5 Question With: Ruth Zukerman, Founder of Flywheel Sports

Flywheel Sports redefines indoor cycling by adding a race component that ignites the rider’s adrenaline and competitive juices. And for those of us who keep Flywheel Miami Beach on our weekly exercise rotation (I’m hooked on Aleah Stander‘s class) we can all agree that there’s just no better way to spin than with Flywheel. Here, we speak to Founder Ruth Zukerman, and learn how her wildly-popular concept has found its way into the lives of fitness pros and novices nationwide:

1. Flywheel is unlike any other indoor cycling class. What prompted you to create this kind of competitive environment and why do you think people are so hooked?

 I felt it was time to bring indoor cycling to the next level.  I was noticing that most riders were never clear as to where their resistance should be or how much they should be pushing.  Because of this, I wasn’t seeing the results that I had expected from my riders.  Bodies were not changing.  At Flywheel, my partners and I developed a method with performance tracking technology allowing every rider to see exactly where their speed and resistance should be on a small computer screen affixed to the bike.  Literally this morning, a rider whom I had never met told me how much he loves Flywheel, having lost 20 pounds.  His friends are telling him that he looks younger than ever.  The smile on his face said it all.

 2. Tell us about the technology involved, how does the TorqBoard work and how were you able to develop it?

 At Flywheel, we have developed a proprietary performance tracking technology that allows every rider to view their real-time performance data.  Each Flywheel bike is equipped with a small computer screen, allowing riders to view and adjust their speed (RPM), resistance and total energy exerted. Additionally, every bike communicates with the central electronic system in the studio, giving our riders the option of being displayed on our proprietary TorqBoards, large flat-screens at the front of the studio that display class leaders and performance data.  After each ride, personal performance data is stored and made available to riders at FlywheelSports.com.  This is a proprietary technology which took a good amount of time to develop, so we cannot share our secrets!

 3. What are the key ingredients in finding an exercise routine that suits your needs?

The most important thing is finding a workout that you love.  As a former dancer, my exercise was always taken care of.  When I stopped I had to find something that didn’t feel like exercise.  Going to a gym and facing all of those machines seemed dreadful.  Then I found indoor cycling.  At Flywheel we ride in a dimly lit room.  You have the best of both worlds – privacy within the amazing energy of the group around you.  Add amazing music coming from a state of the art sound system and you feel transported, challenged, inspired and ultimately elated!  Having my body get stronger and leaner is also enough incentive for me.  Who doesn’t want to go back for more?

4. How do you suggest balancing Flywheel classes with FlyBarre? Which came first when you first went into business?

Flywheel began with indoor cycling classes only.  Eventually we saw the need for an additional workout that would be a good complement to the Flywheel class, an opportunity to strengthen and stretch in ways that would be impossible to do on the bike.  Because the FlyBarre workout stretches the muscles that are used in cycling we can offer our riders a very balanced way of exercising.

5. Any exercise/diet secrets?

Yes!  Plan out your week.  Put your exercise classes in your calendar so you have allowed the time for it.  Don’t overdo it for fear of burning out.  Working up to 3 cycling classes per week and 2 barre classes would be ideal.  If you don’t have the time, then reduce the total number of classes and start there.  If you come regularly you will see results.   And the odds are that you will enjoy it so much that you will want to come more!