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It's easy to dismiss new fitness studios as either thinly veiled imitations of what's already out there or pointless gimmickry. But a new spin class has even notoriously picky fitness fanatics lining up as if they were at a Sunset Boulevard nightclub, not an exercise studio.

West Hollywood's Soul Cycle looks like a trendy hair salon: bright white surfaces, Jonathan Adler candles wafting grapefruit scent, an apparel shop and lots of staff helping you reserve a space, adjust bikes or get shoes. (Clients rent shoes for $3 to secure in cycle bikes' unique Look Delta clips.)

During the $25 classes ($15 for first-timers), instructors coach students through not only fast-paced sprints and hills but also upper-arm exercises using one- or two-pound weights. Core muscles are strengthened by front-and-back movements on the bike, as well as push-ups on the handlebars.

When we took a 45-minute class, the never-boring choreography had us wishing the session lasted a little longer--a first ever for us. And the next day, we enjoyed a pleasant full-body soreness, not just the usual quadriceps ache. Consider us hooked.

Soul Cycle, 8570 Sunset Blvd., W. Hollywood; 310-657-7685 or

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