Find Your Soul(Cycle)
The spin phenomenon that’s finally made its way to Austin.
(L to R): Devaney Devoe and SoulCycle instructor Lauren Bruker
Photography by Weston Carls
“I don’t know what that reason is, but you do.”
This “reason” that instructor Christopher Chandler is referring to, is the motivation behind why you’re there. Why you’re going to push yourself beyond your limits in that class.
Welcome to SoulCycle, the indoor cycling, cardiovascular, butt-kicking workout that has now made its way to Austin. The new Domain Northside location, among 64 others across the country, offers a unique spin (pun intended), on your typical indoor cycling class.
In the 45 minute, full-body workout class, SoulCyclers can expect a choreographed, high-resistance ride accompanied by an arm workout with weights and a post-workout cool down session encompassing yoga stretches and calming breaths. Throughout the class, riders are asked to change their hand positions on the bike, which then targets different muscle groups. Riders stay moving throughout the entire class, but the resistance and positions change throughout to sync with the music. “This simultaneously tones the upper body [and also provides a] core workout,” said instructor Lauren Bruker. The studios are dark and steamy, filled with flickering candles and loud, upbeat music bumping through the speakers. But for many riders, SoulCycle isn’t just a workout—it’s an experience.
SoulCycle is considered to be more of a cardio workout from a physical health perspective, or as Bruker likes to call it, “a cardio party on a bike.” However, riders come here not only to sweat, but to let go of any negativity that lies outside those four walls. That’s what sets SoulCycle apart from other spin studios.
“SoulCycle’s workout program focuses on rhythm and riding to the energy of the pack, which creates a strong bond between riders,” Bruker said. For SoulCycle riders, it’s not about how many calories you’re burning or what number your resistance knob is on your bike (hence, why SoulCycle does not list numbers on it). Instead, it’s about how you feel and pushing yourself beyond your own boundaries and limitations.
Although the Austin studio just recently opened its doors, it wasn’t hard to get members in the saddles—many of whom fell in love with the workout through their experience in other cities. SoulCycle devotee Wendy Starkel, who first got hooked on the spin phenomenon at one of the many New York City locations, was thrilled to learn that the franchise had made its way to Texas. “Soul Cycle gives me a physical, spiritual, and mental peace of mind. It is an incredible workout that finishes with a mental positive vibe to walk out into the world with,” Starkel said.
Each time you go, you can accomplish something new. Maybe it’s increasing your resistance, staying on beat, pedaling faster, or for some, just showing up and giving it your all with a smile on your face. SoulCycle is a great workout, but it’s so much more than that for many riders. It’s taking 45 minutes out of your hectic life to go do something for yourself and release any stress or negativity that you may be holding onto. “The strength that riders gain on the bike stays with them beyond the studio walls,” Bruker said.
Although there have been complaints about the expensive rates, many consider it to be a small price to pay for an environment and a community that supports them and makes them want to work harder and push themselves.