First-timer. Newbie. Rookie. Amateur.
We've all been there. Fitness or otherwise.
You (probably reluctantly or at the peer-pressure of a friend/significant other/family member/co-worker) sign up for a class. Not knowing what to expect other than what you've seen posted all over social media or heard from said person who "forced" you into the class.
Then you show up at the studio. It's complete (organized) chaos.
And you're just like, "How the hell does everyone know each other? Why is no one drawing an imaginary line in the sand for their personal space with all this sweat flying around? Who designed this place so that there's literally 2 restrooms for a studio with 50+ bikes?"
So the hard part is over - you snagged a bike at a prime time in a star instructor's class.
So let's walk through how to get you from front door to bike to shower to the smoothie bar in one piece... mmmmmk?
- Check in - get to SoulCycle 10 minutes before class. If you think you're going to be late? CALL. If you don't, and you're not checked in your bike will be given away 4 minutes before class starts.
- Be outgoing. They'll know it's your first time based on your account but wear it like a badge of honor. Introduce yourself to the front desk (AND ALWAYS BE NICE) - you get one shot to make a first impression and if this sticks, you're going to be seeing them quite often.
- Check your ego outside the studio - no matter how often you "spin", you've never been on a SoulCycle bike. So allow yourself help setting up your bike. It's different than a road bike too, second-coming-of-Lance-Armstrong so let the pros do their jobs.
- Moisture wicking clothing. You're up and you're down on the bike throughout class (primarily up) - and you'll want crops/tights and a moisture-wicking top. You will SWEAT BUCKETS. Or a sports bra you're real comfortable in because more often than not, it becomes your shirt.
- HYDRATE. Drink water before class. Eat a snack (200-300 calories worth about an hour before - I love some good gluten-free almond butter/banana toast).
Time To Ride
- Listen to the instructor. They're the pro. They'll tell you the hand positions, how to turn up/down the resistance and why it's so important to actually turn it up.
- Ride to the beat of the music. That's the core of the class - and trust me, we don't all get it our first time. I sure as hell didn't. (Try ~15 times.)
- Don't be the best. Be YOUR best. How often do you try something for the first time and end up being the best out of 50+ people? Rarely. So embrace it. Learn from it.
- Sit out the choreography if you don't feel up to it. It's dark as hell in that studio. No one's judging you. No one cares.
- Embrace the pack. At SoulCycle, we (the class) rides as one. We start together, we turn it up together, we finish together. And we dance it out on a bike that goes nowhere for 45 or 60 minutes together.
- Stay for the stretch. It's 3 minutes. You signed up for 45. Get the most out of it. Give your body what it needs after all that strenuous activity.
- THANK your instructor. They just busted their butts for 45 minutes with you. AND had to speak/teach the entire time. They also spent a long time putting together the playlist and choreography. What they do isn't easy. Show your gratitude.
- Talk to people! You're all high on endorphins and so are the people that just sweated it out with you. Introduce yourself. Say hello. Recognize someone from the bus/that tech company you work at? Tell them. Form relationships. It builds community and suddenly you're the one saying hello to everyone as you walk in the studio doors.
- Start scheduling your next class. Trust me, you'll be hooked.
I've made some amazing friendships, am inspired every time I walk into that studio, and quite honestly - riding at SoulCycle and opening myself up to the community there motivated me to make a big change in my professional life and makes me a happier person every single day.
So what are you waiting for? Let's ride. (Wine/Smoothie on me afterwards.)