Have you guys heard of SoulCycle?

soul cycle union square

It’s a full-body indoor cycling workout offered in New York and California, and, being from Florida, I never heard of it until earlier this week when Ashley tweeted about it, asking if anyone in town for Fitness Magazine’s Meet & Tweet wanted to take the 6 a.m. class today.

Since New York City fitness classes have kicked my butt in the past (thank you, Physique 57), I knew I wanted to give it a go!

I awoke at 5:10 a.m. quickly scarfed down a Zone bar and met Ashley in the hotel lobby at 5:30 a.m. to walk to the class together in the rain.



We also met up with fellow blogger Kristine before it was time to ride!

Since it was my first class, I was able to attend at a discounted rate, otherwise classes are (get this!) $32. Insane, right? And they had a completely packed class. According to Ashley, the class books up ridiculously fast and is always full.

As a first timer, I was also given spinning shoes to wear during the class for free (you may also rent them there or bring your own).


When I heard I’d be wearing legit shoes, I got a little nervous! How intense was this class going to be!? I’ve only ever taken spinning at my local gym and never had fancy schmancy shoes.

Well, the class was most certainly hardcore and I was dripping sweat by the end of it. The music was loud and energetic and every song had a fantastic beat.

During the class, we did typical sprints and hill climbs, but also integrated arm movements like pushups on the bike and shoulder exercises with very light weights. I really felt the burn in my arms which totally shocked me since I figured it would be mostly a cardio or leg workout.

And you wanna know something pretty darn cool about the class?

Chelsea Clinton was in it this morning!

chelsea clinton

My friend Merri sees celebrities all the time in the city so last time when I was here visiting her, I was on the lookout for someone famous. Naturally I didn’t see anyone so I was pretty excited to see Chelsea.

I’m not sure how the security works for former first children of the United States, but I scanned the class for super fancy security guys and didn’t see anyone… but maybe they were undercover and super sneaky. Or maybe former first children no longer get security, which could easily be the case. Does anyone know?

Question of the Afternoon

  • Have you ever taken a specialty fitness class like SoulCycle or Physique 57? Would you want to?


  1. Jessica says

    I haven’t taken a class like SoulCycle, but I know a lot of spinning gyms are starting to pop up in big cities!

    This is silly, but how do you get the weights when you are on the bike? Are that at your feet and you get off the bike to grab them? Or maybe they have fancy bike packs to hold extra stuff?


  2. says

    Haha that’s so funny! They’re not always that obvious but they always have the little thing in their ear. I see Barbara Bush on the beach in Maine every now and then and her guard is always with her in beach attire 🙂


  3. says

    Former first children are required to keep secret service until they’re 18. After that, they can choose whether or not they want to keep it. I think I remember my dad telling me this year’s ago, because he’s friend’s with one of Gerald Ford’s kids!


  4. Irene says

    You are so lucky! Soul Cycle is supposed to be amazing. And to see someone famous there, gosh. That’s the best. I actually go to NYC somewhat frequently, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone famous there.


  5. says

    That’s awesome that you went to a Soul Cycle class. I’ve always REALLY wanted to try one, but I’m from AZ. I have no idea about the former first children… hmmm.


  6. says

    I’ve heard a lot of great things about SoulCycle – that’s so cool you got to try it out! I love that arm exercises were incorporated into the class, too. I’m jealous!!


  7. Kaelin says

    I have heard great things about SoulCycle, and at that price, it had better be the BEST! What a great opportunity to take a class like that while you were in the City. Have fun on the rest of your outings today, can’t wait to hear about them!!


  8. Laura says

    Very cool that you got to share a class with Chelsea Clinton!

    I’m hooked to Flywheel. We have a studio in Atlanta, and it’s similar to SoulCycle. It was actually founded by one of SoulCycle’s founders. The energy and music are always great, and I love the stadium seating. At $25 a class, it’s a little expensive, but I love going each week! That fee also includes shoes.


  9. says

    Ahh that sounds so fun! New York definitely seems to have some of the best work out classes. That’s hilarious that Chelsea Clinton was in your class! Makes sense that celebrities would be in it though, you would have to have money to even attend a $32 class, yikes!


  10. says

    that’s cool you had a celebrity in your class! I would love to try soulcycle and am googling now to see if there is a place close to where I will be staying when I go to California at the end of the month!


