Review: SoulCycle Georgetown
I Could Feel It in My SOUL
I’d like to start off by saying that before walking into SoulCycle, I had never been to a cycling class before.
In fact, the only impression I had about cycling classes was an episode of Netflix’s Black Mirror and Ariana Grande’s “Side to Side” music video. That was it. Walking into SoulCycle, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Sure, everyone hypes it up thanks to the fabulous Michelle Obama, but alas, I needed to see what it was really all about. Was it worth it?
In a word: definitely.
When you first walk into the gym, you’re surrounded by a simplistic color scheme of white and yellow as you’re welcomed by the friendly staff working at the front desk. The atmosphere is calming with specks of sunshine to brighten up your day, melting away any stress as your body gets excited for what’s coming up next. As a person who’s been known to stress out everybody and their mother, that’s huge coming from me.
In case the colors weren’t enough to put your body in a good mood, it’s reassuring to know that the restrooms have you covered. Equipped with a couple of stalls and showers, the bathrooms do well to make sure your other needs are met. Face feeling crusty? Forgot your hair tie? Suddenly caught a bad case of the sweats? No worries!
The ladies’ restroom offers face cleanser to members, as well as shelves stocked with hair ties, deodorant and other gym-goer essentials. It’s also nice to note how clean the facility is beyond the restrooms. The center of the facility contains a gracious amount of lockers with locks provided, and it should be noted that the space itself is coed.
Hopefully you’re not just going to the gym to admire the cleanliness and aesthetics, so I’ll get into the actual session. The room is dimly lit with a couple of candles on the instructor’s stage, and contains a plethora of stationary bicycles. You can sign up for the bicycles at the front desk in addition to cycling shoes, which are rented for $3 per use.
If you’re one to get anxiety when exercising with large groups, I wouldn’t recommend attending the scheduled classes, as they do get pretty full. Fortunately, SoulCycle also offers private classes, which can be booked through the main corporate office. Nonetheless, because it’s dark in the studio, you won’t have to worry about anyone watching other than the instructor, unless you choose to sit in the front row.
The entire class was 45 minutes, and every last second was put to work. There are three different hand positions on the bike, and the routines would switch up from pumping your legs on the seat to standing up while cycling and going back and forth according to the beat of the music.
If you thought your arms would be given a break, you thought wrong, my friend. Ever thought of doing push ups on a stationary bike? That’s what it felt like. Fortunately, my arms thanked me later.
Following the main part of the routine, we lowered the resistance on our bikes so that we could pedal with ease while we entered the weight-lifting portion. With so much adrenaline rushing through my veins, it wasn’t half bad, although to be fair the weights are not exceedingly heavy at less than 10 pounds. After we set the weights down, we were able to do a bit more cycling before finally bringing it down to a quiet, relaxing stretch.
The instructor for my class, Rochelle Boykin, was absolutely spectacular. Kind, vibrant and filled with a positive energy, her wholesome disposition made the experience worthwhile. The songs Boykin chose were upbeat and fun. Who knew a little remix of Beyonce’s smooth “Pretty Hurts” could get you to pumped up to the max? It was clear Boykin was adept in her choreography as she moved without missing a beat.
The only issue during the class was that the music, while loud and immersive enough to bring your soul to a whole new world, made it difficult to hear the instructor. Towards the beginning, I couldn’t exactly hear how much resistance I needed to add to my bike, and I’m pretty sure I made the mistake of adding way too much at once. Fortunately, whenever I was struggling, Boykin would come over to assist me, urging us to push ourselves in order to get the most out of our workout.
Boykin isn’t the only instructor available. Among the twenty SoulCycle trainers across the D.C. area is Bryant Reams, a new addition to the team. A Tennessee native and musician, Reams is one with a deep passion when it comes to the musical element of SoulCycle, having played the violin for for roughly 16 years before deejaying up and down the east coast .
You can catch Reams putting together hip-hop and electronic dance music mixes during his classes, which include Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the Mount Vernon location and Wednesday and Friday mornings at the Georgetown location, as well as both locations during the weekends. Every class is unique, so you won’t have to worry about repetitive routines.
I left SoulCycle filled with a hell of a lot more energy and positivity than I had going into the class, and was absolutely thrilled with the results. With my arms and legs proudly sore, I would definitely recommend taking a class.