Category Archives: Fitness Trends

What new format or programing is hot and should you consider adding it to your studio?

2013 Indoor Cycling Trends

Indoor Cycling Studio Design

Just a few trends I’ve seen in 2012 that are moving smartly into 2013.

Dual fitness offerings – boutique cycling studios are now combining TRX, Pilates, personal training, yoga, etc. The ideal studio space required to provide these amenities is running 3000 sq ft. and above.

Ambient features are now included in the start up budget…no longer an option but a must have on opening day. Even the big box gyms are installing LED lighting and promoting the entire mind/body ride concept. If the corporate giants are starting to figure it out, boutique studios must stay ahead of the game and keep adding more….video, performance tracking, etc.

Benefit rides are all the rage. If your studio doesn’t offer yearly at least ONE cancer/special olympics, etc. ride with proceeds going to a local charity, you’re missing a HUGE opportunity to recruit new members and establish yourself as a forward thinking fitness organization. My studio hosts 2-3 benefit rides per year….I have tons of resources if anyone is interested.

SPD’s required…no longer an option in many studios. The shift has been strong in 2012 for clips only. As you know, I’m working with Pearl and others to provide dealer status to studios. Stocking rental shoes is the accepted norm now.

Studio Logo/Names – The swoosh image on a bike has seen its day and new designs for studios are clean, more Euro, and less nosiy…..very clean. simple.

Websites – look impressive. No longer are GoDaddy “do it yourself” websites cutting it. Clients are sinking tons of money into edgy website experiences….check out my latest project:

And puh-leeeese, studio owners! Hire a consultant to check your site for grammatical errors, incorrect usage of cycling terms, and red flags that shout “little details don’t matter” to your customers. I’ve found so many spelling/punctuation/redundancy/inaccurate info on cycling sites. Studio owners are cutting back funds and creating the text themselves…or worse, they’re plagiarizing from other sites.

Studio names. Guys, if your don’t trademark, anyone can use your studio name…it’s up to you to protect it. I’m aware studios in different cities with the same name. I asked one why she had not trademarked for protection, and her reply was, “haven’t gotten around to it….” Please Include legal fees in your startup budget.

Branding…’s the name of the game. Everything from clothing to bumper stickers…studios are blowing it up with marketing and creating a buzz with super cool gear with a logo recognized immediately. Friday night wine tasting after a ride, guest celebrity chefs, fitness lectures…etc. We are creating a community, not just a cycling studio. See me for more info.

Financial Hardships Fuel the Fitness Industry

Guest post from Barbara Hoots

When the world markets were crashing in 1929 and the American economy was in ruins, Angelo Siciliano, an Italian immigrant, saw opportunity in the face of darkness. In the midst of financial despair and against all odds, Siciliano pioneered the fitness revolution as we know it today.

As a young man weighing only 97 pounds, Siciliano was at the beach with his girlfriend when a bully kicked sand in his face. Humiliated, he began doing numerous exercise routines and became obsessed with strength. According to Siciliano’s memoirs, he was at the zoo one day watching a lion stretch when he thought to himself, “Does this old gentleman have any barbells, any exercisers?” Siciliano concluded that lions and tigers became strong by pitting muscle against muscle. He changed his name to Charles Atlas and in the midst of economic turmoil began offering bodybuilding courses through a mail-order fitness program. Advertisements soon appeared in comic books and magazines, and this was the beginning of Charles Atlas Ltd., the fitness industry phenomenon. According to Atlas’s 1982 biography, “Yours in Perfect Manhood,” his company did so well that it emerged from the stock market crash unscathed.

Before the Great Depression lifted, Jack LaLanne, often called the Godfather of Fitness, also influenced millions of lives by teaching people to eat right and exercise regularly. LaLanne, who died last January at the age of 96, opened the first American health club in Oakland, California in 1936. LaLanne spent decades spreading the physical and mental benefits of exercise and designed the world’s first leg-extension machine which is now standard in the industry.

Neither Atlas nor Lalanne were personal trainers but rather shrewd businessmen. Both saw a hunger for people wanting to escape their financial woes and feel good about themselves. While others laughed at the notion of opening a business during an economic meltdown, Atlas and LaLanne created a multi-million dollar fitness empire.

Is something similar brewing? Despite the sagging economy and rising unemployment, several recent polls indicate that tough financial times actually encourage people to redirect their expenses toward health-conscious pursuits while traveling and dining out less often. While some may suggest that dropping your health club membership along with cable television is the right thing to do in a troubled economy, you should never give up your membership in ANY economy. Your gym membership is an incredible value for these 5 reasons:

1. On average, a single meal out costs well over half what your gym membership costs you.

2. Working out regularly keeps you mentally and physically balanced. Enough said.

3. No matter what gym you belong to, it’s a community. Enjoying like-minded individuals is good for the soul.

4. Your health club is a safe harbor. No matter how hectic your life becomes with interruptions, knowing you have a bike waiting in the 6:00 cycling class provides a constant in your daily schedule.

5. Exercise boosts self-confidence, and this is important if you’re dealing with the negative effects of a recession or your confidence is down due to a job loss.

Just like Atlas and LaLanne, studio owners have an opportunity to turn a negative into a positive by promoting fitness as a way to survive financial hardships. While it’s true that money can’t bring happiness, good health most definitely can.

Barbara Hoots is a long time contributor at and you can read her other articles here. Considering a new studio? Visit to learn more about designing the perfect Spinning® Studio.

NY Times: Paying per class looks like the new trend in fitness studios

Spinning Cycling Studio prosper using pay per class
Where is everyone?

Barbara Hoots tipped me off to this article in the New York Times. It discusses the trend away from monthly memberships to more “pay-as-you-go” services.

Full-Service Gyms Feel a Bit Flabby

These days, “loyalty has dropped dramatically,” said Casey Conrad, a consultant with 25 years in the fitness industry. One reason: A decade ago, full-service gyms didn’t offer today’s “unbundled” memberships that let consumers choose what perks to pay for. Some fitness seekers have been trying an à la carte approach, taking specialized pay-as-you-go classes like those offered by the stationary-cycling competitors Flywheel Sports andSoulCycle, or Core Fusion at the Exhale Spa, rather than committing to a gym membership.

Read the rest

Benefits of indoor cycling: Inform yourself !

This is an area of the blog where we hope studio owners will share information about the physical, psychological, emotional or even spiritual benefits of this unique workout.  Those benefits may come from your own experience, or you may want to cite articles and research for various sources.  One key to keeping your community of cyclists engaged — is to constantly educate and inform.  Become the expert.  When you do, your studio will benefit from the positive association.   Whether you communicate via newsletter, via blog, via facebook or just via conversations at the studio — it is good to keep yourself apprised of fitness trends and especially the documented benefits of indoor cycling.

Positive affects of exercise on mental health and stress

Benefits of cardio exercise from

Indoor cycling, exercise and your brain

Do you have other articles, source or ideas to share so we can spread the word?  Love to hear them!