SoulCycle London Review
I love a good spin class. It’s the only form of exercise that has me excited before I even get to the studio. The one thing that gets me out of bed before 6am (apart from a flight). And for sure the most consistent single workout I’ve done over the past few years. When you combine this with my love of US reality TV you can imagine my giddy joy when SoulCycle announced their first London studio.
SoulCycle is considered to be the nirvana of all spinning classes. Made famous by LA’s most spectacular A Listers, it’s regarded as being a holistic and dare I say spiritual experience for mind, body and - you guessed it - Soul. When I heard about the candle lit, crystal blessed studies, the high energy instructors and the kickass soundtracks - I was double sold.
SoulCycle opened it’s London doors on 14th June, and by the Sunday 23rd I found myself sitting on bike 49 in the 11am class
I must have arrived just as the previous class was finishing so upstairs was teaming with people running to the changing room or trying to sign in. I had to sign a waiver (that was a little concerning) before I could grab a pair of shoes and head down the studio.
Get Clicked In
This is some serious stuff. The shoes click directly into the pedal - no strap. I found this odd at first, as though my foot was going to flip out every time I pulled up. Have you seen ‘I Feel Pretty’? I couldn’t get that scene out of my head for the first few minutes!
No sitting down
In a regular spin class you spend some time in your saddle ‘racing’. It often comes as a welcome break from standing up. Sitting down is a myth in SoulCycle. Most of the class was spent out of the saddle pumping your arms as you dip your body in time to the music.
Bring On The Weights
The only song I sat for was the one where the weights came out. Each bike is ready to go two 3lb dumbbells sitting snug beneath your saddle. For the full length of Bitter Sweet Symphony by the Verve, the instructor had us doing bicep curls, triceps things and other painful moves. This was the hardest part of the class for me.
There was cheering and clapping, toasting water bottles, I think I even saw a high five. And that was just the riders. The instructor was a bundle of energy and positivity, but not in a stereotypical LA way - I don’t think that would wash in London. She kept the riders motivated, told a few stories to maintain interest and occasionally moved round the room to check everyone’s form.
What are the showers like at SoulCycle. Naturals be warned! The showers are great, but the cubicles are small and the shower head is a big fat waterfall style one. You can reposition it a bit, but not much, so take a shower cap!
Towels are provided, both for on the bike and the showers. The products in the shower are lovely Le Labo - they even have a separate face wash. There are Dyson hair dryers, straighteners and vanity tables laden with Drunk Elephant lotions and potions to restore your face back to its pre sweaty glory. There’s also a station offering tripled filtered water to fill your bottle with.
Do I want to go again? Hell yeah! But it ain’t cheap. My intro class was £16, but the regular price is £24. It’s worth the money, but will have to be a weekly/bi-weekly treat.
Great Marlborough Street, Soho