With a vision of creating a “Vegas night club style” Spin class for her hard-training customers, Marianne Madsen – owner of Mad Fitness – teamed up with ADJ dealer Johnny Salgado, installing a versatile, club-worthy lightshow that makes each session different to the last…
Set up by fitness trainer Marianne Madsen after she sustained an injury that put her sports career on hold, Mad Fitness is now one of the most popular fitness centers in Santa Barbara. Always seeking new ways to keep customers engaged with working out, Marianne wanted to do something special with the spin studio. That’s when a mutual friend put her in touch with AV/lighting whizz Johnny Salgado at SMS (Smart Media Solutions), who selected a number of awesome ADJ fixtures for Mad Fitness’s latest project!
“I’ve been working with ADJ over the last 25 years and it was my confidence in the brand that made me choose the effects. They’re lights that are just not available by anybody else. They were a perfect match for us – that’s why we chose them.” – Johnny Salgado
After teaming up with Johnny Salgado, the pair worked tirelessly on bringing Marianne’s dream for a ‘Vegas nightclub’ Spin studio to life, also exploring the option of having a large screen on which to broadcast video and conduct virtual spin classes. Incidentally, Mad Fitness was the first gym project that Johnny had been part of since working for SMS. So, was the project a conscious attempt to capitalize on the current trend for fitness, specifically spin classes?
“Well, that was our whole intention,” says Johnny. “When I spoke with Marianne she had a vision of what she wanted [the studio] to be like and she called it ‘Vegas Spin’. So, we started walking through her ideas and she said she wanted to take things to the next level with the whole nightclub thing. She shared a ton of videos, of the larger DJs playing at raves, of the big concerts and music festivals, and she showed me all the moving heads and scanners and said, ‘that’s what I want!’ ”
So, inspired by concerts, music festivals, and a general nightclub atmosphere, Marianne and Johnny set about finding a way to offer customers a unique training experience. A key issue when planning the new lightshow was the spin studio itself, which measures 20 x 30ft (width x length) and has four tiered rows of cycle machines. Also in place is a 10 x 6ft screen at the front of the studio, on which Marianne and her fellow spin instructors can broadcast video and conduct virtual spin classes – such as cycling to the top of Gibraltar. This is just one way to hold the customers’ focus and keep them feeling inspired and motivated to work out.
“Marianne had already explored the virtual options and, not satisfied with them, had made her own virtual videos of her riding through the mountains for use on screen. We came to the realization that we needed to build a lightshow for the Vegas Spin project, so we effectively created our own nightclub based around a music festival experience; the lighting, the floods – everything,” explains Johnny.
To follow in the footsteps of the successful Virtual Spin project, Johnny and Marianne looked at a range of lighting fixtures, trying to find those which best matched Marianne’s vision. There was also the issue of space, with the team wanting compact fixtures that would still deliver high impact effects.
The first ADJ fixture to be snapped up by Johnny was the Inno Pocket Spot, and he incorporated three into the new lightshow. “Marianne wanted to have the moving head scanner effect, the long flowing beams, the strobe, the ability to bring things in unison – basically, the things you just can’t get from a standard all-in-one effect,” he says. “She loved the diversity of colors, and the ability to use UV – the instructors can even get customers to come in fluorescent clothes for a glow in the dark UV training session.”
“It was just everything,” he continues, “the size… the brightness… it’s insane in such a small space; because it’s a black room it has perfect conditions. She loves the beams in that scenario.”
It wasn’t just the Inno Pocket Spots that left Marianne and her customers feeling excited, though. Johnny also installed two Mega TriPar Profiles, which provided vast wash effects and enabled them to flood the front of the studio in color – “they were nice and beefy and wide, so they worked perfectly for that,” he confirms.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Vegas Spin class without a little glitz and glamor, would it?! The next step was the installation of four LED Pixel Tube 360s, which really helped create the Vegas experience, especially when combined with some more of Marianne’s incredibly unique ideas!
