There are some questions in life that will always elicit a strong response from people: pineapple belongs on pizza? Do loud sneezes do it on purpose? are cats either dogs the best? But within the fitness community, there is one hot topic in particular that will create the debate to end all debates: soul cycle either platoon?
This issue prevails over the others in terms of inciting opinions. Why? Because people are extremely passionate about their cycling Preferences Some opt for SoulCycle, which prioritizes dance choreography and “getting in touch with your feelings” rhetoric. Others prefer Peloton, which tends to be more competition-based, with instructors who are just as likely to say a cheesy pun or joke as they are to bring up a encouraging mantra.
Whatever your stance, you likely have at least a handful of very valid reasons why you prefer one over the other, as evidenced last week when SoulCycle kicked off a campaign that brought the debate between SoulCycle and Peloton to the fore. and indoor cycling enthusiasts went toe to toe (wheel to wheel?) over their opinions on the two popular classes.
The news that raised the tension: SoulCycle is offering free classes to Peloton riders who want to trade their bikes to their competitor, according to a people report. As stated in the article, Peloton riders can turn in their bikes to receive 47 free SoulCycle classes at the studio as part of the new “Souls Reunited” initiative. This program was created to get people to “get back in the studio and [vibing] one with the other.”
As you can imagine, this strategy has created quite a social media speech. SoulCycle loyalists love it, while Peloton users reel from the marketing ploy. So we decided to ask fans of both brands what they think.
In defense of SoulCycle
Most Team SoulCycle folks we spoke to agree: you can’t beat the community aspect of an IRL class. For them, the energy in the studio makes them work harder, sweat more, achieve heart-opening milestones, and collectively breathe in cauliflower farts they might not otherwise experience if they were working out at home. Considering that Peloton offers minimal face-to-face experiences (at this time, They have a studio in New York and another in London.), SoulCycle (with More than 83 studios spread across the United States) is indisputable the training method designed to bring cyclists closer.
“I have been an avid SoulCycle lover since 2017. During the pandemic, like many people did, I invested in a Peloton. However, as soon as SoulCycle reopened for good, my Peloton was gone. I love my instructors so much, and the energy they bring to the room is so amazing, even cody rigsby couldn’t match that for me. Being in the bedroom allows me to calm my mind and work my body, and I just couldn’t get there in my own home. Distractions were always distracting, and there’s really nothing like that dark room with the candles burning.” — Emily Cappiello, 37
“SoulCycle has my heart. After years of pandemic-induced Zoom sessions, I can’t pretend I prefer virtual to in-person. Peloton does what it does very well, but SoulCycle has that sense of community and togetherness that makes workouts really [energizing].” — Jenna Nye
“SoulCycle walked so Peloton could run. While this is an aggressive marketing strategy for SoulCycle, it’s an effective way to get people walking together again. The pandemic has kept everyone in their own space for so long, and more cyclists are looking for exercise experiences rather than individual sessions.” —Christy Pyrz, 29
“While I feel like Peloton was a great option during COVID, I don’t think it compares to attending an in-person class like SoulCycle. The energy, instructor, and lights add to the experience and are the motivation I need to get started.” my day and being responsible. I agree with SoulCycle that community is such an essential part of the experience. Although I have access to a free Peloton at my apartment gym, I’ve only used it a couple of times. I’ve found more success forcing me to get up and go for a spin and have my favorite instructor push me in. I think this is a brilliant SoulCycle move. [because] at the end of the day, human interaction cannot be replaced.” — Alisso Musto, 27
“Peloton was the perfect solution for a very specific and very different time in all of our lives, but now people are starting to feel comfortable with each other again, I think working out with other people in person is naturally far superior. It may not be as convenient, but it’s better for the soul.” —Kathleen Fletcher
In Defense of the Platoon
And then we have Peloton, which many people consider to be the most affordable option. Raise your hand if you’ve ever lost $30 or more sleeping through a real-life exercise class that you ambitiously thought you’d wake up to after a night of drinking. (Hello, my hand is raised). Many of the Peloton fans we spoke with said they love the flexibility that an at-home experience brings and certainly didn’t seem to miss the in-person connection SoulCycle users were excited about. Another benefit many Peloton riders mentioned: being able to choose between different durations and types of workouts on any given day.
“I never [trade in my Peloton]. First of all, I don’t even like Soul Cycle classes. I’ve tried many times, but I just can’t get in. I want to know exactly how fast and how heavy I’m going, and SoulCycle bikes don’t have metrics: you never know how fast you’re going or how much resistance you have, so there’s really no way of knowing if you’re getting better. I also like that Peloton offers classes of different lengths, so depending on my time or the type of class I want, I can do 15, 20, 30, 45 or 60 minute classes. The variety of instructors is also much better. Each SoulCycle studio only has a fraction of the number of teachers, so you don’t really get to choose the teaching style or the music. I love that depending on my mood, I can take a ride on pop, hip hop, country, EDM, metal, and even Broadway. A studio could never compete.” — Amanda Keller, 38
“Although SoulCycle’s strategy is bold, I don’t like to use negative phrases and mindsets for marketing. It seems to cheapen the message for me. Although I know SoulCycle is known for going big with ideas and I respect the big campaign, it seems to bond with its general tone of a cult environment. I prefer Peloton for a variety of reasons, including price. The bike + monthly membership are much more reasonable than the SoulCycle classes. Also, the inclusivity and welcoming environment Peloton provides to every member, no matter the fitness level. Peloton instructors are also better known and also feel like one of your friends and family. In my opinion, there is nothing better than being able to exercise at ANY TIME with a Peloton and feel like you’re in a live class. —Chelsea Curran, 30
“I have a Peloton and have loved using it since early 2018 after having my second child. Having access to a wide variety of classes at home has allowed me to stay mentally healthy and fit without causing a strain on my family or our schedule. Yes I was attending SoulCycle classes, adding time to drive to and from a studio plus class schedule limitations would have made it impossible for me to take an exercise class. I think SoulCycle’s strategy of asking Peloton users to “turn in their Peloton bikes in exchange for some classes are desperate and in bad taste.” — Jenna Liphart, 33
“I have been cycling indoor, online and training since the pandemic started in March 2020. In fact, it is what made me fall in love with fitness. As a therapist, I know the importance of being part of a community with others to heal. motivating myself and feeling better. While I certainly ride harder and have more fun riding in person, I’m much more consistent with being able to ride online.” —Chanel Johnson, 35
“As a certified spinning instructor for twenty years, I believe [SoulCycle’s] The marketing strategy is extremely smart and relevant to the number of people sitting. Nothing compares to the energy of a packed in-person cycling class and how people feed each other during a ride. Also, there is more responsibility in attending a live class where you meet the rest of the community. That said, I’ll take Peloton over SoulCycle any day. I love taking and teaching dance lessons, but when I get in, I’m there to ride hard, have fun, and avoid injury, which makes Peloton a clear winner.” — Katie Pierson, 38
Hearing both sides of the SoulCycle vs. Peloton debate has shown us one thing, at least: There’s no one perfect workout for everyone. While SoulCycle enthusiasts may have spoken passionately about the need for in-person classes and the inspiration that comes from the community, Peloton loyalists matched their energy in championing the accessibility that virtual workouts provide and the usefulness of having a variety of topics and length of classes. .
Ultimately, the perfect workout is the one that works best for you, so we’re not here to tell you which brand is superior, or even which side triumphs in the indoor cycling debate. But SoulCycle’s PR campaign certainly got tongues wagging, and since we love passionate discussions on the topic of fitness, we’ll call it a win.