From Our Readers
September 19, 2014 11:13 am

I have never been one to jump on a fitness trend. Sure, I have tried Zumba and even juiced occasionally, but when it comes to worshiping at the alter of fitness, a fanatic I am not. So when my best friend since high school became a Soul Cycle instructor, I reluctantly agreed to attend a class.

To say I was nervous was an understatement. I was convinced that I was going to leave my first class in a body bag. Spoiler alert—I am still alive, however what I came to find is that there are four things no one tells you about your first class.

1. Dress down, way down 

Overrated. Believe me when I tell you, no matter what you think you look like or what body parts you want to cover up, when it comes to this class, clothes are working against you. I nearly got strangled by my oversized T-shirt twice. Here, less really is more.

2. Choose your bike wisely

Pick a seat not too far back. They pack those bikes in pretty close and if you are not coordinated (which I am not) you will end up getting bruised trying to bob and weave in your seat, and crash into people (or the wall) next to you. You also want to be near a fan, if you can, because you will never sweat more in your whole life.

3. You might get a little stuck

The relationship between your foot, shoe and binding clip is a special one. When your instructor informs you how best to unclip your shoe from the bike, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. The whole turn right and it will unclip works about 50% of the time; most of the time you are trying so hard to unclip your binding you nearly twist your ankle and/or fall of the bike. Do yourself a favor and just un-velcro your shoe and save yourself from an embarrassing fall. It happens. . .

4. Seat padding is your new best friend

Ladies, if you are going to take a Soul Cycle class do your lady-parts a favor and ask for the extra seat cushion. They have them but don’t necessarily advertise them and after my first class, lady parts that I didn’t even know existed were hurting. According to my friend, you have to “build up a tolerance” and you’ll “get numb.” I don’t know about y’all but I am not terribly interested in numbing that area — so get the cushion.

So, is Soul Cycle not for the weak of heart? I wouldn’t say that. I was beyond surprised at how much I liked it, not to mention how well I did for someone who, lets face it, isn’t in the best of shape. It is perfect for those of us who don’t love to work out but if forced to do so, want to do it in a dimly-lit room with little-to-no clothing, excellent music and a fabulous friend cheering us on.

Hannah Woodard currently lives in New York City and works in PR. In her free time, she can be found brunching, falling over things, and occasionally writing down/critiquing the world around her, both on paper and with her therapist. Check her out on Twitter: @hannahwdrd.

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