WHAT YOU NEED
Spin shoes (first time free, $2 after)
Form-fitting bottoms, and if you have a sensitive derrière, padded shorts
We’d been anticipating the opening of this studio for a while, with coming soon banners on King Street for over 6 months, so when March rolled around we were pumped to have it distract from the cold. SoulCycle hails from NYC (where basically all cool things are born) and their location on King West is the perfect home for their first studio in Canada. To be honest, we kind-of expected a snobby, yuppy, model’s-only kind of vibe, and we were pleasantly surprised to find the staff to be, yes energetic as HULL, but super helpful and genuine beyond all else. The studio is impeccably designed with no detail forgotten and the facilities are akin to a state of the art gym set to accommodate your busy social calendar so you can spin, shower, and get ready for your next event. The 45-minute class was a challenging, sweaty, and motivating feel-good ride that wasn’t the least bit intimidating. We get why it has a cult following, I think we might be in the fan-club now.
Located just off Spadina on King Street West, the studio is in the heart of it, across from Quantum Coffee and down the street from the LCBO (see our priorities?). The location is easy access by train, St. Andrew station is a 10-15 minute walk and the streetcar runs on both Spadina and King. The parkade at TIFF Belllight Box is a block away and street parking is possible if you can snag a spot. On that – if you haven’t heard of Parking Panda get ready for a downtown parking lifesaver. You can reserve parking space before you arrive to get a better deal and secure your spot. It takes more planning but as one of our favourite Aussy friends’ say; proper prior planning prevents piss poor performance.
CLASS SCHEDULE + PRICE
Most of the classes offered at King Street are their signature SoulCycle class which is a 45-minute ride filled with inspirational coaching, rockstar music and a full-body workout. They occasionally offer a SOUL101 class which is a one-hour intro version for beginners on the basics, however if you haven’t been to a spin class before, the regular SoulCycle class is completely doable as the class is designed for you to go at your own pace and set your own difficulty level. On Saturday and Sunday mornings at 9:30am is the SoulSurvivor class, which is an extra 15 minutes of sweaty goodness. In the States, they have a SoulTeen class targeted at youth to get them up and active, which we love and hope they bring to Canada soon because #lazyteenagers, they live everywhere. Class times are centred around the work crowd with early morning options, a noon class and 3 at night with the last class at 7:30. Weekend classes are concentrated in the mornings with the last class at 11:45 so get yo butt out of bed. For first timers, arrive 15-minute early to get your paperwork, clip-ins and bike set up properly and for regulars signing up online before hand is recommended to reserve your spot and get the bike you want. Back row, guys, back row. Also, if you’re running late and give them a buzz, they’ll let you in class up to 10 minutes late, which tons of studios don’t allow, so that’s nice.
Although we love love love that SC considers every detail and they do offer a lot of amenities, the prices are up there and the most expensive we’ve seen in TO. In June, they increased drop-in rides to $30 per class before tax, plus $2 for spin shoes if you don’t own. +$35 for 45 minutes hits you where it hurts.
- First Time Ride $20
- 1 Class: $30
- Soul Starter (3 Classes): $75 ($25 pc)
- 5 Classes: $145 ($29 pc)
- 10 Classes: $260 ($28) pc
- 20 Classes: $500 ($27 pc)
- 30 Classes: $720 ($26 pc)
- Toronto SuperSoul 20 Classes: $1000 ($50 pc) for VIP treatment which allows riders to reserve classes in advance of sign-ups, includes full concierge service and priority on waitlists.
The design aesthetic of Soul is light, bright and yellow. Inside a refurbished brick heritage building, the space is huge, long and open, and every detail is considered and polished. The foyer/reception area is surrounded by SoulCycle swag with the one studio in the centre of the space lined with rows and rows of lockers that lead to the change rooms. There are both male and female change rooms, which have 1-2 washrooms in each and are surprisingly small considering the 55 rider capacity of the studio. One of our favorite bits is the SoulCycle Etiquette displayed on the walls with 5 rules: 1) No Texting or Chatting (we LOVE that they don’t let phones in the studio), 2) Skip the cross talk, 3) Laundry, 4) Kindness is cool, and 5) The Pack (which basically says stick together to promote unison energy.)
