call you out. Party hard, work harder.
HOLY. SHIT. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the big leagues. (Well, mostly ladies and some gentlemen, but you get the point.) Erin Lindsay folks. Best. Of. Boston. Erin is so legit it makes us shake in our clip shoes and wonder what the hell just happened in that room for 45 minutes. You want to play with the big boys, you want to sweat with the big boys, you want to burn cals with the big boys, you want to work as hard as the big boys, you go ride with Erin.
Two words of advice before you ride: put enough resistance on the wheel (ie. don’t dog it) and please god make sure your legs ride in sync with Erin’s. No one wants to hear their name called out over the mic.
You know those 80s’ aerobic exercise instructors donning shiny leotards, high ponytails and wrist bands with matching sweatbands? We think Liah was one of them in a past life.
Liah Malley is textbook SoulCycle. Her class was just what we have come to expect from $30 and 45 minutes at SoulCycle. There was nothing groundbreaking or anything out of the ordinary. Just a good solid ride, hills, sprints, motivational speak and a good sweat.
For us, Liah summed up her class style best: “It’s not how little you can get away with, but how much you can push through.” Liah’s class, it’s all about building strength, focusing on our own ride, and making it your own workout. And the girl is strong, did you see dat back doe?
Looking to fit into a dress in the next two weeks? Then Jeff’s interval-packed class is for you. Speeding up and slowing down is done with intention, and twists are thrown in by way of fun cardio “tricks,” such as fast jogs while switching one hand on and off the bike. As unique as his class was, we felt lucky to even keep up given many other class members were struggling. Jeff didn’t seem game for conducting one-on-ones to correct form, so cyclers had to go it alone. Tons of intervals–and the sore legs to prove it–left us feeling like we survived the impossible workout, but we admit to missing the “soulful” aspect of SoulCycle. No putting our head down, zoning out and finding that meditative state with Jeff’s class. Instead, soul came by way of fun dancing on the bike and a great cardio workout. While different, we’d definitely do it again.
Mix the strength training of a Soul class with the mindfulness of a yoga mat practice, and you have the makings of Sal’s class. While that may sound like a peaceful, relaxing workout, it was anything but. Even with our big love for cardio, Sal’s even bigger love for resistance training had us questioning why we didn’t just stay in bed. In his mind, the more resistance the better, so even though we kinda hated every second, we kept cranking up the knob. At one point our legs were moving so slowly they came to a stop–but Sal kept going! That crazy motha even had us “run” adding on a double time with great fanfare.
Aside from all the resistance, Sal’s yogi side kept us going with positive, inspirational words that felt as if he was having a personal convo with each of us. Pedaling through the resistance, his words helped ease the burn. And while the pain and exhaustion left us with few choice words of our own–mainly cursing, name calling and wishing ill will, we’re proud to say we made it through. But in full disclosure, complete soreness meant the inability to climb the hill back to our apartment.
Straight off the Acela, Sara makes our dreams come true bringing New York City Soul to Boston. Sparked by an absolutely kick-ass playlist, Sara’s class bust out some of the best remixes our ears have ever been delighted to hear. In a trance from the beats, we hardly realized halfway through the class that she’d somehow convinced us to turn the wheel a sixth time and forced us to “push for just twenty seconds more.” Our resistance was so peaked at one point that our feet may have stopped moving. Trust us though, we will come back for more, specifically to figure out what the hell happened in there and why we can’t seem to keep up with Sara (or look as cool). She’s just too damn fast. And, even worse, we left again without asking her the name of the song she played now stuck in our head on repeat–dammit.