It all started with one studio in New York City, but now SoulCycle has expanded to 17 locations in New York City, 11 in Los Angeles, five in the San Francisco Bay Area, four in Washington D.C. and several other additional locations in Florida, New Jersey, Illinois and Connecticut.
The immense success of SoulCyle has also sparked the founding of countless other cycling studios, such as FlyWheel and CycleBar, to name a few. With all of this competition in the indoor cycling market, how do you help your club’s indoor cycling program stand out? Vicki Moen, the group fitness coordinator at The SeattleGYM in Seattle, Washington, offers a few pieces of advice.
Choose the perfect bike.
Last January, The SeattleGYM revamped its indoor cycling program by investing in new bikes. After a year of researching and trying various options, the Lifecycle GX from Life Fitness seemed like the ideal option.
“We decided on the Lifecycle GX for its user-friendly console, smooth ride and its ability to adjust to most body types,” said Moen. “The computer console displays calorie count, distance, RPM and resistance level.”
Hire the right instructors.
While filling your cycling space with the best equipment, it is also essential to have engaging instructors that keep members coming back week after week. When hiring instructors at The SeattleGYM, Moen looks for candidates who have been certified, but also have experience riding outside.
“I look for an avid outdoor cyclist, who also has an indoor cycle certification,” explained Moen. “I initially audition instructors, and after they are hired I will periodically take their classes to assess how they are performing and connecting to the gym members. When we brought in the Lifecycle GX in January of 2016, we had a cycle workshop [designed by Tricia Murphy Madden] to train the team on the cycles’ computer console features and how to use this tool to motivate members. My goal is to continue to bring in cycle workshops periodically to keep our instructors on the cutting edge of indoor cycling fitness, so their classes continue to be fresh and engaging.”
Prepare an engaging playlist.
One study conducted by the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences found that cyclists actually worked harder when listening to faster music. Therefore, when creating an optimal cycling class, music is an integral element.
“A good sound system is key and instructors need to have great playlists that they change frequently,” added Moen. “There are so many ways to design an indoor cycle class, but I feel the classes that engage members the most and keep them coming back for me, are the classes where the workout intention flows seamlessly with the chosen playlist.”
Create an enticing environment.
Many clients are drawn to boutique studios for the atmosphere. Stadium seating, dim lighting, loud music and candles are just a few of the common features. “All the components need to be in place for a great atmosphere,” said Moen. “Educated and enthusiastic instructors; well-maintained, cutting-edge bikes; a well-designed space that makes the members feel like they are part of a pelaton; and a great sound system — put it all together and you have indoor cycle magic.”