Indoor cycling: you either love it or you hate it.
“I hated it,” laughs Jillian Bean, owner of MVMNT Indoor Cycling (1300 South University Ave), describing her first cycling class years ago. How exactly, then, did she end up opening Ann Arbor’s newest boutique fitness studio?
Jillian completed both her undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Michigan, always maintaining a focus on health. Through her own practices, she discovered how beneficial exercise was to maintaining physical and emotional wellness, and in turn making workouts a central part of her life. So, after graduating in 2016, opening her own indoor cycling center seemed like a no-brainer. "It was the best way I knew how to affect change," said Jillian.
By creating a space on the campus she knew so well, a space where anyone could come and do something good for their mind and body, she knew she could make that change in a community she loved.
As the studio gears up for an exciting New Year, I stopped in to talk with Jillian about everything fitness: wellness, cycling, and why MVMNT is the workout you will love to hate, no matter your excuse.
Excuse #1: “It’s too hard”
Traditional indoor cycling is far from beginner-friendly. On one hand, you have the dedicated regulars: these are the few, the proud, men and women who crave intensity. On the other, you have everyone else. Instead of craving intensity, they simply don’t. They dread the bike, staring down the clock on their handlebars until class is finally over.
Jillian wants to change that.
Bean has done away with clocks, monitors and leaderboards at MVMNT. According to Bean, blinking lights and distance leaderboards that rank classmates against each other are just unnecessary and distracting: “It’s your workout, and you can give as much to me as you want".
Excuse #2: “I get bored”
While MVMNT classes follow a format similar to SoulCycle, Flywheel, or other boutique studios you may have tried before, one major difference sets them apart: the movement.
MVMNT uses only Real Ryder bikes. These bikes are nothing like the stationary bikes you may be accustomed to: instead of keeping you rigid and upright on the seat, you can really turn, steer, and lean on these bikes, working every muscle.
Excuse #3: “I don’t have time”
The more energy you fit into your typical workout time, the more efficient you become. A half hour at MVMNT can potentially save you hours at the gym.
Bean emphasizes that she created MVMNT with efficiency in mind. As a Wolverine herself, Bean understands the rigorous academic schedule demanded by the university, and tailors her classes to students’ needs, even if that means short, intense workouts between lectures.
Be warned: “you’re not going to look cute” after one of Bean’s cycling classes, she admits.
To accommodate students and other clients with busy schedules, MVMNT offers quick 30 minute sessions, standard 45 minute sessions, and longer 1 hour sessions, as well as “open cycling” hours where you can come in and get a ride in on your own time. It’s the convenience of a gym with the guidance of skilled instructors.
Excuse #4: “It’s too expensive”
There are incredible benefits to working out that far outweigh the costs. Aside from increased endorphin levels and a glowing post-workout mood, breaking a sweat also can help improve you your memory, sleep at night, and focus at work or in class - things we all want but just can’t buy at the store.
So why would you pay Jillian or the MVMNT instructors to kick your ass?
Working out with an instructor is an investment. We can easily justify spending five dollars on coffee a day to help us stay awake and focus. Cutting out coffee three times a week saves you just about the cost of a MVMNT class, and comes without any nasty caffeine crash. In addition, studies show that working out makes you more productive, and since time equals money, investing in your health will actually save you money in the long run.
Excuse #5: “It’s just not for me”
“I want it to be very inclusive,” says Bean. She emphasizes that it doesn’t matter if you have years of or absolutely no experience on a bike. When it’s all about your individual workout, there’s always area for growth and improvement.
Yes, cycling is a great daily activity. However, it’s also an excellent supplement to other workout routines such as running, yoga, or boxing. “It’s all about balance,” says Bean. Whether you are a fitness freak or total newbie, Jillian explains that she’s just there to give you a great workout and push you to your best: “I know it’s cliché, but there’s no such thing as a bad workout”.
Excuse #6: “I have nothing to wear”
Doubt it. Jillian admits she doesn't wear "real" clothes anymore since she is always at the studio. As for her favorite pieces to ride in, she loves Lululemon and Teeki. You want something that will cover your legs and won’t ride up, but is also breathable because you are going to sweat like hell. Wear black or patterned leggings if you are looking to camouflage the sweat. If you’re running to discussion afterwards, it’s a good idea to bring a change of clothes - or just make sure your cycling clothes are cute.