Why SoulCycle Is Not For Me

I’ve wanted to try SoulCycle since they first came to Washington, D.C., but until now none of their locations were convenient. That changed a few weeks ago when they opened a studio in Georgetown, just a few blocks from my office. When a colleague arranged a free trial class for a group of us, I jumped on the chance to see what all the hype is about, and now I can share my own SoulCycle review. 

Soul Cycle Review
SoulCycle says that it is “indoor cycling re-invented” and promises that “SoulCycle doesn’t just change bodies, it changes lives.” I know many people love SoulCycle, but there are at least five reasons it’s not for me. 

  1. The studio is too hot. SoulCycle is known for keeping its studios warm, and you certainly will sweat more in the heat, but I’d rather start off feeling cold and earn my sweat. I get overheated easily when I workout, and just can’t stand a warm fitness studio. 
  2. The music is too loud. I know good music is essential for a good indoor cycling class, and I don’t mind it loud, but the music was so loud that I couldn’t hear normally for an hour after class. That’s just too loud. 
  3. The choreography is too complicated. I don’t mind the up-down-up of “jump” sequences, but the “push ups” and other moves are more distracting than strengthening. When our instructor got off his bike and did aerobic dance moves on the floor in front of us, I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing on my bike! 
  4. I’m there for cardio, not weights. Like many indoor cycling classes, a SoulCycle class includes a few minutes of arm exercises using light weights. I’ll let the experts debate whether doing a few sets of biceps curls with 2 lb weights has any muscle-building benefits. No matter what they decide, I’d rather spend my time focusing on cycling–I can do weights at home.
  5. It’s too expensive. SoulCycle offers an introductory class for $20, but the usual price is $30/class. You can get that down to $27 by purchasing a 20 ride package, but the 20 ride package at Revolve works out to $14/class. Even if I liked SoulCycle better, that price difference would be hard to justify.


I didn’t mind the dark, but the candles are a bit much.

Don’t get me wrong. The SoulCycle studio in Georgetown is gorgeous. The people who work there were really nice. Our instructor was incredibly energetic and motivating. The class was challenging, and I enjoyed my ride. I just prefer the low-key atmosphere and physical challenge of the RealRide classes at Revolve–not to mention the air-conditioning. 😉 

Have you tried SoulCycle? What did you think?

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28 Responses to Why SoulCycle Is Not For Me

  1. Carla says:

    HMMMM outside of the heat (although I do love me some Bikram yoga!) you now have me thinking Id LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!
    Carla recently posted…Jews on Santa’s lap.My Profile

  2. Interesting. Was your class full? When I tried the Mt Vernon studio I didn’t feel like it was too hot. I liked my class but the price is a turnoff. Part of that is because I already have my expensive cross training activity 🙂
    Courtney @ eat pray run DC recently posted…Five Bucket List VacationsMy Profile

  3. I loved the one class I took at the studio on M street! The only reason I wouldn’t do it again is the price…WAYY to expensive when I can do the same thing by myself….just less fun, haha!

  4. I’ve read about Soul Cycle, and it doesn’t sound like it’s for me at all. The weights combined with cycling? Too much multi-tasking for me!
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…Staying Healthy Through the Winter #humidifymeMy Profile

  5. Ha! I could have written the same thing. I kept wondering if it was just me since everyone seems to adore Soul Cycle. But I just couldn’t get into it or the price tag. There was another spin studio near me that did something similar but it was much more focused on the cycling workout itself (at least the instructor that I loved there) and there was a short weight section at the end that I did like.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted…Friday Round-Up: December DayzMy Profile

  6. HoHo Runs says:

    Candles? Exactly what mood are they going for? And bike dancing? No thanks. I do want a bike trainer for Christmas though!
    HoHo Runs recently posted…It’s A Holiday TraditionMy Profile

  7. Steena says:

    Ewww, what? Get off the bike to dance? I guess. I haven’t heard of this class, but I’m glad I read this in case they come to Madison!

