4 Steps to Take Your Indoor Cycling Program to the Next Level

For Gym Operators

4 Steps to Take Your Indoor Cycling Program to the Next Level

To create or grow into a fantastic indoor cycling program encompasses a variety of checkpoints to ensure you are moving in the right direction, from training staff to setting up your space.

Putting time and money into projects is crucial and essential in the fitness world today, yet ensuring it will be successful is not always easy. Any time you are preparing to take a major department (like indoor cycling) to the next level, it’s wise to take a step back.

How will your members react? Do you have the right staff in place to implement the program? Does this make sense with your current budget? These are just a few of the questions that you need to ask yourself in the beginning stages. Here are four steps to success.

Step 1

Are you ready to commit? This may seem like a very obvious first step, yet it is often overlooked. You need to be passionate about rolling out this program because that passion is going to trickle down to both staff and members.

Tami Reilly, Associate Athletic Director for Fitness & Wellness of Quinnipiac University, stated this was a key step when rolling out her successful program at the university level. She also stressed the importance of creating a vision of the program.

Do you have the time and energy to take this on right now? This is a program that nearly every population that walks into your gym or studio can participate in. Because of that, you need to ensure you are ready to commit to the project 100%. Program enhancements are also a great opportunity to get staff more involved – even encouraging them to add a new certification to their names.

Step 2

Is your staff ready to get on board? Terri Arends of the JCC of Dallas explained that this starts with all staff being certified, trained on point for consistency, and then working with each individual to bring out variety and personality.

From there, creating a mentorship program, scheduling regular evaluations, and providing instructors with education and content will lead to classes that provide both a great workout and the key ingredients to keep your members coming back.

This also stresses that keeping a successful program moving forward means constantly working on staff improvement. It’s easy for instructors to become complacent teaching week after week. To keep their classes fresh and exciting you need to keep them engaged.

Step 3

What is your competition doing? It’s important to know the competitive landscape - what other gyms and studios around you are doing. This is a twofold process.

First, in this day and age, there are certain non-negotiables with cycling studios you must bring to the table. Having a designated space, great music and lighting, and great working equipment are just a few things you must have no matter where you are at physically or aesthetically.

From there, you need to decide what you will do to differentiate, to set your space apart from your competition. You may have already answered some of this in Step 1 when you articulated your vision. Terri mentioned putting in a leaderboard or heart rate training system. It’s not about chasing your competition. It’s about ensuring you are up to the quality and experiential standards that your clients demand - yet also making it a unique program.

Step 4

How will you make it part of your culture? Getting your members on board with this new program is not always easy. Tami suggests getting others involved. She had a professor who organized a bike tour in Italy and encouraged the students to take cycling classes together to build camaraderie as well as to get them ready for the physical demands of the trip.

Terri stresses the 3 C’s she works on with staff. Find a connection to build camaraderie which creates a community. She does this through special events leading up to the opening to create excitement. Low budget special events can be created that still deliver the bang for the buck tapping into the customer experience. Focus more on the outcome which is the community factor, not the big frills.

Taking on the responsibility of adding a new program to your facility is never easy! Indoor cycling continues to be a popular area in fitness today, so rolling out a great program can really boost member engagement and results. Make sure to do your homework, and look over these key steps when diving in!


Tami Reilly, Associate Athletic Director for Fitness & Wellness Quinnipiac University, Hamden, CT

Terri Arends, MS, Group Fitness Director - MI Spinning Jewish Community Center, Dallas, TX

Author Information

Liz Callham
Liz Callham's picture

Liz Callham is the Video Communicators Manager and Lead Contributor for the Association of Fitness Studios. She received her Bachelor’s Degrees from Illinois State University in Exercise Science and Public Relations and also completed a Masters in Business and Administration from DePaul University. She holds certifications as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist from NSCA and Health Fitness Specialist through ACSM. She also sits on the Advisory Board for the Exercise Science Department at ISU.

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