Tap Back Cash Back: Why SoulCycle is Totally Worth the $30 in Your College Budget

With papers, quizzes, projects, readings, presentations, tests, homework, meetings, clubs, and exams, college is already a vortex of constant stress. By adding social events, work, friend group drama, grocery shopping, laundry, chores, and other commitments on top of that, campus life can get very overwhelming. Finding the balance between sleep, school, and social gatherings almost seems impossible. But, it is always nice to know you have people on your team supporting you the entire way. When times get tough, you do not have to look far to find a team — the pack is waiting for you at SoulCycle, all you have to do is join.

Becoming a member of the pack is easy, but you have to be willing to pay the price. Unfortunately, SoulCycle classes are not cheap. Although $30 is a hefty price to pay for a college student, these classes can fit into any college budget. With your first class at a discounted price of $20, you might as well try it out. Whether you take a class once a month or twice a week, the pack can help you get through the toughest times while motivating you to push your limits each and every day.

Grace Lipo is a student at Boston College. With the constant stress of schoolwork and extracurricular commitments, Grace heads to the fitness center each day to let off some steam. But, midway through the semester it was not enough. As an avid spin class attendee, she was looking for something to spice up her routine.

Grace wants fitness to be fun and spin classes at the school’s recreation center were getting too monotonous. Grace joined the pack because “it takes away from the idea of spin as just a repetitive exercise. Instead it makes it interactive and allows everyone to share a common goal.” Grace was no longer trapped in the redundancy of college spin classes because SoulCycle allowed her to explore something new and enjoy spinning again.

For her first SoulCycle class, Grace attended a Chainsmokers theme ride. She was not entirely sure what she was getting into, but the chance to work out to all of the songs by her favorite artist was all the convincing she needed. By asking a few friends about their previous experiences and looking online, she only had a general sense about what to expect.

SoulCycle studios do not have windows, so the only way to experience a class is to participate. But, you do not have to go in totally blind.

As a newcomer, the studio is terrifying. This dark room is solely lit by candles and a few spotlights in the front. With minimal lighting, navigating one’s way through the rows and columns of bikes is a trek. While searching for bike 47, it is impossible not to notice how experienced some riders look.

The first row is intimidating because it generally consists of the instructor’s groupies. These riders know what they are doing, but also like to flaunt it. Sometimes they ride only in a sports bra…in case they did not seem intense enough already. The second row also seems to know exactly what they are doing. Luckily, those in the third and fourth rows are mostly there to have fun. Although some have mastered the moves, there are still plenty of people who cannot quite keep up with the beat yet.

After finally making it all the way to bike 47, it seems some superhuman must have been on this bike in the previous class…There is no way someone could have ridden a whole class in that position, right? With the seat and handlebars in these odd positions, bike set-up becomes a daunting task as well. With all these bolts, it is confusing to find the right setting. But have no fear, the front desk staff is ready to find the perfect bike set-up and make sure the cleats are clipped in to the pedals so you are ready to ride.

Once clipped in, the real madness starts. The studio door closes and the music blares from the speakers. The instructor hops on his or her bike and immediately kicks of the ride. The three riding positions are confusing and the beats can be somewhat hard to follow and pedal to. But, the music’s energy keeps you going, even when the ride gets tough. The world of tap-backs and slow presses are completely unknown to you but, you keep pushing through it.

Before you know it, the instructor announces that class is finished. There is no way the class could be over. Although you are tired, you could easily keep going. But, after sprints, hills, and an arm workout, the 45 minutes are complete. After a quick stretch, your exercise routine is done for the day. And you are energized and motivated to conquer anything that comes your way. If it were not for your hard work and an empowering instructor, the class could not have been so successful.

One of these SoulCycle instructors is Sal Sabella. He has been an instructor for four years and has empowered riders in LA, Santa Monica, New York and Boston. Sal encourages new riders to just enjoy the experience because it takes a few classes for it to all make sense. When asked about what he wants students to get out of his class, Sal said, “I want them to feel safe to come in and try this whole crazy thing that we are doing, but I also want them to leave feeling empowered and I want them to always feel proud…because doing difficult things is how we grow. Challenging things is how we change.”

