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Fitness Buzz: Welcome + Soul Cycle

Posted Monday, April 6th, 2009 at 3:00 pm by sherri in Healthy Bees. More in 10023

color-runner-park1New York City is home to hundreds (maybe even thousands) of different gyms, private fitness studios, parks, and recreation centers. Whether you’re new to the city, or have been here forever, the sheer volume of fitness options can be overwhelming! Should you join a gym? Which ones have the best facilities and classes? Are private studios worth the amount of money they charge? Are free workout options just as worthwhile as their pricey counterparts? What are different ways to get involved in the New York fitness community?

I want to introduce you to all things that the active New Yorker should know about. Every other Monday, I’ll review a class, facility, event, or something else fitness related. I’ll try out some standard classes in addition to discovering some unconventional ways of getting in shape. I’ll also be getting exclusive one-on-one interviews with different instructors and enthusiasts throughout the city.

When I take a class, there are a few major things that I take in account. I’ll be ranking these factors on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being least intense, 5 being most intense).

  • Sweat Factor: For me, this is extremely important! For the most part, the amount you sweat is directly correlated to the quality of the workout. Sweating is one of the best ways to relieve stress, and rid your body of any unwanted toxins.
  • Soreness Factor: Sore muscles are your body’s physical proof that it actually worked! There is, however, such a thing as being too sore. I’ll be able to warn you whether or not you’ll need a day or two to recover.
  • Instructor Interaction: Group classes are only as good as the instructor. I’ll try to give my honest opinion about the instructors of different classes.
  • Endorphin Factor: Overall, I want to share how fun working out can be. Exercise shouldn’t be something that you dread doing and should make you feel better!

Since I am new to the city, I want to know what your recommendations! What are some of your favorite places to work out in the city? Is there a specific class at your gym that you refuse to miss? Please feel free email me with any tips or suggestions regarding fitness in the city.

I decided to write my first review on my favorite place to work out in the city, Soul Cycle!

Welcome to My Happy Hour

logo_05_04_062Around 5:00 on Friday afternoon, when friends begin inviting me out for drinks and happy hours, I tell them I can’t. I’m going spinning. This is MY Happy Hour.

I willingly make the trek up to the Upper West Side (which takes me about thirty minutes) to Soul Cycle, the only exclusively spinning studio in New York City.

Soul Cycle doesn’t offer your “typical” spin classes. There is no techno music, no instructors screaming in your face to go “faster! harder! heavier!” until you can barely breathe. Instead, Soul Cycle classes are a complete mind/body experience. For one, they are lit by candlelight, and the tunes are a mix of high energy (for when you speed up) and meditative (for when you crank up the resistance). It will be hard. You will sweat. But you will be smiling the entire time.

For first timers, it’s the perfect introduction to how exercise can be fun and make you feel amazing. My favorite instructor, Sue Molnar, plays a mix of classic rock (like Bruce Springsteen and The Beatles) intertwined with Top 40 hits. The music is really what gets you into the workout, but it’s her energy that keeps you going! She’ll even get off the bike and dance to the music just to get everyone to feel the vibe!

After class, I have the most phenomenal high. I can go there in the worst mood possible, but once I’m done, I’m the happiest person alive. It’s the perfect way to relieve any stress or anxiety. (Let’s be honest, with this economy in New York City, it’s very easy to feel stressed!)

Perks:

  • The room is big enough that you don’t feel claustrophobic, but small enough that the instructor’s energy fills the entire room .
  • They have a reputation for having some of the best instructors in the city. No matter whose class you take, you know you’re getting the best of the best.
  • Every class features about five minutes of arm weights to the beat of the music. This provides a great balance between arms, legs, and core strength that many typical spin classes neglect.
  • You can rent spin shoes for $3. Shoes allow you to pedal more smoothly and enable you focus on the workout instead of whether your feet are secure.
  • Every now and then, they mix things up and have themed classes (80’s spin, Valentine’s Day Spin, etc)

Some Drawbacks:

  • Classes are $32 each (only $20 if you’re a first timer), which can get pretty pricey.
  • Classes can fill up online up to one week in advance, especially for the morning classes. (You can, however, sign up for a wait list)
  • They do not have a shower facility – trust me, after class you’ll need it!

Soul Cycle, NYC. 117 W. 72nd St. Rear Lobby.

Sweat Factor – 5/5
Soreness Factor – Tirst Timers: 2/5; Regulars:1/5
Endorphin Factor – 5/5
Instructor Interaction – 5/5

 
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