Why are people paying $34 a class for spinning?

By July 31, 2015Bike
Why people pay $34 a class for the most popular cycling workout in America

Photo courtesy of SoulCycle

SoulCycle is taking America for a ride- literally, almost. Spinning enthusiasts, along with quite a few celebrities, are going crazy for this new, expensive, innovative take on an exercise class. You may be wondering the same thing that we are- what makes this class so different that participants are willing to pay $34 per class?

“It’s way more than an exercise class,” Jaime Gleicher, who’s been going to SoulCycle since 2011 at a rate of roughly 10 times a week, told Business Insider. “It’s equal parts dance party, killer workout, meditation, therapy and social setting where I know, without fail, I can see my friends and gain a piece of mind.”

In a typical 45-minute class, students can expect to do choreographed, high-resistance sprints and “climbs” with an arm-workout section and a yoga-esque cool down. The lighting in the studio itself is dim with candles at the front of the room and music blaring.

For riders, it’s not about calories or how many reps they can do, but about letting go — it’s not uncommon to be asked to close your eyes or to cycle through a song completely in the dark.

SoulCycle has gained so much popularity that the company filed for an IPO on Thursday, July 30. However, some sources say that SoulCycle classes are actually counterproductive. 

In 2011, James S. Fell wrote in the Los Angeles Times that he gave SoulCycle “a failing grade for exercise physiology and biomechanics.”

“The whole idea of working one’s upper body while pedaling a stationary bike is not only counterproductive,” he wrote, “it can be physically detrimental over time, according to several experts I talked to.”

Check out the two Business Insider articles below to read different perspectives on the SoulCycle phenomenon. 

The pros- “Why people pay $34 a class for the most popular cycling workout in America”
The cons- “Why I Stopped Going to SoulCycle”

Would you ever pay $34 for a spin class? Does SoulCycle make it worth it? Do some people just have too much money? Share your thoughts below!