RealRyder Blog

Whether you oversee a Group Fitness Department at a full-service gym or you own your own boutique fitness studio, keeping your offerings and environment fresh and exciting is crucial to your long-term success. “We are constantly asking people to change their bodies and their mindsets, but if we don’t change—the class formats, the environment, the way we cue—our members will get bored,” says Marydawn Taggart, owner of Maddog 5/1 Fitness Studio in St. Joseph, Michigan.

Now in their 6th year of business, we interviewed Marydawn to learn how she keeps members coming back and her biggest lessons learned in the past five years as a boutique studio owner.

With peak fitness season underway, classes are full and you’re riding the adrenaline high! Perhaps you’re also subbing some extra cycling classes in an effort to support your fellow instructors, while keeping the “Resolutioners” on track. Well, stop spinning your (fly)wheels and listen up! If you’re not careful, teaching high-intensity, physically-demanding indoor cycling classes repeatedly could zap your physical and emotional energy. If you’ve ever felt drained, moody and/or constantly on the verge of getting sick, yet you can’t quite stop the vicious cycle because of your love for teaching, it may be time to consider some energy-management strategies.

Here are 5 helpful ways to prevent over-stress and over-training as an Indoor Cycling Instructor:

1.   The Magic of Ebb and Flow – The

An Interview with Chris Dickinson, Owner of Applied Fitness Cycling

RR: Tell us about your career prior to launching Applied Fitness Cycle in Manassas, Virginia.

CD: I was born in California and joined the U.S. Air Force when I was 18 years old. I left my house with a backpack on and spent 6 years stationed in Hampton, VA. I later worked as an Aircraft Mechanic and then, returned to school to earn my degree in Engineering while working at The Pentagon. This led me to a different job at Fort Belvoir supporting Special Operations. From there, I was presented with the opportunity to work at The White House in The Situation Room, where I supported the President of United States and the National Security Staff for 3.5 years.

If you’re like me, you recently did a double take at the sight of “back-to-school” sales already blowing up store shelves. There’s just something about seeing those school buses everywhere that brings a collective psychological shift. In a few short weeks, people across the U.S. will hunker down and re-establish their priorities as the busier fall months begin.

For those of us serving in the fitness industry, exciting times are ahead! When it comes to giving people a destination where they can de-stress, shed some excess BBQ-weight, and gain strength and stamina to carry them to the end-of-year finish line… we are the it thing!

If the wheels on your Q3 marketing bus are not already in motion, sharpen your pencil and get to work. Here are three areas that may help spark some ideas with specific actions you can take today:


For more than two decades, Trey Herron has had the same boss. “I’ve never had a job where I’ve worked for someone else. I've always had a strong work ethic and as a competitive athlete, I've always understood the discipline it takes to get ahead,” says the fitness and nutrition industry entrepreneur.

Born and bred in Mississippi and the son of entrepreneurial parents who owned a nutrition business, Herron’s athletic background began with BMX Bike Racing and progressed him to college on a golf scholarship.

A Focus On Nutrition First

“Thanks to my parents, I always paid attention to nutrition and had an appreciation for how it could make me a better athlete,” says Herron. While still in college, Herron launched his first start-up nutrition business, which led him to pursue a career in marketing nutritional supplements. He grew his business globally,

Having moved from Turkey to Germany, and then eventually, migrating to the United States, Certified Group Cycling Instructor and Personal Trainer, Arlet Cicek, is no stranger to stepping into unfamiliar territory. The Los Angeles fitness professional grew up playing sports, like soccer, track, and swimming, until a struggle with drugs and alcohol in her early 20s took ahold of her life. Arlet quickly hit rock bottom, and it was at that time that she tried her first indoor cycling class. For two consecutive years, cycling became her daily addiction. She loved the challenge, the focused effort, the “party in the morning” to release all of her stress and energy, the spark of endorphins and the overall, feeling of health and positivity that indoor cycling classes left her with. For nine years, she went on to teach indoor cycling at various health clubs throughout Los Angeles. “Teaching cycling kept me on the right track for quite