Everyone has heard of SoulCycle by now. 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 but at the same time, if you don’t know how far you’re 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 as a dessert. It’s 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’s a solid workout, don’t get us wrong, and 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”, go ahead and indulge.
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. 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. Good luck with that one.
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.
You know something’s up when riders march into the room for a sold out class and most everyone looks fit, like really fit. Toned, muscular, like the body we always want, but never have, fit. To us, that’s a direct compliment to the instructor. Karyn knew all her front row riders by first name, which is clearly because she has a following and rightfully so.
Her riders are fit for a reason. Her class is hard and her riders work even harder.
There’s a perfect balance of everything that make SoulCycle, well, SoulCycle: hills, fast runs, more hills, faster runs, with perfectly timed choreography (nothing crazy complicated, but perfectly timed to make us get the most bang for our buck). We ended with an all out sprint for home. A few people left class early (we really hate that) but hey, their loss.
During the arm section, we had at the pleasure of watching Karyn live out her dream of performing the final lift from Dirty Dancing with a fellow instructor who was riding in the front row.
Her playlist was filled with EDM that we’d never heard, but it didn’t really matter. We were dripping in so much sweat and just fighting to keep pace with all the regulars that the music was simply a tool to sync our pedal stroke
Okay NoHo, you just raised the bar…high. SoulCycle in NoHo is by far the nicest SoulCycle studio we’ve been to (and we’ve been to every single one in Manhattan).
The lobby is open and it almost feels like you’re walking into a modern museum. Airy, clean, with a large retail space and even a place to hang out and catch up with friends. Off the lobby are lockers, 144 to be exact. At the bottom of the ramp is the men’s locker room, and further into the studio is the women’s. These might as well be straight out of Equinox’s playbook because they are large, hosting eight showers, two changing rooms, and five bathrooms. There is space for 8-10 people to change and get ready in front of the mirrors. With a packed house of mostly women, we didn’t have to wait in line for a shower.
The spin studio itself is a long rectangular space. There are 60 bikes but they’re a maximum of three rows deep, so there isn’t much space for hiding in the back.
384 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10003 NoHo Spin $$$$
NoHo Spin, $$$$
384 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10003
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Number one takeaway: MUSIC. When class was over, we were eager to find out every song she played. Sydney’s playlist was definitely top five across the NYC instructors we’ve taken. The type of music you can expect? Electronic Dance Music (EDM) with heavy beat drops. We were fans, but if you’re not into EDM, you may want to reconsider. Sydney tied the beat drops with long/fast sprints and would scream to give that extra push. She frequently engaged riders by calling out “first row, second row, there we go back row”!! Her style was engaging and just enough, not overboard with yelling or talking. That ain’t our style.
Her workout formula? Keeping the party alive. We raged and sprinted our hearts out every single song. If you’re up for the challenge, we highly recommend trying her out. That said, if you are new you may want to take a different teacher for your first time. She is fast. She loves choreography…and her class is not chill. Enough said.
Anyone who wears their hair down while teaching class is just asking for a sweaty mess; this is exactly what happened in Jera’s class. Things got sweaty and we mean real sweaty. Jera is a talker, the good kind though: never bordering on too much chatter but just the right amount. She is into choreography and partying her way through class, and we were happy about this. She followed the SoulCycle formula but did add her own twist to things, and we enjoyed the diversity.
A fast dance party, solid music selection, and feel good vibes all around…we are in for more! If you’re new to SoulCycle, Jera is a good option as she is thorough in her instruction and communicates where you need to be every step of the way. Be prepared to have sore arms, because her arm section ain’t easy.
Marvin has a calming, even-keeled energy. He immediately makes you feel you are in a safe, judgement-free zone. He coaches throughout class with a steady dialogue focused on form and is big on visualization. He asked us to think about and see the muscle groups we were engaging on almost everything we did. No matter how experienced/inexperienced you are, being coached on form and how to make necessary adjustments is critical to becoming a stronger, more conditioned rider.
The ride was heavy on resistance and tested our endurance. There were few fast “flush” songs and limited breaks so his class is not for the faint of heart if you keep up with all of his commands. The arms series was demanding on our entire upper body; even our abs were on fire.
Marvin has a limited schedule but if you can get to his class, your form will thank you!
*Marvin is the Director of Instructor Acquisition and Integration, as well as being a Senior Instructor at SoulCycle
Akin’s followers are called “Akin’s Army.” They even have their own Insta handle, so you better be quick to book, because bikes get snapped up quickly. After taking his class, we totally get why. Akin is a ninja on that Soul bike. He is long and lean and he provides a hell of a heart-pounding, legs on fire Soul class – hands down one of the hardest we’ve taken. We guarantee you will do things on that bike with the weights and choreography you have probably never done before. It will be uncomfortable at times but that’s his goal because that is where progress happens. He moves quickly, so rely on the Army if you get confused at any time or if you lose your sight line – they don’t miss a beat.
He was really great and HARD. He also had 10 lb weights that he gave to some of his die-hards who were front row while we rode a song with sprint intervals with no weights followed by jog interval with right/left side narrow row). He has some serious riders. (We also tried to get 5 pounders and they were gone like 5/6 min before class). He’s also pretty easy on the eyes, not going to lie.