If you're a fitness junkie in a big city, chances are you've at least experimented with the popular exercise class, SoulCycle.
Part social scene, part spinning and part yoga, the workout is done entirely on a stationary bike. While your legs never stop moving, the atmosphere also makes the class meditative. It's as much of an experience as it is a good sweat -- but it doesn't come without a few awkward hiccups for first timers.
Below are just a few truths, thoughts and struggles a new rider might experience in their first SoulCycle class.
Photo credit: Jason Merritt via Getty Images
1. You are immediately overwhelmed by the grapefruit scent.
"I feel like my nostrils just went to a day spa."
"If I didn't Instagram it, did I even go to SoulCycle?"
3. You will not know how to adjust the bike.
"If this is any indication of how my workout is going to go, I might as well quit now."
PSA: The studio offers different seats and modifications based on your height. Show up early and ask for help if you're on the taller or shorter side -- you won't regret it.
4. You'll spend the time falling in (and out of) love with your instructor.
"This doesn't seem so bad... Oh no, I actually hate you... Wait, he's off his bike and dancing the salsa to this routine -- how funny is that?... Ugh, are you trying to torture me?... I am a machine! I'm taking his class again!"
5. You'll be wondering if the person next to you has superhuman legs.
"Seriously, how are they pedaling that fast?!"
6. There's a thrill you get when you learn there are themed classes.
"You better believe I'm going to an all Taylor Swift ride -- even if I have to travel to a totally inconvenient location to take it."
7. You have overestimated your strength when it comes to the weights.
How quickly "Psh, I can do two pounds!" becomes "Am I lifting two Toyotas right now?!"
8. You will sleep like a baby later that night.
"Is it time for bed yet?"
Note: This isn't specific to SoulCycle. A rigorous exercise routine will lull you to sleep like an infant on a car ride. Research suggests physical activity can have a positive impact on your quality of sleep.
9. Struggling to unclip yourself from the pedals is really embarrassing.
"That sound you hear wafting through the studio is a combination of my desperate plea for the bike to unleash me and my utter embarrassment."
10. The next-day pain borders on unbearable.
"Pardon me as I waddle down the street as though I'm carrying a boulder between my knees."
11. You'll have a definitive stance on SoulCycle once the class is over.
There are two types of people: The soul-enthusiasts or the "hell no" riders. You'll have an idea which one you are by the time the last song plays -- and that's perfectly OK.
In reality, the key is finding an exercise routine that's engaging for you, whether that's SoulCycle or something entirely different. Here's to a happy workout (and a Starburst-scented workout studio, if that's your thing).