By Helena Tavares Kennedy
Heather Haney of Manassas never thought she’d be a business owner, but in February 2017, an opportunity came up that she just couldn’t pass up. Applied Fitness Cycle (AFC), a fitness cycling business founded in Manassas in 2015 where people of any physical ability can train to achieve their goals, was being sold by the original Prince William area owners. Haney jumped on the opportunity to purchase AFC and to also fully commit herself and her family to a healthy lifestyle with wellness goals.
“I was part of the original instructor team that started at AFC in 2015,” said Haney. “My love of the members, the family feel of the studio, as well as the RealRyder® bikes, fueled my decision to purchase the studio. After several years in the fitness industry as an instructor, I decided to make the leap to fully embrace a leadership and management role in the fitness industry.”
With six full time instructors and one front desk manager to serve their 45 members and 25 pass holders, they offer a wide range of cycling activities for all levels from beginners to professional cyclists. “Our members come from all fitness backgrounds and are very encouraging during classes,” said Haney. “Members really enjoy our half hour classes during the day, and the more intense 45 minute evening classes. AFC offers all-on-the-bike classes, as well as classes that combine off-the-bike strength training with resistance bands, lower body strength training, and on-the-bike cardio.
AFC also offers specialty classes that are held once a month. “Two of the most popular are Cycle Yoga, which involves moving meditation on the bike, as well as off the bike asanas that help cyclists’ bodies, and Beyond the Wall, a high intensity interval training (HIIT) that a professional cyclist would go through that will push you to your limits and beyond no matter your level,” said Haney. “In the fall and the spring, CycleX, an hour mix of two 12 minute, intense bike sessions intermixed with two 12 minute sessions with a personal trainer on the Gold’s Gym field, is extremely popular.”
As the only RealRyder® indoor cycling studio in Northern Virginia, AFC’s RealRyder® bikes can be intimidating for a beginning rider, Haney said, “just enjoy the ride because you are burning 20% more calories than if you were on a ‘regular’ stationary bike.” What makes these bikes different is that the bike moves with the rider which helps increase core strength.
They also offer Krankcycle®s for those in wheelchairs or with lower body injuries so they are still able to take part in classes. A ‘solo ride’ area gives members their own area where they can “bring their own bikes, hook up to one of our trainers, and ride while watching TV or while hooked into the Wahoo KickR smart trainer system and their own online platform.”
Indoor cycling is a great option for anyone of any physical ability as it offers a low-impact workout that does not aggravate joints and allows people to keep moving at their own pace and resistance.
What makes AFC even more special is when you become a member, you aren’t a number. “You become part of a family, a tribe, when you visit our studio,” said Haney. “We welcome unique abilities and are here to motivate people to create and reach their goals – whether it’s to become stronger, or to compete in an athletic event – that’s what AFC is all about.”
Helena Tavares Kennedy (email@example.com), a longtime Prince William County resident, is a freelance writer and communications consultant at htkmarketingservices.com and livinggreendaybyday.com.