“Marianne wanted to try and mimic a road, so we installed some custom deck lights in the floor, like the left and right lanes of a road, and made them chase each other,” says Johnny. “Two of the LED Pixel Tubes match those, mimicking the road, and then we put another two inside a piece of [Global Truss] truss to make it glow and change color. When you’re in [the studio] you can’t see [the Pixel Tubes] when it’s dark, and when the lightshow kicks in they kind of appear out of nowhere.”
Of course, fitted with 64 super-bright tri-color LEDs, and with strobe and pulse effects at hand too, these LED Pixel Tube 360s provide a range of effects, giving those that train at Mad Fitness something different each and every time. This need for versatility and uniqueness is at the heart of the Mad Fitness install. It’s also the reason behind the final piece of Marianne and Johnny’s rather impressive jigsaw – the installation of an ADJ Royal Sky laser effect.
“We wanted to have as many different effects as possible within the one space, so that way it wouldn’t get boring,” Johnny says. “There are people that come in, they’ll spend an hour training and do that three maybe five times a week. The idea was to have a couple of different effects, some standalone effects; we’ve got the scanners, the foggers, and then we wanted to bring in a laser to give it a whole other feel that wasn’t repetitive and boring.”
The longest-standing of the ADJ products used in the lightshow, the Royal Sky, provided Johnny with an all-in-one-box laser display, with 20 patterns in one package, including a mesmeric Liquid Sky effect that utilizes vibrant green and violet laser beams.
“We picked the Royal Sky primarily for the ‘liquid sky’ effect; the deep colors, the effects it can create,” explains Johnny. “Twenty minutes into a session it’s nice to drop the lightshow to completely black and have the lasers pointing right into the middle of the cyclists. It’s like they’re riding into a whole cloud of hypnotic light, it adds a completely new dimension. Instead of things being repetitive, it created a lot more excitement and emotion.”
In the two months since Johnny undertook the ADJ installation at Mad Fitness, class attendance has rocketed skywards, leaving Marianne happy, as well as her customers. “The reaction has been just insane, they’ve just been ecstatic,” says Johnny. “Since it started Marianne has had sold out classes and she’s been trying to get more instructors just to keep up with demand.”
What about Johnny’s thoughts on the install, though? “I’ve been working with ADJ over the last 25 years and it was my confidence in the brand that made me choose the effects,” he assures us. “They’re lights that are just not available by anybody else. They were a perfect match for us – that’s why we chose them.”
It seems Mad Fitness lighting designer Moi Munoz (TRU Music Lighting) was also pleased, not only with the lightshow but with the control software too, telling us that “myDMX 2.0 was very user-friendly, easy to use and learn” and that he was “excited about programming lighting sequences with such versatile fixtures.”
So, using a stunning ADJ lightshow, combined with a darkened room and loud music, Johnny was able to help Marianne create a special atmosphere for her Vegas Spin class, which provides a high-intensity workout to leave customers feeling cleansed, invigorated and feeling pretty damn good! Perhaps that’s why the Mad Fitness gym remains one of the most popular in Santa Barbara… and why Marianne continues to sell out classes!
Thanks to Marianne’s creative vision, Johnny’s faith in ADJ and lighting designer Moi’s programming skills, we were able to produce a unique, versatile lightshow at Mad Fitness. With ADJ moving heads, wash effects, lasers and pixel tubes creating a stylish, energetic Vegas experience for customers, it seems that from now on, each and every training session at Mad Fitness will be one to remember…
Check out the lightshow at Mad Fitness:
3x ADJ Inno Pocket Spot
2x ADJ Mega TriPar Profile
1x ADJ Royal Sky
4x ADJ LED Pixel Tube 360 (plus driver)
2x ADJ Fog Fury Jett
2x Global Truss America (5ft. stick of box truss)
1x ADJ myDMX 2.0
Marianne Madsen, Mad Fitness
Johnny Salgado, SMS Smart Media Solutions
Moi Munoz, TRU Music Lighting