First time trying SOUL CYCLE! What you need to know before you go.

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I've heard so many people RAVE about Soul Cycle - both as an amazing workout, but also as a powerfully motivational community. SO, I know I'm lightyears behind the times, but I recently tried Soul Cycle for the FIRST time last week, and I wanted to write a post for anyone out there who wants to know what you can expect during your first class.

So what do you need to know before you jump into your first class?

Class schedules open up a week in advance, and you need to purchase credit through Soul Cycle's online booking portal.  You can see the layout of the room, and you are able to book and reserve your bike (I chose one in the middle of the room!).  A day before the class, I received a nice welcome email from the Seaport, Boston location (because it was my first class) of some pointers of what to expect.  You first class is $20, and every class after that is $30.

As I mentioned, I went to the Boston Seaport location, and I would recommend showing up at least 20-30 minutes early for your first class.  This will give you time to sign in at the front desk, pick up your shoes (free the first time!), get your bearings, and drop off your things in a locker. I found everyone to be extremely friendly and welcoming, especially when I let them know that it was my first time! You also need to fill out a waiver form prior to your first ride. As a non-important but still amazing sidetone - it smells SO GOOD in the SOUL studios - I NEED whatever candle they are burning.

 The sleek locker/changing room setup in Seaport!

The sleek locker/changing room setup in Seaport!

If you have friends who cycle, or have friends who are interested in taking the class, I personally found it WAY less intimidating to go with friends who had taken a class previously and knew what to expect.  I pulled on my shoes (velcro-style) and we waited to be let into class.  I brought my own water bottle (you DEFINITELY NEED WATER!), but they also sell water if you happen to forget yours.

A big tip that I would recommend doing is being one of the first into the room, so you can introduce yourself to the instructor and let them know that you are new to SOUL (or spin as the case may be).  Personally, I'd taken a couple spin classes in the past but I've always gravitated more towards circuit training and running workouts.  Our instructor Bridget from the 6:30 class was SO welcoming, helped me get clipped into my bike (kind of challenging, but I enjoyed being able to push harder without my feet flying around), showed me how to adjust tension, and I was ready to go!

If you've never taken a SOUL class - don't expect your first to be perfect, or the *BEST* workout you can get. As someone who's not taken a ton of spin classes - I know it feels intimidating, but just dive in and do what you can do! We got started right on time - the lights dimmed, the music started blasting, and I just pedaled my heart out as (well) as I could.  Our class was Drake vs. The Weekend (loved), and I definitely didn't have the rhythm down for certain songs, but I'm excited to go back and learn more in the future!  

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The class is 45 minutes long, and boy did I SWEAT! I honestly don't know if I've ever sweat so much during a workout, aside from summer long-runs for my half marathon.  I'm not sure if they heat up the room during certain sections, but within 5-10 minutes I was dripping.  If you're going somewhere afterwards, I'd say bring a change of clothes if you can! One thing I noticed as a newbie (and I'm sure you get used to it), is that my butt was sore just from the seat itself, and it took a couple of days for that to go away.  Something I'm sure I'll get used to over time!  

Throughout the class, I kept up as well as I could, but I also didn't hesitate to take things slower or easier when I needed to, and make them less advanced.  I loved that the room was dark and although you feel everyone working SO hard around you, there really isn't any pressure to keep up 100% if you feel it's not safe or feasible for you.  I love that they focus on pushing yourself - on an individual level, whatever that looks like for you!  ALSO - make sure you drink enough water during class and don't be afraid to take a short break to get some fluids in - you're sweating SO much!  I did wish that Bridget would have given us a rundown of what to expect during the class before we got started - it would be nice to have a baseline to know how much to push yourself.

Before I knew it, we were cooling down and the class was over! I had trouble unclipping my shoes from the bike, but that wasnt' a problem because I just slid my feet out of the shoes and hopped off the bike to stretch and cool down.  They started pumping cool AC into the room and I felt so detoxified and awesome having just pushed myself through the class!

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Verdict - would I go back? ABSOLUTELY, if it wasn't as expensive as it is! As someone who's used to free workouts (Fitness Blender or running by myself), I think I would definitely need to adjust to spending so much for a workout.  From a training perspective, I would 100% go back because I thought it was such a great workout.

For anyone in Boston, do you have any other spin studios that you love? I'd love to hear so I can check them out!

Xoxo,

Meg