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Thread: Soul Cycle - - Would you teach there?

  1. #1
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    Default Soul Cycle - - Would you teach there?

    Over on ICI/PRO there is a debate going about whether you - as an indoor cycle instructor - would teach at Soul Cycle. Apparently from the post (I've yet to do my own research on the this) SC instructors are earning $50K + benefits teaching an average of eight classes per week. Follow this link http://www.indoorcycleinstructor.com...for-soulcycle/

    The post has generated a few interesting comments including a couple by yours truly. Check it out. I'd be interested what this forum thinks.

    Thanks


    Chuck Cali
    Team ICG Master Trainer
    Heart Zones Master Trainer
    ZONING Specialist
    Cycling Fusion Level 1 & 2
    Spinning Instructor
    Current on all indoor cycles

  2. Default

    Lots of points raised in the article. But you asked one question, would YOU teach there. NO. If I were a beautiful, starving, out of work charismatic wannabe actress/dancer and somehow found that I could get lots of people to follow my random inane movements on a bike, could I be bought? I hope not. But that's a purely hypothetical question for me.
    I looked at some of the instructor bios, by the way. Not all. The claim that they are just as qualified as many of "us"? Qualify who "us", is, please. And what do you consider "qualified"? Because NOWHERE does it say anything about certifications in IDC or Group Ex in the few bios that I read. Nothing about being a cyclist. How does that compare to the members of this forum, and most probably a professional forum like ICI PRO that take cycling seriously.

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    Well, you read my responses, kickerjoy......if something sounds too good to be true, smell fish.

    I'm not talking totally out of my bottie, here, BTW. I have a shrewd idea of the costs of doing business in the NY metroploitan area by virtue of operating a high overhead business in the NY metroploitan area for 15 years (and, FWIW, managed to avoid colluding with my patients in a delusion that the customer is always right.....when they're manifestly not) $50K plus bennies for 8 classes sounds highly dubious to my ears.

    IIRC, NYSC offered this sort of package for 15 classes per week (Renee....am I close??) NYSC has enough gyms in their chain to be able to offer 15 classes per week for someone willing and able to travel a bit. So, I fancy just the practicalities of being able to offer instructors a regular 8 classes per week in just the one exercise format is going to be a limiter here.

    Then there's the $$bucks per class. To offer an instructor close to $100 per class + benefits and still make a profit for the business owners after fixed and variable overheads and FICA contributions, workmens's comp etc. are added to the tally, there's got to be some serious coinage coming in on a regular basis. The math doesn't really add up.

    See, that's why I reckon it was a bit of advertising copy sent out by Soul Cycle themselves rather than serious reporting.

    A sign of the times in the popular press.

    Vivienne

  4. Default

    Honestly, Vivienne, I don't know enough about their financial reality to know if it's press crap or reality. Supposedly, they are filling bikes every class, all day, every day. Yes, tons of overhead, but still, at $40 a class, and more for getting preferred booking status, I bet. Plus they charge for cancellations, and then get more when someone gets that bike-and you can bet that in Manhattan that happens quite a bit. Not sure there's a way to find out their bottom line, but it would be quite intriguing to find out.
    I just don't understand how this question can be seriously posed on a professional indoor cycling instructor forum, where so many of us have stated our struggles with staying true to the road and sensible training, amidst contraindicated and unsafe movements by the most popular instructors at worst, and ADD riding at best.
    As far as one of the problems with the industry is that many instructors are not doing this as their primary source of income... how many of us would be financially solvent if this WAS our only source of income?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kickerjoy View Post
    As far as one of the problems with the industry is that many instructors are not doing this as their primary source of income... how many of us would be financially solvent if this WAS our only source of income?
    Well, I certainly wouldn't be able to....neither physically nor practically. As of a few hours ago, I've had cause to wonder if I'm getting past my sell-by date. Apart from that, I no longer live in a region that's particularly densely populated. If my current gig offered $50K for 8 classes, that'd be one instructor for the whole of the gym's Spinning programme. Most gym managements don't want to be this tied in to one group ex. instructor.

  6. #6

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    About the Program: From what i can tell, Soul Cycle (SC from now on), aims for a specific market niche: one that can afford paying 40 dollars for one class. More of a trend than a tendency so i expect that people will begin to make the maths and realize they can do the same workout in some other place, for less money and in a safer way. Im smilling at the idea about saying/screaming "move bitches" in the middle of one of my classes (like it was stated in the article): if i was crazy enough to do that, for sure i would be kicked out by the gyms management, and slapped/punched (for real) in the process by the clients, no questions asked the "yoga on the bike" concept really reminds me one video from YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNaLBfKbOVI where Jonnhy G does "his thing" - cant connect to his thing either so... (granted the video/class was from 2003).
    The money factor: Im from Portugal, Europe. The average salary here is 14-20k euros/year (26k dollars) and wer talking about a 40-50hours/week of work. That said 50k dollars could potencially make me balance between "yes" and "no" with a slight inclination towards "yes" even considering the fact that some moves are (and pretty much everthing they do) contraindicated. But anyway RPM for instance, has a "aero position" and i remember someone on this forum (another thread) defending the use of controlled isolations ou "body control" like some instructors call it here in Portugal.
    About Me Doing It: Fortunately im blessed for working in places that have a project and mission i can relate to. Dont know if i could work in a place where i would be forced to teach something that could cause injuries or is unsafe. But then again professional pride doesnt put food on the table either...(im a full time fitness and group exercise instructor - this way you can at least understand my point of view. BTW sorry for the mistakes but english is not my main ^^)
    Last edited by Nirnaeth; 01-24-2013 at 11:04 AM.

