Have you ever wanted to ride through the rainforest, bike through a city in a different country, or even be in a music video? You’ll be glad to know you can do all that and more at the gym. Not just any gym, though. If you’re ready, you can have such experiences through rides at the new boutique fitness studio Cycmode, located in Buckhead, Georgia. Owned and operated by fitness lover Tasha White, the 4,000 square-foot health club is home to immersive indoor cycling, yoga workouts and HIIT and strength classes. However, the most notable attraction comes from the rides in front of a wall-to-wall 60-foot curved video screen. The space, always filled with good vibes and even better tunes, allows you work out to the Migos’ “Pure Water” while the video plays in front of you during a MVR (music video ride). You can also do The Trip classes, allowing you to be transported into another world where you climb and sprint, all while staying on your bike. Another space in the gym has a 40-foot wide video screen for high-energy HIIT and yoga. Boxing will be offered soon. These one-of-a-kind workouts are what set Cycmode apart and let its competitors know White’s establishment is here to stay.
She opened her first studio while living in Chicago in 2017 with just indoor cycling available. The aim from the beginning for White was to bring “a twist to fitness.” Eventually, she made her way down South and opened her Atlanta location this past March, expanding the types of classes and bringing tech and entertainment to wellness. “Immersive fitness just got real,” she says of her gym’s tagline and while pointing out the difference between her space and others.
“When going to a traditional brick-and-mortar cycle studio, you have bikes in a room, it might be dark, you have a mirror behind the instructor with music,” she tells ESSENCE. “They’re telling you to climb and stand and sprint, turn and lean and all those things, but you can actually do all those things here. We have the virtual technology where you can actually see that versus imaginary.”
White has found her way to compete with the growing list of well-known Instagram trainers and seasoned fitness veterans making waves in Atlanta, many of them being men. She hasn’t had to throw caution to the wind to make it happen. As she builds her clientele, a feat in COVID times, she wants to ensure all members are safe. In the cycling room, every other seat of the 35 bikes available is skipped to maintain distance and comfort. Bikes still get filled up and the gorgeous studio continues to attract people for membership, like Tennille Cooley of Douglasville, Georgia. She’s been a member since Cycmode’s opened in the spring.
“I have always been a proponent of celebrating Black-owned businesses, especially Black girl magic,” Cooley says. “It’s not a lot of us doing it like this. You know, we get an old building, old equipment because you have to start [somewhere]. It’s humble beginnings and it’s nothing wrong with it. But when you do see the opportunity to get the funding and the capital, and you can come in here and they’re like ‘Oh! This is a Black-owned business?’ Yes! It’s because of the perception we’re given about a Black-owned business: we’re raggedy, we aren’t on time, we don’t have stuff together or the system’s crashing. You don’t have that here. So when you see it, you want to help uplift it and celebrate it.”
As Cycmode grows, the plan is to take it to local colleges and universities to get students involved. White wants to build a franchise model with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUS) such as Spelman and allow for the younger generation to have an impact, including in sharing the benefits of exercise.
“What we are looking to do is to expand to those campuses and hire their students to be trainers,” White says. “This will teach them about business and how to run a business. You have to find ways to keep fitness fun and motivating us, especially in the Black community.”
If you’re interested in what Cycmode has to offer but unable to experience one of the gym’s featured rides and other intense options in person, you can join Cycmode Digital starting September 18. It will provide Atlanta locals and those around the country (and the world, too) live-streamed classes for at-home subscribers. For more details, please visit www.cycmode.com.