Monika Sch­narre tries L.A.’s hottest work­out

Monika checks out Soul­Cy­cle to see if it lives up to all the hype

North York Post - - Contents - MONIKA SCH­NARRE

I love this. I love ev­ery­thing about this Soul­Cy­cle class. The lights are dim, can­dles lit, the thump­ing mu­sic jars your soul awake. Soul­Cy­cle is a spin stu­dio from L.A. that now has a T.O. out­post.

I’m at the 12:15 p.m. class and it’s packed. There are 55 bikes and al­most ev­ery one is taken, and it’s mostly women aged 25 to 45.

I’m not nor­mally one for a group ex­er­cise class. Ever since aer­o­bics class, circa 1987, in New York City, I’ve been pet­ri­fied of look­ing up and find­ing my­self on one side of the room whilst ev­ery­one else is on the other. I’ll blame it partly on the height dif­fer­ence (I’m 6’ 1”) and partly on lack of co-or­di­na­tion.

WARM­ING UP

With only 45 min­ut­ess for each class, there is not a lot of time for a warm-up. The only dif­fer­ence from the be­gin­ning of the class to the end is the re­sis­tance on the bike, which you in­crease your­self.

GEAR­ING UP

For the en­tire class, you are cycling. The in­struc­tor com­bines tra­di­tional spin­ning with up­per body move­ments in­volv­ing weights. While I’m on the bike, my in­struc­tor, Fraser Barke, gets us to do some climb­ing, fol­lowed by sprint­ing. He also gets us danc­ing. For that por­tion, Barke’s chore­og­ra­phy en­gages a wide range of mus­cle groups, such as tri­ceps, chest, abs and core. We also do com­bi­na­tions of pushups, arm curls and chest ex­er­cises with the weights while con­tin­u­ing to spin.

LEVEL OF DIF­FI­CULTY

The re­sis­tance knob dic­tates how dif­fi­cult it will be for you, so you can make the class as hard or as easy as you want to make it.

COOL­ING DOWN

You have one three-minute cooldown song where you dial your re­sis­tance back, catch your breath and wipe the sweat off your body. And trust me, you will want to bring a bot­tle of wa­ter and a change of clothes af­ter you peel your­self from the bike.

THE NEXT DAY

The next day on the slopes at Blue Moun­tain, my legs were toast!

FAVOURITE PART

The in­hi­bi­tion, that the dark­ness of the room pro­vides, is what I liked the most. It al­lows you to have a mind/body con­nec­tion with­out feel­ing self-con­scious. I would do this class ev­ery day if I could.

NOT SO FAVOURITE PART

Be­ing at the front of the class was not ideal for my first class. Ev­ery­one could see my legs pump­ing to a dif­fer­ent beat (when the lights came up), but it didn’t mat­ter and no one re­ally cared. Monika Sch­narre is a model, ac­tress, en­tre­pre­neur and tele­vi­sion per­son­al­ity. She has ap­peared in over 50 tele­vi­sion shows and films and on over 100 mag­a­zine cov­ers.

Monika get­ting ac­quainted with her bike

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