Wheels turning, instructors yelling, people dancing, and wallets emptying.
This is SoulCycle: the place where customers pay big bucks for a trendy workout.
I’d heard about SoulCycle for years from my peers and from social media influencers who always argued that that SoulCycle’s supportive class environment and inspiring instructors made it worth the cost.
After many years, I decided to listen and give it a try, so I could see if it was really worth the hype and the price. I went online where I created a basic profile, signed up for my class at the Palo Alto location, and purchased the SOULCYCLE Starter 3 classes package.
For three classes, I paid $60, meaning each class came out $20. This seemed expensive to me until I learned that for returning customers, each class is $32 and there is a $3 shoe rental charge.
After paying my fees, I was signed up and ready for class. I followed the instructions I got in my email confirmation and arrived at the studio 15 minutes early. When I arrived, I checked in at the front desk and they reminded me of my bike number, sized me with shoes, and took me on a quick tour.
The locker room was just around the corner from the check-in area. There were lockers lining one side and multiple bathrooms lining the other. The area was filled with mirrors and various amenities, such as lotion and hair ties.
After putting on my shoes, I sat on one of the benches waiting for the class before me to finish up. A few minutes later, the cyclists began exiting the studio, all of them dripping sweat.
I was terrified.
After the employees finished cleaning the studio, my class headed in. The room was dark with the exception of the candle that was situated on the instructor’s platform. I was unsure of how to set up the bike, but luckily, one of the employees in the room quickly realized my confusion and came over to help. Once I got situated on my bike I was still really nervous, but I was ready to go.
My instructor’s name was Shane. He started off the class with a bang. We were immediately turning the dials to increase our resistance, tapping it back by alternating seated cycling with running cycling, and pressing it down by doing pushups on the handlebars while we cycled.
I was extremely confused by the phrases he kept chanting, yet I was able to follow along by watching my peers. Shane was constantly hopping off his bike and walking around the room which kept me motivated through the rigorous workout.
At the end of the class, he took the candle from the platform and walked around the darkened room carrying it. The energy of the candle’s light reflected the energy of the room. Shane had the man in front of me blow it out to motivate us, blowing out the candle ignited our energy.
We spun as hard as we could in the darkness with the final song blaring in our ears. I couldn’t believe that the class was already over.
As I walked out of SoulCycle at the end of the class, I wasn’t sure how to feel. Although I enjoyed my experience and thought the workout was fun, I don’t think the class was worth the price. There are many other effective workouts and although they might not be quite as fun or quite as trendy, they will do the job.
The hefty price means that after I use up my last two classes, I don’t intend on returning to SoulCycle regularly. The high price detracts many customers; however, for those who can afford it, I recommend you give it a try because it is a wonderful way to find your Soul.