Peterson Wellford, 28, grew up a swimmer, but he opted to stop when he got to college. For the first couple of years he was in school in Alabama, he wasn’t very active at all.

“I was burned out, and I didn’t put any fitness in my routine,” he explains. “I started running for a little while, but honestly, I hated it.” 

Peterson was in graduate school in Lexington, Kentucky, working on his master’s degree in healthcare administration when he started spinning at a local studio. After graduating, he moved back to his hometown of Memphis to start his career.

“I went to CycleBar one day because I wanted something to add to my fitness routine,” he says. “Through knowing mutual people, I was asked to audition with CycleBar shortly after I started going there.”

Peterson was hired on, and almost three years later, he is the general manager for both the Midtown and Germantown locations.

“I have completely let go of my goals within healthcare administration. I don’t plan on going back to a desk job. I fell in love with CycleBar and the brand and everything it has to offer,” he says.

Peterson says CycleBar has totally changed his life, and he enjoys seeing it impact others’ lives as well. While indoor cycling is the thing he enjoys most, he mixes it up with Shed fitness, yoga, and hot Pilates. 

Part of the culture of CycleBar is promoting a sense of community. 

“We really pride ourselves on being more than a workout. We pride ourselves on being a full experience that starts when you walk in the door.”

Peterson says people of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds feel welcome in the CycleBar studios. 

“Everyone can come in and look at what their goals are and not have a comparison to anyone else in the room.”

CycleBar motivates class participants with energizing rides tailored to all fitness and experience levels. There are three different class formats—all rhythm-based riding. 

The Classic Ride is the most common and makes up about 90% of the studios’ schedule. Empower is more of a seated ride without choreography. Empower is more focused on holding the rhythm, and it helps people feel stronger in the Classic Ride class.

“Empower is a great complement to the Classic Ride,” Peterson says. “It helps get your strength up and helps you feel supported for more challenging classes.” 

There is also the Connect class, which is fully based on rhythm without using stats and numbers. It is a great way for participants to disconnect from the numbers and get locked in the music.

“If we ask you to push, you push. In Connect, let your instructor lead you along that path.”

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By Christin Yates