Red Ride Puts New Spin on Fitness

Staff Writer

Instructors Dave Leone and Jeff Howard with Owner Jill Wood.

Instructors Dave Leone and Jeff Howard with Owner Jill Wood.

After a lifetime devoted to personal fitness, Jill Wood can sum up her fitness philosophy in four words.

Spin. Sweat. Shred. Smile.

These four words make up the core approach of Woods’ brand-new studio, Red Ride Fitness.

Wood is the founder and owner of Red Ride Fitness, a brand-new state-of-the-art studio focused on spinning technique and full-body fitness consciousness. Red Ride opened this month and will celebrate its grand opening Thursday, Feb. 6 on the eve of National Wear Red Day, the national day of awareness when people are encouraged to don crimson in solidarity against heart disease.
Red Ride’s studio environment will enable Wood and her team of instructors to offer personal attention to their clients via one-on-one personal training sessions and small classes devoted to all-around fitness.

“I wanted to create a very goal-oriented workout program that’s challenging and fun,” Wood says. “The red in our name means a lot of things: action, energy, courage, vitality. Our clients are willing to spin like their pedals are on fire. That’s the take-home: you have to keep moving. You have to keep challenging yourself.”

Owner Jill Wood.

Owner Jill Wood.

Wood has cultivated her fitness style and philosophy over a lifetime of healthy living. Her father built the first racquet/fitness club in Eastern Tennessee. She grew up playing tennis under a father who won the United Professional Tennis Association’s national singles championship for men 75 and under.

“Fitness is in my blood,” Wood said.

Wood previously worked at FitLife and as a personal trainer. Her years of experience led her to create a fitness destination based on the concept of functional training. It’s one thing to put in strenuous time at the gym. Wood believes her clients should take the tools for building a healthy lifestyle – and the benefits – beyond the studio.

“Our clients use the tools we provide, and they are helping them in real life,” she says.

Amid a growing local health and fitness market, Wood is positioning Red Ride as a standout destination with the amenities exclusive to the studio. Red Ride is the only spinning center in Louisville to feature the Keiser M3 Indoor Cycle, a magnetic resistance indoor bike renowned for its smooth operation and quiet performance.

“It’s the Mercedes of bikes,” Wood says.

Assisting Wood are Jeff Howard, a master fitness instructor with a degree in kinesiology and 25 years’ experience teaching worldwide, and Dave Leone, a General Electric engineer by day and recent fitness convert who has lost 60 pounds through a personal regimen that includes spinning, weights and proper diet.

Leone took his enthusiasm for cycling to work with him. GE features a 5,000-square-foot fully-equipped employee fitness center – but for a time, had only two indoor cycles. “I told them, ‘Get more, and I’ll teach for free,” Leone says. GE now has nine indoor cycles, up to four classes at a time and numerous teachers who joined Leone in leading classes.

Howard’s expertise includes knowledge of such specialized techniques as Tabata high-intensity training, based on alternative intervals of high and low-intensity exercise, which can have results including calorie burning for up to 48 hours beyond a workout session.

“Jeff and Dave are passionate about what they do,” Wood says. “They’re masters at what they do.”

Red Ride features other fitness gear that gets clients on their feet. The studio features TRX Suspension training bands, flexible straps that use the client’s body weight for strength and endurance training. The bands were modeled after an innovative adaptation of parachute straps by Navy SEALS who were in need of an effective way to exercise while stationed behind enemy lines. Red Ride also features sparring equipment and items such as free weights which, when added to a spinning routine, create a full-body workout.

Red Ride will offer many special features to members beyond core in-house studio regimens and training programs. The studio will begin FitTravel, a quarterly program that will take members on quarterly trips to cities that are the epicenters of modern fitness trends. Wood already has plans to visit destinations such as Miami, Chicago, New York and San Francisco.

“These cities all feature cutting-edge fitness experience. In these places, you’ll find the toughest workouts available,” Wood says. “We’ll have scheduled morning workout events, free time during the day and dinners at the hippest restaurants in these cities.”

With an ambitious agenda and personal touch, Wood and her associates aim for Red Ride Fitness to take those dedicated to a healthy life on an intense, rewarding ride.

Red Ride Fitness is located at 241 Sears Ave., Suite B, Louisville, KY 40206. For more information, call 502.299.0878 or visit

Photos By CHRIS HUMPHREYS | The Voice-Tribune

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