The last time I took a spin class was in 2015. So when I texted my roommate the other day to say I was off to take a preview class at SoulCycle, the indoor cycling workout that has gained a cultlike following in the U.S., she replied, “Goooooooood luck. You’ll need it. It’s HARD!!”
I arrived at the downtown Toronto studio – SoulCycle’s first international location – and was greeted by a number of positive, peppy personalities. I spotted someone walking around with what appeared to be a tray of shots (at least something looked familiar) and flagged her down. I reached for one of the grassy-smelling drinks and drank it back, whispering to myself, “If Victoria Beckham can stomach this, so can you.” Beckham, along with other A-list celebs like Lady Gaga and Madonna, is a frequent SoulCyclist. (Michelle Obama herself was recently spotted at a Washington, D.C., location.)
After I “clipped in” to my bike (you can rent cycling shoes if, like me, you don’t own a pair), a Greek god walked into the dimly lit room. He was the instructor, Adam. “Is everyone ready to sweat?!” he screamed/laughed to the group. (The studio holds 55 bikes, and it was a full house.) I gulped.
Adam’s first song of choice was a hyped-up techno version of Beyoncé’s “6 Inch.” I started smiling. Was I actually enjoying this? Adam’s playlist really won me over, however, when Fat Joe’s “Lean Back” came blaring through the speakers. At this point, not only was the entire class cycling in rhythm, we were kind of dancing…with weights. It didn’t feel like a dance class, but it didn’t feel like any spin class I had been to before either. I was hardly a pro, but I was enjoying myself while burning calories (supposedly between 500 and 700 in a 45-minute class), and that is a rarity.
A SoulCycle studio.
A day after the class, still incredibly sore, I sat at my desk reflecting on my experience. “I should have turned up my resistance up a little higher,” I caught myself thinking. “Next time I will.” Next time? Was I actually contemplating going back? I had definitely drunk the SoulCycle cayenne-pepper-infused lemon water.
The King West SoulCycle officially opens its doors to the public on March 2nd, with additional Canadian locations – in Toronto (Yorkville) and Vancouver – planned for later in 2017. See you there.
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