All posts in Fitness innovation

Leading the Pack



What moves people to pay $34 dollars for an indoor cycling class? Calories burned, music, ambiance, location, a celebrity spotting? Perhaps. Or, is it the instructor? When fitness enthusiasts take a class and are immediately hooked to the instructor, making their class on a weekly basis becomes part of their to-do. As a fellow indoor cycling instructor, I am always on the hunt to learn from the best in the country, and I found her in my hometown of NYC.  Jolie Walsh has been teaching weekly indoor cycling classes at SoulCycle for three years and her classes sell out every week–yes, booked solid. Not surprising given her Soulful Puerto Rican roots.


Q:How is the SoulCycle method different from other indoor cycling classes?

A: SoulCycle is a 45 minute full body workout on a bike (arms, core, legs and butt). It’s a very intense workout in which you burn up to 700 calories.  I like to describe it as a cardio party on a bike.  We dance to the beat of the music, which is all carefully choreographed to make sure we are targeting different parts of the body.

Q. Do you consider it a fad?

A: No, SoulCycle is not a fad. It’s a workout that really delivers results. It’s a community, and it keeps growing in size because they’ve really tapped into something special.  People come because they want to get a great workout and get that soulful experience as well.  People that come to Soul Cycle keep coming because they get results, and they have fun while they’re doing it.  There are so many friendships that have been formed through these classes.

Q: Weight loss successes/transformations?

A: The SoulCycle workout delivers weight loss results. Though I breastfed I lost all of my baby weight within two months, and at 5’2 adding 32 lbs of pregnancy weight was a lot. It is very common to see at least five pregnant women in one class.

Q: What’s so special about your music and class atmosphere?

A:We put a lot of effort into the playlists, and we never repeat so that every ride is a unique experience.  That’s where we get to be creative, express ourselves through music and create this incredible journey we will get to experience when we ride. We ride in a candle lit room to quiet down the mind so that we get a soulful experience. We ride as a pack. It’s a community. Every single person is so excited to be there, and the energy is magnetic.

Q: What does a cycling profile look like?

A: Rides are either 45 or 60 minutes and starts with a warm up followed by moderate intensity and into the choreography, which involves sprints, jumps, hills, runs against resistance, pushups, isolations, intervals, arm series and more.

Bethenny Frankel-from broke to buff

The business side of fitness has been very good for reality star and natural food chef Bethenny Frankel. She started filming season 3 of her wildly successful reality show “Bethenny Ever After” in NYC last month. Bethenny also shot the pilot for her own talk show back in June.
The New York Times best selling author just launched Skinnygirl Sangria, and in November will launch Skinnygirl Face and Body, a skin-care line that will be available in Wal-Mart.

To think that five years ago she was broke! In a recent Us Magazine interview, she stated, “I had negative $50,000 in income on my 2007 taxes.” Last year Bethenny banked $55 million* in cash, she has reached the pinnacle of financial comfort and success, and she credits vinyasa yoga for creating peace in her life.
Currently, she stays away from what she calls “fear-based workouts” which she defines as intense cardio or workouts that leave you doused in sweat.

Revenue streams:

Bethenny’s reality show “Bethenny Ever After” $400,000

Skinnygirl cocktails

Lifestyle Books

Skinnygirl shape wear

Pampers, Pepperidge Farms, BlueFly, and British Airways endorsements

Skating with the Stars

Body by Bethenny DVD

Skinnygirl Daily nutritional supplements $600,000

Tracy Anderson wants to “wake up” your bored muscles

Choreographer, entrepreneur, mom, and future reality TV star (the CW is developing a docusoap show around Tracy in collaboration with Ryan Seacreast Productions). Tracy Anderson is the architect behind Madonna’s arms, Gwyneth Paltrow’s hot mama body, and Shakira’s belly dancing abs. She has created an interesting business model for herself based on a theory of “small muscles.”

“I have over a decade of research and development on why we can’t get rid of problem areas or mom’s who think they are doomed and cant’ get their pre baby body back,” said Tracy, during our recent interview at the NFL’s “Fit for You” 5K race in Washington, DC.

According to Tracy, we have over 600 muscles in our body and often the smaller muscles are not targeted during workouts. For example, Tracy believes that when we run and or cycle indoors (she’s not a fan of either) we utilize our large muscles and as a result we have no reason to train smaller muscles. “Muscle atrophy starts in our 20s and by the time we reach out 40s, we have we’ve developed hamstring atrophy.”

Her technique:
Tracy has over 3000 moves, which she sequences together and changes every ten days. She lays all out in her new book: Tracy Anderson’s 30-Day Method that includes a DVD. “Buy the book/DVD combo and stay connected.”

Check out my video interview with Tracy: