How to Get Toned, According to a SoulCycle Instructor

Allie Fell is our go-to SoulCycle instructor so when we decided it was time to get toned for Spring vacation we looked to her for advice. She has worked at SoulCycle studios in four different cities across the country and is a pro when it comes to getting you into shape. Follow along and be inspired to “find your soul”!

When did you first try SoulCycle? And were you sold after the first class?

I first tried SoulCycle in 2012, a good friend of mine was working at the front desk at the time and invited me to try a class on a Saturday afternoon with her. I was hooked from the first thirty seconds of class. From the dark room and the candlelight to the music and the movements, I was completely in love with it.  

In what ways has spinning transformed you or bettered your life?

I think that working in the fitness industry gives you a different perspective on exercise. I used to think of it as something on my to do list for the day, where now it has become a lifestyle for me. That is what I try to teach people that come to my class, that exercise and fitness is more than just a box to check throughout your day, but rather it is a way to better yourself and find a deeper connection. For me it has completely changed how I look and feel about myself. The only time I have stepped on a scale in the last five years is at a doctors office because I don’t think it’s about a number on a scale or the number inside your jeans but it is about feeling healthy and successful.  

What are your tips for getting toned?

I have found the best way to get toned is to combine endurance and strength training along with a healthy diet. A lot of fine tuning your body comes down to what it is you are actually putting in your body. Making sure that you are eating lean protein and a carb after working out will help tone your body. Also cutting back on sugars and salt will help as they cause bloating.

Can you give us three tips for healthy living?

  1. Definitely drink a lot of water. Drinking water helps flush out the toxins in your body, relieves fatigue and can improve your mood.
  2. Make sure you get enough sleep at night. Getting into bed about a half hour before I actually want to fall asleep and putting my phone away really helps me wind down from my day.
  3. Don’t aim for perfection. We are so hard on ourselves all the time. I have found that if you just get up and exercise and don’t worry about what you look like while you are doing it, fitness becomes so much more enjoyable!

With spring vacations around the corner, we are trying to get bikini ready. What can we do on and off the bike to get there?

The best way to get into shape is to mix it up. Cross training is key! Cardio and strength training are going to give you the best results. Alternating the days you do these activities can help rest and restore your muscles. If you do a SoulCycle class on Monday, try the gym on Tuesday. If you feel like you are stuck in a rut, try something new, like a class you’ve been wanting to try or a new workout for the gym. Don’t let yourself get too comfortable in one thing, keep your body guessing!  

You have worked in SoulCycle studios across the U.S. Do you have a favorite city or memory?

SoulCycle has afforded me the opportunity to live in some pretty amazing cities over the years. I started in New York City, then went from San Francisco to D.C. to Boston. I have loved every city I have been in for different reasons, but the constant for me has been the incredible communities of people at SoulCycle. From the studio staff to the riders, it’s pretty incredible to see how strong each community is and to see how many like-minded people there are across the country—people that are so dedicated to bettering themselves and others. I have loved being a part of it all.  

I recently read an interview with SoulCycle CEO, Melanie Whelan, and she describes how customers view the class and brand as meaning so much to them and a way of life. Do you find this to be true?

Yes, this is definitely true! We hear it all the time from riders that SoulCycle is about so much more than a workout for them, and it is for us too. People come to be a part of something more; It’s about community. It’s about developing relationships and building friendships. It’s about creating a safe and supportive place of acceptance and love for people no matter where they come from, what they look like, or where they are going. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first class or your 500th class: We are about encouraging and lifting each other up. At the end of the day, we are all just trying our best, and I think that’s what keeps people coming back to SoulCycle.  

Do you have any favorite spinning gear we need to know about?

Honestly, most of my spinning clothes come from SoulCycle. We come out with a new line every month which is amazing. I always love the tank tops we come out with. I also really love Goldsheep leggings.

What should we eat or not eat before a class?  

I teach early in the morning and in the afternoons, so I know that eating before class can be tricky. In the morning I always find it’s easiest for me to eat a banana and I drink an entire water bottle. I think the best way to figure it out is to experiment with different foods. Not everybody is the same so what works for me might not work for you. The only thing I would avoid eating close to working out are foods high in fat because it will take your body longer to digest it.  

On your days off from the studio, what do you do to unwind?

I get one day off a week so I really try to rest my body on that day. If left to my own devices I could sleep all day everyday, so on my day off you can definitely find me sleeping in.  I also like to catch up on some of my favorite TV shows; Last week I got through almost the entire season of A Series of Unfortunate Events on Netflix in one day  I also love to cook so when I finally do peel myself away from the TV, I’m in the kitchen.

Have you tried SoulCycle? What was your experience? How do you get toned? Share below.