IOWA CITY — When she is teaching an indoor cycling class, Carrie Van Orden will shout out motivational phrases to her students, telling them to “max it out” or “maximize it.”
Max also is the name of her 10-year-old son.
“What better name for my studio?” said Van Orden, an Iowa City native and single mom.
Max Effect Cycling & Fitness Studio opened its doors Sept. 3 in Iowa City and will celebrate its grand opening Friday with free cycling classes.
Van Orden contends the indoor cycling studio and fitness center is the first of its kind in Iowa.
“There are gyms and clubs with cycling rooms, but nothing like I’ve built here,” Van Orden said.
The 4,300-square-foot space features an indoor cycling room with 32 bikes, blackout windows, dimmable lighting and a professional sound system. Several of the bikes are compatible with an online performance tracking system that records data about the rider’s performance during a session and emails it to them.
There also is a large exercise mat in the center of the room for integrating off-bike strength exercises during class.
A separate fitness room features Pilates reformers, treadmills, and other equipment for private or semi-private personal training, Pilates matwork and other group exercise classes.
Van Orden, who is certified in yoga, Pilates, and personal training, previously worked at the University of Iowa as a personal trainer and Pilates instructor. She enjoyed mountain and road biking in her spare time.
At a staff appreciation party a couple of years ago, her boss mentioned the need for a cycling instructor.
“I said, ‘I can do that,’ and by the next week I was teaching cycling two times a week,” Van Orden recalled.
The popularity of her cycling classes at the University led Van Orden to open her own studio.
“Indoor cycling is the fastest-growing group exercise across the country,” Van Orden said. “Iowa City is just perfect for something like this.”
Max Effect offers three group cycling classes a day, Monday through Friday, and another on Saturdays, taught by Van Orden and two other instructors. Clients can purchase single or multiple ride passes or unlimited cycling.
An online scheduling system is available to sign up for classes and reserve a particular bike.
“My goal is when you walk through the door, you focus only on what you’re putting on the bike for the next 45 or 60 minutes and let go of everything else,” Van Orden said. “Your day is better after you’re done.
“You feel great. The rewards are fantastic. And I get to be a part of it.”
At a glance
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