I have a couple of gift certificates for fitness classes that I’ve been putting off using for months. And now, since a couple of them are getting ready to expire, of course I’m going to try to use them at the very last minute!
First, let’s talk about SoulCycle.
Let’s. Talk. About. SoulCycle.
If you’re into the exercise scene at all, you’ve probably heard of this hyped-up indoor spin class. It’s gotten tons of celebrity endorsements and is a fav among Hollywood and New York fitness aficionados. I myself was partially motivated to finally check it out this week after Kristin Chenoweth tweeted about going in for her first time.
But let me tell you something about SoulCycle. It is HARD. Like, really hard. Think about the hardest exercise you’ve ever done, then put yourself in a darkened room with music blasting and people sweating all around you, and multiply that hard exercise by about fifty — then you’re at SoulCycle.
Let me tell you something else. I had never done a spin class before this. I didn’t even know how to clip into my bike. It was only a couple minutes into the workout when I had my first moment of, Am I going to pass out in this dark, windowless room today?
I have no idea how people do this. That’s pretty much my biggest thought. I get why they love it, because if you’re strong enough to stay out of the saddle the whole time (I’m not) and are motivated by the sweat and the loud music and yelling (meep), then you leave feeling like you’ve climbed a mountain. I left proud that I didn’t faint.
I liked that the room was dark — then I felt like I was alone with my shame. I didn’t like that there were supposed to be fans, but I couldn’t feel any air circulating. I liked the music. I didn’t like that I couldn’t ride out of the saddle for very long. (Seriously, how do you do that?) I think I need to do a beginner’s class or something before I go back to SoulCycle.
Classes are $30 each, and you have to rent the shoes that clip into the bikes for $3. Many complain that this is on the pricier side. I think if spinning is really something that you’re into, and you want to get brutally (brutally) worked out for about an hour, it’s probably worth every dollar.
Next! Classes at Exhale Spa.
Exhale has locations around the U.S. and offers core fusion and yoga classes. I tried a Core Fusion Barre class for my first time there (again, never done barre before), but I think it’s much more my speed. There was never a thought like, Wow, I just can’t do this, even though a lot of the exercises are hard, and I was definitely sweating by the end. I had a great instructor and felt like I got a lot of attention as she corrected some poses, pushed me harder, and encouraged me.
Overall I think I prefer to be in a yoga-style studio where the focus is on breathing and using your own body as resistance, which helps to find the areas that need more work and flexibility. It’s not as manic as a spin class. I left core fusion barre feeling refreshed, and like I wanted to high-five the whole world.
Exhale classes are just a bit cheaper at $25 each and all equipment is provided.
Of course both of these are excellent sources of exercise and great ways to keep in shape, but they’re not the only ones! How do you exercise? Have you barely survived a SoulCycle class too? We can be friends.
Featured image credit: domainehome.com