Spinning is an increasingly popular form of exercise that we have all found ourselves wanting to try at one point or another. We at Her Campus McGill were thinking about it fairly recently, since we teamed up with Spin Energie on Parc Avenue to give away $100 worth of classes at their studio for our first speaker series event. In the midst of these events, I was searching for a spin class to add to my weekly routine. I came to realize that interviewing the owner of the studio and checking out their locale is pretty great, but trying a class and getting a sense of what the experience of spinning really entails would be even better. So I got in touch with Spin Energie’s owner, Yanic Truesdale, and we discussed the studio and the many benefits of adopting spinning as a way to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Yanic opened Spin Energie three years ago. He had fallen in love with spinning in Los Angeles, and when it came time for him to come back to Montreal for the summer, he had difficulty finding classes here. A large part of the reason why spinning is so perfect for him is because of a knee injury: “I couldn’t jog like I used to, so I was forced to find [a form of] cardio that can adjust to that.” He wanted to open a studio in Montreal that was similar to those he went to in LA , and fast: he first thought of pursuing this idea in March, and five and a half months later, Spin Energie was open. How did it come to be so quickly? Yanic credits working 14-hour days in the year Spin Energie opened, and, quite simply: “I got excited at the idea of it. The idea was bigger than me, so I felt compelled to do it.”
Fast-forward to late September 2016: Spin Energie and HerCampus McGill were collaborating again, and I was finally heading to my first class at the studio, after years of passing by it on Parc Avenue. After storing my school bag (and my school self) away in the locker room, I followed a narrow hallway into a nearly-pitch-black room full of stationary bikes. I was definitely not expecting the darkness. It certainly didn’t help that I was a total newbie to this studio, which led to spending a solid five minutes weaving my way around the bikes to find number 11, the one I signed up for online. Clearly, I was a deer in the headlights, because someone saw I was wandering and they showed me where I actually needed to go.
Later on, I asked Yanic why the room was so dark. He explained that spinning in the dark is meant to “uplift people and empower them.” This is a key instance of yoga philosophy coming into play amidst the intensity of spinning: moreover, he stressed the idea of connecting with yourself and with the music instead of keeping tabs on everyone else. I especially like the way he chose to explain it to me: “Who wants to go to a party and dance with the lights on in the living room?”
Three quarters of the way into the class, I realized that we were doing a routine with weights. I was under the impression that my weights were in some side compartment of my bike; however, I quickly learned that was not the case. In that moment, I was especially grateful for the darkness of the studio, since no one was able to see the oddness that was me doing weight lifting…without any weights. Yanic laughed when I told him about this little slip-up, but he also consoled me, saying that the classes not only get “more fun as you go”, but that you also get used to multi-tasking in the routines. He truly believes spinning is an extremely effective and fun way to improve your cardio. He calls spinning a “more complete way of doing cardio” because, as I saw in class, there are elements of abs, muscle work, cardio, and yoga incorporated into the class. This is also a central reason why he thinks students should come try spinning: once they do, they’re able to reap all of its physical and mental health benefits. Yanic senses that, “Students are very aware and health-conscious, and are looking for ways to maintain their energy.” On top of that, he also felt that the music plays a large part in why students may be attracted to spinning: after all, Yanic supervises all the music and understands that “music is the foundation” of the classes. I couldn’t agree more, as a music enthusiast who particularly enjoyed ferociously pedaling to DNCE’s “Cake By The Ocean” to begin the coolest workout session I’ve had in ages.
I asked Yanic about what the future holds for Spin Energie. When I asked him about the possibility of opening up a second location in Montreal, he admitted to me that there has been a lot of demand and ideas coming from frequent spinners: “I could open a second location, but it’s a lot of work. I do have it in my mind.” While that’s still just an idea at the moment, Yanic did let me in on some exciting Spin Energie news that’s coming into effect as soon as October 17th: they are teaming up with Spa Scandinave for “Spin Spa”, where participants of Spin Energie classes can go to their front desk and get 40% off at the spa for some post-workout R&R. That’s a dream offer if I’ve ever heard one.
Yanic told me that his life philosophy is “you get what you give.” It’s a very simple idea that has the potential to deeply impact us. It can be applied in so many different aspects of our lives, from school, work, relationships, and, of course, health. With health in particular, Yanic advised that the work we put into staying healthy now will pay off later in life: “I encourage anyone living and breathing to move.” This week, I learned that a 45-minute spin sweat can really make a difference in your day, and, in your whole life. It takes commitment and motivation from ourselves to keep going. However, that can only start once you take the initiative to walk into the studio (more specifically, into its dark room), strap yourself in, and begin the ride.
Photos obtained from interviewee.