SoulCycle Chestnut Hill

March 9, 2014

SoulCycle Chestnut Hill had their grand opening weekend and I just had to check it out because so many of my friends (in real life and via social media) rave about SoulCycle.

Soul Cycle

Check-in, Water, Shoes + Apparel

Online Sign-up and Cancellations

I would suggest always signing up for class online because you will be guaranteed a spot and you can pick the bike you want.  I have a feeling that these classes will always be jam-packed so arriving as a drop-in may leave you without a spot.

Once you enter the studio, you see the check-in desk where you sign-in so they know you made it to class and you aren’t charged a fee.  If you can’t make it, cancel by 5pm the night before or else you are charged for that class.

At the front desk there are earplugs, gum, and hair elastics (which seems to be a staple these days at indoor cycling studios).

Bring a Water Bottle

You can purchase water ($2 per bottle) at the front desk, but they also offer filtered water right outside the studio that also has some of the “SoulCycle Etiquette” listed.  I find it a little funny they pretty much ask you to wear clean clothes (rule number 3).  They must have had some bad experiences in the past!

Soul Cycle Water

Cycling Shoes Required

There are no cages on the bike pedals so cycling shoe are required.  Shoes are complimentary for your first class and you can rent for a fee of $3 per class otherwise.  The pedals are SPD and delta clip compatible.

Soul Cycle Front Desk

Apparel

To your right of the check-in desk is all of the SoulCycle apparel.  I like the designs and the fit look flattering.  I could see if I got into becoming a huge SoulCycle addict this section of the studio being dangerous.

Soul Cycle Apparel

Showers and Bathrooms

To the left of the check-in desk there is a hallway that leads to the studio and lockers.  Within that hallway are the bathrooms and showers.

Soul Cycle Hallway

There are two bathrooms available.  They are probably some of the nicest bathrooms I’ve seen in an indoor cycling studio.  They feel really clean and not just because it is a new studio but because the finishes lend to being a clean environment.  And the bathrooms are stocked with deodorant, face wash, face lotion, hair elastics, and tampons.  I like that there is a little table and ledge that you can put stuff down on while you use the bathroom.  Sometimes I can be a little bit of a germophobe and it is nice to be able to have a spot to put things other than the floor.

Soul Cycle RestRoom

There are also two showers available.  They provide the same amenities as the bathroom in addition to a hair dryer, hair spray, razors, shaving cream, towels, shampoo, conditioner and body wash.  I used the shower after class because I needed to head someplace else to meet up with friends after.

Soul Cycle Shower

Lockers

Past the bathrooms, showers and the cycling room there is another hallway where you will find the lockers.  They have locks like Exhale where you just need to put the code in and don’t have to worry about bringing your own lock.  They also have a coat rack with hangers so you don’t have to stuff a huge winter coat into the locker.  There is no locker “room” or dedicated changing space so you will have to change before class or use one of the bathroom or shower rooms.

Soul Cycle Lockers

The Cycling Room

The instructor is stationed at the front of the room on a podium with a few candles surrounding the bike.  The podium allows the class participants to see the instructor better and the candles give a nice ambiance.  The front wall of the studio is covered with mirrors so that you can sneak a peak at your form.

Soul Cycle Instructor Bike

There are bikes lined up in 4 rows and 4 bikes on either side of the instructor.  I wish the bikes were staggered because it would allow for the riders to have a better glimpse in the mirror at their own form.  I do however like and appreciate how the back wall has the road and a nice sky.  The reflection in the mirror combined with the dim lights makes you feel like you are riding on the open road.

Soul Cycle Bikes

Bikes have towels set out on them when you arrive and extra towels at the front next to the instructor’s bike if you need them.  There are also hand weights there in case you want to switch out the weight that is at your bike from the previous class.  In addition to the instructor, there will be multiple SoulCycle employees walking around helping people get set up properly on their bikes.  So don’t worry if you are new to cycling and/or using cycling shoes-they will make sure you feel comfortable.

The Class

Format

SoulCycle is indoor cycling with hints of yoga, barre and dance.  We started class off with a steady, easy pace, closing our eyes and in a way, setting an intention.  Then the intensity was increased and we did sprinting, arm pumps, tap backs, and one song of arm work with hand weights.

The arm exercises included active movement but also included some barre-like isometric moves.  We ended class with the instructor asking if we wanted to leave, leave before we stretched because it would interrupt the class.  The final stretches were also yoga-reminiscent with the upward dog and deep breaths.

The Instructor

My instructor was Justin.  He was upbeat and had some different, fun music to get us going.  I kind of liked that he jumped off the bike to demonstrate the movement and how dance-like it was.

I appreciated how he was sure to let newbies to SoulCycle feel comfortable with not keeping up with the veterans in the room.  It is kind of intimidating being surrounded by 54 other people who seem really intense.  Justin knew this and he pointed out that even instructors could not keep up the first class either but if you stay dedicated, you can keep up as well.

Throughout the class he also gave the opportunity for people to modify and stay on the saddle instead of try a more difficult move.  Sometimes just offering this makes the class less stressful for people who can’t do it but feel pressured.

