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Cycle to Success at The Studios at Montecito Heights

By Marina I. Jokic

The parent fitness club to The Studios at Montecito, Montecito Heights Health Club opened in 1989 and quickly gained an avid following of cyclists. As the club's owners watched their cycling classes expand and outgrow every space they used to hold the sessions, they decided to invest in a new location.

"We decided to bite the bullet and open up a separate cycling studio, which would have the best bikes, most updated technology, and online reservation system," Catherine DuBay, general manager and cycling instructor, said. "This studio would be open to the public and not just for members of the health club."

With access to a convenient spot right across from the original health club, the owners leased the space and The Studios at Montecito, in Santa Rosa, were born shortly thereafter. Adding Barre and yoga to the mix helped expand the class offerings and attract a clientele with a more diverse athletic background. For instance, the Xtend Barre is a Pilates-based ballet workout that is a multi-level class geared to all ages and fitness backgrounds. Xtend is a total body workout that strengthens and stretches the body, resulting in a long and lean physique without adding bulk. Students can also choose cycling classes that focus on speed, interval training, or just rhythm depending on their individual goal.

As a result of its solid reputation and innovative curriculum, which was recently made open to the public, Montecito Heights has become a member of The Association of Fitness Studios.

"The Studios has developed a unique atmosphere depending on what class is going on," DuBay said. "During a high energy cycle or Barre class, the place is buzzing with athletes jacked up on adrenaline and then a few steps away, as you enter the yoga studio, there is a calm, peaceful feeling."

The exercise culture at The Studios encourages social activities such as happy hour and outdoor rides, community classes, training groups, and fundraising events. These events bring students together, and help form a bond that spans beyond just the classroom. The facilities are frequently rented for private activities, including bridal parties, company events, and birthdays. Parties of 1 to 15 students cost $200 per hour, while additional students can be added at $12 per person with a maximum of 35 attendees.

"Well, of course my favorite is the cycling class I teach at 5:45am," said DuBay. "This group of students [is] there to get it done, work hard, and then move on to the next part of their day [?] I call them my rooster riders and they give me the energy I need to teach when the sun hasn't yet come up."

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