Sal hopes to have an impact on his riders, especially those who are in college. This is because “class is like a training ground for the obstacles and challenges you have to encounter outside in the real world.” If you fail to push yourself in class, Sal believes you will fail to push yourself in the life challenges you face. When things are difficult in school you cannot just give up, so continuing to fight through a tough workout helps you learn to persevere through any challenge.

After a first successful class, riders want to keep coming back so they can continue challenging themselves. But, there is one thing that is stopping college students…the cost. SoulCycle’s $30 dollar class is pretty outrageous. And if you do not have your own pair of spin shoes (which are about $100), be prepared to pay $3 to rent a pair of shoes in order to clip in. Hopefully you remembered to bring your own water bottle from home because if not, that SmartWater is going to cost you another $2. With a price ranging from $30-$35, a SoulCycle class can be hard to fit into a college budget.

But, it is worth it. Spinning each day is not good for your body, so SoulCycle should not be a part of your daily workout routine, but rather a supplement. Whether you decide to go one, two or three times a week, these spin classes are a great escape from the campus gym routine.

Although the studio location may not be as convenient as your university’s gym, the journey to SoulCycle and the class’s price is worth it…and here’s why.

In 45-minutes, you get to test your limits and break them. You have an energized instructor who is not only your trainer, but also your personal cheerleader and life coach. They constantly are motivating you and pushing you to be your best…not only in class but also when you step outside of the studio. With music blaring and constant dancing to distract you, the workout flies by and you are free to go on with your day.

In a gym setting it is nearly impossible to get this type of workout completed in 45-minutes. In a crowded fitness center, waiting for weights or cardio machines eats away time. If you are working out alone, it is easy to exert minimal effort or quit when things get too challenging.

This is not the case at SoulCycle. Your bike is reserved at the studio. As long as you show up to class on time, no one can steal your bike from you. With a personal trainer and a pack to support you, the workout routine is less daunting and more fun. With weights right under your seat, you do not have to go on a journey around the gym in search of the missing dumbbell. SoulCycle saves you time and frustration by giving you a complete workout in just 45 minutes. But, if that is not enough for you, here is the breakdown of what your money really goes towards:

For $2 you get a clean bike, which allows you to experience this workout without worrying about how much sweat and germs you are touching…unlike the gym on campus.

For $5 you get your own cheerleader who will push you to the edge of your breaking point while also riding along with you.

For $1 you get a fresh face towel for your workout. This fluffy blanket of freshness allows you to clean up after each song so you can remain energized and focused on the remaining workout.

For $4 you are gaining self-confidence. Although you might not notice at first, you will start to see results. Whether your goal is to lose weight or to not be winded after going up a flight of stairs, it is attainable. By achieving these goals, you will realize that you are capable of doing anything.

For $2 you get to listen to energizing and empowering music for 45 minutes. You are already dancing so feel free to jam out and sing along. You might even a discover and new song or two

For $2 you get to meet fellow riders. If you did not attend class, you would never meet these new friends who are willing to motivate you and the rest of the pack in and out of the studio.

For $4 you get to have fun during your workout, which causes you to walk out of the studio with a great sense of accomplishment and happiness.

For $3 you can escape from campus and de-stress and forget about the mountain of schoolwork and the never-ending social drama you somehow got trapped in.

For $2 you have unlimited access to hair ties, pieces of gum and earplugs. If you are like me, you will need the earplugs in your dorm room for when your roommate is snoring like a grandpa.

For $2 you release all of your negative energy and let go of pessimistic thoughts. This translates into everyday life, allowing you to be a more positive person.

For $3 you can get a hot shower and a fresh towel after class. No need to worry about bringing shampoo or body wash, SoulCycle provides it all. They even have face wash and lotion.

And if you rent the shoes, the $3 you spend gives you the tools to conquer your ride and “own that bike”.

And the $2 you spent because you forgot a water bottle…trust me, it will be worth it.