The Grand Opening Perks

Because this was an exciting event, SoulCycle had Pure Cocobeet giving out full bottles of their cold-pressed juices.  I tried the Peruvian Sun with sweet potato, carrot, apple, lemon, lime, maca and the Kickstart with beet, carrot, apple and ginger.  Both were fresh and delicious and it was a perfect way to refuel after a workout.  I wish I could have taken one of each flavor they were so good!

Soul Cycle Pure Cocobeet Juices

There also was DJ was playing music to amp up the vibe and the signature SoulCycle Polaroid station where you can take pictures and your Polaroid will be displayed on the wall behind the front desk.  I didn’t end up taking a picture at the grand opening, but I will have to the next time I make a visit.

Soul Cycle DJ

Pricing

First Class – $20
Single Class – $30
5 Rides – $145 ($29/ride)
10 Rides – $280 ($28/ride)
20 Rides – $540 ($27/ride)

{Pricing listed was as listed on March 9, 2014.  Check the website for the most current pricing}

Overall Thoughts

I was lucky to get to be able to experience their class so soon because classes filled fast!  I was quite surprised that 55 seats filled for an 8:30 Saturday morning but once I took the class, I understood why.

Overall, the studio and class experience was good.  SoulCycle seems to have a huge following and community.  The class was always hooting and hollering (when appropriate) because they were so amped up.  The class emphasizes energizing your fellow riders and feeding off their energy.  I can tell the team is dedicated and wants the client to have a great experience.

Again, the workout includes some things I still need some time to grown on me (push ups and tap backs), but I enjoyed the vibe of the class and liked the arm weight section.  If the studio location was more convenient for me to get to, I would splurge to get a class pack so that I could do a full review of the studio.  This post is more of an informative post on the studio.  I am trying to visit locations consistently before writing a full review.

The are only a few things that I wish could be improved:

Hallway Space

The hallways can get a little tight when you have 55 riders just exiting a class and 55 riders waiting to get in.

Showers

I wish there were more than 2 showers.  I was able to snag a shower right away but there was a line waiting so I was extra sure to make it quick.  With the number of bikes that SoulCycle provides, it seems like they need an actual locker room with more showers.

Having said that, I am not sure how busy the showers will be on a regular day.  Most people are probably driving to the class so they have showers to use at home.  If I weren’t heading to a lunch someplace right after and didn’t take public transportation, I would probably shower home too.

Pricing

The pricing is fairly high for me.  I am hoping that SoulCycle soon becomes a participating studio in ClassPass because right now I couldn’t justify spending that much on classes.

See my Boston Indoor Cycling Comparison page to compare prices and amenities with other studios.

Join through my link!  If I get 5 friends to sign up-I get a free class!

Location

Located in Chestnut Hill Square at:

200 Boylston St
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
617.658.9010

Connect with Soul Cycle

Website|Facebook|@SoulCycle|FAQ


{Disclaimer:  I attended this class free of charge.  I was not paid to write this post.  All opinions are my own! }

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9 Comments

9 Responses to SoulCycle Chestnut Hill

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  2. Sounds like a fun class to do on the weekend! Or if you live in Chestnut Hill :)

  3. I was there Saturday too! BUT I DIDN’T GET ANY JUICE :( Guess they were popular! I reviewed the class too but wasn’t crazy about mine…

    • The juice was amazing!!! I was so glad I could snag TWO! :)

      My class was tough for me. I think my hips were feeling it from my weekly workouts (unfortunately still recovery from hip overuse)! I’m still really not sure about all the arm pumps and tap backs. Everyone was so energetic so it was nice though!

      I am kind of bummed it is so far away because I need some more time before I can figure out if I like the class as a whole and the instructor. I know you said you have like SoulCycle in NY-so I wonder what I would think of those classes!

  4. Hey Jess – nice review! How do you think Soulcycle compares to Recycle? In my mind, I have always thought Recycle was like the Boston version of Soulcycle (based purely on reading about Soulcycle online) and going to Recycle classes. Chestnut Hill is so far away (and me not owning a car) means there’s pretty much zero chance I’ll get out there.

    • I have only been to one SoulCycle class so it is kind of difficult to get a real good feel about it. I think it is a bit different though. Unfortunately, I can’t completely describe it yet. I think I need to get to a few more classes to get a handle on how it is different and also try a few different instructors.

      If you do like Recycle-you should try The Handle Bar. I think they are similar and I also think that they have a fun vibe. The instructors are fun, friendly and inviting. They have a lot of themed rides too which can be fun! Let me know if you are up for a workout sometime :)

      • I’m super pumped about Handle Bar opening in Fenway!!
        Also pumped about your Pursuit class tomorrow :)

        AAAND I’m always up for working out. I’m loooving my classpass.

      • oops, and in response to your comment, thanks!
        I think it’s awesome you’re taking your time to really “get” each spin studio before weighing it up.
        Velo-city also has a bunch of themed rides (I went to their ultra music festival themed one last week…ohhh man it was amazeballs. Imagine glo sticks, live DJ, amazing dance music, disco ball, Jen Menzer in a white tutu) (at 10.30am on a Sunday!)

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