SoulCycle has landed on Martha’s Vineyard in a major way. Whoever thought island time was for relaxing and lying on the beach was sorely mistaken as the fitness scene is alive and well on Martha’s Vineyard. SoulCycle is popping up in Edgartown for 3 fleeting weeks. They have taken over a pre-existing exercise studio and transformed it into a SoulCycle oasis that fits perfectly into the island surroundings and welcomes people with open arms. It’s exactly what you would hope for in a “Destination SoulCycle.” Community, island vibes, limited-time retail, and sweaty rides.
For the most part, all SoulCycle classes follow the same formula: saddle up, warm up, and then a combination of sprints and climbs. Throughout the class, you’ll do a lot of tap backs, sometimes even a double tap. You’ll do push-ups and sit ups on the bike and get ready to engage that core. Your hands will bounce between 1st (near handlebar), 2nd (middle bar) and 3rd position (side bars), and sometimes you will even go around the world: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 1st, 2nd, 3rd.
After you’re tired out, you slow your legs and work your arms with small dumbbells (1, 2 & 3 lbs available). After arms, the music slows down and the candles are lit and you just ride. No words, no rap music, just quiet songs with only the sounds of the wheels turning together as the “pack” becomes one. It’s your moment to breathe, relax and be one with your thoughts. After one song of therapy, the music kicks back up and you finish the class with one last push.
Just because we are on an island doesn’t mean the instructors are on island time, far from it. The classes are on fire and we might even beg to say that the teachers are upping their game due to the intimate vibe and straight up electric energy in the building. All of the teachers have been shipped in from surrounding cities – Boston, New York, DC, Chicago, and CT. So you can keep your affinities or spread your wings and ride with some new blood. Whomever you choose, you will not be disappointed as Soul has brought some of the best on the East Coast.
The beautiful open lobby welcomes you with a check-in desk and full spread of retail. There are plenty of opportunities to get your instagram worthy pics in, be it on the shingled wall with a picture of Martha’s Vineyard, on the Soul beach cruiser bike, or on the front porch clad in your Soul towel sitting in a yellow Adirondack chair.
There are cubbies in the lobby to store all your belongings but no lockers or USB chargers like in the city locations (let’s not get greedy!). The gear is lit and all clad with MVYD. Anyone who is anyone is wearing their tank, tee, or capris straight down Main Street like a badge of honor.
The spin studio is located in the basement and it is packed, but the close-knit vibe is perfect for the island community. Beware: the spin room gets H-O-T, as in sweaty mess hot. So make sure to grab your complimentary Smart Water (or two) on your way down and be prepared to sweat your rum punch or g&t straight onto the floor or your neighbor on the bike next to you.
There are bathrooms, but no showers…that’s what the ocean is for.
250 Upper Main Street, Edgartown, MA 02539 Spin $$$$$
SoulCycle Martha’s Vineyard
250 Upper Main Street, Edgartown, MA 02539
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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.
In Lily’s class, expect thick hills and fast sprints. She built up the tension with tough hills and then released with downhill sprints. With an assortment of upbeat music and a passion to lead the pack, she kept us engaged every minute of class. Her stamina kept us motivated and we hit that “zen” feeling only when it was time to cool down. If you’re into slow songs or need moments to catch your breath, Lily’s class may not be the right fit. But if you’re up for a challenge and looking for a mood booster, Lily is worth the shot!
Given that Lily was once a rider herself, it was apparent that she was committed to sweating it out with the riders and she never let up. It was refreshing that she didn’t religiously look at herself in the mirror but instead was constantly focused on the class. She exuded a realness about her that lacks in some teachers and she had a down-to-earth personality. Feel good vibes all around, and we’d certainly go back for more.
The SoulCycle formula was spot on in Melanie’s class (saddle up + warmup + choreo + arms + therapy ride + finisher). We’d expect nothing less from a master instructor and a long-time rider (she’s been involved with the brand since 2006, to be exact). Her speed was moderate – never full-on sprinting or climbing, but somewhere in between. Melanie religiously demonstrated the various moves and focused on form – good for the newbies but it felt like a bit of overkill for the regulars.
As the first rider to become an instructor in 2009, her commitment to providing a true SoulCycle experience came through. She encouraged us to turn up the resistance and let the music guide us through class. We didn’t love Melanie’s nonstop litany of mantras and clichés, but her voice is soothing voice and some of it hit home. She played a mix of music incorporating genres from alternative rock to a variety of dance remixes. While it wasn’t our absolute favorite, we’d go back for a feel good ride.
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.
Trammell’s motto for class was “Ride harder, ride smarter.” His biggest focus was the resistance wheel, telling us that the resistance we apply will lead to progress and make us stronger riders. With that, his class was all about the hills. There were only two fast “run” songs in his entire play list. Trammell’s arms series was pretty straightforward (much like his class), focusing on slow movement, full range of motion, isometric holds and boxing with the weights. For the last song, he split the room into three groups and we rode in rounds – on his cue, one group would sprint out of the saddle as the other two groups cheered them on. It was a great way to end the class as a unified team.
Trammell knows how to get the room going. Although he didn’t ride with us, he still managed to fuel the ride with his energy. During the first song (our warmup), he and the front desk/management staff had a full on dance party to get us going – they really got into it! Throughout the ride, Trammell pushed us to try harder, add a little more, etc. He would occasionally stop in front of a rider to give them personalized attention and encouragement. Trammell’s class was a heart pumping workout, urging us to test the boundaries of our abilities in a supportive and fun environment. Catch his class if you can.
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+)