On Tim Ferriss’ most recent podcast he interviews Julie Rice, co-founder of Soulcycle. I’ve never taken a spinning class, but what struck me was how deeply they think about the experience of each class.
First, they think about the importance of threshold moments. When you enter the studio, you have crossed the threshold into the Soulcycle universe. They take that threshold seriously and want to deliver something amazing every time you enter.
Second, they give instructors a framework by which to design their classes, but within the framework there is flexibility. The framework provides an arc, a backbone, to each session. Warming people up, amping it up, challenging them, relaxing them and ending strong. Instructors find their music, but follow a general structure.
Experiences may feel spontaneous, but they are often highly designed.