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    Nirnaeth,

    Thanks for piping in. It sounds like you are the one 'fitness professional' who works at this full time. I congratulate you on pursuing your passion in an industry that historically has used a part time labor force.

    That said, it is - at least to me - good to know that as a full time group exercise instructor you would consider a position at SC as a means to an end. Though SC is clearly 'entertainment based' cycling it appears there are certain markets where such an option is appealing. I daresay one would not relocate just teach at SC. And I agree with the forum that generally their ideal instructor candidate is a young pretty person with a bent toward the extroverted. I'm sure they sprinkle a few well preserved gray haired instructors in to accommodate the fringe market which prefers to see an instructor they can relate to.

    It has been said over on ICI that SC is just a Brand. At first I felt like that did not do enough to explain it. But as I see it, the essence of the message was; what we do on the lead bike is about and for our riders. WHERE we chose to do it is about us.
    Chuck Cali
    Team ICG Master Trainer
    Heart Zones Master Trainer
    ZONING Specialist
    Cycling Fusion Level 1 & 2
    Spinning Instructor
    Current on all indoor cycles

  8. #8

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    Hi V,
    I dont doubt it if the NYC studios are anything like the hamptons where I live..

    Sad but true,Soul Cycle has developed a cult following.If I am not mistaken,classes are $40 per class,and you better reserve early.And lets not forget the yo-yo's who pay in between 2,000 and 4,000 to have their spot reserved..

    Conservatively,there are 30 people per class.I know its more,as I can never find a spot when I train at the gym next to SC.

    30 people at $40 per pop is $1200 per class.8 classes is 9600.52 x $9600 is $499,200.I think the popular instructors get more than 30 hamsters per class.

    the numbers pan out..In fact,they must.Why else would Equinox, who already has a decent spin program buy them for the rumored 10-15 mil?? Thats a decent chunk of change for a business that has ZERO barriers to entry.



    Quote Originally Posted by Vivienne View Post
    Well, you read my responses, kickerjoy......if something sounds too good to be true, smell fish.

    I'm not talking totally out of my bottie, here, BTW. I have a shrewd idea of the costs of doing business in the NY metroploitan area by virtue of operating a high overhead business in the NY metroploitan area for 15 years (and, FWIW, managed to avoid colluding with my patients in a delusion that the customer is always right.....when they're manifestly not) $50K plus bennies for 8 classes sounds highly dubious to my ears.

    IIRC, NYSC offered this sort of package for 15 classes per week (Renee....am I close??) NYSC has enough gyms in their chain to be able to offer 15 classes per week for someone willing and able to travel a bit. So, I fancy just the practicalities of being able to offer instructors a regular 8 classes per week in just the one exercise format is going to be a limiter here.

    Then there's the $$bucks per class. To offer an instructor close to $100 per class + benefits and still make a profit for the business owners after fixed and variable overheads and FICA contributions, workmens's comp etc. are added to the tally, there's got to be some serious coinage coming in on a regular basis. The math doesn't really add up.

    See, that's why I reckon it was a bit of advertising copy sent out by Soul Cycle themselves rather than serious reporting.

    A sign of the times in the popular press.

    Vivienne

  9. #9
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    According to this article, the owners of Soul Cycle would rather hire performers than fitness professionals, so no I'd rather not teach there.
    http://nymag.com/thecut/2013/01/evol...soulcycle.html

  10. #10

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    By performers they probably mean extroverted people with a "fitness" type of body and "good looking"/appealing. Thats probably why they usually hire people with dance/gymnastics background instead of "regular" IC instructors. Nothing to say about that. Its the brand/company vision and policy. I would like to point out the fact that this is a fitness industry (or at least i think it is since my reality is somewhat different from yours) so extroverted-fit persons sell. Plain simple i think. If i were a gym owner or group fitness director searching for someone a IC instructor and given the choice between a extroverted instructor with little to no experience that makes huge mistakes while presenting a class, and a more reserved instructor with the "keep it real" philosophy - sorry to call it this but im thinking in portuguese and writing in english, so not the best word to describe it i guess - i would go for the extroverted person. Simply because technical errors can be corrected...characters/personality cant or its harder to change. Final conclusion: SC is selling a product with a nice and appealing packaging but with spoiled milk inside. If people buy the package, drink it and say "yummy this is good i like it" then its a bit their fault, especially with the amount of info about exercise and Indoor Cycling available these days.

  11. #11
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    Here is the quote from the story:
    SoulCycle is open about the fact that the company recruits performers as much as, if not more than, people with a fitness background. "I would rather not take an outdoor triathlete," says Fitzgerald. "It’s actually far more beneficial to take someone who’s been a dancer or just loves SoulCycle, who has worked at the front desk and now wants to be an instructor. It comes from an organic place that way."

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