Hey guys! Did you enjoy your extra long weekend? I know we did! Things were very productive over here as we made some progress on baby girl’s room. She will be residing in Madelyn’s old room which is painted turquoise. I’ve been busy adding accents of gold, coral and ivory to help soften it up and give it a little bit more of a girlie vibe. As we are well into September, the final countdown begins. 6 more weeks until this little muffin is officially full term. Madelyn came right at 39 weeks, so I’m optimistic that baby girl will follow in her big sister’s footsteps and not keep us waiting too long.
Last weekend, my mom, sister and I took a little girls weekend to the Windy City. Back in May, my sister and I surprised our mom with tickets to see Dirty Dancing on Broadway at the Cadillac Palace Theater. The show was amazing and so true to the movie. They did a very good job transforming the movie into a Broadway production.
Besides seeing Dirty Dancing, we spent the weekend eating (Italian Village & Frontera Grill—both are highly recommended!) shopping (The Gap on Michigan Ave always has the best baby/kids clothes selection!), and cycling…
When I found out that SoulCycle was coming to Chicago, I put this at the top of our to-do list. I knew my sister and mom would love it since they both love biking. I first gave SoulCycle a try in NYC last December when hubs and I went there for New Years Eve. It was the perfect workout to end 2014. We both left feeling great, spiritually and physically.
Chicago’s class was no different. Our instructor, Hallie, was AMAZING! She writes a lifestyle/fashion blog I recommend you check out. Her energy and the music were on. point. When we were walking out of the studio, I asked my mom and sister what they thought. My sister said there were no words to describe how great of a cycling class it was. There is nothing in Milwaukee that even remotely compares. We were so close to signing up for a Sunday morning class, but none of us brought along extra workout clothes so instead we decided to go back on Sunday and purchase some souvenirs :-)
So what’s so great about this $30 workout class? ($20 if you’re a first time rider-totally worth it!) Imagine a yoga studio or swanky lounge paired up with your favorite cardio class, set to awesome music, led by an inspiring instructor. That is SoulCycle. The studio in the Loop has 67 bikes so it’s a pretty decent size, even though the bikes are all very close together. It’s so that you feed off of one another’s energy and ride as a group as opposed to trying to compete with your neighbor. Part of their “pact” mentality.
The studio is dark, and the instructor rides on a raised platform, surrounded by candlelight, while DJing great music and leading an inspirational class. You ride to the beat of the music, doing pushups, up downs, riding in and out of the saddle, etc. I seriously dare you not to dance along to the music on your bike. There were times I got so into, I had to stop and remind myself not to get too out of breath. The feel of the bike is unlike any other cycling class I’ve ever taken, either. The ride is very smooth and I never felt like the resistance was so low that I was going to hurt my knees if I went too fast. The spin of the bike was very fluid. At the end of the cardio section, there is an arms portion (you get to pick your weights) followed by some sprints and then the cool down.
Outside the studio, you see this:
Rules 1 & 2 are my favorite. There is NOTHING worse than taking a workout class and having someone’s phone going off or having people talking so loudly to their neighbor that you can barely hear the instructor. So annoying.
You can also charge your phone in your locker while you’re in class:
Pretty neat! The studio is gorgeous. When you walk in, everything’s very clean and white and smells amazing. They also have a cleaning crew come in and wipe down all the bikes and weights which is a huge plus.
I love everything about SoulCycle. You definitely leave with a more positive attitude than when you first entered. Had this studio been there when I was working in a corporate cubicle right around the corner, this would’ve been my place of sanctuary after a long day at the office. We are already planning on a trip back, this time to check out the Old Town studio, before baby #2 arrives.
How does it differ from Flywheel, which is also located in Chicago? Having taken two Flywheel classes and two SoulCycle classes, it’s really like comparing apples to oranges. They are both unique in their own way. The thing that I liked about Flywheel is that you got to see how many miles you covered in a class and how you “ranked” amongst the other clients riding beside you. That was great when I wasn’t pregnant and I came in first place at my first class! But as of right now, and where I am as far as maintaining fitness, that sort of thing doesn’t matter to me. I would feel defeated if I knew I worked hard for being 31 weeks pregnant but still coming in last place in class. I also like the spiritual aspect that SoulCycle offers. You leave class looking at things a little differently. I asked hubs what it was that he liked about it and he said he felt uplifted, which is funny for someone who is not the spiritual type.
If I lived in Chicago, this class would definitely be in my weekly rotation of workouts. Hopefully, we will see one in the Milwaukee area soon! I definitely recommend checking out a class if you live or are visiting an area where they have a studio. You won’t be disappointed.
Have you ever taken a SoulCycle or Flywheel class? What are your thoughts?