How did you become an indoor cycling instructor?:
I was a rider at SoulCycle for about a year, and fell in love with it. It was a place that made me so happy, and I dreamed of being able to make it a career. I eventually worked up the courage to audition, and the rest is history.
What do you see as the biggest fitness benefits of indoor cycling?:
The biggest fitness benefit of indoor cycling is that it is low impact, so EVERYONE can do it. It’s a complete full-body workout. You get your cardio, and strength training in one session. Everyone can do it, no matter you’re level of fitness.
What are the essential elements of a good indoor cycling class?:
1. It starts with community. The energy from all of the people around you. It’s something you can’t create in a solo workout. 2. The music. The rhythm, the beats, and the feelings that the music provides drives the energy and flow of the workout. 3. The instructor. You have to have someone who is inspiring and motivates you to push past your limits. When you’re exhausted, and want to give up, a good instructor will make you want to push harder.
How do you curate playlists for class? Share one with us!:
I’m inspired by so many different things. Sometimes it’s an artist that I’m really loving, and I’ll start with a song by that artist. Other times it’s a sound, like a heavy percussion sound, and I’ll think of songs with that sound. It all comes from a feeling that you’re trying to produce. There’s a flow to the playlist that has to feel good; Not just with the workout, but how it sounds as well. A lot goes into making a playlist!
What is the biggest mistake you see cyclers make in class?:
Overthinking. When we allow ourselves to let go, and we stop worry about what we think our body can’t do, it allows us to explore what it can do. Sometimes we put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect, that we lose the fun. Working out should feel good. It is your time to let go; judgement free.
Please offer advice for someone considering indoor cycling as a form of exercise. Any first class tips?:
The first time doing anything can be pretty intimidating. My advice is to show up early, so you don’t feel rushed going into class. It gives you time to get comfortable with the space, and be properly set up on your bike. I think the biggest success is just showing up. The rest is icing on the cake. You’ve got to me okay with your best. Whatever you have to give is enough. Don’t be too hard on yourself!
Do you have an essential article of indoor cycling-related gear? What is it?:
A good sports bra, and any pair of SoulCycle leggings! Anything that makes you feel good is the way to go. If you feel good, you’ll do good.
Where/when can folks come take a class with you?:
I teach in BSDA, MTVN and 14TH St studios. I’m all over the place, mornings and evenings! You can check out my schedule at soul-cycle.com or follow me on instagram @sunnymae13.