While you’ll still be able to ride in the classic 45-minute Soul class, you can now also take things to another level with SoulActivate, a new, high-intensity 60-minute class that incorporates strength training. And if you live in New York City, San Francisco, or Los Angeles you can book your bike in a SoulActivate ride starting today. Plus, you’ll have plenty of chances to tap it back since SoulActivate will be offered eight to 10 times a week in each region. Fair warning: I tried it, and it's not for the faint of heart (think SoulCycle meets a HIIT class).
“We created SoulActivate to continue to challenge our riders and give them new opportunities to push themselves harder,” says SoulCycle master trainer Emily Turner. “This powerful workout was designed as a way to cross-train from our traditional SoulCycle class. With an emphasis on high-intensity interval training, our goal is to push the rider to reach new limits while still honoring the SoulCycle experience they know and love,” Turner says.
The class is designed to help more seasoned riders achieve results using a special threshold training method.
Turner says that the class, which was developed by a team of SoulCycle master trainers and athletic engineers using science-backed data, is designed to help more seasoned riders achieve results using a special threshold training method. Think: your standard beat-based SoulCycle class infused with Tabata —and a lot more, well, everything. “This workout combines intense cycling, strength training utilizing both light and heavy weights during multiple arm series, timed heart-rate variation, and intentional recovery to work the body’s various energy systems and ultimately burn fat and build endurance,” Turner says.
So how does the new class stack up to the classic? When I enter the studio for a preview class, it doesn't seem all that different—at first. Besides being instructed to grab a heavier weight as I enter the studio, I notice that the warm-up feels familiar, at least. After about 10 minutes into the class, I can tell things are going to get intense (but in the best way possible).
There are definitely more pushes, and the heavier-weight strength-training portion is an added challenge—as was the extra arm series with lighter weights (which felt very heavy after holding them for boxing-style punches for an entire song). The timed Tabata pushes are the most challenging stretches of the class by far. By the end of the 60 minutes I’m left totally drenched—and wondering when I can tap it back again.
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