SoulCycle devotees in New York and Los Angeles already know that master instructor Kym Perfetto is a badass. Now the rest of the country will, too, with last Friday night’s premiere of the 25th season of The Amazing Race on CBS.
The former New York City bike messenger and competitive street bike racer is teamed up alongside her Los Angeles roommate, fellow cyclist and SoulCycle instructor-in-training, Alli Forsythe, on a team aptly named, The Cyclists.
“It was an amazing opportunity for deeper self-discovery and travel, and to push myself to new limits,” Perfetto says, who’s now back at Soul and sworn to secrecy about the show’s outcome. “It’s not just physically challenging—there’s so much emotion that goes into it. This is the most well-rounded race that anyone can do.” This coming from a woman who teaches grueling cycling classes in front of a packed house then races home across the Williamsburg Bridge to shoot crazy hard DIY workout videos.
Winning The Amazing Race gets you one million dollars for you and your partner, and Perfetto is competing in order to pay off her brother’s medical bills. (He is a cancer survivor.)
Perfetto and Forsythe came in third place on the first episode—not bad! But you’ll have to keep watching to see if they make it to the next round. Our guess is, that with a healthy dose of Soul strength in each of them, Perfetto and Forsythe will do just fine.
Here’s what Perfetto said about training for the show and rolling with all the Race’s wild challenges off the bike. —Jamie McKillop
1. Despite already being in amazing shape, did you have to train for The Amazing Race? Alli and I did train for it. The funny thing is, in the end you’re either cast or you’re not—they don’t tell you anything until they’re actually filming. Our training was pretty interesting. We watching a ton of previous episodes and started doing cross training. We did everything from Tough Mudder, to rock climbing, to running with bags of cat litter across my front yard, to studying languages and maps.
2. Wow! So did your studying come in handy? So we took a map reading course, and then on the very first episode we have to use a compass. But it’s not a normal compass, it’s the type of compass that’s meant to be read in the opposite direction so that the ball points towards you. We’re thinking north when it’s really south. At that point our map reading course really didn’t come in handy.
3. How did SoulCycle prepare you for the challenges on The Amazing Race? When I teach SoulCycle—it’s physically exhausting teaching two classes in a row. We do a lot of interval training in my classes, and that means I’m getting up to my max intensity twice a day. I’m left with no energy and feeling exhausted. But it also means I have incredible endurance. I never get tired now, even though The Amazing Race is extremely physically challenging.
4. Do you think your experience on The Amazing Race will influence your classes? Definitely. Every time I come back from a cycling trip, I’m always inspired to share with my students the challenges and struggles I overcame. They are so much more engaged. The Amazing Race is great, because my students can actually watch it and follow along and see what I went through, and then I can come into class and tell them you can accomplish anything. It’s very practical! I also learned if you say “I can’t,” that just means you don’t want it bad enough. It made me a better coach.
5. What was the most challenging part for you of the whole show? The biggest thing was mentally training my brain to imagine myself winning, and believing it to be a possibility—and truly believing that in my heart. I’ve been racing for the last eight years, and I find it doesn’t matter how great of shape you’re in—if your brain and heart aren’t in it, you won’t be successful. —Jamie McKillop