When SoulCycle came to Toronto, their reputation meant that they were booked up. So what’s with the hype? Was it worth the wait? A few Tuesdays ago, I went to check it out as part of the launch of a new CLIF Bar product, below are my thoughts on the experience and the new product!
This post is sponsored by ClifBar. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support me.
A couple Tuesdays ago, I was invited to a SoulCycle Toronto class that was held to launch the new CLIF Salted Watermelon BLOKS energy chews. Between wanting to try SoulCycle and my love for CLIF BLOKS, that meant I immediately said yes and set my alarm to sound off at 6AM. Way earlier than I’m used to (ha!). However, in addition to being able to test out the newest flavour (and stuffing my pockets with them), it was great seeing some of my fave peeps so it was definitely worth waking up.
Okay, so what is SoulCycle? According to SoulCycle’s website, the “signature SoulCycle ride is indoor cycling re-invented. With inspirational coaching, rockstar music, and a full body workout (we’ve added hand weights and core work!), this 45-minute class will transform the way you look and feel.”
So what does that mean? I mean all cycling studios kinda blur together over time right? What makes SoulCycle stand apart?
My first impressions entering the studio was how gorgeous the space was. You go up a flight of stairs with the SoulCycle Toronto branding and two bikes at the top before heading through glass doors where the welcome desk is. There were a lot of spacious lockers (with built in locks so you don’t have to bring your own) and the changing rooms were at the back.
However, one downfall to their layout were the change rooms. In my opinion, the change rooms were on the small side. There weren’t really a lot of space for you to put your stuff down to change like you do in a gym and with 100000 other women trying to either get ready to leave to go to work or coming in for the 8:30AM session, it meant I could barely move in there without accidentally elbowing someone. So tip, come changed in your gear if possible.
Once inside, it looked like they had over 50 bikes inside their spin room (see below for the seating layout) and our instructor was Pascale – also pictured below. I sat in #43 with Allison beside me at #44. Unfortunately, they do not allow photography/phones inside their spin room so whomp whomp, no photos.
I loved how inside the room, it was dark (I hate spinning in brightly lit rooms! Can you please direct bright lights at my struggling? Thanks) and they had candles in the front to set the mood of the room.
Their bikes are the clippy ones and while I was able to clip in with ease, clipping out was a whole different story. I couldn’t get my foot out. They say if you go to bike #43, you can still find my shoes clipped in, forever a part of that bike. There was a staff member helping riders get clipped in though if you’re worried that you will not be able to.
I liked their overall workout as they didn’t get too fancy with the movements because my inability to do things to a beat would have definitely hindered me. We rode with our butts out of the saddle, we did tap backs, we did push ups, we went side to side. Relatively easy but I was working up a sweat. So sweaty in fact that my shirt came off, my towel had fallen, and I needed a second towel. Thank goodness there were extra CLIFBar towels!
I liked the weights for upper body portions of the class as it is always a great reminder that it is not about the weight of the weight but what you do with it. I was getting my butt kicked with the little 2lbs weights and could not stop sweating.
Near the end, the doors opened up and their staff came running through with lights flashing and towels twirling above their heads as they danced through the room and back out again. I thought it was hilarious and made me stop thinking about how tired I was for a minute.
Overall, I had a pleasant experience and feel like it’s something that you should try once. My upper body was worked, my lower body was worked, and my core was engaged. Not bad for 45 minutes. However, my inner old person felt that the music was a bit too loud and I would have enjoyed it more if the volume was a bit lower.
- Length: 45 minutes
- Equipment: For your first class, shoes are on free. After, shoe rentals are $3 USD ($3.50 CAD) according to their website.
- Suggested Outfit: A pair of tights and a tank top.
- Difficulty: 6.5/10
- Location: SoulCycle Toronto 435 King Street West
- Price: $28 per class. No memberships.
So let’s talk fuelling for a class like SoulCycle. My fuel of choice is the CLIF BLOKS. If you’ve followed my training for my half marathon #2-4 on Instagram, you would have noticed their CLIF BLOKS in my long runs. They used to be called SHOT BLOKS so if you’re familiar with that name, know that they’re now just CLIF BLOKS.
What’s so special about these CLIF BLOKS? Well other than the fact that eating them on a long run is like rewarding yourself with gummy candy (I’d reward myself with one every 4K), these bad boys are quick energy chews. This means that the organic sugar inside them are designed to hit your bloodstream immediately compared to eating a snack before your sweat session and waiting for it to kick in.
CLIF BLOKS provide an optimum balance of carbohydrates and electrolytes with no partially hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, synthetic preservatives or artificial flavours. Like I mentioned earlier, the Salted Watermelon Flavour is their newest flavour and they contain twice the sodium to help ward off muscle cramps and replenish electrolytes lost during sweating.
For a class like this, I would take one to two of the CLIF BLOKS and save the rest for later if I was to need a burst of energy (and yes I did before it was 8:30AM and I had nothing in me!). They don’t take up a lot of space so you can bring them with you to your bike and they’re easily digestible so you don’t have to worry about your stomach especially if you’re working out first thing in the morning.
They’re perfect for both high energy quick workouts like SoulCycle and endurance workouts like a long training run (or bike or swim). Their latest flavour is definitely one of my favourites so far – salted watermelon.
Also, I find that with a few certain chews, when you bite into it, it doesn’t break down right and there’s this squeaky chewy feel to it that I hate. With CLIF BLOKS, they don’t do that. You can bite right through and not worry about having to over-chew while working out.
- Product Cost: $2.59
- Locations: Sporting Goods/Speciality Stores
Let’s chat! Have you been to SoulCycle? Are you a CLIF BLOKS fan? What’s your favourite flavour?
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