Business Spotlight: Club Pilates and CycleBar
When Katie Kannapell Ryser was preparing to move to Louisville a few years ago, she noticed something was missing.
“I was checking out the workout scene, and I saw some holes,” says Ryser, who had become an avid fan of the high-intensity spinning classes offered at boutique studios in New York City where she had been living.
To remedy this, Ryser opened CycleBar, a premium indoor cycling franchise, in St. Matthews in December 2016, followed shortly after by a Club Pilates in August 2017. Both studios were wildly popular upon opening, prompting her to open a second location of each in the Middletown Station shopping center in May of this year.
“It’s so clear that the population of Louisville is heading this way,” says Ryser in regards to her decision to expand to Middletown. “The area is growing fast and the clientele is here. What’s missing are the services.”
Although CycleBar and Club Pilates offer vastly different workout experiences, the classes are complementary to one another.
“CycleBar is a very energizing, communal experience,” Ryser says. “The instructors lead with cheerful motivation and great music.”
The lights are turned down low and the music is turned up in the studio for the 45-minute classes. Riders are in control of the resistance on their bikes, so it is truly a workout suitable for any fitness level.
“The music is going, nobody is watching, and you can do your own thing,” Ryser says.
Riders have the option to remain anonymous or to see their stats live, which are available on large screens in the theatre. They can compete against each other, themselves or simply pay no attention to the numbers (which is Katie’s preferred method!). Anyway you choose you will receive an email with your complete stats containing calories burned, RPMs, WATTs and Power Points.
Ryser has countless stories of CycleBar changing people’s lives for the better, from the formation of friendships and relationships to getting through the death of loved ones, experiencing body positive changes like bouncing back after baby, getting off of diabetes and cholesterol meds and everything in-between.
“This place is really special,” Ryser says. “When you’re here you can zone out, check your brain and thoughts at the door and disconnect from the world.”
Club Pilates offers a different, more laid-back environment, with many benefits of its own.
“It’s a very relaxing, meditative place,” Ryser says. “The classes really emphasize the mind-body connection.”
The 50-minute pilates classes allow participants to strengthen and stretch their bodies, to feel stronger and more balanced in their bodies.
Ryser likes that CycleBar and Club Pilates are both no-impact, tried and true forms of exercise. The workouts can be done at nearly any stage of life, allowing for an exercise plan you can count on and enjoy for years to come.
“I just want everyone to exercise so they can keep their minds and bodies healthy,” says Ryser, referencing the high obesity rates and other health issues common among Kentuckians that can be prevented or treated by physical activity. “At the end of the day, you’re going to pay for your health in one way or another. You can do it ahead of time, through your health, fitness and wellness, or you can do it through insurance and medical costs down the road.”
Both Club Pilates and CycleBar offer a free 30-minute introductory class for beginners, so you can get a feel for what to expect in a full-length class. The intro class allows participants to ask questions and get acquainted to the workout in an encouraging, low-pressure environment.
“The intro class is perfect for the person who has never tried the workout, but wants to,” Ryser says. “The class goes much slower, and the trainer walks you through the basics.”
Ryser and her colleagues put a significant amount of resources into their trainers so participants can experience the best workout possible.
“My general manager and I take 25-30 classes a month, and we’re constantly giving feedback to our trainers,” Ryser says. “We’re always encouraging them to grow and be better versions of themselves, so they’re always evolving.”
A fifth-generation Louisvillian, Ryser was not as familiar with the Middletown area but has been blown away by the warm welcome the studios have received.
“Middletown has been really exciting, and it has been wonderful to meet this whole new community,” she says. “We feel very welcome and are super grateful for it.”
Founding memberships are available for a limited time at both Middletown studios. New riders at CycleBar can purchase an unlimited rides package for $119 per month for your first three months. There are also smaller packages available, including 10 rides for $99 and five rides for $49. Club Pilates offers an unlimited class package for $161 per month or participants can opt for eight classes for just $118 per month.