Fitness Programs: SoulCycle

Fitness Programs, Health & Fitness

Cycling. Spinning. Same thing, right? Wrong.

I’ve always had a love for bike riding and getting out on the trail in the summer with the sun on your back and the cool breeze surrounding you. So when a friend and I were in L.A. a few years ago we thought, hey let’s try this SoulCycle thing! I can’t even begin to describe all the thoughts that were going through my head that first class, but I came out drenched in sweat, legs quivering, and totally energized. It was an experience, a journey, and I was hooked.

At the time, there was no SoulCycle in Seattle and I joked about making weekend trips to California just to get a SoulCycle class in. Instead, I had to get my Soul fix while I was on the road traveling for work. I’ve tapped it back in three states, and Washington makes four! The first Washington-state SoulCycle studio, located in Bellevue, opened in January, so to share my love of SOUL with you, I sat down with studio manager Camilla and SoulCycle instructor Jenna to get the down low.

And of course, don’t forget to sign up for a class and experience it firsthand!

Kate: What is SoulCycle?
Camilla: SoulCycle is a fresh take on indoor cycling. In 45 minutes we guide you through a full-body workout which includes fat-burning cardio, upper body strengthening with hand weights and choreography to work your core.

At the heart of SoulCycle is the joyful approach to fitness and the community. The class is a journey that we take together by climbing, jogging, sprinting, and dancing our way through our time together.

SoulCycle doesn’t just change bodies, it changes lives. With inspirational instructors, candlelight, epic spaces, and rocking music, riders can let loose, clear their heads and empower themselves with strength that lasts beyond the studio walls.

K: What make SoulCycle classes special? How is it different than other boutique cycling classes?
C: SoulCycle is a full body indoor cycling workout. We ride to the beat of the music and incorporate upper body exercises into our workout.

K: What types of classes are offered?
C: All of our classes are cycling based. Our most popular classes are the traditional 45-minute SoulCycle class and SoulSurvivor, a 60-minute session. You can check out all of our offerings here.

K: What can I expect during my first class?
C: Come prepared to get sweaty and have a great workout! Don’t forget to prepare before your workout with plenty of water and a healthy snack.

K: What type of gear do you recommend wearing to a SoulCycle class?
C: We suggest sporting a tee or tank on top and form-fitting pants or shorts on the bottom. Of course we have our very own SoulCycle gear that you can buy in studio or online!

Whenever I take a truly inspiring workout class I wonder what the instructor’s story is – what journey did he or she take to get here, to this point teaching, and what made him or her such an inspiring individual. I’m fairly certain that inspirational is a pre-req for becoming a SoulCycle instructor, so it was hard to sit down with just one instructor!

Jenna was introduced to SoulCycle by a longtime family friend while she was working as an actress in NYC. She’d always been a gym rat, but after her first class with Marvin Foster, she was hooked! About one year later Jenna was accepted into the SoulCycle training program and as they say, the rest is history!

Kate: What’s it like to be a SoulCycle instructor?
Jenna: Being a SoulCycle instructor is pretty crazy! There is a lot of preparation–not only for the class, but physically and mentally as well. You’re not just responsible for a few people, but an entire community of incredible and strong riders! Being a part of our riders’ days every single day is the most challenging and rewarding opportunity. I love my life and I love my job.

K: You work out for a living! Do you do your own workouts too?
J: I definitely do my own workouts as well! I have a few routines that I have used and collected over the years of my fitness journey, as a dancer, and in my conservatory training.

K: What was the road that led you to SoulCycle?
J: Halle Madia, SoulCycle’s Chief Talent Officer, led me to SoulCycle.

K: How do you prevent your body from breaking down after 10+-classes per week?
J: Being an instructor is very vigorous, so recovery and sleep are essential! I make sure to have protein after workouts and BCAA beforehand, and always eat right and hydrate. You can’t just preach these good habits as an instructor — you have to live them and incorporate them into your lifestyle. As long as you take steps towards recovery, your body will grow stronger with you.

K: What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you during your class?
J: The most embarrassing thing that happened during one of my classes was my first week of teaching back in Brooklyn. I was so excited and got really hyped and sweaty, so I dramatically took off my tank top and threw it down onto the podium. A minute later, I noticed riders were pointing to the stage where my shirt had landed on one of our candles and caught on fire. It’s safe to say that now my shirt is either off before class or I look where I throw!

Rachael Riveira Photography