About Us

Parkinson's Cycling Master Instructors Kathy Helmuth and John Macgowan

Kathy Helmuth with friend and business partner John Macgowan

Hi, I’m Kathy Helmuth – Master Coach for the Parkinson’s Cycling program.

Together with my partner John Macgowan (he runs ICI/PRO and hosts the Indoor Cycle Instructor Podcast) we plan to recruit and train an army of Parkinson’s Cycling Coaches. Coaches who’s Indoor Cycling classes will positively affect the lives of thousands of people suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

The research is clear – physical activity has been shown to reduce the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s Disease, (PD for short).

Multiple studies point to the benefits of exercise in improving muscular strength, flexibility and balance with subsequent functional improvement in individuals with PD. However, the information in the literature suggests that physical activities require some specific characteristics for this population. Exercises focusing on strength training, balance, aerobic conditioning as well as the use of external cues during gait can result in overall improvement in motor performance and quality of life related to PD patients’ health.

The Parkinson’s Cycling Coaching program is an educational resource developed by Special Populations Fitness, LLC.

Co-Founder Kathy Helmuth – Program Developer and Lead Master Coach
Kathy is a Wellness Professional at the Sarasota YMCA. A Registered Nurse, she received her degree from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Kathy spent several years working with high risk patients at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana and added to her career as a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative for Dupont pharmaceuticals. After taking time to raise 3 children, Kathy entered into the field of Wellness at the Sarasota YMCA.

Over the last several years, my enthusiasm has gravitated towards senior fitness. I have always had a special interest in neurological issues so when the Parkinson’s cycling program became available at our YMCA, I was elated. My goal is to positively influence the lives of those suffering with Parkinson’s. I have the passion and experience needed to make this Parkinson’s Cycling Coach program a success.

Kathy holds fitness certifications from: ACE, Spinning®, Flexibility Training (YMCA of the USA), Stability Ball Training (YMCA of the USA), Pilates Instructor (YMCA of the USA), Circuit Training (YMCA of the USA), Core Muscle Training ( YMCA of the USA), Yogafit and Les Mills

Co-founder John Macgowan – Business Development and Communications
John’s is a self-employed entrepreneur, Internet radio show host, fitness educator and online community builder. His passion over the last 6 years has been in promoting smart / talented people. This has resulted in the most authoritative, independent, Indoor Cycling resource on the Internet > www.indoorcycleinstructor.com

John’s had the privilege of educating thousands of Fitness Professionals about advancements in fitness and technology. He’s cultivated business relationships with all of the major brands in this niche. John’s understanding of the specific needs of both Instructors and fitness businesses will be invaluable to the development of this training program and the creation of our army of Parkinson’s Cycling Coaches. John holds fitness certifications from: Schwinn, Heart Zones, Team ICG and Life Time Fitness.

Contributors to this project

Dr. Joseph Friedman 
A neurologist and recognized expert in Parkinson’s disease, Dr. Joseph H. Friedman is joe_friedmanChief of the Butler Hospital Movement Disorders Program. He received his medical degree from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and completed his residency in neurology at the Neurological Institute of New York.

A professor and chief of the division of Movement Disorders in the Department of Neurology at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University and adjunct professor in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Rhode Island, Dr. Friedman is a recognized clinician, researcher, and educator in the treatment and study of Parkinson’s and related movement disorders.

Author of Making the Connection Between Brain and Behavior: Coping With Parkinson’s Disease (soon to be updated for a second edition) and co-author of Taking Charge: Good Medical Care for the Elderly and How to Get It, Dr. Friedman has also authored or co-authored over 400 papers, abstracts, and book chapters on a variety of topics related to movement disorders and has also presented numerous lectures to neurologists, psychiatrists, internists, health professionals, and patients throughout the United States and around the world.

Dr. Paul FischmanDr. Paul Fischman

Dr. Paul Fischman is a retired psychiatrist from Sarasota, Florida. He received his medical degree from Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine and was in adult psychiatric practice for 34 years in Sarasota, FL. During that time he also taught Psychopharmacology to medical students and psychiatric residents at the University of South Florida, Tampa, FL.


Darrin Pelkey from the Keiser Corporation.New Keiser M3i Indoor Cycle with Power and BLE

Darrin is Keiser’s national sales manager and has been a consistent friend to John and his efforts to educated Indoor Cycling Instructors. Darrin provided us with a pair of the new Keiser M3i Indoor Cycles for us to use during the filming of our training videos. Our two fitness models were very impressed with the comfort and smoothness of the M3i – both asking if it would be possible for them to bring the cycles home with them as a “parting gift” 🙂

Sally Edwards from Heart Zones USA and Zoning Fitnessfinish-line

Sally is the established authority on Heart Rate Training and a long time friend and mentor to John. She’s been a tireless advocate for zone based Heart Rate training and Heart Zones Training (or HZT) system was issued its first patent – US Pat No 809238. HZT and ZONING are the only patented cardio systems in the world. Sally contributed to the content of our section on Heart Rate training.

Sally holds the distinction of finishing last in every Danskin Triathlon – she does this specifically so no one else will 🙂