Health Club Management January 2018

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INTERVIEW

RHIAN STEPHENSON Boutique fitness brand Psycle has been

transformed from an indoor cycling studio into a multi-modal fitness concept. On the eve of an expansion that’s set to bring three new studios to London, Lauretta Ihonor talks to the woman behind the brand’s transformation

How did you first get involved with Psycle?

I was approached by the management team while it was still in the concept phase. They wanted me to come in and consult on how to make Psycle more of a wellness brand. I’m a nutritionist and naturopath, and I was exclusively running my own wellness consultancy for lifestyle and fitness at that time. Given that I also used to be an national swimmer, the consulting role with Psycle seemed like the perfect position that brought together my interest and experience in fitness, nutrition and health. After a few months of consulting for them, I was asked to come on board full-time. And when the management team changed in September 2014, they asked me to take over as CEO. It was quite an organic move from being on the consultancy side to becoming more and more involved in the business and the product.

That’s quite a change. How did you find the transition from wellness consultant to CEO? It was honestly one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. When I took over, I was completely solid on the wellness side of things – the product, fitness concept and nutritional offering – but then I suddenly became responsible for property, operations and all the other aspects of running a business. It also took us quite a while to find a new team, so the learning curve was steep and very challenging. Despite that, it’s been an incredible experience and I’ve been supported by so many great people while we’ve built up the team.

How has the brand changed since you became CEO?

It’s changed in a lot of ways, the most obvious being that we’ve launched other concepts. Psycle started out offering indoor cycling only, but we’ve since launched barre, HIIT and yoga concepts. While the expansion of concepts is the most obvious change, I truly believe the

A barre concept was added to the Psycle portfolio in 2017

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When I took over, I was solid on the wellness side of things, but I suddenly became responsible for property, operations and other aspects of running a business