09.24.2014
By Terry Flanagan

SoulCycle

By May Zhee Lim, Markets Media Life Correspondent

For those of us who struggle to put our running shoes on in the morning, we are more inclined to think of exercise as a necessary evil in our lives. This is how Elizabeth Cullen and Julie Rice started their search for a workout routine that felt less like work, and something that actually inspires joy – something that both our bodies and minds would want to do.

This led to the conception of SoulCycle, a New York-based fitness company that offers a cathartic form of indoor cycling. What sets them apart from other fitness classes is the focus on the experience of the workout itself, not just the end result. Each class is only 45 minutes long, led by instructors who have been handpicked by SoulCycle. Their job is to be every rider’s personal inspirational coach and to constantly energize the room full of riders as they pedal up and down in place. The company is known to recruit performers as much as athletes, believing that the instructor’s style and attitude are crucial to the immersive experience demanded by their riders.

Photo via Flick/Stephen Lovekin

Photo via Flick/Stephen Lovekin

The studio space is carefully staged as well: dimmed lighting, candlelit, and high-energy music in the background make it easy for riders to give themselves in to the moment. Riders are encouraged to pedal to the music, following the instructor’s choreographed moves on their bikes. Hand weights and core work are also involved in the routine to ensure each rider gets a full body workout. The goal is for the riders to leave the studio feeling physically and mentally empowered.

A class is priced at $34, with a $20 special for first timers, and you have to buy classes online before reserving a spot in a class. With 25 locations nationwide and over 47, 512 likes on Facebook, SoulCycle is still going strong eights year in, and has gained a large following of fans who keep coming back for the SoulCycle experience that they can’t seem to replicate anywhere else.

Featured image via SoulCycle

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