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The SoulCycle Experience: Passion and Pedals, the Fuel for Millennials

I’m usually not a morning person. Getting out of bed haunts my thoughts from the minute I set my alarm at night to the moment my iPhone starts blaring the next morning. But when that all too familiar alarm tune starts ringing on my iPhone at 5:30 on Wednesdays, I’m up and out of bed within seconds. Why? Because it’s a SoulCycle morning.  

There’s no better feeling than starting the day off with a high-intensity, high-energy workout that leaves you feeling invigorated, inspired, and ready to take on the day ahead. You may think your current gym workout is doing this for you – I thought so too. Trust me, it’s not.  Being a lifetime exercise fiend and current college athlete, I can honestly say nothing compares to what I experience during a 45 minute SoulCycle class.

Each of the 19 SoulCycle studios is equipped with anywhere from 60-70 customized bikes – they are heavier so as to allow for the dance party that is about to take place. Walking into a studio, you are immediately greeted with a calming, refreshing scent that comes from SoulCycle candles dispersed throughout the dimly lit room. New to Soul? No problem, they have staff waiting at the front of the class to help anyone set up their bike or clip their shoes into the pedals. Each bike already has a towel waiting for you, so no need to worry about that either. And trust me, you’ll need it.

What happens in the next 45 minutes is hard to articulate. The instructor starts at the front of the room on a platform (though many will not stay there), upon which sits a full DJ station. Sometimes I’m not really sure if I’m at a rave or an exercise class, but either one works for me – a combination of the two… even better! As the music pumps, I find my legs moving faster than I knew possible and my entire body burns. I almost forget there’s a bike underneath me. Around me, a sea of bodies pulse up and down in perfect sync to the music as the instructor calls out, “You have two options: you can go through the motions, or you can kill it”.  Sound better than the treadmill? Thought so.

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Spinning classes have been around since 1989 when Johnny Goldberg, a South African-born celebrity trainer, wanted a controlled environment for his Race Across America cycling training. But it wasn’t until an individual brand with a revolutionary and exclusive reputation came around that this form of exercise exploded.  And it couldn’t have been born at a better time. The Millennial generation is the biggest in history and possesses a combined direct spending power of $200 billion. They are a force to be reckoned with, and definitely one you want your brand to appeal to.

I could write about why I love SoulCycle for hours, but the main thing that separates Soul Cycle from other workouts and even any other spin class is that it represents a lifestyle. SoulCycle doesn’t just offer you the tools to get a “hot bod” or stay fit – that’s just a side effect – it presents you with a purpose: to live a life full of passion, hard work, and personal success – one that is worthy of repping the Soul Cycle tank.  “You can be whoever you want to be in here” shouts the instructor, “Who are you going to be? Put your passion into the pedals”.  No wonder riders describe it as an “obsession” and “cult”.  SoulCycle is more than just a class, you become part of a unique community that fuels each other every time you click into those pedals. It’s addicting. From its widely recognized apparel to its custom iPhone case, SoulCycle has truly become a lifestyle, one that its members believe in. SoulCycle has no customers.

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Lastly, SoulCycle is personable. Every time I go to pick a class, the first thing I consider is the instructor. I am constantly comparing and suggesting different instructors to my friends; I could name 10 off the top of my head.  Of all the exercise classes I’ve ever tried, body pump, yoga strike, inside/out – you name it – I couldn’t tell you the name of a single instructor for any of them. The SoulCycle website allows you to see each of the instructors and even learn what’s playing on their iPod right now and what their guilty pleasure is.

Millennials have been accused of being “The Me Generation”. And you know what, we probably are. We are individuals who strive to live lives characterized by passion, performance, and purpose. We go to great lengths to better ourselves, we don’t just settle. Call it narcissistic, but I think it’s more about motivation, a notion that we have recognized starts with the individual, but ends with a community.

We are the Me Generation, comprised of self-driven, passionate individuals who are constantly seeking fulfillment in all aspects of life. Watch out, we’re only just getting started.