Thursday, August 2, 2012

Fitness Challenge: Day 84

Having been a spin devotee for years, I finally reached the Holy Grail, SoulCycle. I had won a few free rides a long time ago, then lost my voucher, so I held it against the place.

I can see why people are addicted to SoulCycle. The high energy boutique studio gives you a full body workout in 45 minutes. I usually think the crunches on a bike are pointless, but when you do them for most of the class, followed by weights, you feel exhausted everywhere. In a good way.

SoulCycle requires you to wear bike shoes (free for the first class, $3 rental after). The advantage is you don't have to lug sneakers. But the disadvantage is it reminds you of bowling.

The place is definitely quirky. Hair bands and earplugs are thoughtfully provided. But lowering the music would actually be better for your ears.

The women's changing room had lots of amenities, from 2 kinds of tampons to razors and deodorant. But the studio is so crowded that it is impossible to actually use anything after a class. There was a huge line for the showers, and nowhere to change. Lockers are co-ed, so floor space in the tiny changing room is at a premium.

Just like in the class. More bikes than you would think possible are wedged in. When I crunched, my elbows knocked into the women next to me. When we put the weights behind us, I hit the bike behind me.

Yet an assistant came over to me before class to set my bike up, then emailed me the specs for my next class. As soon as class ended, cleaners returned the studio to its spotless state.

In the end, SoulCycle is a bit like working out on a rush hour subway. You complain about it, but you do it anyway.

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