SoulCycle recently opened a studio in Preston Hollow. Photos courtesy of SoulCycle.

Health & Fitness

A First-Timer’s Guide to SoulCycle

I went in determined not to fall into the cult-like following. I failed.

I didn’t want to like SoulCycle. The company didn’t need any more fans, and since my day-to-day exercise consists almost solely of walking briskly and Uptown Yoga, I figured I wouldn’t have to be one of them.

But it’s finally here in Dallas, and it’s SoulCycle, so I scheduled my class for 6:30 a.m. on a Wednesday the moment bookings opened up.

The sleek Preston Hollow studio was a glowing, welcoming sight on a dark street corner surrounded by ample parking. So far, I had nothing to hate, but I was looking.

The interior looks a lot like a Drybar but with cool showers and lockers. I love Drybar’s white-and-yellow color scheme. Again, I had nothing to hate. I was given complimentary cycling shoes that were sort of ugly and tough to walk in, but not totally hate-worthy.

We waited for the last class to come out. My friend was in it, and we chatted while the instructors flipped the studio. Like a cycling harbinger from the north she laughed, “Oh, you don’t like cardio? Thou shalt not enjoy this class!” (Not quite her wording, but you get it.) Cool, I thought. I didn’t want to, anyway.

When the 6:30 a.m. class was allowed into the dark, candlelit studio, there was no stressful rush to find a bike thanks to the easy-to-use class-booking process. I didn’t hate that. But then, there I was, in weird shoes, trying to figure out how to set up my third-row bike in the dark. Ah, I thought. Then, a man appeared. “Do you need help?” he asked. “Yes please,” I replied kindly, but also dejectedly (if you can imagine that), as he efficiently adjusted my bike.

SoulCycle's locker rooms are adorned with the familiar black, white, and yellow color scheme.

I liked Abby, the instructor, immediately. She’s one of those upbeat, in-shape-but-not-intimidatingly-so instructors whose general positivity makes you want to do anything she asks. I didn’t like that I couldn’t always hear Abby over the incredible remix that blasted throughout class. (It should be noted that SoulCycle’s music is awesome. I loved Abby’s presence dearly, but if she were to disappear, you could really just move your pedals to the tempo of those sick beats and have a solid workout.)

By now, I was warming to the idea of SoulCycle, but I fully expected to hate the actual workout. Again, I don’t like cardio. But then, the music started, and Abby began saying affirmative phrases. I struggled a bit for the first 10 minutes, but then something wild happened. Suddenly, the music lowered, we held our hands in a prayer pose, and our time was up. I felt euphoric. I loved SoulCycle. Much like the Britney Spears song that played around the 45-minute mark, I felt stronger than yesterday. Take all my money, SoulCycle. Take it all!

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