Is SoulCycle Banning Other Fitness Instructors from Taking Classes?

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Is fitness giant SoulCycle banning other fitness instructors from taking its classes? Sources say yes—and that has people's heads spinning!

About two weeks after hitting a SoulCycle class, Joey Gonzales, instructor and chief operating officer at Barry's Bootcamp, says he received a call from SoulCycle's lawyers instructing him not to come back. The reason cited for the ban? He owns a rival fitness service, and is therefore considered competition.

“He essentially said we have a policy at SoulCycle where instructors at other group fitness studios are not allowed to take class,” Gonzalez told Well+Good NYC. “He seemed half embarrassed.”

Other fitness instructors have popped out of the woodwork to share similar stories, saying that it's a common practice at SoulCycle and other fitness chains, such as Equinox (Equinox bought SoulCycle in 2011), due to the fear that "trade secrets" could be stolen.

We've reached out to Equinox/SoulCycle for comment and will update when we hear back.

What do you think about this news? Is it crazy, or is it a valid way for SoulCycle to protect its methods and reputation? Comment below or tweet us @Shape_Magazine!

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