SoulCycle Rittenhouse Square opened on Thursday, March 16 for all the fitness fanatics in Philadelphia. The indoor cycling company’s newest studio is situated at 113 S. 16th St. between Sansom and Chestnut Streets. In the week since its opening, SoulCycle RHSQ has seen many riders – both old and new – gear up to tap it back.
As someone has rode in New York’s Soul studios since high school, you can imagine my excitement when I took a wrong turn in Philly and stumbled upon the beautiful white and yellow two-floor building located in the chaos of the city.
There were rumors that the company was expanding its Pennsylvania locations (the first is in Ardmore) for a few months, but this fateful day in December was the first tangible proof I had received.
For those of you who have never heard of SoulCycle, let me explain. You walk into a white, grapefruit scented sanctuary of peppy people dressed in bright yellow. After being greeted with a smile, you will be asked to sign in, whether or not you need shoes (SoulCycle bikes require you to clip in to the pedals for stability) or water for class, and if it’s your first time at SoulCycle.
You’ll head upstairs to put your things into lockers with built in locks (score). Forgot a hair tie? No worries, there’s a ton in the bathroom! Want to freshen up on deodorant? SoulCycle has got you covered! The amenities don’t stop there either: when you’re out of class, sweaty AF, feel free to hop into the shower, which is fully stocked with shampoo, conditioner, body wash, razors, towels and more!
Approximately 10 minutes before the start of class, you’ll enter the studio and a staff member will set you up on the bike. What follows is a life-changing, inspirational workout that will make you stronger physically, mentally and spiritually (I might be a little biased).
The workout is a 45-minute long cardio party that takes places on stationary bikes in a dark, candlelight room with music blaring. You start off smooth, and then work your way up hills. Once you’ve sprinted back down, you’ll grab your hand weights from under your seat and begin the weight series. Oh, and did I mention that the entire time your riding, you’re also working your core with choreography, push-ups and crunches? Needless to say, at the end of it all you’ll be drenched in sweat. Finally, finish class with a stretch led by the instructor.
SoulCycle calls the workout a “journey” and even goes so far as to place a road landscape on the back wall of every studio to symbolize this journey. The journey is not only physical, although you will walk, jog, sprint and climb your way to the metaphorical finish line.
The other aspect of the SoulCycle journey, though, is entirely spiritual. In under an hour of intense cardio and full-body exercise, you will loose yourself on that bike. You might laugh, you might cry, but you will definitely be inspired by the high-energy, motivational instructors who are total rock stars in their own right. Their artfully compiled playlists and empowering speeches will supply you with the strength necessary to tackle the workout and the rest of your day.
Warning: after your first ride, you might very well become hooked.
Whether or not you’re a gym junkie, the SoulCycle experience is one that can be enjoyed by anyone looking to clear their head and build their strength.
If you’re interested in taking a class at Philly’s newest SoulCycle studio, you can visit the website to buy classes, book your bike, see instructor profiles, schedules, pricing and more. There is also in-depth information on what to expect from start to finish.