Revolve has set its sights on Northeast markets, capitalizing on the popularity of group workouts.
With the group fitness craze riding a cresting wave, Revolve, a stylish cycling studio, has plans to take advantage of America's desire to get in shape. The cycling company offers classes for customers of all skill types in metro Washington, D.C., and has plans to open a New York location in late October.
The company is targeting stores between 2,000 and 3,000 square feet that also include a minimum of 1,000 square feet of column free space to accommodate the exercise bike equipment.
Sylvan Garfunkel, president and co-founder of Revolve, says the company sets itself apart by offering three different types of cycle classes at its studio in Arlington, Virginia, that accommodates riders of all skill types — from beginner to professional — and for those looking to get a workout that doesn't just focus on cycling.
The "real ride" is geared toward a cardio junkie or an outdoor rider as Garfunkel calls them. "It's for someone who really wants to come and take a traditional cycle class and challenge to really push themselves," says Garfunkel. "Also, for those who want to improve their outdoor technique or just looking to improve their overall stamina."
For the "real ride," instructors lead riders on an indoor journey that feels like an outdoor ride with multiple gearshifts, wind resistance and varying speed intervals.
The second type of skill class is the "complete body ride," which incorporates upper body weight training into the cycling program. The rider is able to use lighter weights with high repetition to keep their heart rate up. The all-encompassing workout allows riders to maximize their workout time all in one place.
"Barre ride" combines 30 minutes of cycling with 30 minutes of bar exercises where the bike is used as the rider's balance bar. The ride emphasizes placement, form and technique. Garfunkel says this third type of class will be adjusted once the company opens its New York location at 52 E. 13th St. to be more of a boot-camp ride for a full workout.
It all started with an idea in 2010. Garfunkel was previously a corporate attorney before tapping into his entrepreneurial side and joining forces with the Moinian family — two sons, Jonathan and Nicholas, along with their father, Jonathan.
"Jonathan and Nicholas had become familiar with spinning through going with their friends and family, and became enthused about it," says Garfunkel. "They saw how group fitness was becoming more popular and brought this idea to the forefront to discuss it with their father."
As a group, the Moinians decided to pursue the idea at the same time Garfunkel was looking for an opportunity outside of his private practice. Mutual friends connected them, which led to the opening of Revolve's first studio in Arlington in December 2011.
"I was looking for a chance to build something from the ground up, run it and see it succeed," says Garfunkel. "For it to be in an industry where you're helping people and changing their lives, both physically and mentally, it was such an easy decision."
After teaming up, Revolve decided to open its first location in the Washington, D.C., market since Jonathan Moinain was a student at George Washington University. He started scouting locations and found a residential building that included ground-floor retail at 1025 N. Fillmore St.
The company's New York studio will be in a similar location with office and residential space on the upper floors, along with retail space below.
Garfunkel says New York was the natural next choice for the company. "If you can take it there and be successful — you can usually take the concept anywhere," he says.
Lee Block, associate director at Winick Realty Group, LLC, who acts as Revolve's exclusive leasing agent in New York, says this is the perfect location for a cycling studio since it gives the company the ability to offer classes at all times of the day to cater to a range of riders.
"You have New York University to one side, along with a lot of residential and office workers nearby. So, we can do early morning classes, afternoon classes, classes during lunch and classes at the end of the day and in the evenings as well," he says.
With classes catering to students, professionals and local residents, it is no wonder Revolve has plans to open more classes in those two markets.
Garfunkel says, "You want to build your brand somewhere first before you kind of spread yourself thin. We feel like we can use these two cities as our launching pad for really getting brand awareness, in addition to building a strong group of both instructors and customers."
In order to build their brand identity, Revolve is focusing on the Northeast first, but then will go beyond that region and expand nationally.
"Even in tough times, people put a priority on improving and maintaining their mental and physical well-being to help push through tough patches in life," Garfunkel says.
"Group fitness — specifically indoor cycling classes — provide people with an excellent opportunity to improve."
— Brittany Biddy