With summer just around the corner, it’s natural to start thinking about whipping yourself into shape for bikini season (especially if your New Year’s resolutions didn’t make it past January). It’s never too late to start and Montreal hosts and myriad of great fitness studios. As an avid cyclist and triathlete myself, my training schedule has been thrown out of whack in the winter months. Montreal winters make it a challenge to enjoy outdoor sports such as cycling. I always move my training to an indoor bike during the winter months and thanks to the recent opening of Spin Énergie on Parc Avenue, this has become even easier. Spinning is a great workout because it requires high intensity cardio work, burns lots of calories and detoxifies the body through a great sweat. What’s more is that it’s fun. My favourite part is the music. Ranging from latino to dance hall, some of my favourite classes have been those that have a playlist with great beats.
There are lots of indoor cycling studios in Montreal for both the seasoned cyclist and the beginner. Spin Énergie welcomes all levels and appeals to McGill students in particular because of its close proximity to campus and its vibrant energy, comparable to that of the popular SoulCycle in the United States. Classes are 45 minutes in length and riders will enjoy a full body workout complete with free weights while on the bike. Upbeat songs create an inspiring atmosphere and instructors push their riders to ensure a great workout. As owner Yanic Truesdale shared with me in a recent interview that approximately 60 percent of his clientele are university students in the Montreal area. Indeed, as a student and fitness enthusiast, I have heard nothing but good things. I spoke with Truesdale and a couple of his McGill clients to get a better idea of why Spin Énergie is the hottest new fitness studio in Montreal and why you should give it a try if you’re looking for a way to spice up your spring training regimen or even just looking for a good place to start.
SoulCycle took the fitness world by storm and gained popularity when many celebrities praised it and swore by its philosophy. Spin Énergie’s classes are modelled after this style of workout and I asked Truesdale to share what he attributes to its success. “What makes it special is the fun you have while being really challenged. It is a tough work out but the fact that you have to follow the rhythm of the music makes it feel like dancing and it gives you more stamina and want to push yourself more. Also there is so much upper body and core movements that it makes the class go by quickly. Unlike with the old-fashioned spinning this type of indoor cycling is very diverse. There is also an element of Yoga philosophy in this type of work out which is a nice addition to it”.
I popped by the studio to try a class myself and was more than impressed. The studio is beautiful with a crisp white and turquoise colour scheme and is outfitted with modern showers and change rooms. The Schwinn bikes are some of the best in the industry and riders have the option to rent compatible clip spinning shoes for $3 if they don’t have their own. The instructors are friendly and everyone is in a great mood: how could you not be with all those positive endorphins? From my point of view, this studio is an indoor cyclist’s dream. Other recreational riders agree. Morgan, a student at McGill University, shared her own experiences with me. She has taken a few classes at Spin Énergie throughout the winter and likes the atmosphere as well as the great workout she gets on the bike. “What appealed to me is that it’s close and I’ve heard about spinning before and I know a lot of celebrities have been interviewed saying good things. The first time I went was super welcoming. I recommend going to a class by Benjamin. He has so much fun with the class and sings and dances along to the songs while he’s on his bike.”
I’ve assembled a couple pointers in case you’re sold and want to head over and try a class (If you sign up online, first class is free!).
– Drink lots of water beforehand, but pack a water bottle too. All bikes have a water bottle holder. You’re going to sweat so you’ll want to stay hydrated.
– Wear cycling shorts or athletic pants that are tight-fitting. Wearing anything too short will be uncomfortable for the full 45 minutes.
– If you plan on purchasing a package, remember your student ID. Spin Énergie has a convenient payment method. You can buy individual classes, packages or unlimited months and being a student will save you 15 percent.
– Spend the $3 to rent proper shoes, if you don’t have your own. Your technique will be better, and you’ll ride more efficiently. Cycling is a push and pull method, and the clip-on shoes will help with the “pull” to maximize your energy.
– Go at your own pace. You decide how much resistance you want to apply with the dial on the bike. If it’s your first time, listen to your body. Don’t push too hard, as you’ll suffer the next day. Ease into it, like with any activity, and you’ll be a pro in no time.
– They say it takes 21 days to build a habit. If getting into this exciting, challenging and upbeat sport is something you want to make part of your lifestyle, going three times and week for three weeks is recommended for beginning to see results and making it a natural part of your week.
– Have fun! Listen to the music, ask your instructor for help if needed, and give yourself the full 45 minutes to appreciate your body and what you’re capable of. You can get back to studying after workout class.
Photos retrieved from: http://www.spinenergie.com/fr/.