I Went To SoulCycle!
And I Loved It!
I woke up at 7:30 on Saturday of finals week (ungodly early for a Techer) and trekked the 15-minute walk (ha) to Soul Cycle on Lake Avenue. I met five women there, all from Pasadena, who I’m friends with on Instagram but had never seen before IRL. We’re all part of a women’s fitness community, Tone It Up, that encourages women to do strength training and cardio using free online fitness videos (created by the two trainers, Karena and Katrina). The community behind TIU is empowering: there are tens of thousands of women around the world who use these resources and this community to become the strongest, fastest, healthiest versions of themselves possible. Most of the TIU members check in on Instagram to support each other (you can find my account @tiumazo if you’re curious!). So I’d been in touch with a dozen or so TIU girls from Pasadena for a little while (many more from Philly, where I’m from!) and we decided to do a Meetup at Soul Cycle. A 45 minute morning workout is probably the best way to meet new people who are as enthusiastic about fitness as you are :P
Six Tone It Up girls sweating buckets after the ride!
Now, Soul Cycle isexpensive. In LA it’s about $30/ride, in NYC it’s about $34. As a broke college student, I can’t afford to make this a weekly habit. But I sooo want to. This was one of the greatest workout experiences I’ve ever had, and I’ve tried pretty much everything! I showed up 15 minutes before the class started to sign a first-time rider form and get shoes and a bike. The studio is filled with about 40-50 bikes, which surround a small platform on three sides (behind the platform is a studio-sized mirror). The room is dark, and there are candles on the platform. The platform has the instructor’s bike, facing all the others, as well as a laptop and sound system. A really helpful employee helped me get onto my bike and fit it to me: the seat, and handle bars had to be adjusted, and the shoes they give you “clip in” to the bike’s pedals for stability. In five minutes, every bike was full.
Photo Credit: lindsaylohan.com
The ride started at 8:30, and the instructor, Ross, got right into it. His playlist for the day was a mix of up beat hip hop, soul, and a bit of rap. Ross was part instructor and part coach. Every rider rode to the beat of the music, so everyone was moving with the same rythym. Soul Cycle’s walls are covered in large murals of their slogans, which encourage “pack” riding and supporting each other by being brave enough to push yourself. Ross used the words “brave” and “courage” a ton in our 45 minute ride, but it wasn’t cheesy at all. That ride was HARD. Ross encouraged all of the riders to keep pushing themselves to increase the resistance on their bikes: to be brave enough to do something that was really difficult and rather painful.
The workout consisted of 45 minutes of cycling, at medium and high (and very high) resistance, and was choreographed by Ross to include tricep and chest pushups, crunches, and arm and shoulder exercises (curls, presses, etc.) with small 1-5lb. weights. Do not laugh at the 2lb weights I used: I should’ve used 1lb. It was like long-distance running for your shoulders.My abs and arms were sore for 3 hours afterwards.
All in all, an amazing workout and a great way to start finals week. Back to studying. See you later!