VERVE Studios Del Mar


Feb 14 · 6 min read

Background: Welcome to VERVE Studios, Del Mar’s premier indoor cycling studio. It’s a new haven for sweat, movement, and human connection. Their signature class, VERVECYCLE, is a vigorous 45- to 75-minute class. It combines rhythm-based choreography, high-intensity intervals, and upper body strength training. VERVE strives to be a space where great friends and new faces gather to transform each day.

VERVE Studios Statement Wall

If you spend time on Instagram (which you likely do if you are reading this post) you’ve already heard about VERVE.

This awesome studio just opened the doors and is already crushing it. Before we took our first class, we’d seen a bunch of people posting photos of their ride and knew we had to check it out too. Clearly we suffer from zero FOMO.

FO•MO /ˈfōmō/ (n): anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.

I am a strong-first impression person when it comes to aesthetic and design. So let me start by saying VERVE Studios is beautiful.

The night we went was rainy and cold. I was exhausted, hadn’t worked out in a while, and was not mentally primed for a late night spin class. But from the moment we arrived in the parking lot, the warmth of the studio was in stark contrast to the dreary night. It beamed out at us like a lighthouse.

When we walked in, there was a buzz in the air, music was playing, and the vibe was electric. From the statement wall to the branded hand soap VERVE has thought of everything.

We were actually early this time, which if you’ve been following 100 Days lately, has not been our routine. This gave us ample time to get set up and our bikes adjusted. As every spin bike is different, we were happy to accept Lena’s (the studio owner) help in getting set up.

So much room for activities!

One of my favorite things about VERVE is the s p a c e. There is plenty of room around each bike so you’re not elbowing your neighbor between each push up. Our clip-in game was at an all time low, with Dylan and I both missing the pedals 5+ times. Fortunately, Lena was even willing to help guide our shoes into the pedals.

From there — we were off. Our instructor Katie B. (different Katie B. from last week’s Katie B.) started dropping fire songs. We went through a fast-paced warm up where the entire class seemed to be on the same beat.

The bikes at VERVE have a dual feature where you can up the resistance with a lever at the top, and also the knob. I loved this because I am the person who does a baby turn whenever they say “add a full turn”.

With the lever, I couldn’t cheat my way out of making it more difficult while thinking I wasn’t.

Speaking of thinking — that’s exactly what I was doing the first 20 minutes of class. Thinking of what I had to do tomorrow, what I hadn’t done today that I needed to do, and 1,000,000 other things. Then out of nowhere Katie’s voice cut through the fray.

“If your mind is not in this room, bring it back in.” Katie B.

It made me realize that I wasn’t even allowing myself to disconnect for 45 minutes. With 25 minutes left, I pledged to commit to being in that room — mind, body, and spirit.

We powered through tap backs, a killer arm workout, and side crunches. All the while immersed in a light show of flashing colors and lights.

Sam nearly breaking the sign

We both left exhausted in the best way possible, but not before we caught up with Katie B. and Lena for an interview.

Meet the Team!

Katie Barrett: @ktb.inmotion — Our Instructor

Lena Rakijian: @lenarakijian — Studio Owner

1) How did you get started with spin:

LR: I went to school for business and kinesiology. When I graduated I wanted to be a dietician, so I moved to New York to get my masters in nutrition. I then moved to Boston and worked as a clinical dietician for four years. At the same time, I was working in fitness. It’s where I first started my fitness career as a teacher. I started at a local Boston-based studio and helped that studio grow from one to three locations. I was their director of training. I trained the entire instructor team and helped them expand.

KB: I started indoor cycling because I was injured when I was running on the college track team back in Boston. I had a stress fracture and spinning was something I could do because it was low impact. So I started working at the front desk of the first spin studio in Boston. I fell in love and decided to start teaching.

2) Katie, can I guess what event you did? (Dylan)

DB: 200?

KB: …

DB: 400?

KB: …

DB: 800??

KB: Not quite…

DB: What did you run?

KB: I ran long distance! 5K and 10K. A 10K is 25 laps. I’m still a runner and run marathons now.

3) What brought you to San Diego?

LR: I’m originally from San Diego. I moved back to my hometown of Carlsbad in June of 2017 and set out on a journey of figuring out what I wanted to do now that I was back. I explored the idea of opening my own studio because I always had an entrepreneurial spirit. But it was a matter of: Is this the right time? Is it possible? Putting one foot in front of the other, I started looking for locations.

KB: I lived in Massachusetts my whole life and went to college in Boston. Lena and I were both instructors there. My fiancé and I decided before we settled down to do the full-on-adulting thing, we wanted to live somewhere else. We wanted something warmer, more low key. We just moved out in May! When Lena found out I was moving here she reached out and now here we are. Another girl who teaches here also is from Boston. #bostoncrew #gopats

4) What is the history of the studio?

LR: I knew I wanted to be in North County. It’s my hometown, it’s where I grew up, and where I had friends and family to support me. I found this location and moved forward with it because Del Mar was an area I’ve always loved. VERVE was born because I wanted to create a space that was a local cycling studio with the vibe and feel of San Diego. I wanted to create a place where people could go to get an amazing sweat and an amazing workout. But they could go deeper than riding a bike. They could connect, have fun and engage with other like-minded people in the community.

Something cool that happened along the way was I was meeting local business owners in the clean beauty, non-toxic space. That was something I gravitated towards since I value sustainable living. The studio uses non-toxic products. Our showers have UNDER LUNA products and we use Veyali room spray. Everything we use for our guests is 100% chemical free and plant-based.

5) What is your favorite warm-up and cool-down song?

KB: I wouldn’t play this in a spin class as a warm up, but HOV Lane by Nicki Minaj. And cool down, definitely Movement by Hozier.

6) What is the 5-year vision for VERVE?

LR: Step One: I want to grow the community, and really build relationships. I want to give people a space to come, feel included, and be a part of a network.

Beyond that I think expansion would be fun and exciting. I’d love to create a second or third location within five years.

But also expanding to other concepts. The reason we are VERVE studios and not VERVE cycling is because we want to be versatile and have the freedom to go beyond the bike. We have the resources and the talent within our team to do more than just cycling so I wanted to give us versatility.

Share your experience with the hashtag #100VizerDays or meet us at the studio to join in on the fun! Up next is Cirque-It Fitness!


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