Till and Kirill, the two founders, have been friends since the 7th grade. They have always wanted to start a company together. After months of hard work, they finally realized this together with Master Trainer Johanna Oevermann in April of this year, with the opening of RideBerlin. And this is only the beginning…
In your words, what does RideBerlin stand for?
Till: RideBerlin’s main idea is to bring fun and a good mood back into the sports world. An intensive training that shows results and is as uncomplicated as possible, combined with a standout service and a great community.
And what is the workout exactly?
Kirill: It’s a new concept, that trains the whole body in 50 minutes, specifically endurance, stability and coordination.
The goal is that the people, who nowadays have less and less time for a workout, can really complete their entire program in 50 minutes.
Johanna: Exactly, it’s a full-body workout on the bike where we combine endurance and strength training by integrating upper body exercises on the bike. Therefore – full body cycling.
Where did the idea of opening the RideBerlin studio come from?
Kirill: When I lived in New York, Till visited me. We found the cycling concept very cool. Since there was no such thing in Germany, we thought: we could do that. We shared the needed business know-how between us – Till in the sports sector and I in the business sector.
Then Johanna came on board. She helped us select the people and formalize the concept. Added her touch, so to speak.
Till and Kirill, you’ve known each other since the 7th grade. How did you meet Johanna?
Kirill: Till and Johanna had crossed paths in the fitness world. When we needed a Master Trainer in November last year, we instantly knew that Johanna was the right one.
You were the first to bring the workout to Germany. How was the feedback at the beginning?
Till: The people who come out of the room react to 98% very positively.
They come out smiling from ear to ear. Some say it’s the best thing they’ve ever done and that they had a lot of fun.
Kirill: Many have told us that they finally have fun again while working out. And they no longer have to force themselves to go to the gym, but are instead looking forward to their workout at RideBerlin. This is the greatest compliment we can get.
The competition between so many different sports studios is obviously fierce. How does RideBerlin differ from the others?
Kirill: Our goal is to convince people, through a cool concept with outstanding service that this is the workout they need in their life, with which they can achieve many goals.
In addition, we do not offer memberships.
That makes it very convenient for those who are on the road or still like to workout at other places as well, as they do not have to bind themselves. We are convinced that with time people will come to RideBerlin for their main workout because it is effective and fun.
Johanna: We cover everything: the workout is perfect for people who want to train, who have to train and for those who just want to have fun.
Kirill: And all of this with the best coaches in the city. We have spent a lot of time and energy to make sure that we don’t just put anyone in front of the class on the podium, but really professional trainers, who we believe will be able to teach our concept as we envision it.
Johanna: And, of course, what makes us different is that you just concentrate on yourself – without all the gadgets that measure results and create an unnecessary pressure to perform.
What do you personally like best about the RideBerlin concept?
Johanna: What I like best and what motivates me every day is the ability to make people smile when they’re done with the workout.
Kirill: You’ve done a lot of workouts in your life. What do you think is different at RideBerlin?
Johanna: The personal touch. You see the people again and again. You have a very close, personal contact. You can see the results and the people who come really want to see results and not just put a checkmark down. They want to work with you, and this is a different relationship than in a course where I have 50 people and more. It is an interaction that gives me pleasure.
What has been your highlight so far?
Johanna: For me, the coolest thing is that people, who have worked out at other established studios, find our concept better. The workout is more intense, the coaching better and the whole service simply more personal. They find that it is more fun with us and that the trainers are more intense and focused.
Till: The emotions of the people who have participated in a Ride. It’s just amazing when you get there, the door opens, the people come out, and they’re just so tired, but they’re happy – goose bumps and bright smile included.
Kirill: My highlight is that we have set up the studio and trained 9 instructors in 3 months. Something I did not really think could be done so quickly and efficiently. And how well we work together as a team. That everyone really brings their strengths, but also open to discussions and giving input on a variety of issues. That we ultimately come to agreements that we all satisfied with is very helpful. This is very important to me. We have a goal that all three of us are working towards.
You also often slip into the role as a Rider instead of the founder and enjoy the workout yourselfs. What do you like most?
Till: When the mix of the personality of the trainer, the music that grabs me, the extra something that motivates me, the choreography, the exercise selection and sequence that exactly match,
leads to a flow, which makes me want to accelerate, to add to the resistance, gives me goose bumps …
These are the best moments in which I get almost intoxicated and push my limits more than with any other workout.
Now business aside. Tell us a little bit about yourselves.
Kirill: Till just got his paragliding license …
Till: That’s right, I#m always up for crazy sports. Freefall Tower, Paragliding, Motorcycling, Flying….
Kirill: I have visited over 38 countries, with Japan and the USA being among my favorites. I have spent a third of my life in different countries. One third in Russia, one third in Germany and one third in America. There I studied business and was the president of my Fraternity (student club). – Johanna currently also studies psychology.
Johanna: Yes, child psychology. And I am a trained primary school teacher.
What is your vision for the future?
Till: Our goal is to become the largest full-body cycling chain in Germany and to establish full-body cycling as a workout. The concept of using the spinning bike to get the cardio-vascular training going, but also to get a lot more out of it, so that it becomes a full-body training. This means that an upper-body workout and a focus on the core is just as much a part of it as the endurance. To round it all off, a phase for escaping the daily routine as well as stretching and cool-down make it a proper full-body workout.