I Bend It All Night: How To Create A SoulCycle-Esque Spin Class At A Regular Gym

My most recent travels have taken me to Nashville, Newark, and Tampa, none of which are particularly renowned for their boutique fitness offerings.


[Though Nashville does have a Barry’s Bootcamp!]

Fitness experts say that the best cardio workout is whichever workout you do consistently, whether it be running, rowing, or in my case, SoulCycle. For the week that I was in Tampa, I didn’t workout at all, and I felt the difference immediately when I returned to the gym. I was like I was starting from square one working out all over again, and needless to say, I hated it.

I’ve vowed not to take more than a day or two off from working out again (barring injury or illness), because I’ve fought hard to get to a certain fitness level (yasss front row, boyfriend bike) and I don’t want to lose that due to a week of laziness.

That said, there is unfortunately not a canary-yellow SoulCycle studio on every corner like Starbucks (yet), so I’ve come up with a SoulCycle-inspired workout to do on any type of spin bike when I travel.


[~The feels~ when there is not a SoulCycle in sight]

This workout assumes basic familiarity with spin positions and choreography. If you’ve never tapped it back (real good) or done obliques (on Okechechobee or otherwise), head to a SOUL 101 class. If that’s not accessible to you, I added some resources and explanations of moves culled from YouTube/the 150+ classes I’ve taken at the very bottom.

Disclaimer: I am not a SoulCycle or spin instructor, so do this workout at your own risk and understand that it is in no way officially affiliated with the company. It is just a fun spin workout that I wrote for myself so that I remotely resemble my Bumble pictures even after spending a week with my parents, kthx.

Song 1: Lollipop

  • This should be done at a comfortable jog pace with light resistance. Think right, right, right, left, right for your cadence, as you pedal down and add some ~swag~ into it.
  • Warm up with a set of double tapbacks from 1:30 to 1:58 (2 back, 2 up) and then transition to single tapbacks at 1:59 and then back to double tapbacks from 2:10 to 2:35 and then return to your regular riding pace in third position.
  • At 3:14, begin double tapbacks again until 3:40. Then switch to single tapbacks until 4:06.
  • Then return to regular riding pace in third for the rest of the song. Drop down and take it in the saddle if needed at any point!

Song 2: Money

  • Add 1-3 turns of resistance. It should feel notably heavier, like you are biking through the sand.
  • Shift side to side, while pushing down with the beat.
  • At 1:18, shift your hips back for 4 counts and then return to regular third position. It is not a tapback because you aren’t going straight back. It is more of a shift backward. Repeat 4 back and 4 up continuously.
  • Return to your regular climb  in third at 1:36. Add on a touch of resistance more, and push through to the end of the song.

Song 3: Dream Within A Dream Skeet Skeet Remix

  • Sit in the saddle, and take most of your resistance off. Ideal pace should be one-two, one-two (seated flat), leading with your right leg and catching the beat. If this sounds like Turkish to you, just pedal fast and loosen out your legs at a natural yet challenging pace.
  • At 0:56, put your hands in second position and get ready for jumps.
  • 1:06- begin 8 count jumps (up for 8 down for 8)
  • 1:18- switch to 4 count jumps (up for 4 down for 4)
  • 1:36- switch to 2 count jumps (up for 2 down for 2)
  • 1:50- sit in the saddle and keep pedaling fast
  • 2:06- begin doing pushups on the back bar (2 in, 2 out)
  • 2:19- stop pushups, just sit in saddle and pedal in seated flat
  • 2:30- hands go out to second position, prepare for more jumps
  • 2:38- begin 8 count jumps (up for 8 down for 8)
  • 2:53- begin 4 count jumps (up for 4 down for 4)
  • 3:07- begin 2 count jumps (up for 2 down for 2)
  • 3:23- sit in the saddle and keep pedaling fast
  • 3:36- double left, double right oblique crunches while seated until end

Song 4: POWER

  • Rise up to third and turn up the resistence to an 8.5 out of 10 in terms of difficulty. This is the only heavy standing climb of the workout, so don’t be afraid to go for it!
  • It is just a straight climb, going right, left, right, left.
  • Recommended to continue adding touches of resistance, thinking about everyone who has screwed you over or disappointed you, and how you overcame it. If you have made it this far, in both this workout and life in general, you’re strong as fuck. HashtagPOWER.

