“Manayunk used to be known as the furniture district,” said Juliet Sabella, owner of The Wall Cycling Studio, “now, it’s the fitness district.”
Her new spinning studio, The Wall, located at 100 Levering St., is the first indoor cycling studio in the area and is host to 14 spinning bikes and nine spinning instructors.
“I’m not sure why it hasn’t been done here yet,” said Sabella.
Starting the studio
Sabella is a Manayunk resident and a Mad Dogg Certified Spinning Instructor. This January she was laid-off from her job as a retail buyer.
“Because I was the newest employee, I was on the chopping block,” said Sabella, “but it was a blessing in disguise.”
After talking with a fellow spinner and friend about what to do, she decided to open her own business.
“I was able to do it with my savings combined with money left to me from my grandfather,” said Sabella, “this is like his last gift to me. I still pinch myself – I can’t believe it.”
The business approach
Sabella says that because she recognizes that many Manayunk residents are young professionals and recent college grads, she will keep her rates affordable. Classes will be available on a pay-as-you-go basis or as a package of classes. Throughout the month of May, classes are $10.
“People don’t have to sign a contract,” said Sabella, “or cancel their gym membership.”
Her studio will host over 40 classes a week starting at 5:15 a.m. and will run through the evening hours. The studio boasts experienced spinning instructors including triathletes.
“I can honestly say I have the best trainers in the area,” said Sabella, “they are really inspiring.”
She says The Wall’s version of a happy hour will be a “healthy hour” that will feature reduced rates for classes.
The Wall will also offer intense 90-minute classes to help athletes train for sporting events like the Manayunk Bike Race.
“We have something for all athletes,” said Sabella.
‘Getting fit changed my life’
Sabella has been spinning for the past three years and was previously an avid runner. After a knee injury, she wanted to find an alternative workout.
“I needed to fill that void of a runner’s high,” said Sabella, “spinning has a low impact and it’s not detrimental on my knees.”
Sabella hopes to add a program for mothers and kids that will include a workout aspect and a dietician component. The effort stems from a long-time goal to help kids get fit.
“I was an overweight child and teen,” said Sabella, “getting fit changed my life. The city has a bad reputation for fitness – we need more programs, especially for kids.”
Sabella says that because Manayunk is a closely-knit neighborhood with steady foot traffic, she hopes word of her new venture will spread.
The official grand opening is scheduled for June 4, the weekend of the Manayunk Bike Race.
“The bike race draws 200,000 people,” said Sabella, “we’re going full-force on bike race weekend to get the word out.”
For more information, go to The Wall’s facebook page.