30 minute super intense workouts are the new desk lunch, according to SoulCycle

Courtesy SoulCycle

I never thought I would be one of those people that wanted to work out during their lunch break but somehow it happened. The time is very appealing to me as I am not a great morning workout person because even if I manage to drag my butt out of my comfy bed to the 7 am or 8 am class (we are not even going to talk about 6 am) I may feel good for about an hour after (possibly two) but then I am so exhausted the rest of the day I can barely form sentences (which is a shame because then I can’t brag to everyone about doing a morning workout and then what’s the point?)

I do love a good evening workout but then I am totally unproductive the rest of the night. Frankly, my only accomplishment after a post-work workout is ordering Seamless and that’s only somewhat impressive.

So the lunchtime workout is pretty darn appealing as I tend to take a break during that time anyway to eat (but like any talented multitasker I can eat a salad and type at the same time later in the day) however most workouts still go over the time you want to say you are just going for a lunchtime stroll. Everyone knows what you were doing when you come back with wet hair, a deeply red face, and often times a slightly different outfit, an hour and a half later. No one is going to believe the line at Chopp’d was that invigorating. That is why it is so brilliant that SoulCycle, the mother of all boutique fitness classes, has launched 30-minute classes for the first time this summer.

Now, in full disclosure, I regularly attend SoulCycle classes every week so I am very used to the structure and energy of the 45-minute class (SoulCycle also offers Soul Survivor, an hour-long version and two-hour Turkey Burns near the holidays.) And even though 45 minutes doesn’t sound like a long time and I have a studio less than 10 minutes away (walking distance) it is still very hard to get in and out of the studio and back to your desk without drawing an eye or two. That’s why the new Soul30 class works so well as it is still an intense and great workout, but not so exhausting that you can’t function the rest of the day.

I tried the 30-minute class at the brand new Hudson Yards SoulCycle studio located in the first-ever Equinox Hotel in New York City and though it was a condensed experience that same energy high and spirited ride did not dissipate despite the time. Also cutting those 15 minutes gets you back at work faster. In other words, this is the perfect workout for the ultimate ambitious worker bee who also wants to be healthy.

A spokesperson for the company said, “Soul30 is a 30-minute version of the signature SoulCycle class. Soul30 still packs the same signature sweat, just in a slightly shorter timeframe. This allows riders to take a class and get on with their day – whether that’s heading back to work during lunch, getting home to the kids, or starting the weekend off early.” For now, Soul30 is available just at select studios in NYC but will be rolling out to other cities soon.

SoulCycle is not the first studio to jump on this offer an abbreviated workout option. The Mile High Run Club, Pure Yoga, and FlyWheel also offer 30 minute HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) classes and Equinox also has many offerings on their roster. Of course, the big question with a shorter workout is will it still help you achieve your goals whether that be weight loss or just getting stronger in general?

Dietitian Kim Schwbenbauer, R.D. told Women’s Health, “These 30-minute high-intensity interval training sessions up your total calorie burn thanks to excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or the after-burn effect.” A 30-minute workout can also aid in fat burning as a more intense bout of exercise increases the release rate of growth hormones and catecholamines.

Dr. Jordan Metzl, a sports medicine physician and author, told Well & Good, “The science on intensity is quite convincing. Thirty minutes of intense exercise, especially first thing in the morning, ramps up the metabolic furnace for the whole day. The conversion is roughly two-to-one. HIIT is almost twice as efficient as longer steady-state periods of exercise. An intense half-hour is almost equivalent to an hour jog or bike ride.”

The release of catecholamines and your boss won’t even notice you are gone? Sounds like the perfect workout to me.