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Behind the scenes at SoulCycle

April 26th 2013

GTG sent Marissa Montgomery to New York's hottest fitness class. Here's her exclusive interview with SoulCycle Co-Founder Julie Rice

Marissa Montgomery left her first session of SoulCycle feeling enlightened. Watch the video for a sneak peek into New York's hottest health trend and read on for our exclusive interview with SoulCycle's Co-Founder Julie Rice.

GTG: What do you think has been key to the enormous buzz and success of SoulCycle?

"SoulCycle has revolutionised indoor cycling by making it a full-body workout. SoulCycle uses one-pound weights on the bike, simultaneously toning the upper body and core, while getting an intense cardio workout. Riders burn between 500 - 700 calories in 45-minutes. It’s like a cardio party on the bike!"

What is SoulCycle’s motto?

"SoulCycle’s philosophy is “Mind, Body, Cardio” and our goal is to make fitness joyful every day, every ride."

You inspire all the senses at SoulCycle, from the lighting and branding to the scented candles; how important is the mood and environment you create?

"We haven't just created a workout, but a total mind-body experience. Each and every SoulCycle class is lit by candlelight to create a non-intimidating sanctuary that ignites all of the senses. Each class is taught by a top-notch SoulCycle certified instructor and features its very own unique playlist."

How many times a week do you cycle personally?

"Like most women, we’ve had to find the balance between running a business, being moms and finding the time for exercise. We’re happy if we can ride 3-4 times a week."

You have candles, nail polish, and workout clothes - what’s next for SoulCycle?

"In addition to expanding our signature SoulCycle Boutique, we also launched the Soul Bike, our custom bike designed specifically for the SoulCycle method. The Soul Bike is housed in all of our studios and is also available for home purchase."

SoulCycle is about more than just exercise. In NYC it has become almost as important as places of religious worship or therapy to people. How did this happen?

"Our goal at SoulCycle is to strengthen the mind and body - every day, every ride. We strive to provide a culture of confidence and community that goes beyond the four walls of SoulCycle."

Do you personally do any other exercise other than spinning?

"In addition to riding at SoulCycle three or four days a week, I also run and do strength training. When I can, I like to spend time outdoors with my kids — my favourite summer workout is my own homemade “boot camp” on the beach in Fire Island."

Best advice anyone has ever given you?

"The best advice I’ve been given is… listening to your customers. Take their compliments and complaints seriously. I’ve learned so much standing behind the front desk at SoulCycle. I really take each customer’s advice to heart. I quickly learned if one person doesn’t like something there are usually 50 others who feel the same way but are too afraid to say anything."

How do you feed your soul?

"I’m all about finding nutritional balance: lots of vegetables paired with "a ton" of sugar. I have a major sweet tooth and love to snack. 16 Handles is my all time favorite indulgence!"

Read Marissa's experience of a SoulCycle class to find out what it's like to take part.

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