I woke up one morning thinking; the appeal of SoulCycle to women is eerily similar to golf's appeal to men.
Amy and I rode a class at SoulCycle in Santa Monica, CA. I was working on a few posts about our experiences that I hope to have finished by tomorrow. But this observation needed to be in a post all its own... and begins with this question?
Why is SoulCycle so appealing to women?
[wlm_private 'PRO-Platinum|PRO-Monthly|PRO-Gratis|PRO-Seasonal|Platinum-trial|Monthly-trial|PRO-Military|30-Days-of-PRO|90 Day PRO|Stages-Instructor|Schwinn-Instructor|Instructor-Bonus|28 Day Challenge']
The class I took yesterday had about 60 people in it - I forgot to count the exact number of bikes. I was one of two men (lucky us!) and the age spread of the women there was 18 - 50, heavily biased to 30 and under. Now I get how the demographics of all group fitness classes are primarily women, but there is obviously some extra special attraction between SoulCycle and the women who flock to these classes.
I'm not a "golfer" in the same sense that I am a "cyclist", but I have played enough to understand the game and the appeal it has with men. I'm also not a women. So please let me know if any of what follows sounds plausible - or if I'm totally out in left field.
SoulCycle is challenging... just like golf.
I was asked a question on Facebook about "did you do all the moves John?" I certainly tried, but keeping my cadence in time with the tempo of the music, while doing 4 & 8 count jumps was really challenging. I left the class thinking; "I can do better than that"... and then considered coming back later in the week to try again.
Golf is exactly the same. If you're not so frustrated by the end of the game that you commit to quitting for life, you are very motivated to return to prove to yourself (and the people you play with) that you can do better.
Said differently: How popular would golf be, if every swing resulted in a hole-in-one? That would be pretty boring, right? Who would bother to play a game where you're always successful? I suppose you could make the game more challenging by racing your foursome between the holes, or only play on hilly courses, or walk taking slow really big (or quick super small) steps to add variety. Maybe you could turn the game into something more like polo, using bicycles instead of horses.
Does any of that sound familiar? Part of SoulCycle's appeal is that the class itself is challenging to perform well. It's my guess that mastering all the movements is very gratifying - just as learning to hit and place a golf ball exactly where you want it.
SoulCycle is social... just like golf.
This is obvious.
SoulCycle is exclusive... just like golf.
'Where are you playing this weekend?" I hear that asked frequently in the locker room where I teach. It's an exclusive club and many of our members are quite well to do. I'm not thinking that any of them would want to respond with; "we're playing the town course", but rather stand up straight and tall, smile and respond with the name of one of the private golf courses in our area.
SoulCycle is a form of exercise... just like golf.
Play an 18 hole round of golf and you'll walk 4-6 miles. Is walking that far a good form of exercise? Sure it is. Is it the best form of exercise? No/maybe/yes/who's to judge. How about swinging the clubs 100 or more times during a round... will that help you increase your strength? Yes - and the muscle stiffness you feel over the next few days is an indication of the training effect. But is that the best way to increase strength? Again no/maybe/yes/who's to judge?
Is a SoulCycle class exercise? Yes. Do those exercises you do with the little hand weights increase strength? Maybe. Certainly they're not the best way to gain strength, but are they really any different from swinging a 9 iron - for the man whose only form of exercise is his week golf game?
SoulCycle is expensive... just like golf - see where I'm going with this?
SoulCycle classes at $34.00 a pop, are a bargain compared to many exclusive golf courses who charge $200 - $1,000 a round. People like to treat themselves to nice things - especially those people who work hard and can afford either of these two forms of exercise.
Golf has all kinds of expensive gear and clothing - and a quick check of the clothing displayed showed me SoulCycle does too.[/wlm_private]
Amy and I met Shirley (a former homecoming queen) after class. She told us how she had lost 65 lbs in advance of her reunion by taking 5 -6 SoulCycle classes each week. I didn't ask, but got the sense that she was a professional of some type and wasn't financially challenged by the cost of classes there. Shirley said she will normally do a triple on Sundays and based on how hard I saw her work in class - the girl could be an animal on the road.
So now let me know your thoughts.
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