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Indoor Cycling is Re-Invented at Pasadena's SoulCycle

By Marina I. Jokic

At SoulCycle, indoor cycling has gotten a makeover. By combining a mental component of inspirational coaching with music, candlelight, and a high-intensity, heart-pumping cycling workout, SoulCycle is trying to change the way people view cycling altogether. Instructor Ross Ramone wants his students to not only get their daily cardio in, but to experience a mental freedom. Working in the beautiful Pasadena, Ramone is thrilled to be part of the national SoulCycle movement.

Simply put, Ramone says, SoulCycles' mission is to make fitness more enjoyable and to change the way people look and feel about themselves. "This is indoor cycling reinvented as a full body and mind cardio party," he adds. The instructors strive to motivate their students with catchy music tunes, a low-lit atmosphere that allows people not to focus on their appearance and to just get lost in the rhythm and sound of the experience.

There are seven distinct classes offered at SoulCycle, and each is unique in its target audience and methods. For example, the signature SoulCycle course is a forty-five-minute session of intense spinning which also incorporates weights and core work.

Pictured above is Instructor Ross Ramone.

The SoulSurvivor class adds another fifteen minutes to the base level course, and a little bit more sweat and effort, while the Community Ride is complimentary is a free class taught by instructors in training -- a good way to get a feeling for full-fledged classes. The SoulChallenge and Soul Warrior are designed for more advanced cyclers, and offer ninety minutes of the same cardio experience. Finally, for those wanting to instill a love for cycling in their kids, the SoulTeen class is especially tailored for a younger crowd.

Apart from the regular classes, Ramone highlights the "Turn it Up 20" national program that challenges riders to complete twenty rides in thirty days. It's a great way to encourage riders to push themselves out of their comfort zones and to set an ambitious goal for themselves. SoulCycle has many studios across fifteen states the U.S., and the "Turn it Up 20" program can track your progress in any of them.

In fact, Ramone encourages riders to try out new instructors and studios is they can, just to add a little variety to their cycling routines. Once you complete your twenty rides, you get some fun swag to take home.

"Riders have told us that they come to SoulCycle instead of going to therapy," Ramone jokes. "Our studios are dark and lit by candlelight, so riders can lose themselves in non-intimidating spaces and focus on the rhythm and the energy of the pack, which creates a strong bond between riders," he says. Indeed, because the SoulCycle workouts are designed target the physical and mental states of people, it does actually feel therapeutic. SoulCycle's mental and spiritual components allow riders to release stress, find joy in movement, and quite literally change their outlook on life.

For Ramone, it always comes back to the riders. To him, there's nothing more exciting or rewarding than watching a rider achieve a goal, exceed an expectation, or discover a new side of himself or herself. He says that "what we do in that room transcends the bike." Pushing yourself to achieve your goal inside the class can translate to reaching your goals in your everyday life. I always say that if you can make a brave choice in class, you can make a brave choice in your life.

Ramone sees himself as an artist as well. He finds passion for his work at the intersection of music, movement, and messaging that he choreographs for his classes.

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