While on this journey to wellness, I’ve found that making connections with those who understand my world are so important. In other words, a fit family! This is why I have created this new column, "Getting to Know," where I will be catching up with my favorite instructors and industry influencers, for you all to learn about their personal backgrounds and stories!
If you know me, you know I love spinning, especially SoulCycle. There’s something about the energy, the motivational mantras, and riding in a pack that creates an out-of-body experience workout. Last weekend, after Noah Feinberg, a friend and SoulCycle instructor crushed teaching his 1pm class on the Upper West Side studio, we chatted over Sweetgreen salads (favorite ever) - and here's the 411 on this Long Island native who's navigating NYC's fitness scene the best way he knows how - hustling.
What made you choose SoulCycle over other spinning studios?
So when I left my last part-time job in public relations, I started looking for another job in the tech sector. I had a business degree, so I was looking to use that, and decided to get a job at SoulCycle. SoulCycle was in the area near my hometown, Sag Harbor, so I knew what it was but I never walked into one. I just knew that they were a budding business that was doing really well, and they were progressive, so coming out of college, I wanted to work for a company that was exploding, filled with good people, and with SoulCycle, I hit the nail on the head. I starting working front desk at the East 63rd street location.
What led you to become an instructor after working front-desk?
I liked working the front desk, but I wasn't interested in the job anymore. It just so happens I was riding a lot because it was free for us. I ended up picking up the workout easily - I've been an athlete my whole life. Instructor Olivia Ward happened to become pregnant, and she walked into the office one day and said "you're riding up for me." I rode for her that one day, and ended up being her co-pilot for 9 months, which led to me riding up for Rachel W., Tomas, Trammell, and after a while I started clicking with instructors .
The instructing is scientific, the way you build up energy, curate the playlist... that's the part I'm real nerdy about. The guts of it. After a while, everyone started encouraging me to audition and after much thought, decided it made sense and I went for it. Since my childhood, I've wanted to be a pro-athlete in some capacity or work with music, and SoulCycle is the combination of the two.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome throughout your fitness journey?
Getting out of my comfort zone was probably one of the hardest things to do as I went on this journey. You don't have time to have insecurities - you have to let everything go, and be open to something completely new and different than you'd ever thought you'd do. They had us try a dance class once, something I never thought I would do, but I was like "let's do it, let's try it." Getting into that mind state for me was tough, you know? Telling myself I was perfect for the job, because I never thought this would be me! But the SoulCycle community really supported me along the way and helped me become who I am now.
What has been your main inspiration?
My biggest inspiration to step into the fitness world was finding happiness. Just to wake up and feel happy in my life and there's nothing to worry about. I knew I would make myself unhappy if I graduated and jumped right into a 9-5 job. I wanted to find something that made me happy each day.
What's your favorite part of SoulCycle?
My favorite part in class would be when you can finally grip the room. The room feels your presence, and they are like "alright, I'm on board with you." The thing about being a fitness instructor is you have to get your clients to trust you, otherwise they won't do what you're saying, they won't find results - they need to trust you. You need to have the presence, confidence, and class to be like "I got you, crank the resistance, this won't be easy, but we'll push through it." That's what I love most - when you have the class on your side. You could usually tell after the first song.
Each instructor has their own style of teaching, which would you say is yours?
Since I grew up playing sports, I was used to coaches - so I would say it's a mix of motivation and tough love, and it's a reflection of how I learned to push myself. My whole class is athletic-based, and open to everyone. I try to set the tone of going through 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th quarter, and then we gotta finish and win the game. Each class is a championship game to me.
If you could add anything extra to your class, what would it by and why?
I would love to do 20-minute guided stretch and foam roll. Stretching is a huge part of becoming a good athlete that people don't do continuously, it's something you have to commit to. Yeah, it's not always that fun, but if you chip away at it each day, you'll see a huge difference in your mood, energy, everything. I'd also like to do a live DJ ride one day...someone who could scratch actual vinyl records! Or an incredible beatboxer like Tom Thum.
What is your favorite quote and why?
"Jump, fucking jump!" It's a reference to taking the lead in life. Don't think about it. Figure it out on the way down. Don't give yourself time to question it.
What is your favorite song at the moment?
Right now, I would say a remix of "Jump" by House of Pain.
**Be sure to check out Noah's class schedule, here, you won't be disappointed!