Unless you’ve been living under a rock (and we don’t mean the high-vibe crystal variety), you know that the singular obsession of spin addicts in the US, SoulCycle, is about to ride into Toronto.
SoulCycle has set itself apart from competitors with its unique aesthetic (classes are held by candlelight) and its merging of the spiritual and the sweaty (riders set a personal intention at the start of each workout). But what keeps riders coming back for more is a cult-like devotion to their favorite instructors. Aspiring inspirers are put through an intense audition process that tests not only their ability to program a tough-as-nails sweatfest, but whether they have what it takes to own the room with that elusive x-factor.
So before the tap-backs start, and the juice bars of King West are jammed with sweaty masses in skull-adorned apparel, we caught up with one of SoulCycle King Street’s instructors, Jenna Garofalo, to find out how she motivates her riders (hint: it involves some mantras), what members should expect from a Jenna-led ride, and why the growing Toronto fitness scene is so exciting.
Well TO Do: What makes SoulCycle so beloved?
Jenna Garofalo: SoulCycle has transformed the fitness industry through our full body workout on a bike. It’s indoor cycling reinvent ed . It’s a full mind-body experience – part cardio dance party and part mindful inspiration, classes are held in dark, candlelit rooms set to expertly curated playlists. The 45 minute classes are powerful both physically and mentally and the dark room allows riders to lose themselves in the workout. It’s a connection you can’t find easily. A connection to the room, to the people around you, and most importantly a disconnection to the world beyond the door. The sense of community, to me, is what makes it special. On top of the crazy workout!
WTD: What should riders expect in your class?
JG: It’s a dance party on a bike- 45 minutes goes by so quickly! Riders can expect music from all different genres. I add in purposeful, targeted choreography to engage muscle groups such as triceps, chest, abs, and the entire core region giving you a real full-body workout. Every instructor in Toronto has their own style so there will definitely be something for everyone! I love a good pop throwback or some rock classics. No playlist is the same so you will never be bored!
WTD: Your favorite line to motivate riders when things get tough?
JG: When I see the riders need an extra boost of motivation I like to remind them that the strength they came to SoulCycle looking for, is already inside them. They just have to peel back that layer of doubt and let their true self shine. We all underestimate ourselves, so it’s just like a little tap on the shoulder saying, “you’ve got this.”
WTD: Your #1 wellness practice?
JG: My go-to wellness practice is taking my friends’ classes at Soul — and my diet! I wouldn’t be able to support my body in this industry without being careful about what goes into it. I go for lots of green juices and lots of whey protein! It’s fast acting and gets me the energy I need.
WTD: What’s exciting you right now about the Toronto fitness & wellness scene?
JG: Toronto is really starting to expand its fitness scene. It’s great to see a lot of new fitness boutiques and it’s evident that Torontonians are becoming more and more passionate about fitness and wellness. We’re excited about the community we’re going to build – we can’t wait to get started!
SoulCycle opens its first Canadian location on March 2 at 435 King Street West.