Melanie is all about being grateful for the small things. She is battling cancer (brought this up at the beginning of class - this is why her hair is way shorter than it is in her Soul bio photo) but has an amazing outlook; her musical selection, class mantras and general persona all reflect this positivity. All of this, coupled with the standard SoulCycle classroom candles and the rapt crowd of riders left me feeling like I’d just been through a religious fitness experience.
- When Melanie brought up having cancer she didn’t talk about it in an “oh hey this is so sad” way. She said: “Because of my cancer, my doctor says I have to do everything possible to not get a cold. Apparently I kiss too many people. Can you blame me? Lips were made for kissing!” I love that.
- She also noted that “Apparently I should be doing more things that are good for me. Like…I dunno…eating kale.” I should probably be eating some kale myself, Melanie.
- Melanie doesn’t scream all the way through class like some instructors. She focuses on dropping inspiring or funny one-liners, interspersed with a “weeee-ooo” once in a while. No constant stream of chatter, but totally effective.
- Started the class off her bike (with her shoes still up on the end of the handlebars, this seems to be a Soul instructor “thing”). Hopped on for a chunk, got back off to walk around and check out everyone’s form, hopped back on. AKA, she wasn't cemented to the saddle.
On the class:
- There were two speeds in this class: flat road and steep hill. We spent about half the class completely hauling ass and the other grinding away, with no real middle ground.
- During the hills we focused on short sprints followed by bike pushups. Melanie also threw in some tap-backs for good measure.
- There were a number of standing runs - Melanie told the class not to stand up unless they could keep pace with the beat (I noticed several riders stayed seated). We were basically standing straight up and pushing our legs as fast as they could go without falling off the bike.
- Great arms section- found myself wishing I hadn’t been so cocky about the amount of weight I could handle (I was a teensy bit sore after).
- Really focused on having us pull ourselves back over the saddle. As she said, “There's no such thing as a butt that’s ‘too perky’.”
My one con:
I found Melanie a little hard to follow/keep up with. With the number of fancy moves we were doing in and out of the saddle, the loudness of the music and the reverb on her mic, a little more counting or warning would have really helped me out.
That's a lot of pressure.
During the ride Melanie got off her bike, pulled a dude out of the first row and had him get on her bike in front of the class, keeping him up there for at least three songs. Holy crap, that’s a lot of pressure. Does anyone know if this is standard procedure in Melanie’s class or was this a onetime deal??
Question of the day:
When, when, when am I going to stop looking like an idiot at SoulCycle? I just cannot get the hang of the pumping up and down over the handlebars, especially in Melanie’s class where said bike-humping happens at double-time.
**I am willing to accept instruction from anyone who wants to help me out with this issue.
- Before class I noticed that Melanie played a number of quick song clips, telling the class that these were songs that she was currently really into. Apparently she likes so many songs she doesn’t have enough time during the 45 minute ride to fit them all, and as a playlist fanatic I thought this was great.
- During the ride Melanie played a song that she proclaimed was her eight year-old daughter’s favorite at the moment. The song was Breakn' a Sweat by Skrillex ft. The Doors. That is correct: Melanie’s eight year-old likes Skrillex and is also cooler than any of us will ever be.
- The song we stretched to at the end of class had lyrics along the lines of “Be everything you want to be and do good things for the world and be strong and inspired.” This is obviously an exaggeration. But when we did that final room-embracing arm stretch to this particular song I felt like I could conquer the universe.
Despite feeling mildly lost from time to time I thought this was a great class and I liked Melanie’s vibe and music. Can see why she has such a fan base - its not many classes that you leave feeling powerful.