The class capacity is 55 bikes and it was full. The crowd was millennial central with what seemed to be an entire room of 20-35 year olds but a mix of experienced riders and first timers and a 30% representation of males. Word on the street, indoor cycling classes burn 500-700 calories in 45-minutes depending on exertion levels, so it is no surprise that these classes are packed.
- Filtered Water (purchasable for $2.50)
- Showers with towels
- Hair-ties, deodorant, razors, shampoo/conditioner, hairspray, bandaids, gum, mints, basically everything
- Programmable lockers
- Sweat towels on the bike
- Spin shoes (for $2 after the first class)
Before we even get into the awesomeness that is Ty, all instructors at SoulCycle have to undergo quite a process to be part of this crew. They must audition and sometimes we’ve heard quite a few times, and they’re expected to be highly motivational, energetic, choreographed and obviously fit humans. Souls instructor standards are high and you can feel it . Every . Time. Any class we’ve been to in the States or now Toronto, the instructors have been fire and always embody what SoulCycle is about; strength, community and having fun. So now Ty.
Ty is incredible; we basically want him to be our new best friend. We love how much he promoted positive body talk and self love in an authentic BFF kind of way #bless. Also, he just moved to Toronto from NYC just FOR SoulCycle, so he’s legit AF. He rode the majority of the class with us, only popping off to help a girl with her clip-ins and a couple other times to get up in our bizness to push us harder. His playlist was amazing, with the latest R&B mixed versions that we’ve never heard, and he is FIT as hell. He was a constant inspiration to get our legs moving as fast as his to the beat and he created a dynamic class that worked our entire body.
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY
WAY HARD | HARD | MIDDLE OF THE ROADSIES | CHILL | HELLA CHILL
Before the class started, SoulCycle had multiple instructors, in addition to Ty, available to help set up everyone’s bike properly. First off – whats the deal with clip-in shoes and do you need them for this class? Yes, yes you do, and they’ll give you a better workout for it. Soul provides Shimano cycle shoes that have LOOK bike cleats, but SPD’s cleats also work if you have your own. Cycling shoes offer a more secure position in the pedals which enable the rider to work more efficiently, and unlike regular runners in the pedal where you spend most energy pushing down, cycling shoes allow you to also pull up on the second half of the stroke which means more targeted muscles work beyond just quads. Before the class starts you’ll want to set up the bike just for you with the seat at hip hight (when standing), if you’re new to spin it’s recommended to have the handlebars at the same height as the seat, and handlebars distance from seat is perfect if your knee and ball of your foot are in a 90 degree angle when at half way.
Once we were ready to ride, we began peddling with minimal resistance to warm up the legs. At 5:30 on the dot, Ty started the class and there was no easing into it. With only 45 minutes to work it, Ty had us out of our seat straightway. The music filled the room with incredible energy and Ty synced us to move in unison, feeding off each others energy as we picked up the pace. As we got our rhythm, we started building onto the movements with upper body work, triceps dips alternating with pushups onto the bike, while keeping our legs pushing to the beat the entire time. We turned up the resistance and got deeper into our legs and glutes, squatting back into the seat and hovering just above the seat. Half-way in we grabbed our weights and started bicep curls, chest presses and rows, with our legs still going. Once we dropped our weights, we turned up the resistance even further and began to climb. The music slowed down and we became focused on breaking through mental blocks, self doubt and reaching our new edge. Finally, we wrapped it up with some sprint intervals, lots of water and high fives for our surrounding new friends. We left feeling taller, stronger and oh so good about ourselves.
To check out this class or any others on their schedule, see SoulCycle’s contact info below.
SoulCycle Web:www.soul-cycle.com E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org PHONE |(647) 559.5040 Instagram | Facebook | Twitter