  11. says

    Ahh I’ve been wanting to try SoulCycle forever! I’m a spin instructor but sadly there are no clubs up here that offer SoulCycle.. that I know of anyway. Did you enjoy wearing the cycle shoes? I used to wear regular running shoes but when I started teaching 4 years ago I got spin shoes and I can’t do a class in anything but them now! That’s awesome that you were able to borrow a pair, and very very cool that Chelsea Clinton was in the class too!


  12. Katie says

    Fun fact- I lived in NYC from 2009-2011 and was getting my MPH in Health Policy (same as what Chelsea has, except she was one year ahead of me in the program at Columbia)- and get this, she was my teacher’s assistant- only like 15 people in my group too so i’d see her once a month for discussion! She’s super down to earth too- I always was suspicious that we had cameras on us or spies watching us…. but sounds like secret service isn’t a lifetime thing!


  13. says

    I’ve never heard of SoulCycle before, but the spin class I used to take in college included all sorts of push-ups and arm workouts. I loved it, because you really feel like you got an all around workout by the end when you weren’t expecting it. But $32 per class?!? Holy cow! Also, those shoes would kind of freak me out too – I always associate them with people who are really hardcore.


  14. Sarah says

    So glad you tried soul out! I work for the upper west side studio and am an enthusiastic rider too! Such a fun release and those 45 minutes fly right by! Whose class did you take!?


  15. Emily says

    That room looks tiny! I bet it was a super sweaty class if it was that packed! I’m pretty sure I’d die if I ever took a hardcore spinning class lol

    How exciting to see someone famous! Have fun!


  16. jessiac says

    I LIVE FOR SOUL CYCLE. It’s such a crazy cult following though and so expensive. BUT they offer free classes a few times a week but you have to sign up RIGHT when classes open on Monday’s to get in. Glad you go to try it!! I love the pushups on the bike. Who was your teacher/which studio did you try?


  17. says

    That looks like such a fun class! And thats so cool you got to see Chelsea Clinton. I’d be so awkward, do I smile and say hi or pretend not to notice her? haha Can you tell I’ve never met a celebrity in real life?


  18. says

    So glad you got to try SoulCycle, it’s one of my faves! And you scored seeing Chelsea! Jake Gyllenhaal is known for hitting up Soul too…I’m praying one day he’ll be in my class. Great meeting you at our meet & tweet today!


  19. Sue says

    I have been DYING to try SoulCycle for a while now! I’m finally going to get to try it out in a couple weeks when I’m down in the city for business. I spin a few times a week at our local YMCA and it’s my favorite cardio workout. I hope the SoulCycle experience is all it’s hyped up to be!


  20. says

    Ah $32 must mean it’s an AMAZING workout!! That’s awesome Chelsea was sweating it up in there. Her father did have a heart attack so it’s wise of her!


  21. says

    SoulCycle sounds so amazing, I definitely want to try a class next time I’m in NYC! And super small world, that blogger Kristine you mentioned was actually my roommate in college at U of M! We were both in the same sorority and I just saw her last time I was in NYC in March…when I was reading your post I was like OMG, I know her! So crazy! 🙂


  22. Stefanie Parker says

    Hey Julie! So cool that you got to take Physique 57! I teach The Dailey Method ( in San Jose, CA. It is VERY similar! I am completely obsessed with it! Since i tend to gain muscle easier, it makes my muscles LONG and LEAN which i love since i am only 5′ 2″. =-)

    You should try it if you are in the area sometime! They are all over! I also do cardio/other classes, but i definitely love this!

    Anyway, love your blogs! Keep them coming!



  23. lisa@thedailyrundown says

    I think it’s so cool that Chelsea Clinton was in the class!
    I never see celebrities. I get goose bumps seeing the baseball players at a baseball game, and I mean duh! It’s like I’m excited they are actually there!


  24. says

    What’s funny about this is that when my best friend worked in NYC for a summer in college she went to a Soul Cycle class and Chelsea was in it (before her big wedding)… When I saw Soul Cycle in the post, before I even read on, I immediately thought of Chelsea Clinton just because of it being my only prior association. I guess that’s just been solidified!
    Too funny.


  25. Katie says

    Alec Baldwin is in my cousin and her husband’s spin class! It looks like that’s the fitness go-to for celebrities! 🙂

    That class sounds like it was so much fun!


  26. says

    I would never take a $32 spin class, that’s fo’ sho’. $15 is my tops. Unless I magically run into some extra money, then I’d probably change my mind since I love spin so much.

