When I first stepped foot into a gym at the beginning of my weight loss journey I remember thinking spin would be a great way to get my cardio in. It was often dark in the rooms so no one could see me and I could be in the back row where the instructor couldn’t see me either! Perfect.
Well not so much, I took my first spin class at a gym and boy was I not impressed. In fact, after my first class, it would be a long while before I would spin again. Every so often I would want to change it up and I would go for a spin class and I would be so bored halfway through and swore off them.
Fast forward to last year when I started to really notice all these awesome boutique spin places popping up pretty much everywhere. And they seemed to have a “cult-obsessed” following. I kept saying to myself “alright Brit let’s hit up some of these spin class, try something new, get out of your comfort zone” but nope I had the bad gym spin classes stuck in my head.
Then last month I had a friend come to town who loves working out just as much as I do. We wanted to take a spin class and were deciding between Cycle House and Soul Cycle. I knew I wanted to try both but let her pick what sounded better to her! We decided since both of us were Soul Cycle virgins it was time to take the plunge together. All I can say is I get it. I finally get the obsession!
As I signed up and booked my bike I was immediately nervous but sort of excited! The first ride was like going to your first party when you get to college, wild, fun and flies by in a blink of an eye. Sign up and sign in were a breeze. Soul Cycle gives you shoes to wear for free, so we grabbed our shoes and got our locker (they have awesome lockers that have their own locks!) and then waited to go in the room. As we waited I could hear the screaming music and instructor from the class still spinning and I’m not going to lie, it made me so nervous.
When the doors opened, we waited for the room to empty and then ran inside with everyone else (in a very dark room) to find our bikes. When we got in the room we had the previous instructor help us set up our bikes, which was very helpful. Since I don’t spin very often each time I go I never know if my bike is set up correctly or not! And they also show you how to get your shoes clipped into the bikes too and how to get back out of the clips.
Once you’re set up on the bike you just start spinning. The energy in the room was amazing, the first row of bikes are filled with the die-hard Soul Cycle riders, so if it’s your first ride make sure you pick a seat in the middle (like we did) or back so you can follow along easily. The instructor gets up on the podium and you basically go 100% from the minute the class begins until it ends, 45 minutes later. There is little instruction and everyone just knows what to do with a little shout of “tap it back” or “pushups” or “hands on 3” — I did my best to keep up and follow along, sweat flowing into my eyes, down my arms and I just kept focusing on moving the entire class. I will say it takes a little coordination to successfully get through a Soul class. I felt a little lacking in that department but they say it takes about 3-5 classes to totally “get it” and learn the lingo and different movements! There was also about a 5 minute or so weight lifting portion of the class, making it a full-body workout. During the last few minutes, we had a great cool down and stretch which sort of gave the class a “yoga-esque” vibe, which I loved! The instructor had some motivation words and you know your girl loves that! Overall, the experience was great and lived up to the major hype. I found myself super sore but craving the energy and vibes I got from the class! I left on a “high” and it was a great feeling! And one of the best parts, according to my Apple watch I burned over 800 calories!
Then a few weeks later my youngest sister and I decided it was time to give Cycle House a try! I remember when I first moved to LA I had a coworker tell me about Cycle House and they said I absolutely had to try it! After seeing the Kardashians and many other celebrities give it their stamp of approval, I had to check it out for myself as well! We got to Cycle House nice and early and checked in pretty quickly. Upon checking in we found out we had to pay to rent the spin shoes ($2) not a big deal but I was only thrown off since I didn’t read anything about it anywhere on their website for first-time riders. Once we got our shoes, we had plenty of space to sit down and get ready before hitting our bikes. Cycle House has a huge amount of space, especially for being in Santa Monica, which is awesome! As soon as we got in the room, which was more lit up than Soul’s room, we put our stuff in the cubbies and grabbed weights and made our way to our bikes. As we were trying to set the bikes up the girl who checked us in came to help us get situated and set up. Again, super helpful to have assistance for the first couple of times you go to spin, so I love that both studios do it!
And as soon as you’re strapped in there was no stopping! The instructor was great and made sure to make the newbies feel at home. She gave a great quick 101 of the lingo and the moves and also a really helpful way to figure out how many times to turn the knob to be at the right resistance for you, which was a great tip to know! (Basically, count how many times you turn the knob to the right until you literally can’t move your legs anymore!) Then we got started. The music was loud and the lights dim, again 45 minutes of high intensity, high energy, spinning. The major difference here was the switch off between hills, builds, and sprints. We did our fair share of all three and the last 5 minutes are reserved for weighted exercises for your arms and stretching!
After experiencing both, I admittedly fell in love with spinning and totally see why people are obsessed with it. You get the high-calorie burn of running but without the high impact (so easier on the body). I would recommend both studios to anyone who asked but I definitely liked the vibe and energy at Soul Cycle a little bit more. I’ve been back to Soul Cycle once more since my first class and took the Soul 101 class, which I highly recommend! They teach you how to set up your bikes, the lingo at Soul, hand placements and how to really spin to the beat! Super helpful and usually complementary!
Have you tried these studios, do you have any suggestions of others I should try, if so let me know in the comments below, love getting recommendations from you babes!