Song 5: Fuck Up Some Commas Remix

  • Stay in third, but take turns of resistance off until you are back to a lighter pace (2-3 turns on the wheel), and switch your lead leg to the left.
  • The beat is left, left, left, right, left along with the music.
  • At 0:25  get ready to drop your elbows down in third.
  • At 0:27 begin dropping your elbows straight down quickly (down, down, down, down) finishing at 0:54, and then return to your fast jog pace in third.
  • 1:22, straight tapbacks then into double tapbacks at 1:37 through the end of the song

Song 6: Swimming Pool (Drank)

  • Add 2-3 full turns to the wheel until you feel like you’re climbing again in third. Take it on the right again (right, right, right, right).
  • At 2:57, take off a 1-1.5 turns. At 3:03, begin around the world (4 counts of each move) through to 3:27.
  • Return to just a jog at 3:28 to catch your breath
  • Then around the world (2 counts of each move) at 3:40 through the end of the song.

Song 7: La Nueva Y La Ex

  • This will seem a little counterintuitive at first since it is a faster beat, but sit in the saddle and crank the resistance back up so that you are pushing hard against the pedal for every stroke (a seated 8/10 difficulty, right, left, right, left).
  • Think about all of your exes and their new girlfriends. You are so much prettier. Push harder, and add on a half turn, engaging from your core.
  • 1:29, seated push. Pedal as fast and hard as you can against all of the resistence. This should be a 10/10 difficulty. Stomp it out hunni.
  • 1:46, rise to third, taking a half to full turn off of the wheel. It should still feel heavy AF, as you go side to side.
  • 2:15, take another turn off.2:24, standing push. Run against the resistance in third as fast as you can. Fuck your ex.
  • 2:53, end the push, finish in side to side.

Song 8: Hold It Against Me Jumpsmokers Club Remix

  • Sit in the saddle for arm series using 2-5 lb weights in each hand. I recommend doing a mixed series of bicep curls, hammer curls, tricep extensions, rows, pectoral flys, lateral raises, punches, etc. to the beat.
  • If arm weights are not available to you, take this song as a seated flat, pedaling fast, while engaging in a series of in and out pushups and obliques on the back bar.
  • Another option is to get off of the bike for pushups, planks, side planks, and burpees, using your own body weight for the arm workout through this song.

Song 9: The Crying Game

  • If you have ever taken a formal SoulCycle class, this would be the soulful, “candle” song, where you are encouraged to close your eyes and go deep. Do so if possible, even at the risk of alienating random people from your parents’s community gym.
  • The beat is a jog, working up from a 5 to a 7 in resistance difficulty, adding on touches of resistance here and there.
  • Some other studios encourage you to improv your ride during candle song (i.e. take whatever pace and do whatever choreography you want), so feel free to try out that approach if so inclined.
  • You can think about whatever you want during this song, but I recommend thinking EMO THOUGHTS and stomping them out with resistance.

Song 10: Cool For The Summer Plastic Plates Remix

  • Yasssss you made it to the very end! Take all but 2 turns or so off of resistance. It should be light as you start a comfortable seated flat in the saddle (one two, one two, leading with your dominant leg).
  • At 0:53 begin pushups on the back bar while continuing the seated flat.
  • 1:09-obliques, two on each side.
  • 1:16- hands in second…
  • 1:27, rise to second and run, 1:38, reach out to third, keeping running!
  • 1:46, sit back in the saddle and pedal, keeping the beat as best as you can.
  • 2:10, hands reach out to third. 2:20, lift up and run in third!
  • 2:29, double tapbacks!! Two back, two up, keep going!
  • 2:48, sit and push in the saddle, KEEP PEDALING FUCKING FAST.
  • 3:15, reach out to third one last time.
  • 3:20- get that ass UP and run MFer. Your legs should be so fast it’s like they are slicing the air.
  • 3:58, SIT. Do a wide pushup then clap to the beat, wide pushup, clap, etc. through the rest of the song while keeping the seated flat fast.

Song 11 (Optional): Phonography

  • Take a second or 19 to catch your breath, and then begin cooling down to this Britney throwback. Recommended stretches include reaching and holding for both legs, butterfly, pigeon pose on each side, standing forward bends, and/or quad stretches.

Spin Basics:


Jumps are when you go from sitting in the saddle to second position, engaging your core and pedaling fast (but with some resistance). Usually you are up for 2, 4, or 8 counts and then sit down while still pedaling fast.

Around the world consists of dropping your elbows in position 3 (for anywhere for 1-4 counts usually), then moving to the handlebars to do pushups (again typically for 1-4 counts), and then standing, holding on the back bar and doing crunches for 1-4 counts, and then returning back via backbar, middle pushups and third crunches.


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