  8. Karen says:

    Every reason you had makes perfect sense to me!!
    I didn’t like the cycle class attended for the very reason of jumping off the bike and doing complicated moves, it felt rushed and I benefit more from doing the strengthening on my own!
    Karen recently posted…Dream VacationsMy Profile

  9. It isn’t for me, either–I’ve tried it several times, but as a personal trainer and just the way that I am, I’m just not into it! You should check out my post on Flywheel http://suzlyfe.com/flywheel-tips-review/
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted…Penguin Holiday Gift GuideMy Profile

  10. Soul Cycle is also not my favorite for many of the same reasons. I felt it was kind of cult like and the music is so loud that you can’t hear what the instructor is saying about pace or intensity. I also don’t like all the side to side upper body moves.
    Deborah Brooks @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…Why I am doing a Workout StreakMy Profile

  11. NICE. I think readers appreciate your honesty and experience with Soul Cycle. I haven’t tried them but looking forward to making my own judgements afterward. Happy weekend!

    (Found you off the SPA fb group’s post today!)
    Chris – What I Run Into recently posted…Casetify Customized Phone Case Giveaway!My Profile

  12. Hm.. interesting. I’ve never tried it, simply because of the money factor. The 2 gyms that I’m a member of offer awesome spin classes so I never felt the need to pay a ton for one… and after this I’m not sure that I will! I would hate getting off the bike to do bicep curls.. especially if 2lb weights are involved. Give me heavy weights to lift… or hardcore cardio… that’s all I’m really interested in.
    Liz @ THe Clean Eating Couple recently posted…Holiday Gift GuideMy Profile

  13. Haha at those candles! I’ve never seen that before. I would have a problem with the music being so loud too!

  14. Patty says:

    You had me at number 1. I’m the same way. I need to warm up, not start hot. Ick.
    Patty recently posted…2016 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Dooney & BourkeMy Profile

  15. I have not tried it yet but I’m very curious. I don’t like hot studios either, so not sure how I would like that!
    Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…Running SurveyMy Profile

  16. Wow! that is an expensive class! I don’t like to start hot either, I like to earn it. Great review – it would probably not be for me!
    Mary Beth Jackson recently posted…Introducing Aurorae Aqua!My Profile

  17. We don’t have that in France yet. But loud blaring music in a gym or class ? I grew out of that 25 years ago !
    Karen – Fit in France recently posted…Virtual coffee date : DecemberMy Profile

  18. jill conyers says:

    I would love to try Soul Cycle. Have you ever watched the TV show?
    jill conyers recently posted…Make Time for Fitness Anytime of the YearMy Profile

  19. Kristen says:

    Oh my god this all sounds like my worst nightmare workout class! I sweat so easily and hate hot yoga for this reason, and I can barely focus on pedaling correctly let alone trying to figure out weights and dance moves. Plus that price is ridiculous. I love the spin class at my gym and I’m glad I can get a good workout there!
    Kristen recently posted…Friday Five: Five Racecations I Want to Take in 2016My Profile

  20. It was warm in my class too!! Class was almost over when the instructor finally turned on the fan….my sweat definitely came from the heat and not exertion. I also didn’t find the choreography complicated (or life changing hehe). I found it to be alot of climbs, but not very interesting.
    Jennifer @ Run Jenny Run recently posted…2015 Chicago Marathon Race Recap Part 2My Profile

  21. When I went to Flywheel, I got a similar vibe – I thought it was too complicated and is definitely pricey! Loud music that blows out your eardrums is not a fun time, too bad you didn’t enjoy SoulCycle!
    Janelle @ Run With No Regrets recently posted…Running Club Roundup: Shack Track and FieldMy Profile

  22. I love SoulCycle but I also love CrossFit. The expense is what would keep me away but I loved the class itself.

  23. Oh wow — that price! That’s out of my league, but, regardless, the heat would make this class unbearable for me. No thanks.

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