Yanic Truesdale has been just about everywhere and has done just about everything. You may have seen this Montreal-born actor in the TV series Gilmore Girls as Michel Gerard. He has also been on multiple Québécois series, such as Roommates and Majeur et vacciné. I sat down to chat with him not about Hollywood or the acting business, but about the fitness industry and indoor cycling. Yes, you read that correctly: Yanic is the owner of the fitness studio, Spin Énergie, here in Montreal.
When asked, “Why open a fitness studio?” Yanic, a self-proclaimed sports junkie, explained that fitness has always been part of his life. “I’ve always loved exercising, so it felt natural to get involved in the industry,” he says. Yanic use to be an avid jogger, but after multiple shoulder and knee injuries, he had to adapt his workout routine. He wanted an alternative that had the intensity of jogging and that runner’s high. A friend recommended spinning, but Yanic was hesitant, saying that he had tried it, but found it too boring. After learning that Soul Cycle, a cycling studio in LA, incorporated upper body exercises and energetic, upbeat music, he decided to give it a try. “I went and got hooked on it,” he says. “I went every day for months.”
The idea occurred to him out of the blue one morning that he should bring this new, modern indoor cycling to Montreal, as it was the best combination of having fun and exercising that he could find. “It’s something I never thought I would do,” he explains, “but the idea was just so crystal clear and it felt so right that I just went with it, and I made it happen in four months.”
It hasn’t even been a year since its opening, but Spin Énergie has many returning clients, some even doing daily classes, because they can’t get enough of it. “Old spinning is too repetitive, redundant, and not diversified enough,” Yanic says. At Spin Énergie, cycling to the beat of the music is very important. Yanic explains that “you put your groove into it the same way you would on a dance floor. And you burn more calories because you’re engaging your core, and other upper body muscles.” Yanic cycled at many studios in LA and NYC, incorporating what he loved about each into his studio. The team is always updating an improving the classes, which Yanic says involves continual brainstorming. “There will be a week where I try something new, so I skype my teachers to show them a new move and see how we can incorporate it. It’s like we’re making our own recipe,” he says.
A long-time lover of architecture, Yanic thought it was important that the studio reflect a sense of design and aesthetic. He worked with architects at Pelletier de Fontenay to create a studio with minimalistic, simple lines that had a modern California feel. Influenced by his mom, a yoga teacher, he added an element of yoga to it. He explains, “The space wants to empower you. It’s not a place where you will be yelled at.” Yanic assured me that at the studio you’ll hear instructors saying things like, “Inspire your neighbor” and “You can do this. You’re limitless”, not “Go! Go! Go!” A seemingly minute detail, the dimmed lighting creates an environment where you can connect with yourself and the music, forgetting about competition with those around you. “It motivates me to connect with something bigger than a spinning class. Fighting for what you want can apply to anything in your life,” he explains.
Since opening the studio, Yanic has influenced people in a way he never though he would. “My life has been about touching people, making them laugh, making them think, but through a character. Spin Énergie lets me touch people in a different way by bringing them health,” Yanic says. After an interview with a journalist who had given up on exercise, Yanic’s passion inspired him to sign up for a class right away – he began going three times per week and now he’s forty pounds lighter.
Even if you haven’t tried indoor cycling, you need not be afraid. There’s no minimum level required because you can control the resistance knob and modify it for your ability. Yanic encourages everyone to try one class: “What will hook someone like it hooked me is the joy.” Referring to a class as a ‘cardio party’, Yanic says that it’s hard not to have fun. It may be challenging to find the beat at first, but he advises any newcomer to “take a couple of classes to get into the groove and find the rhythm of the music.”
We Montrealers are lucky that Yanic had this spur-of-the-moment idea. Our city now has a cycling studio that will get you excited about working out, and not dreading every minute of it. It’s safe to say that Yanic’s energy, warmth, and charisma find their way into every class, through the music and great instructors. Go ahead and give it a try. Yanic proves that you can do about anything if you set your mind to it – even with a lofty idea and a four-month deadline.
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