Monika Schnarre tries L.A.’s hottest workout
Monika checks out SoulCycle to see if it lives up to all the hype
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Studio: Address: Price: Monika getting acquainted with her bike