Sweat It Out: SPINCO Toronto

Work | Sweat | Achieve

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A couple weeks back I was invited to check out a class at Toronto’s newest cycling studio, SPINCO. SPINCO, a studio with locations in Kelowna and Victoria, has opened it’s doors at 2577 Yonge Street, across the street from Barreworks and a few blocks North of Eglinton.

The outdoor facade of the studio is very simple, and the space is narrow and long. When you enter the studio you walk by a wall of merchandise including a limited collection of tanks, sweaters, and hoodies by the Peace Collective declaring that Canadians Spin Better, and we know that’s the truth. And then you’ll find yourself at the registration desk.

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The staff were friendly and welcoming. The bikes use LOOK clips, which is different from most (all?) boutique spin studios here in TO which use SPD or have a combination of the two for the pedal clips, but the good news is they provide the shoes in your class fee.

SPINCO offers a class style that is “full body” and includes intervals of weight training with weights and body weight while riding the bike. It is important to note that while this form of indoor cycling is all the rage right now in both Canada and the United States, it is controversial in the indoor cycling industry and for a few reasons (rider safety, rider biomechanics, integrity of cycling) is spoken against by the Indoor Cycling Association. The music was a motivating combination of top 40, and pumped at the perfect level to be inspired without blasting out your ear drums.

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Photo by SPINCO

The studio space has a mirrored wall and creative lights on the ceiling which can be turned on in various combinations which was done throughout the class. There was also a strobe light that was turned on at random internals. Branded towels were provided on the bikes upon arrival and bikes were cleaned by staff following the ride.

SPINCO has some of the best bikes in the city, the Schwinn AC Performance Plus with Carbon Blue. The ride is so smooth with a real to the road feeling. The bikes have a variety of built in hand positions in the handlebars, two water bottle holders (which in this class were used to hold the 1, 2, or 3 lbs weights), as well as fore-aft adjustable in both the seat and handlebars for the perfect fit for each rider.

The studio also contains showers and washrooms within the change room and common self locking lockers in the hallway.

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Photo by SPINCO

Prices at SPINCO are slightly above the Toronto market price with a single class being purchased for $25, however class passes fall back into the range of $22-$17 per class depending on the packages.

This space is great and if full body rides are your thing, I definitely suggest you check them out. Plus the first class is free until October 31st!

5 Ways to Update Your Plank

This morning I was back on CH Morning Live, this time sharing ways viewers can shake up their plank. To watch this mornings segment click here.

Whether on your toes, knees, hands, or elbows the plank is a great move to strength your erector spinae, rectus abdominis (abs), and transverse abdominus, as well as stabilize through your  trapezius (traps), rhomboids, rotator cuff, the anterior, medial, and posterior deltoid muscles (delts), pectorals (pecs), serratus anterior, gluteus maximus (glutes), quadriceps (quads), and gastrocnemius.

Here is a short summary of some of those moves starting with the traditional plank.

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Plank (regular and modified). Assume a push up position with hands or elbows under the shoulders. The body should form a straight line from the top of the head towards the heels or knees if kneeling.

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1. Mountain Climber. From a plank position on your toes, increase your heart rate by jogging knees towards your chest. To decrease the challenge march your knees towards the chest.

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2. Plank Jacks. From a plank position on your toes, jump both feet wide and then return both feet narrow together. To decrease the challenge alternate a toe tap away from the center line of the body one foot at a time.

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3. Alternating Shoulder Tap. On the knees or toes, maintain a balance and stable hip position while touching the opposite hand to shoulder. To decrease the challenge, increase the distance between the knees widening your base of support.

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4. Side Plank. With a focus on the obliques place one arm on the floor balancing on your elbow or hand. Place your same knee on the ground (left hand, left knee) or come into a full variation of the side plank by stacking both of your feet. Keep your hips raised and spine long.

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5. Side Plank Hip Lifts. From a side plank position lift and lower the hips, increasing and decreasing the distance between the hip and the floor.

 

To watch these moves in action, view this mornings segment here.

Road to 70.3: Week 14

My legs are fried! Last week seemed to be all about the bike – also because I did my long weekend ride on Monday, took Tuesday off for Mark’s birthday, and them crammed the rest of the workouts in the remaining 5 days – ouch. But I got them done!

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MONDAY: 90km. As we were still up at the cottage I took full advantage of the long ride out on the country roads. I did a couple out and backs to down town then a long straight (although hilly) segment out to a sunflower field I had seen. The photo doesn’t capture them that well be it was great to have this goal to ride to, and to get it done with very few cars, and on such a nice day.

TUESDAY: Today was Mark’s birthday, and after yesterday’s long ride it seemed appropriate to take a rest day. I spent the day running errands and Mark and I had dinner at a little place he had been wanting to revisit after a Tribe brunch. Balance is key.

WEDNESDAY: Today was our weekly Tribe run, plus I got in a 20km bike ride. It was really hot out and my only free time was key tourist time along the waterfront trail, so I kept my ride indoors. I also discovered I can access our condo’s common area wifi while on the bikes, so kept myself very entertained with some movies and old TV shows.

THURSDAY: Today was an epic brick plus bonus bike ride I had missed on Tuesday. In the morning I swan 1.5km and did a long and torturous 75 min run. The heat was awful and EVERY step of the way I had to consciously choose to not walk. It was a dreaded workout, but one that is so sweat when it’s done. I finished my day by teaching at YYoga, and sticking around for a spin class – I always like taking other teachers classes, and this one was great.

FRIDAY: Today started with some epic procrastination which required me to not get into the water (for 1.5km) until the afternoon and then decide it was to hot for an outdoor run, so for the first time in forever I ran for 60 minutes on the treadmill.

SATURDAY: So I think procrastination is becoming the theme of the week. I decided to not get up to swim prior to our Tribe run, so I did 13km, then swan 2km, then rode for 45min. As I had previously been riding indoors I hadn’t noticed that I had misplaced my outdoor cycling shoes (I have different clips for indoors). This was really disappointing as I got dressed, couldn’t find them, so took my bike down the 50 floors to our parking, only to not find my shoes there either (note they were actually in my car). So back upstairs I went, changed into human cycling clothes and hit the gym. To much indoors and to much procrastination.

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SUNDAY: YogaJam kicked of our Sunday as it does almost every week. The morning stretch is great and as I only teach 2 of the 10 classes, I typically get to enjoy being a participant which is always so much fun. On my way to yoga I found my cycling shoes – obviously great news. After the yoga class I delayed almost 2 hours before finally getting out to start my 80km ride. It was hot and crowded. After 42km around the Leslie Spit and Beaches, I had enough of the pedestrians along the water front and took my ride indoors. So much riding this week had really gotten my butt sore from the sitting and even a new episode of Sex and The City of my Ipad couldn’t shape the voices in my head telling me to take a break.

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This was a brutal week for delaying and procrastinating my workouts. Any and every reason I convinced myself to wait or do something different – but I got them done. It wasn’t until writing this post that i realized these themes and my mind games. It was hot, I’m tired, I’m sore, I’m busy – let me send just one more email. Each of these delays was my choice – the training got done, but certainly at the expense of my downtime and family time. This weeks goal – do the workout when I say I will.

We are heading on vacation soon, and I’m trying to figure out how to keep my training on track. Any tips? Leave them in the comments.

Missed a week of my training?

Week 13   Week 12  Week 11  Week Ten   Week Nine  Week Eight

Week Seven  Week Six  Week Five

Week Four   Week Three  Week Two  Week One