Although the price is steep for just one class and significant discounts are hard to come by, plenty of college students have added a SoulCycle class to their weekly routine. All it takes is a little budgeting.

In a world where we can make purchases with a swipe of a card or a tap of a button, it is easy to lose track of how much we are spending. In order to afford a SoulCycle class, why not cut out the unnecessary purchases.

College students love to Uber and the charges quickly add up. Instead of getting your own 5-minute ride to the grocery store each week, try walking or see if your university offers a grocery-shuttle. Even if you call a ride on the way back to your dorm, you save $7–10 in one trip.

Before you go to the grocery store, make sure you have a small snack so you are not buying unnecessary items just because you are hungry. And no need to buy brand names, when it comes to cleaning supplies and paper goods, the generic brand does the job just fine. This saves you at least $5…not too bad.

Another way to cut unnecessary spending is to stop online shopping in class or in the library. If you are only buying things because you are bored, your bank account will quickly become depleted. I mean, are you really going to use that Oreo dunking spoon? …didn’t think so. With shipping, you save $6.

Exercising gives you energy, paired with a good sleep schedule or even a quick afternoon nap, you can skip the daily coffee run…or at least go every other day. By making a healthy choice you saved $10-$20.

If that is not enough to curb your spending, try using cash instead of a credit card. This will allow you to see how much you are actually spending, unlike when you are blindly swiping your card.

By simply making a few lifestyle changes, you can save $40 or more each week. Not only can you use this money to attend a SoulCycle class, you can use it to make more health-conscious purchases or to save up for life after college. Cutting your budget will be hard at first and you may want to give up, but it is a challenge SoulCycle has prepared you for.

Sal remembers one instructor he had that really spoke to him when she said, “Where you want to quit in here, is probably where you are going to quit out there.” As college students, it is hard to maintain good grades, friendships, and a healthy sleep schedule all at once. In order to do so, it seems like students are constantly on the brink of tossing in the towel and calling it quits. SoulCycle allows you to push yourself and prove that you can do anything. This determination leaves with you when you exit the studio allowing you to conquer anything that comes your way.

SoulCycle is an ideal workout routine for college students. Although pricey, riders get a full body workout while also achieving a better state of mind. This energy and positivity allow college students to tackle anything that comes their way. With upbeat music and an animated instructor, the 45-minute class breezes by. SoulCycle classes are small challenges in the grand scheme of things, but they allow riders to put things in perspective. In class, riders let go of negativity and reset their thinking while also getting fit.

And once class is over, unclipping from the bike is an incredible feeling. You breathe in all of the optimism in the room and let out the negative thoughts as Sal tells you to “stand up nice & tall with a sense of pride and a sense of accomplishment because what we do in here…it’s not easy. What we do in here not everybody is capable of doing. And what we do in here not everyone is brave enough to try. So let that be where you start and let that be where you finish.”

This article would run on Buzzfeed.com. In order to fit on multiple platforms, the story could be broken down. SnapChat Discover stories would be the best location to feature these small pieces. For example, there could be a snap story called, “Top 10 Inspiring quotes by SoulCycle Instructors to Get You Through Your Monday” (below), “8 Thoughts You Have During a SoulCycle Class” or “15 Songs from SoulCycle Classes to Kick Butt During Finals Week.” Stories could also include short clips giving tips for riders during class to ensure they are cycling properly and know the positions.

Top 10 Quotes (from Interviews, Class Experience and Pinterest):

  1. “We work hard so we can turn our bad days into good days and our good days into our best days.”
  2. “Open yourself up to the possibility that the best part of your life hasn’t happened yet.”
  3. “Doing difficult things is how we grow, Challenging things is how we change.”
  4. “Be stronger than your excuse.”
  5. “Don’t let something else kick your butt, push yourself and kick your own butt.”
  6. “If you complain, you’ll remain. If you praise, you’ll raise.”
  7. “Get out of your own way and let good things happen in your life.”
  8. “How you do anything is how you do everything.”
  9. “There is no change without challenge.”
  10. “In order to be strong, you have to practice being strong.”