In the past year, Whitney Christensen had a baby, moved to Stapleton, decided her desk job just wasn’t her dream and started a new business. After noticing a lack of fitness facilities in north Stapleton, the fitness-minded mom opened Shift Cycle + Fitness in March, an indoor cycling studio that also offers childcare. “I wanted to do some good and to really feel motivated and inspired by my job,” says Christensen. “And I wanted to be able to bring my daughter with me.
A runner and outdoor cyclist for years, Christensen’s knees had suffered from running. “But cycling gives me the same endorphins and same energy I got with running but with less impact on my joints,” she says, which was the deciding factor in opening a cycling studio.
Christensen wanted to make sure there was a childcare element provided with Shift Cycle because she had struggled to find a place where she could take her daughter while she worked out. Children are cared for during class time by CPR- and babysitter-certified childcare providers. The childcare area is near the front with a half-wall, so parents can see where their children will be while they take a class.
In the course of each 45-minute class, participants use specialized moves and hand weights while on the bike to work their upper body. In the course of maintaining balance while doing the moves on the bike, the body’s core is more fully engaged, resulting in what Christensen says is a more efficient workout.
Music is a driving force in Shift Cycle workouts, cycling to the rhythm of the music. “It’s really easy to get lost in the music and fully immersed in the ride, which is a very cool mental state that a lot of us need to just let go, not thinking about the daily stresses,” says Christensen. “The music and beat really does a lot beyond the pedal strokes.
Instead of having classes at different levels, participants are encouraged to work as hard as they want to on any given day. “I tell people, ‘Come do what you can, enjoy the ride, enjoy it for what it is. The next day, try something different, add a little more resistance and challenge yourself with some new moves.’ But really, anyone can come do it and do it at their own pace. It’s very self-motivating,” says Christensen.
Studio lighting is kept very dim except for what is directed on the teacher. Not only does it help prevent people from feeling insecure about how they look or their abilities, but it also helps them focus on their ride. “It’s riding for what you need in that day,” she explains. “You may have had a bad day or a great day but we suggest people use that as fuel, looking inward.”
For Christensen, the year of big changes, and specifically, her baby girl have been her motivating fuel. “Thanks to her, I made this life change and took that leap and it has been awesome.”
The studio is located at 5096 Central Park Blvd. and can be reached at 303.862.7331, www.shift-cycle.com. Hours vary depending on day and class schedule and are expected to increase.