After our high-octane full body bike workout last week, we caught up with Ride.Bln’s Co-Founder Kirill Pronine to talk about how it all began, his plans for Europe-wide domination and how he hasn’t had a day off in two years…
USC: How does the story of Ride.Bln begin?
Kirill: The concept of full body cycling has been around in the US since 2005. I always thought of spinning as this old-school, boring bike workout. But my wife made me try a full body biking class when we lived in New York and I loved it.
My best friend from high school, Till, has always been into sports. He’s done Iron Mans and triathlons and managed his own gym here in Berlin. We’d always wanted to start a business together. When it was time for my wife and I to move back to Berlin, Till and I realised that nobody was doing this kind of workout experience here – so we decided to start it together.
What makes Ride.Bln different to other cycling workouts?
We train the entire body in 50 minutes. We use the bike as a tool to get the heart rate up and then we do a lot of upper body work. You don’t need to bring anything – we provide water, shoes and towels. The service aspect is very important to us.
For us the music is an integral part of the workout. In most spin classes the music kinda runs in the background, but our instructors are trained by our Master Trainer, Johanna, to be on the beat. They curate their playlists and update them every three weeks. People who’ve participated in a class feel like they’ve just been to a club – but instead of drinking and smoking they’ve had a workout.
What are the specific health benefits to full body cycling?
With our workout you train your endurance, you train and enhance your muscles and all the moves on the bike require you to have core stability. We also incorporate HIIT techniques. We’ve had clients who have been very successful in losing weight – one of our clients lost four pant sizes in four months.
We love that through the fun atmosphere, the service and the music, people find their way back into exercising and look forward to training. Because of this people come with a positive mindset and are able to really achieve the goals they set for themselves.
What’s a typical day like for you?
Till and I now have two studios – we just opened Charlottenburg two months ago. So our day usually starts at 6:30am because our first ride is at 7, and ends after the last ride at around 9:30pm. We’re in the studios every day – we each have half a day off during the week.
Oh my gosh. Why?
We have to be here to listen to our customers and make sure we see when something isn’t working. We’re a young company. We get to see a lot of our clients and regulars and it’s fun to watch the whole thing grow. When we started there were days when there was nobody here. Now every evening most of the rides are booked out – and we get to see these things come together.
Do you have workshops and events here?
At least twice a week we have “music special” rides. So we have Techno Tuesday’s or Foo Fighters vs. Red Hot Chili Peppers, or a ‘90s ride. It’s kind of like clubbing. If you want to listen to hip hop you go to a hip hop club, if you want to listen to techno you go to Berghain, if you want to listen to ‘90s music you go to a pop club. It’s a great way of motivating people to come.
What are your ambitions for Ride.Bln in the coming years?
Our medium-term goal is to have a Ride in most big German and Austrian cities. Short-term we want to have more people in the morning classes. In other major cities the 06:30am class is always the one that’s booked out, but in Germany people are in the old mindset of going to the gym after work.
Right now the most important thing for us is to popularise the full body cycling concept. We’re not worried about competition; I compete for people’s time, not for the sport. Because nobody does it like us – the next step is to make sure that everybody knows it.
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