4 Things I Learned at SoulCycle (Hell on Wheels)

As someone who works out daily and takes a spin class about once or twice a week I was excited when I was invited to a SoulCycle class by the beauty girls, 'Beauty Spin' they call it.   Going into it I thought it would be a fun Friday night activity to do with some of my collegues (bloggers and publicists) outside of work.  Little did I know, what I was really about to experience.  This was no bike ride in the park. Here's what I learned:

Every good spin class has an MC

At my gym, the spin instructor dictates the class, and hops on and off his bike to keep it moving.  However at SoulCycle, they have one person up on the bike taking the class the whole time demoing what we're supposed to be doing (and thank God, because we did some cray moves!) and then they have the MC.  The MC is the only reason I got through the whole class.  Danny Kopel was his name.  Between dancing through the bikes, head banging, using the instructor's bike as a strip pole and keeping us motivated I'm not sure who was sweating more me or him.  He was everything!

Any spin class I took before was a complete joke

I've spun at several locations in NYC besides my own gym and have a spin strategy.  Get a seat closest to the door so I can leave when I get ADD.  I always find spin boring!  There was no announcement of long climbs, short jumps or intervals.  Instead, we just killed it.  Killed what?  I'm still not sure exactly what happened as I felt like I had no choice, but to do what I was told.  The best part, there was no way out.  I'm still not really sure if that was good or bad actually, but it would have been rude to leave.  I had to suffer through 45 minutes of hard core spinning and I did it.  Endurance is one thing I want to build.

You're suposed to pull up on the pedals

Did you know that?  I always pushed down on the pedals, which is the devil!  I learned that to prevent your legs and butt from bulking up while you spin, you're supposed to pull up on the pedals to concentrate on toning your abs.  My thighs would like to thank every spin instructor I've had before who never told me that!

Sweating with your friends makes it OK (almost)

After 45 minutes of working and sweating like I've never done before, I was doubtful I could ever take that class again.  It was beyond challenging, but I loved the energy.  After collecting myself, I realized I would love to try it again, but only with the beauty girls.  I need the crew to make me go and look forward to the next attempt!


The New Girls Night Out Involves Swapping Booze for Sweat

This morning I was reading the New York Times and an article called "Swapping Girl' Night Out for A Workout" caught my attention.  It highlighted a bachelorette party attending a Flywheel Sports class in NYC instead of getting their drink on.  Of course as typical New Yorkers, the girls went out for manis, pedis and sushi after.  To me, it doesn't sound like swapping girls night out, this type of night is girls night out. In New York City, fitness is essential as New York skinny is an aspiring look.  Blogger, Garance Dore describes the look as, "Thin to the brink, yet muscly from Pilates because it gives you super long lean muscle."  Unattainable for most, but an image that's seen everyday gracing the streets in 5" stilettos.

With this idea of perfection in mind, New York women (myself included) are adding fitness classes into their girls nights out and list of Sunday Funday activities (who needs to chug beer and watch football anyway).  Calories!  Besides the goals of having a toned body, girlfriends are the best source of motivation and make working out seem less like a chore and much more like a fun activity.

The days of dancing on tables and drinking empty calories are over in this city and we have our girlfriends and endless exercise classes to thank from Core Fusion and Physique 57 to SoulCycle for keeping us in shape – you know, "New York skinny."