A year in Malaysia proved to be a great inspiration to two women who set up their own spinning gym, based on the practices over there.
Whilst in south east Asia, Sophie Lowe and Sarah Burgess learnt a lot about its culture and in particular, its fitness practices and were so enthused, they brought it back to Lytham.
Ride opened in South Westby Street last December and the concept has grown so much they opened a second gym in Boundary Road in May, with DJ Danny Howard at the launch.
The Boundary Road site, which has 40 bikes, runs five spinning classes, whilst the original gym has 15 bikes and offers private personal training, as well as kettle bell and core classes.
The pair met at Cardinal Newman College in Preston and became even firmer friends as they went to Cardiff University together.
After graduation in July 2017, they decided to move to Malaysia for a year to save money.
Sophie, 24, of Lytham, said: “We both wanted to set up a gym, but we didn’t have enough money. So we went to Malaysia because the cost of living was so low and it was easier to save.
“Sarah was into bodybuilding and had entered the Show of Strength in Singapore, which she won.
“Sarah’s brother owns an English school in Malaysia and he offered us jobs, so we went out at the same time. I did that in the afternoons and was a personal trainer in the evenings. Sarah and I also worked for my mum’s solicitors firm in Lytham - Scott-Moncrieff and Associates Ltd. We worked from our home in Malaysia, typing up things and emailing them across.
“It was a full on year, but it paid off, as we managed to save lots of money.”
The pair returned last September and soon launched their first gym in South Westby Street.
Sophie added: “We opened with 15 bikes and within six weeks we were selling out on every class, so we decided to open a second one.
“We are not a normal gym. We took what we learnt in Malaysia and moved it across here. We offer immersive full body workouts, using arm weights, in the form of 45 minute high energy classes. Even the lighting is the same.
“Every month we do an after hours ride where we have a musical artist to make it a more fun and sociable session.
“We are pay as you go and so don’t tie people into a membership. At first, we focused on women but now we are trying to get more men involved, so we are doing a ‘bring a man for free’ promotion this month.”
Expanding on what she learnt in Malaysia, Sophie added: “It is very different to over here. People do not get up early in the morning and everybody wants to be in and out of the gym as quick as possible as it is so hot.
“People are very active outdoors, as they go jungle trekking or snorkelling. You can do so much as it is so cheap. And the weather makes a massive difference. I would definitely like to go again.”
Sophie and Sarah have big plans for the gym, aiming to incorporate American-inspired Soul Cycle, which uses choreography on a stationary bike.
Sophie added: “There is nowhere like Ride in the north, with just spinning and body workouts. There are around six in London. There is also Soul Cycle, which is big in London, but again nowhere like that over here. So that is where I want to expand next.”
Follow Ride on Instagram: http://@ride_lytham