SoulCycle is a fitness phenomenon. It’s not for everyone, but it’s a fun, community-driven, sweaty party on a bike. The 45 minute class goes by in a flash because you ride one song at a time. Every instructor has their own approach and Sam’s approach is balls to the wall. If you’re not into the “dance party on a bike” aspect of Soul, this class may not be the best choice. But if that’s what keeps you coming back for more, definitely check her out.
Sam’s class started out slow to get us moving but got into choreography halfway through that first song and never stopped. We rode hard and fast, moving all over that Soul bike. The resistance was on but it wasn’t unbearable at any time. The speed, countless pushups, tap backs, quick-fire and crunches provided a ride that was breathless at times. It didn’t help that the room was hot as hell. The arms workout focused on full range of motion movements and form rather than reps, so it felt more effective and controlled. It was a fast-paced sweat fest and everything you’d want to get out of a Soul ride.
Sam’s energy permeates the room and fuels her class. The first time we did push-ups, she hopped off the bike, threw herself on the ground (in a somewhat sacrificial manner), and did full body pushups with us for each set. We did three sets of 20 … and if that doesn’t say “I’m in this with you,” what does? That was the tone she set for class. When the room became unbearably hot, she was able to continue teaching class while getting the temperature under control with the Soul team – impressive. At times, though, it was a little hard to hear her cues because of the way she spoke into the mic, but it doesn’t take long to figure out that you may have missed what she just said (i.e. the entire class has moved onto the next move). Her music fuels the workout and keeps the pace fast and furious. The tunes are good, like “get lost on the internet for hours searching for what you just heard” good – seriously.
SoulCycle East 54th Street is one of the better studios in the area, primarily due to the fact that there is SPACE to function. The studio has a decent amount of lockers with USB connections in them so if your phone is on its last legs you can charge up as you sweat it out. Brilliant! The women’s locker room has five showers (which is the most we’ve seen) so the after-class crush isn’t as bad. They have everything you could need for your shower and post-shower routine so no need to haul your entire bathroom with you. The shop at the front of the studio is also stocked with the latest Soul gear so if you forget your sports bra by chance, or need one of their amazing candles, they’ve got you covered.
240 E 54th St, New York, NY 10022 Midtown East Spin $$$$
SoulCycle East 54th Street
Midtown East Spin, $$$$
240 E 54th St, New York, NY 10022
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Kelly taught a feel-good class. She wanted us to find a resistance that felt good to start and we built on it – and took it off – from there. She didn’t overdo the choreography, which allowed us to really master our form during each song. She kept it fun for us and had energy and inspiration to boot. She is extremely present and urged us to be present as well.
Her playlist was solid although we didn’t know many of the songs … but it kept us going through class. Her arms series was good but extremely fast. She didn’t allow for us to get the full range of motion because the movements were so fast. If you usually go on the heavier side for weights, maybe go a little lighter. Her cues were also a little confusing and tripped us up a few times.
Sometimes trying a new instructor at SoulCycle can be daunting – we totally get it. However, it shouldn’t deter you, especially if that instructor happens to be Claire J. Claire’s class started out with a proper warmup and though it began a bit on the slower side, the resistance and pace varied throughout the class and she tricked us into getting a hard workout. Claire was a supportive instructor from start to finish and kept us motivated to push through when the going got tough. We will definitely be taking more of Claire’s classes!
We love SoulCycle. We get to sweat it out while dancing on our bike, and while we’re challenged, our spirits are also lifted. Mabel’s class at East 54th Street hit all of the above. As soon as we walked in the studio, her upbeat personality set the tone for class. Mabel has an energy about her that implies she’s all about having fun, so we had a feeling we were in for a great class – and we were right. What ensued was an upbeat, energetic, yet challenging ride. We are happy we discovered her class.
At the beginning of class, Mabel welcomed us all in and reviewed the hand positions in case there were new riders who were not willing to identify themselves. Throughout the ride, Mabel rode with us, keeping us on pace and on beat. She provided reminders on our form and cues for the choreography. She repeated a lot of the same choreography throughout the ride (sways, obliques, tap backs and push-ups) but it didn’t feel repetitive and (not so surprisingly), it never got easier. The arms workout was challenging, but nothing out of the ordinary.
A true testament to Mabel (and how teaching seems to come naturally to her) was how she handled a technical malfunction as class was wrapping up. Mabel’s mic went out and in a moment where she could have easily given up on us, she didn’t. She used hand signals and the lights to communicate what we should do in addition to riding with us. It was so inspirational to all of us that the class reacted by working harder, vocally pushing her on and clapping on the beat for the last 30 seconds of the last song of class. It was an awesome, inspirational, feel good Soul moment, that’s for sure.
Paige’s Soul Survivor class is like a dance party on a bike that will kick your ass and inspire you at the same time. With music ranging from Green Day to Gavin Degraw, Lady Gaga and Christmas tunes, there is something for everyone. With Paige at the wheel, your inner rock star is sure to be unleashed.
Paige is tough and commands the room with a lot of passion and energy and makes you want to W-O-R-K. She wants to SEE you work and won’t hold back on letting you know to turn it up. While a Survivor class can sometimes be overwhelming, Paige never skips a beat and makes the time fly by. We danced, crunched, and climbed, completed the weighted section in and out of the saddle, sweated a lot and left feeling like we got our money’s worth. Paige rode with us on the bike at times, and also moved around the room to motivate us and turn the resistance up for anyone she spotted dogging it. Her motivational words reminded us that we are stronger than we think. It’s better to try and fail than to never try at all.
The last thing you might want to do on a gloomy morning is pull yourself out of bed to get to that 7:00AM SoulCycle class. The good news is that’s the hardest thing you’ll have to do, because once you walk through the door, Nicholas will have you hyped up and ready to ride with so much energy you’ll actually want to tackle those climbs and sprints. Seriously, even from behind the front desk before most of us can grumble out our first words of the day, Nicholas is radiating with energy and happy vibes that’ll make you forget all about your pillow … maybe he sidelines as a magician?
7am and it’s go time. Nicholas begins with a moment to focus, telling the class to set aside whatever’s coming next in our day and going on in our life and just be present for ourselves for the next 45 minutes. Those words are accompanied by a few deep breaths and shoulder rolls and then we’re off into second position. Right away, Nicholas reminds the class of form, shouting out all the helpful hints (ie. tighten core, lengthen, protect your neck, hips, and back, etc.) that are often forgotten once the ride starts. Nicholas’s energy never seemed to fade throughout class, despite never missing a move during the ride. We tapped it back, climbed, and sprinted, did push-ups and abs, and mixed in some dancing that didn’t end at arms. He continued to remind us of why we woke up and got our asses in the saddle, making sure the class’s energy level remained high while the sweat fell. His music was a mix of mash-ups, throwbacks and top-40 that gave us all the feels. Overall, Nicholas is a pro and that was apparent not only from his instructions, ride and spirit but also from the class size. Nicholas definitely has a following so we’d suggest you book your bike ahead of time.