When the owners of Rise Fitness Community, a HIIT and treadmill studio in the Columbus, Ohio suburb of Upper Arlington, first toured the space that became their location, they knew they had found the perfect home.
“We both looked at each other and the light bulb went off,” Rise co-owner Michelle Fleming explained. “We could expand our offerings and be able to provide our athletes and even better experience than we did before.”
A Dark Room Led to a Bright Idea
The space was separated in two sections—a 3000-square foot space in the front where HIIT IT, Rise’s high-intensity interval training class could be held, and a dark, windowless, 2000-square foot space in the back where the women could create Ohio’s first treadmill fitness studio.
Prior to touring the space, Fleming and her co-owner Jessica Kopp were operating out of outdoor spaces including local parks, a local high school track, and even the womens’ driveways. And while their workouts were grounded in HIIT movements, it wasn’t unusual to find running in Fleming and Kopp’s programming.
“Then it kind of a morphed—a lot of our athletes were stronger and more interested in considering a goal like a 10K, a half marathon or a full marathon, so we started training our athletes for those type of races,” Fleming said.
The First Step in a Marathon
When it became time to seek out a permanent, physical location for the studio, the women were looking for a location to host their HIIT classes, but the old storage room became a fundamental part of Rise’s identity.
“We had seen a couple of treadmill studios start to pop up in New York and California, and we were very familiar with what they were doing,” Michelle said. “We thought we can make this work in Columbus and be the first ones to market.”
How FitMetrix Makes it Possible
Getting the studio started meant that Fleming and Kopp had to face one of the biggest challenges any new fitness studio faces: how do you attract and retain the right customer base? And for Rise, the challenge was even bigger—Fleming and Kopp had to blaze a trail no other business in the Columbus metro area had done.
Because they were familiar with how the studios in New York and California ran, they knew that incorporating real-time data into classes was instrumental to treadmill fitness classes. They turned to FitMetrix performance tracking software to help create a class dynamic that allowed someone who has led a sedentary lifestyle be in the same class as a professional runner.
“They can work out side-by-side, burn close to an equal number of calories, and feel accomplished working out together, whereas out on the road, they wouldn’t have been able to have that experience together,” Fleming said.
After class, each athlete receives a report that gives them all of their data, and Rise’s trainers and running coaches are able to help the athletes see where they’ve grown and improved—all within the FitMetrix platform.
“FitMetrix has allowed us to take it to the next level,” Fleming said. “We can accommodate different fitness levels to achieve different levels of goals all within the same 60-minute class.”
And, as athletes come to Rise, they are given the opportunity to participate in progress tracking where the trainers at the studio couple the data FitMetrix gives customers with their vital statistics, allowing them to see not only how their bodies are changing visibly, but how efficient it is becoming as well.
“It is such an amazing moment to watch them work for months and then do it,” Fleming said. “The more we can do it, the better, because we’re inspired all around.”