“I located the spinning studio downtown because I wanted to be part of downtown’s comeback,” says Susan Frank, native Tucsonan and owner of O2 Modern Fitness. It’s the only dedicated Spinning ® studio in Tucson, and it’s expanding to include other fitness classes that complement endurance athletes’ primary sport. “I started O2 because of my love of cycling and yoga,” says Frank. But there’s more to the studio than just fitness classes.
O2 Modern Fitness gives back to the community by offering its workout space, located at 186 E. Broadway, to City High School for P.E. classes and El Grupo youth cycling club. In addition, O2 instructors recently trained Tohono O’odham recreation staff to teach Spinning ® classes to the Nation as part of the Healthy O’odham Promotion Program (HOPP).
You don’t have to be an endurance athlete to appreciate the convenience and quality workout from indoor cycling when combined with other stretching and flexibility exercises. “Betsy Kruse-Craig teaches a combination indoor cycling and Pilates class that’s very popular,” says Frank. “Betsy also works with Kurt Rosenquist at FitWorks to fine-tune body position on the bike.” FitWorks shares office space with O2 and offers customized bike-fitting and coaching.
“Our OO2 classes are a fusion of indoor cycling and other training,” explains Frank who is a big advocate of cross-training. “The base is cycling, and it’s combined with either yoga, pilates, or a bootcamp-style exercises. It’s growing in popularity because we pack so much into one hour.” With winter shortening daylight hours, and cooler weather setting in, indoor cycling is a perfect workout for endurance cyclists and triathletes. Runners will benefit too from low-impact cross-training and stretching.
Frank emphasizes that all indoor cycling classes are directly related to outdoor cycling. “We really want to get people outside, riding their bikes,” she says. Beginners and elite athletes can even bring their road bikes to indoor cycling classes, the studio provides stationary trainers for bikes. Frank says about 15% of indoor cycling students join in the O2 road bike club ride, where club cyclists can ride with elite team members. For example, Sahuarita Mayor Lynne Skelton started indoor cycling in the early spring, and this fall, she road the 79-mile El Tour de Tucson.
Last week, contractors worked late into the evening to complete the “O2 Fit Club:” 1200 square feet of new space for a new training program with Kettlebells. “At O2 Fit Club we specialize in unconventional fitness methods. We use kettlebells, clubbells, sandbags, and other ‘old school’ equipment to train for strength without sacrificing safety, explains Sergio Giardini, partner and instructor in the Club. “We are not about isolating muscles, we are about training all of the muscles together, the way the body is supposed to move.” Giardini, who also offers personal training, will host two free Kettlebell classes during this weekend’s anniversary celebration.
On December 10-12, O2 Modern Fitness celebrates one year in Tucson with a Best of O2 weekend to highlight a variety of classes and launch the O2 Fit Club. The celebration is a great part of 2nd Saturdays Downtown celebration. KXCI’s Neto Portillo , Jr. will debut his Latino music inspired indoor cycling playlist at 5:30 pm to kick things off on Friday night. Sunday will highlight the OO2 Cycle + Yoda class, followed by brunch and spa hour. Sunday will also include indoor and outdoor ride options to celebrate Downtown Tucson. For a complete schedule of events, check out the website www.O2modernfitness.com, or call 520-623-2245.
Tina Aguilar is another spinning to road cycling convert who helped connect Susan Frank to the Tohono O’odham HOPP fitness instructors. “I challenged the other recreational leaders at HOPP to ride the Tucson/Sahuarita Tour de Cure with me next March,” says Aguilar, Assistant Director of HOPP, who works in Sells. O2 taught a nine-hour course to Tohono O’odham fitness instructors so they can teach indoor cycling, augmenting step and other aerobic classes.
“Looking back over this year, I am most proud of the impact that O2 has made on the community and in people’s lives,” says Frank. “From working with high school students to assisting the Tohono O’odham Nation in assisting with diabetes prevention, our studio has become a force for positive change.”