The Media School

Bloomington Orangetheory Owner Lyle Feigenbaum promotes a healthy lifestyle

April 1st, 2021 by
Photograph by Abigail Niezgodski

Orangetheory Fitness Owner Lyle Feigenbaum prides himself on helping others reach their fitness goals and pushing his own abilities. He aspires to be healthy in all aspects of life.

Five years ago, Lyle Feigenbaum and his wife Kerry shielded their faces as snowballs rained down. Coaches threw from the left, sales associates from the right. The game developed following a dinner in downtown Indianapolis the co-owners hosted to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Avon Orangetheory studio.

Matthew Brackney, a front-desk associate at the time, remembers the night as the first time he noticed Feigenbaum’s unique personality. He said the owner’s presence indirectly convinced him to stay at the organization.

“He’s kinda a mix between Michael Douglas and Michael Scott,” Studio Manager Brackney said. “Business first and pleasure at the end of the day.”

Feigenbaum, 53, also owns the Orangetheory fitness studio at College Mall and is opening a second Bloomington location on Kirkwood Avenue. The new location, under construction, is connected to the Graduate Hotel and will open April 9.

The gym’s motto “Health is the New Wealth” is a philosophy Feigenbaum has embraced. His dedication to fitness and entertaining others has endured his entire life.

“I like feeling healthy,” he said, “always have.”

Feigenbaum grew up in Indianapolis. At North Central High School, he was class president and quarterback. At IU he raced in the 1988 Little 500, where he discovered his love of cardio workouts, despite breaking an ankle during the race.

In 1990, he graduated from IU with an accounting degree and spent three years working at Arthur Andersen, an accounting firm in Chicago. However, his love for entertaining drew him to the upper-west side of New York City, where he lived for four years and worked as a server at a restaurant named Main Street.

Photograph by Abigail Niezgodski

Feigenbaum owns the College Mall Orangetheory and is opening a new location on Kirkwood Avenue April 9, attached to the Graduate Hotel.

Feigenbaum and Kerry moved back to Bloomington in 1996. They ran the Scholar’s Inn Bed and Breakfast in Bloomington, as well as Bakehouse restaurants on the Courthouse Square and east side of Bloomington and in Broad Ripple in Indianapolis.

The couple wanted to get out of the restaurant business and by 2016, they sold all restaurants and opened the Orangetheory location at College Mall.

“It was strange selling our last restaurant,” he said. “But opening the studio was pretty epic.”

In addition to owning the Indiana studious, the Feigenbaums are minority owners for all Orangetheory centers in France and Monaco.

Feigenbaum is invigorated by his environment and seeks out positive energy. At Orangetheory, he said everyone feels good about themselves and inspires one another. Everyone is doing what’s right for them, not trying to impress others, creating a positive sense of community that fuels him personally and professionally.

“You’ll often find me at Orangetheory just staring at a window watching people working out,” he said. “People think I’m in there trying to make sure the coach is doing everything right, but that’s not it at all. I just feed off people’s energy. And when I see people working hard it makes me feel good.”

“You’ll often find me at Orangetheory just staring at a window watching people working out. People think I’m in there trying to make sure the coach is doing everything right, but that’s not it at all. I just feed off people’s energy. And when I see people working hard it makes me feel good.” – Lyle Feigenbaum, Orangetheory Fitness owner

Brackney, his colleague and employee, attested to Feigenbaum’s ability to energize any setting and his perceived impact of the new Kirkwood Orangetheory.

“I think the new studio is really going to change the atmosphere environment of downtown,” he said. “I think it’ll become a staple.”

Feigenbaum said the lack of competition among Orangetheory members is constructive, but he likes to compete with himself and push his physical capabilities. His favorite Orangetheory event is the Dry Tri, a 2000-meter row, followed by 300 body weight exercises and a 5K treadmill run.

At 46, he played semi-pro football for the Indiana Cutters alongside players nearly half his age.

At a playoff game in Broad Ripple, he went out for the coin flip and told the other team’s member the last time he played on that field was 28 years before.

Seven years later, Feigenbaum still aspires to be back on the field.

“Now I’m in even better shape because of Orangetheory,” he said. “So, I’ve been raring to get back out there. To be my age and to kick the ass out of 25-year-olds is pretty exciting.”