UPDATE:This story was originally published on March 26. Everyone who does SoulCycle is certifiably obsessed with it. So obsessed, in fact, that they're willing to take 6 a.m. classes, book their workouts weeks in advance, and pay $34 (or more!) for just 45 minutes of sweat time. And, now that the cycle studios are cropping up all over the city, we thought it was high time that we got the scoop. So, we popped into the Union Square location to find out what it is that makes members call this workout unique, effective, and universally (gasp!) fun. Most say it's a mix of the intense cardio, loud music, and a common dedication to slimming down (or just staying fit). But beyond the ostensible desire to look good in a bikini, we found a real community that all SoulCycle members swear by. It's therapeutic and motivating — plus, burning upwards of 500 calories in less than an hour isn't too bad, either.
Click through for the real skinny on SoulCycle, and find out why some riders would pay anything for just one turn on the bikes.
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Photographed by CJ Isaac