    But I guess that’s NY for ya, right?

    Oh, spin classes at the Y (Blanchard Park) incorporate push ups and light weights. So you don’t need no SoulCycle. 😉


  27. says

    Heads up on a rant….
    As a certified Spinning instructor (which is a registered trademark), I need to first say that Soul Cycle, Flywheel, or any similar facilities are not “spinning” facilities but rather just some sort of indoor cycling class.
    Spinning doesn’t encourage any weight bearing upper body exercises (or push ups) on the bike. Not only can it be dangerous but sitting up straight on a bike is not proper form/alignment.
    I will admit that I too had been curious about these types of studios so I tried a local one. During the class I felt OK (aside from feeling a bit silly sitting up in the saddle holding a 3 lb body bar), but the next day my back hurt. I’ve heard the same from many other people.
    Spinning is a cardio/lower body workout. End of story.
    Sorry for the rant but as a by the books instructor, clubs like this make it harder for me to teach as participants now think they need bells and whistles.
    Flywheel is opening in the summer nearby so it surely will only get worse.
    I could go on…


    • Olivia says

      Amen, Jessica! As I was reading this, I was actually thinking a lot of what you wrote. I’ve been spinning (aka not SoulCycle-ing or Flywheel-ing) for years and have never once used weights or done push ups on a bike, and I would like to keep it that way! Spinning (true Spinning) is an amazing lower body workout, but it’s just that: a lower body workout.


  28. Irini says

    My gym offers Soul Cycle, except they call it Zenergy cycle. I’m actually going to it in about 2 hrs time 😛 I love it, and the weights are such an awesome break from the spinning, it makes the time fly by. And also kicks your butt yes!


  29. Sarah says

    WOW! I might have to take Soul up soon… $32 isn’t bad at all! WAAAAYYY less than I’m paying now. Sounds like a steal 🙂


  30. says

    Soul Cycle is my favorite!!! I used to go all the time in NYC!!! Like 2 classes a day in the summer! Once in the Hamptons I was in class with Kelly Rippa!!


  31. Tricia says

    Welcome to NYC everything is expensive. I pay $590 for 20 classes at Physique, and I take it 3x a week. I’m starting the bridal challenge next week 4 weeks for 4x a week and then i get 15% off my next 20 class package (at the price they should give me 20%. If you love something and it works for you it’s definitly worth the money, i work on 57th street so it’s very convienent for me. My fiance wants to try Soul Cycle so we may venture to that after my bridal challenge is over.

    I’ve seen Chelsea a couple times actually and she never has security with her. The last time i saw her was at a gala and she looked like crap and had an ugly dress on!!!


  32. says

    The first-time discount for Soul Cycle is pretty great. I took a class there when I was home in April and loved it. So much fun and the people who work there are so nice! That being said, it’s definitely super intense (and perhaps a bit ego bruising…). Hope you are having fun in NYC!


    • QueenofFitness says

      hey brittany!! i was just going to mention that i too listen to wake up with taylor on cosmo radio and she always talks about soul cycle, seeing kelly ripa, kelly bensimon, & olivia (the opera singer, who is a friend of cosmo radio) from the biggest loser. laurie cole, one of the instructors used to stop by cosmo radio for thursday’s fat kid fit club. i miss listening the thursday chats. i really loved hearing all of her fitness knowledge.


  33. says

    Oh I’m so jealous! Although I’ve never even tried spinning at the gym (haha), I’ve really wanted to try SoulCycle. I listen to Wake Up with Taylor and she does soulcycle and talks about Chelsea being in her classes, as well as Kelly Bensimon and Kelly RIpe. Awesome. 🙂


  34. says

    I cannot believe how expensive ONE class is! That’s just crazy!! That’s practically what a MONTH membership at my gym costs– with all classes included. Jeez! Does sound like an AWESOME class, though.

    SUPER exciting to see Chelsea Clinton! How fun!!!


  35. says

    wowzers! 32 dollars for one class? I wanted to try a class until I read that lol. But that’s pretty exciting to have a celebrity in your class…
    I’m from ontario but went to DC a few months ago for a conference. I almost bumped into an older man walking with a several other older well dressed people. Once we were several feet away one of the boys i was travelling with started freaking out that I nearly bumped into newt gingrich. And thats my closest story to a celebrity sighting lol.


