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Spotlight: Lead Instructor Ryan Makely

By August 11, 2015 No Comments


If I can change my life, anyone can change their own.

A legend in Flywheel’s New York City studios, Ryan Makely has been creating magic (#MakelyMagic, that is) in the stadium for years. To celebrate his upcoming role as Lead Instructor at our Bay Area studios – and bid him a bittersweet farewell to NYC – here’s his inspirational story, straight from the oh-so-FLY source.

My journey at Flywheel has been nothing short of extraordinary. If you told me 10 years ago that I’d become a Lead Master Instructor at an indoor cycling studio, I would’ve laughed until the cows came home.

In February 2011, I was a puppeteer in the off-Broadway show IMAGINOCEAN, when a fellow performer mentioned that an indoor cycling company called Flywheel was looking for front desk employees for their new Upper East Side studio. Here I was — a 230-lb. out-of-shape actor who was juggling auditions and performances and waiting tables to make ends meet. I pretty much hated my life and had nothing to lose (except some weight!), so I went for it.

I got the gig, and it quickly turned into a full-time position. Biggest perk of the job? The free rides! I soon became hooked on Danielle Devine-Baum’s and Aleah Stander’s classes (doesn’t everyone?). Thanks to them and Flywheel’s other amazing instructors, I lost 40 pounds in eight months. I not only felt phenomenal, but I developed a passion for indoor cycling.

One day, Aleah asked me if I ever considered auditioning to be an instructor. Sure, it seemed like the best job ever, but me? Teach a class for over 45 riders? After a ton of back and forth (Me: “Nah…” Aleah: “Yes, you’re doing it!”) I bit the bullet, auditioned, and got into training! That was one of the most significant moments of my life and I knew it would be the start of something great.

After training, I immediately began subbing and teaching, which I found parallel to performing.

It’s like your own show, only better, because you’re helping other people improve their lives.

Before I knew it, I developed a loyal following! My riders loved my good music, sense of humor, and the family-like atmosphere of my classes. Seriously… if you arrive knowing no one, you’ll leave with potential friends, including me! I’ve also seen my riders lose tons of weight and use the rides like therapy to get through tough times. And somewhere in the middle of all this awesome, I discovered my fit and happy potential. I adapted a better diet, started drinking less, and began doing other workouts – including FlyBarre! – almost every day.

Just one year after I started teaching, I joined the Flywheel training and recruiting team. It was then that I realized FLY was no longer a job, but my true calling in life, so I said goodbye to the hustle of the acting business for good. Diving into the fitness industry is a change you must want with every fiber of your being, and I did. You have to be in it to change others. I traveled to train top instructors in Philly, Boston, Dallas, Washington, D.C., and even at London’s Shoreditch House. By 2014, I was promoted to Flywheel Master Instructor and couldn’t believe I was officially in the ranks of the best.

Fast forward to 2015. As many of my riders know, I’m moving out west to become the Lead Master Instructor of our Bay Area studios. My #FLYFam has truly given me a sense of purpose in my own life and the lives of others. While I’m sad to be leaving, I’m so excited to bring my passion, love, and #MakelyMagic to Northern California. Stay tuned, y’all!

Follow Ryan on instagram and twitter to keep up with his NoCal adventures!
Instagram: RyMakeFLY
Twitter: RyMakeFly



“I finally understand that exercise shouldn’t be a punishment.” After battling an eating disorder for two years, Flywheel Philly rider Allison Dombroski shares how riding helped her burst out of her “recovery bubble” and love her body again. Read her story here.

“My Flywheel friends have become some of my closest friends.” For Good Housekeeping executive editor and #‎FLYLoyalist Meaghan Murphy, a ride is so much more than a stellar workout. Click here to see how her dawn patrol “breakfast club” rides have made her a nicer person, better wife, more patient mom, and a kinder boss.

“The old me used to drink a beer in front of the television after work. These days, I spend my evenings at Flywheel!” Seattle rider Bobby Farris would have never imagined that an exercise class could improve his outlook on life the way Flywheel has. A Flywheel Challenge, Two-Week Tune-Up and 30 pounds lost later, he shares his story here.




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