  36. says

    I’ve always wanted to try SoulCycle. I hear Kelly Ripa love sit too. And you saw Chelsea?!!!

    I just went to Jazzfest in New Orleans and saw Cynthia from Real Housewives of Atlanta on one of my flights. That was kind of exciting, but not like seeing Chelsea.

    Have a great time in NYC!


  37. Marie says

    No sneaky pics of Chelsea!? Kidding…sorta. Does your friend like living up there compared to Florida? I have never trie any type of cycling class, but it sounds fun; can’t wait to hear more of your adventures.


  38. Chelsea M says

    I’ve actually met Chelsea Clinton in NYC too! One year on Fourth of July I went to a friends apt to watch the fireworks from her rooftop and rode the elevator up with Chelsea and two friends. It turns out she was their next door neighbor! I really wanted to blurt out something about us having the same name but somehow I played it cool. She seemed very sweet and down to earth.

    That class looks fun, I’ll have to try it sometime.


  39. says

    I can’t believe Chelsea was in your spin class! I also can’t believe how much it costs, lol. I miss spin, it’s been a while…my class at the Y is by far not near as intense as that one – I love that they give you shoes to wear. I’ve always wanted to get a pair for myself, did you feel a huge difference?


  40. Lauren says

    I hope you talked to her! or at least waved. Random, but she spoke at my undergrad once when her mom was campaigning and I got to introduce her. She later CALLED MY CELL PHONE and proceeded to say how nice it was to meet me and thanked me for welcoming her to my school. Maybe she was hoping to get a vote for her mom, but regardless I was really impressed!


  41. says

    I REALLY want to try both Physique 57 and SoulCycle!! Kelly Ripa goes to SoulCycle and raves about it. That is really, really cool that Chelsea Clinton was in your class – how exciting! The spin instructor I had in college incorporated push-ups on the bike, but she’s the only instructor I’ve ever had do that – I thought it was a good way to get more of a full body workout in!


  42. Elisabeth says

    So cool Chelsea C. was in your class! I’ve never taken any spinning classes, but I’ve always wanted to. I live in mostly rural area in Ohio & the nearest class would be almost an hour away for me.


  43. says

    What a cool celebrity sighting! I don’t know how security works for them beyond their parent’s presidency. But a high school classmate of mine went to Stanford with her and had at least one class with her,and he mentioned the security guards hanging in the back of the classroom.


  44. says

    I’ve always wanted to do Physique 57. I’ve never liked cycling though.

    Awesome seeing Chelsea Clinton! I would’ve stared the whole time!


  45. says

    Were you in nyc the night of the met gala? I was last year and didn’t realize it and just thought it was so stupid the met was closed. Turns out all the big celebrities were in nyc at that time! And i didn’t spot a single one!


  46. Caroline says

    I work 2 blocks from Bryant Park! It’s the best, whenever it’s nice I sit and eat lunch there or people watch! I love having a space with green grass and trees in the middle of the city! Hope you enjoy your time here!


  47. Nicole G says

    Wow! SoulCycle sounds intense but really fun! I can’t believe you saw Chelsea Clinton there! Those classes are expensive though! Wow! I guess it would be a nice workout “treat” to go every now and then.

    I have to tell you, I was thinking about your Nike Frees all day yesterday, I ended up buying a pair. I absolutely love that color and just had to have them. You are a great enabler 😉 Ha ha! Have a great time and safe travels!


  48. says

    Chelsea was in my Soul class last week too! BTW Julie I’m one of your new fans. I learned a lot from your session at the Fitness Magazine Meet & Tweet.


  49. Nancy McInerney says

    I normally go to this class on wednesdays because that is my favorite instructor!!! I am so sad I missed you!!!


  50. says

    My gym trainer at work does a similar class. People have walked out of it before because it was so intense! i love it, however my lack of coordination lets me down with the push ups etc 🙁


  51. Bianca says

    I met Chelsea Clinton in February 2008 at Texas Christian University! I was a junior in high school there for a conference and she was there campaigning for her mom for the presidency. I was able to get a picture with her before she left- definitely my highlight of that year!


  52. says

    SoulCycle is definitely a one-of-a-kind experience…I’m not much for stationary cycling (I run outdoors all year round, and like to ride a bike on a bike path though!) but the few times I’ve gone it’s been an intense workout. It’s a little too competitive for my tastes though, there are other girls in NYC who log on every Monday to book their bikes and it’s a race just to sign up!


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